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  1. #1
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    Talking Points for eBike advocacy

    As eBikes proliferate local eBike specific groups will begin to form and start bringing Pro-eBike access arguments to the table with land managers and the other major access groups, hikers, equestrians, bird watchers, environmentalists and cyclists.

    What are some positive talking points the eBike users can bring to the table? Please list them here.

    This thread is not for discussing the difference between a human powered bike and a pedal assisted bike, there is a difference, Land Mangers know it, Hikers know it, Horseback riders know it, Bird Watchers know it and cyclists know it.

    I will get started.

    * Land Managers should consider implementing trail access rules such as Speed limits that apply to eBikes and non-motorized bicycles.
    * Land Managers should consider implementing specific trails that allow adequate room for passing on the uphill so ebike riders who are climbing at a higher rate of speed have a place to make a safe pass without disturbing sensitive habitat.


    Please add your ideas. This is not a place to argue semantics or syntax. Any posts that purposely derail this will be deleted at the discretion of the moderators.

    The idea here is to develop a resource for eBike advocacy groups to use when approaching land mangers for access.
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  2. #2
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    Land Managers that I know are concerned with the impact of trail users upon the habitat. They are concerned with trail user conflicts.

    More people experiencing the trails means more trail degradation and the potential for more trail user conflicts. It matters not which trail user group or in this case, a new trail user group, more people means more impact.

    Any new user group that wants to gain the privilege of trail access must learn what the specific issues in their specific area managed by the specific land manager are and then formulate options that are developed into a proposal to mitigate these issues.

    I personally invest a shit ton of time immersing myself into the issues faced by the land managers I choose to work with. It is only then, after "walking in their shoes", can I hope to capture a glimpse of what my land managers are taxed with and only then can I begin to figure out a way to HELP THEM.

    The manufacturers spent a lot of time and money devising a "class system" that they know would not have any real meaning as far as land management goes. Not my opinion. My land managers opinions. Therefore, anything, any talk about watt limits and speed limits, in my neck of the woods, will be returned with questions such as "where will funding come from to ensure the proper class and defined limits are enforced?"

    Anyone with some amount of advocacy experience will tell you that whenever you may request anything from anyone, you are requesting that someone devote time, and time costs money, and if funding is tight or non existent, smart advocates will have a budget and funding outline included with all proposals.

    Thank you Klurejr for starting this much needed thread.
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    In what I've read locally on e-bikes, advocates are saying they don't actually ride one now, but want to have the chance to do so when their knees get old and gimpy. The implication is that they don't want to ride faster on an e-bike, they only want to ride the same as on a regular bike. When they're older. On the other hand, and as implied above, I would think the attraction of bombing uphill as well as downhill, would hold quite an allure for many able and fit riders. Trails with uphill berms could become a reality. Going just generally faster, than is possible on a regular bike.

    Is there a distinction here? I think there can be, and the e-bike crowd should make it, and declare where they stand. In the former case , language that describes a power limit, rather than a speed limit could be used. As I understand it, the pedal assist design is already a function of the input power (or maybe it's force), not speed. It should follow directly that it can be capped in units of watts as well. If the total power output of an e-bike is capped at the same power that a typical rider can generate on a regular bike (say, 500W? the roadies all know this stuff), then the speed is a non-issue. The e-biker will be just as slow on the uphills, at well under 20 mph, and just as fast on the downhills (>> 20 mph).

    If the latter case, it's going to be a long and interesting debate for sure.
    Last edited by Kay.; 06-25-2019 at 04:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    there is a difference, Land Mangers know it, Hikers know it, Horseback riders know it, Bird Watchers know it and cyclists know it.

    I will get started.

    * Land Managers should consider implementing trail access rules such as Speed limits that apply to eBikes and non-motorized bicycles.
    * Land Managers should consider implementing specific trails that allow adequate room for passing on the uphill so ebike riders who are climbing at a higher rate of speed have a place to make a safe pass without disturbing sensitive habitat.

