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  1. #26
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    IMO the DMV definition of "motorized bicycles" that modbog mentions is a reasonable "line in the sand". A 1000 watt pedal-assist that cuts power at 20 mph is a far cry from a 6KW twist-grip e-motocrosser.

    I'm happy sharing multi-use trails with the DMV-defined e-bikes; especially if the rider has some sort of a disability. (someday; we will all be there!)

    The 6KW twist-grip e-motocrossers need to go to the SVRA's, etc just like their petro-powered cousins.

    I was recently involved in a permitted event at Coe SP where the rangers approved the use of a couple of e-bikes; I was really, really, really surprised that they were allowed. (BTW JL de Jong was along for that event but on a "normal" MTB) The ranger's criteria seemed to be "does it look like a regular bicycle?" (which they did)

    For State Parks my crystal ball says that e-bikes will be allowed on fire/jeep roads; not allowed on single track.
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

  2. #27
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    Interesting this thread came up when it did. I'm thinking of making a DH eBike for myself. Each person has their reasons for riding an eBike. I have mine too. Be it age, disability, or whatever. Let's face it. To have pedal-assist uphill and not tire yourself out, sounds good to me.

    I was wondering about trail access and general acceptance, or lack thereof. If I did go with an eBike, I intend to avoid trails marked "No motorized vehicles." If its an electric motor or gas motor, its still motorized. If riding an eBike there, I'd assume you can get a ticket, and should get a ticket.

    As a user, I'd also avoid spinning the tires as much as possible to save the trails, slow down around other trail users, obey posted speed limits, ride not slide...all the same rules for regular bikes and trail courtesies that should be observed. I'm not looking to rip up the hills, just get to the top without killing myself on a long-travel DH bike that I could otherwise, not pedal up. Some others could but not I.

    I could see with the power that these eBikes could potentially have, there could easily be land misuse issues. But as it stands now, these bikes have to follow the same rules as any bike. I think perhaps the biggest issues that separate these eBikes from regular bikes are speed, noise levels, and spinning of tires. It seems then that the speed issue is addressed with posted speed limits on many trails, noise addressed by not allowing motorized vehicles. That leaves the issue of erosion. For now without postings on that, just like the "ride, don't slide" unwritten rule (at least not posted signs for that on many trails), the eBike users have to exercise caution on the power trigger.

    With the eBike technologies becoming better and more affordable, the MTB eBike is coming sooner or later. And why not get out there and enjoy the trails more? That's what the trails are for.
    We Ride In God's Country!

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe_510 View Post
    Saw an older (late 50s?) guy coming off of Gails into the parking lot on a pedal-assisted mountain bike.

    I didn't want to give him crap about it or start any drama, so I just silently judged him as he rode away.

    What are your guys thoughts on these contraptions on the trails?
    Negating any argument for or against an E-Bike, it's a good thing you didn't approach him about his bike. That man has single handedly done more work in the Boggs Forrest than any other single person.. He can be thanked for the upkeep on all the campsites. The installation of all outhouses, picnic tables, and BBQ rings, A great deal of road maintenance, and countless hours of trail work. He would have been very quick to set you in your place about it all too. Joe, I'm not sure we're you are from, but it obviously ain't from round these parts..😉

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Cobb View Post
    Joe, I'm not sure we're you are from, but it obviously ain't from round these parts..😉
    Yes, clearly - Note that I have all of my teeth. But seriously though, I kept the discussion about the e-bikes on trails rather than slander this guy, I said that he was older, which hinted at his possible need for one, but that was it. But yeah, that's why you don't just call strangers you don't know out, which I didn't.
    East Bay Parks AKA East Bay Cattle Ranches

  5. #30
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    Pedal-Assisted bike spotted at Boggs - thoughts?

    Back Aug of 2012 I started chemo and I wanted to ride as that is the only thing that cleared my mind. I would go out on the trails and ride but the days right after chemo were brutal. There were days that I was sure I was going to pass out on my 10 mile loop.

