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Thread: Fine for riding e-bikes on trails in DC?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Meatmotor View Post
    It's about fat people cheating up the hills.
    Arthritis starts at age 35!

    It's not just about cheating, it's about people with bad joints or other problems, caused by age or otherwise, staying on bikes instead of driving around and getting fat. That's a good thing. I'm feeling my knees now, and I can see myself wanting a little help in a few decades. I can also see people with disabilities not due to age using e-bikes to ride a bike when they otherwise wouldn't be able to at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arlrider View Post
    It's not about the noise, it's about the high torque of the rear wheel tearing up trails. Have you ever seen what motocross bikes do to a trail surface?
    How much torque does an e-bike have though? And does anyone ride an e-bike on an unpaved trail anyway? Kinda defeats the purpose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dplasters View Post
    Reaching those speeds requires a lot of fitness, effort and experience
    Or a significant downhill stretch.

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    Just to be clear, there are different kinds of "electric bikes." There's a bike you pedal but has a motor to assist, which in order to pedal has to be fairly light and therefore have not much power - in fact, it probably has less power under battery power than a strong cyclist could generate with his/her legs.

    Then there's the electric scooter, which is relatively big and powerful and 100% a motorized vehicle and shouldn't be allowed on trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by baiskeli View Post
    Arthritis starts at age 35!

    It's not just about cheating, it's about people with bad joints or other problems, caused by age or otherwise, staying on bikes instead of driving around and getting fat. That's a good thing. I'm feeling my knees now, and I can see myself wanting a little help in a few decades. I can also see people with disabilities not due to age using e-bikes to ride a bike when they otherwise wouldn't be able to at all.
    Maybe I should've added <sarcasm></sarcasm> to that one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by peterw_diy View Post
    Why? Many e-bike motors are very quiet -- we're not talking about allowing mopeds on singletrack. If we allow all those wimps with suspension forks, why not e-assist, too? Seriously.
    Because motors are capable of delivering far more torque to the trail than a person alone can, and that can very easily tear up trail surface. Sustainability is at the top of the land manager list for desirability, and trails that get damaged or develop erosion issues frequently get shut down.

    Suspension does not affect the power put down on the trail. In some respects its better IMO, because people on suspended bikes tend not to create ride arounds to minor trail stuff (trail widening = bad).

    I get that its a hugely complicated issue for commuting and MUPs and such, and I can see both sides of the issue there. But for MTB trails, which largely represent huge investments of money, time and advocacy resources, I see no reason to change long-standing rules about motorized vehicles on the trail. They aren't designed for it, won't hold up to it and allowing it would undermine a lot of advocacy work. The MTB community has spent decades convincing land managers not to group us in with dirtbikers, ATVs and other motorized vehicles when it comes to land access.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AFHokie View Post
    Or a significant downhill stretch.
    I agree and you already see how many times people talk about dangerous downhill areas with sharp or blind corners after them now on these forums.

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    I wonder how many people who are against ebikes, even off road, have actually ridden one. It's not like a motorcycle at all. It's a bike, and having a high torque motor is not at all as simple as it sounds. High torque means high electric current to power up hills which needs extremely high discharge battery packs and controller. Not cheap or easy to build yourself. Not to mention that once you power up that hill, battery and motor are probably overheating, and how you gonna recharge in the woods? I have a lot more fun riding trails on non motorized bikes than on my ebike. Really, it's nothing to worry about. Let's concentrate on how bad cars are for the environment than ebikes tooling around the woods, please...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Meatmotor View Post
    This is one insight that i think can be expanded. The industry is pushing this waaaay hard. As you may have noticed at all 3 major cycling tradeshows, e-bikes were everywhere. The reason? The aging boomer market share. Trek, Giant, and Specialized have already sold most of the boomers (and their kids!) MTBs or hybrids in the late 90's/early 2000's. At least 1/3 of them* bought Specialized Roubaixs between 2003 and today, and the last hold outs are going to be sold e-bikes soon. The industry needs the trails to be ready for the coming electrification of the cycling activity. Once they're legal, the next hurdle will be charging stations at the bottom of the DH course (and at the intersection of doom!), and trailer-hitch mounted bike racks with charging ports.

    * completely unscientific WAG
    This is the real concern. I can imagine serious traffic issues on the trails, if the e-bike market takes off. Imagine the W&OD starting to look like the streets of Hanoi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Meatmotor View Post
    Maybe I should've added <sarcasm></sarcasm> to that one?
    No, it's okay, your sarcastic comment just made me think of a serious one. I have to take opportunities to be serious when I see them.

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