    Please add your ideas. This is not a place to argue semantics or syntax. Any posts that purposely derail this will be deleted at the discretion of the moderators.
    Sounds like you're well on your way to writing a design / management guide like this:
    https://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/pdfpu...2804dpi100.pdf

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    Thanks for bringing this conversation up! Hopefully it will stay civil

    Talking about class 1 & 2 ebikes only, have a speed cut out at 20mph. Iíve now been on my own class 1 bike for several months.

    One argument I see constantly is this uphill closing speed. I honestly donít know where this is coming from as from personal experience ECO is maybe 2 to 3mph faster, Trail 3 to 4 mph and boost 5 to 6mph faster. Any typical challenging grades thereís no way a class 1 ebike is going to do 20mph and if a rider can, it wonít be for long before rider gets tired out. Plus stopping distance while going uphill is like really really short, as you have gravity helping out.

    I think manufactures should donate some ebikes to the LMs and maybe this has been done, so that they can see for themselves what ebikes are all about.

  6. #6
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    There is a long term study from JeffCo (Colorado) Open Space that is comprehensive, based on a pilot program.
    https://www.jeffco.us/3618/e-bikes

    A number of our local open space advocates and managers attended the online presentation when this was released. There were mtbers, hikers, equestrians, trail runners, and state & county parks land managers in attendance together. We are fortunate to have a solid relationship with all trail users and managers here, thanks to 30 years of working together for common goals - abundant local trails.

    Many more useful links at the bottom. Useful for talking to local land managers, because they get get other professional land manager info.

    Presentation of study.
    https://www.jeffco.us/DocumentCenter...ntation?bidId=

    Survey results with excellent graphic data.
    https://www.jeffco.us/DocumentCenter...esults-?bidId=
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    * Land Managers should consider implementing trail access rules such as Speed limits that apply to eBikes and non-motorized bicycles.
    * Land Managers should consider implementing specific trails that allow adequate room for passing on the uphill so ebike riders who are climbing at a higher rate of speed have a place to make a safe pass without disturbing sensitive habitat.
    I consider myself E-bike neutral, but what you are proposing sounds like dirt sidewalks with Johnny Law hiding in the bushes with a radar gun.

    No thank you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    As eBikes proliferate local eBike specific groups will begin to form and start bringing Pro-eBike access arguments to the table with land managers and the other major access groups, hikers, equestrians, bird watchers, environmentalists and cyclists.

    What are some positive talking points the eBike users can bring to the table? Please list them here.

    This thread is not for discussing the difference between a human powered bike and a pedal assisted bike, there is a difference, Land Mangers know it, Hikers know it, Horseback riders know it, Bird Watchers know it and cyclists know it.

    I will get started.

    * Land Managers should consider implementing trail access rules such as Speed limits that apply to eBikes and non-motorized bicycles.
    * Land Managers should consider implementing specific trails that allow adequate room for passing on the uphill so ebike riders who are climbing at a higher rate of speed have a place to make a safe pass without disturbing sensitive habitat.


    Please add your ideas. This is not a place to argue semantics or syntax. Any posts that purposely derail this will be deleted at the discretion of the moderators.

    The idea here is to develop a resource for eBike advocacy groups to use when approaching land mangers for access.
    I prefaced my conversation with a local land manager by thanking him for the years of mountain bike acess that I had enjoyed. It turned out that the no eBike stickers that I had called to ask about werenít placed by his rangers and he sent people out to remove them right away.

    Mine are the usual weight and power comparisons between eBikes and normal bikes; an an explanation of why Iím riding an eBike and not a normal mountain bike and an expressed desire to continue using the trails as I age. I might go into animal and hiker behavior; no dog has ever alerted to the whine of the motor, and that hikers often donít hear me approach; same as on a mountain bike. Also that the peak torque on my eBike is much less than that of my mountain bike because it is geared higher so I rarely experience soil-displacing wheel spin.