    When chemo ended i was left with a new problem (neuropathy) in my hands and feet which was exacerbated when I had to climb and exert more force on the pedals.

    On one of my rides I collapsed when I got off the bike because my feet hurt so bad.

    I am certain if I had a pedal assisted Bike it would've made riding more enjoyable and not a painful experience.

    A little over a year later I've learned how to deal with the pain and the good news is my neuropathy is getting better but not gone.

    So I am personally torn and I also think it would be awesome if my wife and I could ride together and similar speed.
    Marty-mj
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  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Way2ManyBikes View Post
    Back Aug of 2012 I started chemo and I wanted to ride as that is the only thing that cleared my mind. I would go out on the trails and ride but the days right after chemo were brutal. There were days that I was sure I was going to pass out on my 10 mile loop.

    When chemo ended i was left with a new problem (neuropathy) in my hands and feet which was exacerbated when I had to climb and exert more force on the pedals.

    On one of my rides I collapsed when I got off the bike because my feet hurt so bad.

    I am certain if I had a pedal assisted Bike it would've made riding more enjoyable and not a painful experience.

    A little over a year later I've learned how to deal with the pain and the good news is my neuropathy is getting better but not gone.

    So I am personally torn and I also think it would be awesome if my wife and I could ride together and similar speed.
    Exactly, And you have every right to ride any bike you choose, regular bike or ebike, whatever. Go for it.
    We Ride In God's Country!

  7. #32
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    Old thread but great discussion too, mostly in favor of the eBike idea: Zumbi F44 prototype with Boosty electric motor system video
    We Ride In God's Country!

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe_510 View Post
    Yes, clearly - Note that I have all of my teeth. But seriously though, I kept the discussion about the e-bikes on trails rather than slander this guy, I said that he was older, which hinted at his possible need for one, but that was it. But yeah, that's why you don't just call strangers you don't know out, which I didn't.
    Good job Joe! PM me next time you are up, I can show you some of the locals routes.. Boggs is rad!

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Cobb View Post
    Good job Joe! PM me next time you are up, I can show you some of the locals routes.. Boggs is rad!
    My family actually has a cabin in Ettawa, I've been riding Boggs for quite a while now, and before I was on this earth my Uncles rode their dirt bikes up there, but I'd love to see more of what Lake County has to offer, I will take you up on that. Hopefully no hard feelings about the thread?
    East Bay Parks AKA East Bay Cattle Ranches

  10. #35
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    It is really a matter of time. As long as one is fit enough and values the experience of muscular effort, leg powered transport will hold. At some point though when you get around 60 or so, you guys now at 45 or so will get passed by guys on these contraptions, your will shall crumble and you will get on the bandwagon of bikes. Heck, we already have a shuttle crowd so this is the nest step.

    For me, at 62, if I wanted a motorcycle I'd have taken it up years ago. As a Fail Safe, I have made a pact with my son to shoot me if I ever extol the virtues of those funny mirrors that attach to your helmet.
    I don't rattle.

  11. #36
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    Pedal-Assisted bike spotted at Boggs - thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    As a Fail Safe, I have made a pact with my son to shoot me if I ever extol the virtues of those funny mirrors that attach to your helmet.
    I am going to ask my daughters to do the same.
    Marty-mj
    Dakar 650b Pro Full Squish & Trek Farley Fat Bike

  12. #37
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    I basically feel that it's difficult for a land manager to decide where that line in the sand is drawn. Many states don't have a DMV definition of an ebike (I realize this is a regional forum), and the technology has been moving faster than legislation could.

    Full disclosure, I love ebikes (just not on trails). I personally built one of those 6kw throttle twisters, though in a longtail cargo bike (for hauling things, commuting, and fun on pavement). From experience I can tell you that it's easy to build a sleeper to satisfy the "looks like a bike" criterion.

