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  1. #1
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    Human Powered or Motorized?

    So I came across something interesting today if not controversial (at least in my mind). After I finished a loop of Caldera at Bootleg I sat in the parking area to watch three guys coming up Girl Scout. From a distance I could see they were hauling a$$ so it caught my attention. Then as they started getting closer I noticed they weren't pedaling. At first I though maybe they were coasting, then I am sure I had the "RCA dog" look on my face with my head tilted as I realized nothing is flat or downhill coming up Girl Scout. They were on electric, full-suspension bikes which make a weird whirring sound. They definitely were not pedaling on most sections but were still moving uphill fast. When they got to the parking lot, they stopped to troubleshoot one of them which was "slipping" or not functioning correctly, so I took a quick pic with my phone (my fat finger was in the way).

    On my way down West Leg, I saw a couple more guys heading up the lower section of Girl Scout, so I stopped to watch them. They were running off the trail around corners and had to stop at one point to laugh as they got out of control. That did not sit well with me.

    I went down into the lower parking area and found the "E-Rides" van parked with a rack of a few of the electric bikes. I stopped to chat with the folks there to get more information.When I asked the main guy running the operation what was going on he asked if I wanted to demo one of the bikes. I respectfully declined and asked if they had a permit from BC to be out there. Another guy responded saying "we are all just friends out here riding and we are not charging any money so we don't need a permit." I asked the main guy if he understood all the trails in BC were human powered only and non-motorized. He responded with "these are electric assist only". I told him I saw a couple riders running off the trail and tearing things up. I explained I was not trying to be confrontational and respect the technology behind the bikes but asked him to be respectful of the trails. I also added that as locals we would appreciate if the stay on the trails and not cause any damage.

    Was I completely out of line here? I have trouble seeing how an electric bike is different than a motorized vehicle. I also think this technology will evolve. Who is to stop someone from having a 1000 watt e-motor on what is essentially an electric motorcycle?
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  2. #2
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    Not out of line me thinks.

    You should have let the air out of the tires on that huge van of theirs with a note about the rules.

    Or you find out the official rules of the trails and send it to them.

  3. #3
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    NON-MOTORIZED-not having a motor to assist with movement.

    That's how I see it at least.

  4. #4
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    Let them know what you think
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  5. #5
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    yup

    Quote Originally Posted by knoob View Post
    NON-MOTORIZED-not having a motor to assist with movement.

    That's how I see it at least.
    Next thing is -bigger motors, blah,blah,blah. It's NOT A BICYCLE. However "assisted" it may be.
    the - E - dog

  6. #6
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    I agree 100%. They don't belong on human power only MTB trails. I just e-mailed them my opinion. I hope everyone else does too. I only ride my dirt bike on trails that are approved for motorized vehicle use. These electric motorcycles should be the same.

  7. #7
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    Agree with everyone else that this is the opposite of the trail use..
    In Carson City County, anything that is considered "powered by other means than human power" is considered a motorized vehicle and thus has to be registered and licensed under the new Nevada OHV laws. I actually have just been discussing this with a coworker who was contemplating putting on of those small "BumbleBee" motors on his cruiser so he could ride back and forth to work (he lives in a higher part of Carson and would have to climb to get home, I give him crap for being lazy and not doing the climb). He found out the above from a friend that is a police officer, the friend told him that if it had a motor, no matter the power, it had to be registered under the new laws. Furthermore, if it was going on the road, it had to be licensed, registered and have blinkers, stop lights, etc.

    While I commend them for the engineering behind this (if they are the developers not just a retailer) but they need to understand the local laws and regulations and abide by them before the shut the trails down for everyone.
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  8. #8
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    Amen to that. No motorized, assisted or whatever bikes up there. Human power only. Just call BCPD when you see the van parked up there. SImple fix.