    Mostly Iíd just show up and present myself as just another guy wanting to enjoy the outdoors and save the talking points for a written statement.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    I consider myself E-bike neutral, but what you are proposing sounds like dirt sidewalks with Johnny Law hiding in the bushes with a radar gun.

    No thank you.
    It is just one idea, I don't have all the ideas here, that is what this thread is for. my local riding area actually has a speed limit of 15mph on it, but it is not enforced. I think enforcement would only come about if trail users were abusing the limits, blowing by other users, causing trail conflict, etc.

    Trail speed and user conflict ARE issues whether on a pedal bike or an eBike. Speed directly led to the closure of an entire riding area in Northern California a few years ago.

    Maybe instead of just being critical of an idea, simply point out why you don't like my idea and the offer up what you think is a better solution.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    I consider myself E-bike neutral, but what you are proposing sounds like dirt sidewalks with Johnny Law hiding in the bushes with a radar gun.

    No thank you.
    I understand where you are coming from but consider this: By the mere suggesting of a speed limit, Klurejr is addressing an "issue" held by some land managers and other trail users. Getting in front of issues shows that you have an understanding of others concerns and shows that you are trying to be an asset with a solution, as opposed to an ass with an attitude.

    I suggested building upon Klurejr's initial suggestion with looking into revenue sources and implementation possibilities. I don't think you are suggesting nor is Klurejr suggesting radar guns. I believe this is a meaningful dialog, much better than many other threads here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay. View Post
    In what I've read locally on e-bikes, advocates are saying they don't actually ride one now, but want to have the chance to do so when their knees get old and gimpy. The implication is that they don't want to ride faster on an e-bike, they only want to ride the same as on a regular bike. When they're older. On the other hand, and as implied above, I would think the attraction of bombing uphill as well as downhill, would hold quite an allure for many able and fit riders. Trails with uphill berms could become a reality. Going just generally faster, than is possible on a regular bike.

    Is there a distinction here? I think there can be, and the e-bike crowd should make it, and declare where they stand. In the former case , language that describes a power limit, rather than a speed limit could be used. As I understand it, the pedal assist design is already a function of the input power (or maybe it's force), not speed. It should follow directly that it can be capped in units of watts as well. If the total power output of an e-bike is capped at the same power that a typical rider can generate on a regular bike (say, 500W? the roadies all know this stuff), then the speed is a non-issue. The e-biker will be just as slow on the uphills, at well under 20 mph, and just as fast on the downhills (>> 20 mph).

    If the latter case, it's going to be a long and interesting debate for sure.
    The 500 watts on my eBike is hardly a limitation; at age 25 I probably produced around 300 watts on my best hill climb; at age 40 my sustained climb rate was a calculated 200 watts; now combine my meager 130 watt continuous power with the 500 watt motor power at age 62 and Iím potentially twice as fast uphill as I ever was. But the reality is that I donít ride that much faster; 8mph up hill instead of 4mph means that Iím no longer getting in everyoneís way and hikers donít have to keep looking back wondering if Iíll -ever- pass.

    But not everyone will use that awesome 750 watts allowed by the class I standard responsibility. Iím starting to agree with ĎWaltí who said that People for Bikes really blew it by setting the motor cutout at 20mph instead of the Euro 15mph limit.

    So a talking point for the e-minus crowd from a self-hating eBiker, I guess.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerdave View Post
    But not everyone will use that awesome 750 watts allowed by the class I standard responsibility. Iím starting to agree with ĎWaltí who said that People for Bikes really blew it by setting the motor cutout at 20mph instead of the Euro 15mph limit.
    To be fair, they weren't concerned with mountain biking at all, I think. The money in bikes has and always will be in road and hybrid/commuter bikes. Their focus was on that. I believe they've said publicly that another category for e-mtb would have been a good idea (presumably the EU Class 1 standard).