    Given that, I feel that ebikes generally are a trail access risk. I'd personally rather see some of those legitimate use cases for ebikes not enjoyed for the time being than see a knee-jerk reaction from land managers that affects non-motorized mountain bikers.

    I posted the following in a thread of myitch's asking for specific experience re: ebikes, and it was pointed out that thread wasn't really the place for an anti-ebike-on-trail rant. So, I moved it over here. Please take all the condescension and vitriol as merely an expression of passion for the trails and not as a personal attack. Looking back on what I wrote, I feel like I lost a lot of nuance too. Anyway, here it is:

    Quote Originally Posted by lazarus2405
    Quote Originally Posted by myitch View Post
    As long as the Ebike user is not spinning the tires fast enough to tear up the trails or fly past others causing danger or a nuisance I see no problem with them. So I'd like to hear from someone who has done this conversion on their long travel bike.
    You're going to get a lot of hate here for asking that sort of question (it isn't personal). Mountain bikers as a community have to try to police our own, though. If you've ever been told not to ride on muddy trails, this is 50x worse.

    So let's say for argument's sake you used a motor to self-shuttle, bombing down a trail under muscle power and then motoring up the road, I in principle wouldn't have a problem with that - it seems on the surface like a reasonable use case. But, it opens up a whole set of problems that don't have easy solutions.

    How many riders do you expect to never be tempted to give it a little throttle on the way down? It's right there, and it's so easy. Don't have quite enough speed approaching a jump? Just give it a little power and problem solved, right? But at that point, you have motor vehicles operating on the trails.

    So what's the big deal, if you're not tearing up trails or causing danger to other trail users? The problem is that not everyone would ride that way, and it's hard to tell who the responsible rider are.

    Land managers need to be able to protect their resources - it's their first job. We get access to their parks by convincing them that mountain biking is a sustainable activity that protects the resource while allowing the public to recreate. Impact is minimized because trails are limited to a narrow 18" band of single track, trails are built in a sustainable way to minimize erosion, and trails can be used for a variety of non-motorized purposes. If you have motor vehicles on trails, it becomes much more difficult to convince a land manager that resources are protected.

    A motorcycle - and an e-bike - could start bushwacking, making its own trails. It's a surefire way to get a ton of fall line climbs (which turn into wide eroded POS scar on the earth mess of a trail), when motorized climb steep things by grabbing throttle.

    Motorized users can travel faster, and more importantly they can accelerate much faster. They have higher vehicle weights and different erosion-causing characteristics. With the extra power of a motor, you can tolerate the higher rolling resistance and rotating weight of a bigger tire. A downhill tire might be 2.5" wide, but motocross tires are often 4+" wide. A large knobby downhill tire causes reasonably low erosion because there's relatively low torque being applied to it. If you start applying motor power to it or try bringing a 400lb vehicle-and-rider to a stop, you get tread erosion you just don't see in pedal-driven usage.

    But e-bikes are different - they aren't motorcycles, right? Then where do you draw the line between an e-bike and an electric motorcycle? Is it curb weight, geometry, whether it has a pedalable drivetrain, whether it uses bicycle or motorcycle components? Right now on the market there are complete bikes everywhere on that spectrum. Good luck trying to split those hairs. How about power output or torque or something similar? I promise you that if you can fit a 500w system on a bike, you can turn it into a 2000w system that would look identical to the untrained eye. Do you expect forest rangers to have to identify whether a user has a 20 amp motor controller or a 130 amp controller on their bike (and write a ticket accordingly)?

    So you've set up a situation where you can't distinguish between "legitimate" e-bike users and motorcycle-like e-bike usage. That is untenable from a land manager's point of view. They either need to allow motorized use (and the potential user conflict and resource damage involved), or they need to ban e-bikes and other motorized travel, or they need to ban all bicycles. If it isn't easy to tell the differences between a mountain bike and an e-bike and the difference between an e-bike and a motorcycle, I don't think it's too hard to imagine some land managers taking the easiest route - banning all bikes.