  9. #9
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    Check your local law on what wattage motors are allowed to assist bikes. In the eyes of the law they are still bicycles if they stay within these parameters.
    In Europe and UK one 250watt motor at 15mph without pedalling is allowed. The U.S is more tolerant and each state may differ. About 20 to 25mph in some places, though not sure if there are restrictions on motor size and ratings, or even battery size and maximum voltage.

    I mean, what ever next? Bikes with gears? Or even suspension! What a cheat! C'mon guys don't be so elitist!

    I personally think it is a great way of getting more people on bikes and out of their cars, but saying that EVERYONE should follow park/trail rules.

    Just think yourselves lucky to have amazing purpose made places to ride, we have nothing like that in the UK, just soggy woodlands deep in mud for three quarters of the year.
    Land of Our Fathers. Wales U.K

  10. #10
    Young, Shawn Young
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    In the eyes of the law they are still bicycles if they stay within these parameters.
    That is not the question. The question is are they motorized? These guys look like they just want to bomb downhill. Why not just shuttle them to the top on normal bikes? I think we all recognize how cool it is to get out and ride but what comes after "assisted" riding? I dont want any kind of motorized travel on our trails, They have a whole network of fire roads and desert for that.
    "Im just going to explore a little bit..."

    Dont make me be the bad guy...

    Do I need a pass to ride this trail?

  11. #11
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    You guys have got the engineer in me thinking... what about a smart bike with regenerative braking that utilizes a battery without external leads? All the power is generated by user on the cranks or by regenerative braking. Ultimately all the work is human generated, period. You'd get a fractional boost for brief uphill travel only. You'd get a "TV mode" at home, when you can charge up the battery doing the stationary spinning workout, while watching the latest episode of Judge Judy on the box.

    Would that qualify as "human powered" for the purists among us?

    Hmm.. might be a fun project to develop such a beast.

  12. #12
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    Regen braking is common with ebikes though the percentage you get back in power is minimal, though multiplied with pedalling you could store enough to gvr an uphill boost though ou would need a motor and battery on board.
    Land of Our Fathers. Wales U.K

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zipzit View Post
    You guys have got the engineer in me thinking... what about a smart bike with regenerative braking that utilizes a battery without external leads? All the power is generated by user on the cranks or by regenerative braking. Ultimately all the work is human generated, period. You'd get a fractional boost for brief uphill travel only. You'd get a "TV mode" at home, when you can charge up the battery doing the stationary spinning workout, while watching the latest episode of Judge Judy on the box.

    Would that qualify as "human powered" for the purists among us?

    Hmm.. might be a fun project to develop such a beast.

  14. #14
    Hmmmmm
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    No wonder there is a fat epidemic...

    Oh well... I'll just chalk it up to more asinine behavior at Bootleg, like drugged up trail users bombing recklessly down cross country trials and noisy zipliners talking about how bad ass they are and littering the place, or the increasing numbers of homeless showing up to take a shower...
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDay View Post
    Was I completely out of line here?
    As for the behaving badly and tearing up the corners you were completely in line.

    E-bikes are a big thing in my country. Cycling is huge in general, almost everyone owns a bike. In the big cities riding bikes is the main mode of transport and a big part of the population commutes on bikes to work. The main part of post delivery is done by bike, the postal service switched to mopeds for a while, but have now switched to e-bikes which is cool. E-bikes also has a lot of elderly people riding.

    I don't mind e-bikes. I don't want one myself, but I can see a lot of advantages as it tends to get more people out of their cars and using a bike instead.

    As for using e-bikes on the trails I couldn't care less how other people ride, as long as they act respectful and polite. As long as the e-bikes don't get so powerful that they start tearing up the trails, it doesn't matter to me if someone "cheats" and get to the top easier than me, I'm not racing anyone anyway. If they blast past me at reckless speed, plowing up the trail and throwing grit and dirt in my face we have a problem, but other than that they can do as they like.

    In short, people on e-bikes takes nothing away from me, why should I care if they like to skip on the exercising?

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