    I'm not sure going back and changing all that legislation is realistic, given the low (from the perspective of the wider world) stakes involved. Enabling people to ride on commuter paths and bike lanes without getting insurance/registration/driver's license was a slam dunk idea. E-mtb was at best, an afterthought. It might seem like a big deal to us, but I'm guessing it wasn't even a consideration at the time.

    Everyone I know who owns or wants to own an e-mtb wants it because of age/injury to keep doing the sport. They could care less if the assist cutoff was 15mph instead of 20, or if the power limit was 250w instead of 750, because they're just trying to go for a normal ride. Those higher limits are a terrible idea for e-mtb because it's enough to encourage young strong people to go rip around. Just IMO, of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    I will get started.

    * Land Managers should consider implementing trail access rules such as Speed limits that apply to eBikes and non-motorized bicycles.
    * Land Managers should consider implementing specific trails that allow adequate room for passing on the uphill so ebike riders who are climbing at a higher rate of speed have a place to make a safe pass without disturbing sensitive habitat.
    In theory I think speed limits are a great idea. In practice I think we have to be realistic about enforcement. If we setup a framework that cannot be enforced than it's worse than useless.

    So back when using a motor on a MTB/hiking trail was not even something we'd think twice about if someone showed up at such a trail with a motor they'd get non-stop flack and it was dead easy to spot the motorized machine. That resulted in next to no motorized use of these trails in places I ride.

    However, if you take the same situation, but now some motors are allowed in some way the whole process of managing that user group is a lot harder. You can't spot what's legal and what's not legal easily from a distance. You need to carefully inspect the machine to see if it meets whatever the standards of legality are. You have to know enough to do so, have the time to do so and be able to overcome such obvious work arounds as fake "Class" decals or software/hardware overrides.

    The speed limit thing solves a bunch of these ^^^ issues, but it requires an expensive Government employee with expensive equipment and training to be on the trails regularly enforcing the rules. Not impossible in very high use areas, but not super practical in a lot of areas. If the main regulation mechanism is something that's not practical to enforce we'll just end up with a motor/battery arms race.

    The second idea of having ebike specific trails does make a lot of sense. Where I ride most all trails are open to hikers, but there are also some hiker only trails. For the most part the hikers stay on their exclusive trails [I suspect because they don't enjoy interacting with MTBs]. Trail runners are more likely to use the MTB part of the network...they are also moving at similar speeds since our terrain is chunky and steep so we can't go super fast. I don't begrudge hikers their exclusive trails.

    Giving ebikers their own trails would solve a lot of problems. User interactions are not a factor, they get to take ownership of design, maintenance and use of those trails. They will provide a lot of practical data that will be useful for making land management decisions in the future. As they build their planning and advocacy muscles ebike groups will be able to affect more and more positive change as stakeholders in the land management process.

    I also think identifying some shared use MTB and ebike trails makes sense. Based on features that should lead to harmonious interactions. Maybe that would include direction of travel restrictions for ebikes so they don't try climbing a trail MTBers descend. Climbing sections that allow for safe passing and higher speeds, etc...

    Once you acknowledge the difference between ebikes and other trail users and then adopt the well establish advocacy frameworks the existing user groups have developed and are using ebikers can come to the table and we can all work out the access issues. It's going to be a lot of work, nobody will be 100% happy with the result and it won't happen overnight, but that's life.
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    vikb - I disagree that there needs to be eBike only trails. I think pedal and pedal assist Mountain Bikers can learn to get along on the same trails.

    I am in full agreement that if a park has Hiking only trails it better also have cycling only trails since the 2 user groups have different desires for what a trail should be.
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    I think the best move for advocacy would be to push for:

    -More trails period. More trails spreads out users and is better/more fun for everyone. Crowded trails are a recipe for e-bike and normal bike bans.