    So, in closing, I think e-bikes are great. I think everyone should be able to enjoy their preferred method of recreation, and if that involves a motor, you should be able to have fun. In places where motorized use is allowed - and there are many, including single track - I don't see any problem with e-bikes. But riding an e-bike on a trail on public land designated for non-motorized use only jeopardizes trail access for everyone.

    So no, please do not bring an e-bike on the (non-motorized) public trails. It can have consequences for everyone, undermining volunteer work to build and maintain trails and threatening trail closures. If you still choose to, you are selfish, and f*ck you.

  13. #38
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    Re: Pedal-Assisted bike spotted at Boggs - thoughts?

    Interestingly, I just saw fresh green "no assisted bikes or scooters" signs at the beginning of the bike path on Sunday.

    sent remotely

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic View Post
    No, actually, they are not.
    "Exponentially" was probably a stretch but I've been passed by a few of them around town and they are not loud at all. They will only get quieter, faster and lighter in the next few years too.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by modbog View Post
    yeah, or what about avids? heavy breathers? squeaky bottom brackets? porkstacker?
    Funny.
    Also known as Menso's dad.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazarus2405 View Post
    Given that, I feel that ebikes generally are a trail access risk. I'd personally rather see some of those legitimate use cases for ebikes not enjoyed for the time being than see a knee-jerk reaction from land managers that affects non-motorized mountain bikers.
    ^ 'xactly
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  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    "Exponentially" was probably a stretch but I've been passed by a few of them around town and they are not loud at all. They will only get quieter, faster and lighter in the next few years too.
    They are not loud around town because there is other, louder traffic noise to mask it. Out in the woods, where it's quiet, it's a really annoying buzzing. Same thing with drones (yes, people are now flying drones in the National Parks). Anyway - the noise isn't the biggest issue for me - the biggest issue is making people even more annoyed with mountain bikers than they already are, and land mgrs. more willing to ban all bikes.
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  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    "As a Fail Safe, I have made a pact with my son to shoot me if I ever extol the virtues of those funny mirrors that attach to your helmet.
    'I am going to ask my daughters to do the same. '"

    I would think that oblivious and in denial road boulders are the ones that deserve to be shot, not the conscientious bikers that are wearing mirrors, paying attention to what is coming up behind them and yielding the way. What am I missing here?

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic View Post
    Out in the woods, where it's quiet, it's a really annoying buzzing.
    Exactly. We should outlaw Kings and Hope hubs.

  20. #45
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    If we can't tar and feather the culprits, I vote for e-bikes so long as they are speed limited to 15mph. Soon enough, I'll need one to go up the mountains, so there.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by dope pedaler View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    "As a Fail Safe, I have made a pact with my son to shoot me if I ever extol the virtues of those funny mirrors that attach to your helmet.
    'I am going to ask my daughters to do the same. '"

    I would think that oblivious and in denial road boulders are the ones that deserve to be shot, not the conscientious bikers that are wearing mirrors, paying attention to what is coming up behind them and yielding the way. What am I missing here?
    The joke
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  22. #47
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    CCCMB web - Facebook
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  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic View Post
    Ebikes do not belong on trails that prohibit motorized vehicle usage.
    I think the issue is as simple as this. ^^^^^^

  24. #49
    middle ring single track
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    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic View Post
    They are not loud around town because there is other, louder traffic noise to mask it. Out in the woods, where it's quiet, it's a really annoying buzzing. Same thing with drones (yes, people are now flying drones in the National Parks). Anyway - the noise isn't the biggest issue for me - the biggest issue is making people even more annoyed with mountain bikers than they already are, and land mgrs. more willing to ban all bikes.
    If you think they are a bad idea in parks and threaten our already shaky access, that's a perfectly fine argument. I would tend to agree with you. The noise issue to me is negligible though. We all have our pet peeves out on the trails and if this is yours that's fine. I find big group rides or people riding with ear buds far more annoying personally. I think we have all "whooped" louder than an ebike hundreds of times.

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