    -Modern trail design/upgrades. We already have lots of legacy trail with bad sight lines and dumb layouts (ie, fast straightaway into a blind turn) that can be easily fixed by moving a few rocks to create chicanes and lower speeds/increase fun. This would benefit both e-bikes and normal bikes, AND equestrians and peds.

    Some very public money and effort on those fronts would go a long way with many skeptical people, I think.

    -Walt

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    vikb - I disagree that there needs to be eBike only trails. I think pedal and pedal assist Mountain Bikers can learn to get along on the same trails.
    Before I think it makes any sense to discuss shared trails we need to define what is legal for motorized equipment and practically how that will be enforced. If there is no practical way to enforce the use of motors it will be a battery/motor arms race and there is no way to manage the shared use effectively.

    If there was a practical way to manage motorized recreation within defined parameters you could then at least say okay at these speeds it would be reasonable to share trails X, Y and Z and maybe not W, R and S.

    OTOH if you can't effectively manage what motorized vehicles are used keeping them on motorized only trails limits the problems to the one user group.
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    Talking Points for eBike advocacy

    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    I consider myself E-bike neutral, but what you are proposing sounds like dirt sidewalks with Johnny Law hiding in the bushes with a radar gun.

    No thank you.
    That already exists in the Bay Area even before e-bikes with MidPen OSP.

    I hate to see more of the same throughout the country. Agreed. No thank you on this one.
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    Iíve personally never seen an ebike higher than a class1 pedelec on the trails. Could that happen in time? sure, but doubt it would be the norm.

    I would like the land managers to consider that A) Most ebikers are current or previous mtbrs, therefore they cannot ride 2 bikes at once. B) Every Levo, Pivot, Trek, Giant etc Class1 ebike sale made, a portion of money goes to the local chapter for more trails, but for hiking and equestrian trails, because I believe an experienced rider that currently rides an ebike can easily gel with mtbs. Letís fund more trails for the other user groups. C) Allow class1 pedelecs, the riders on them will help self police against the 1000watt frankenbikes and those riders will not be the norm. I see some manufacturers are going into tech to ďFREEZEĒ the emtb if it has been hacked for speed. Now, I donít ride an Emtb because I have bad knees or aged out, Iím 48 I ride them purely for fun, like 98% of mtbrs.
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    It is super important to note the Y-axis "Self Esteem". This change, the introduction of e-bikes, is personal and actually effects people's self esteem. That is why you see such a visceral reaction to them (see stage 3 description).

    Now notice the X-axis "Time". What this means is it will take each individual time to come to their own determination of integration with their own norm, and that assumes time is exposure to and relative understanding of e-bikes.

    e-bikes are still "new" on the timeline and by virtue of that, we should EXPECT to see most people in stages 1-3, with the more knowledgeable (on the subject) and experienced to be somewhere in the zone 4 - 6 phases. The ONLY people in stage 7 are the people that actually own e-bikes and have ridden them for quite awhile, AND, have a baseline understanding of land management.

    Why do I bring this up? It is critical to understand that this issue, along with any other change is PERSONAL to each individual whether they are a land manager or a fellow trail user of any category. The myth that there will be a collective sigh of relief and universal acceptance is a pipe dream.

    What needs to happen is education and hands on experience to help speed people along the stages. That isn't to say that everyone will arrive to stage 7 with full acceptance of e-bikes, rather, it's going to take a few years before we can realistically "legislate" eBikes based upon understanding and reflective of a knowledgeable population.

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    I work with the USFS and BLM a lot so I think reviewing the area's TMP (travel management plan) and stating how use conforms to it would be my first steps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visicypher View Post
    I work with the USFS and BLM a lot so I think reviewing the area's TMP (travel management plan) and stating how use conforms to it would be my first steps.
    The travel management plans can be revised, according to this from the Region 5 (California) web site. I would expect that this would take some money and time, which are probably both in short supply, but it could happen. If the Southwest region 3 becomes open to this same approach, I would recommend some of the underutilized trails on the Mogollon rim and in the White Mountains. For example, Iíve ridden Carr Lakes and Indian Springs without seeing anyone else.

    Hereís the USFS web page that Iím talking about:

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r5/re...d=fseprd557285

    ďTrails open to bicycles may be considered for e-bike use in the future. Those trails would be analyzed in a NEPA process with public comment to determine if specific trails would allow for e-bikes to be designated as a special vehicle class. If trails are selected to manage for e-bike use, those trails would be shown on the Forest's MVUM as designed for e-bike use.Ē
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    Walt;
    Building more trails is great, but it takes too long and costs too much. EBikes are here and growing. Opening up Wilderness areas to eBikes is free, immediate, and the eBikes are better suited for those types of trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by figofspee View Post
    Walt;
    Building more trails is great, but it takes too long and costs too much. EBikes are here and growing. Opening up Wilderness areas to eBikes is free, immediate, and the eBikes are better suited for those types of trail.
    figofspee, with all due respect, the main reason there is an issue with e-bike access on trails is because manufacturers did not invest the time and money to build a coalition and assist federal, State and local land managers. Instead, the manufacturers strategy, as you yourself have just pointed out, is to flood the market with e-bikes that are able to be used on trails and force land managers to allow them access.

    The land managers that I know do not like to be forced to permit an unknown amount of new trail users. For the sake of argument, let's assume the amount of trail degradation from e-bike use is 1.5 times that of mountain bike use. My land manager friends state, "This is not a sustainable nor responsible management of resources decision."

    When mountain bikers (I can only speak for myself, although my colleagues would support the following) propose new trail or access to existing trails that are currently off limits, we include what we bring to the table, which includes design and construction services, maintenance program, and many times funding for NEPA and/or other environmental studies. Studies can easily cost six figures.

    Land managers will be more open to consider a trail user group that is willing to earn access as opposed to a group that demands access. May I suggest someone contact the manufacturers that have left you all hanging in the position you are in at the same time taking your money, contact them and demand they start investing that money to open up your trail access opportunities. The manufacturers owe you.

    Last thing Fig, Wilderness in the USA will never be opened to electric motorized bikes. Associating electric motorized bikes with mountain bikes is perceived by many as ensuring Wilderness access will never be opened to mountain bikes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boulder Pilot View Post
    figofspee, with all due respect, the main reason there is an issue with e-bike access on trails is because manufacturers did not invest the time and money to build a coalition and assist federal, State and local land managers. Instead, the manufacturers strategy, as you yourself have just pointed out, is to flood the market with e-bikes that are able to be used on trails and force land managers to allow them access.

    The land managers that I know do not like to be forced to permit an unknown amount of new trail users. For the sake of argument, let's assume the amount of trail degradation from e-bike use is 1.5 times that of mountain bike use. My land manager friends state, "This is not a sustainable nor responsible management of resources decision."

    When mountain bikers (I can only speak for myself, although my colleagues would support the following) propose new trail or access to existing trails that are currently off limits, we include what we bring to the table, which includes design and construction services, maintenance program, and many times funding for NEPA and/or other environmental studies. Studies can easily cost six figures.

    Land managers will be more open to consider a trail user group that is willing to earn access as opposed to a group that demands access. May I suggest someone contact the manufacturers that have left you all hanging in the position you are in at the same time taking your money, contact them and demand they start investing that money to open up your trail access opportunities. The manufacturers owe you.

    Last thing Fig, Wilderness in the USA will never be opened to electric motorized bikes. Associating electric motorized bikes with mountain bikes is perceived by many as ensuring Wilderness access will never be opened to mountain bikes.
    With all due respect, it sounds like your situation sucks much worse then mine.

    As far as Wilderness goes it's hard to weed through the gish gallop from those who pretend to speak for the Wilderness, but the only only thing stopping eBikes from riding legally in the Wilderness today is the recreation director. The argument for allowing eBikes in Wilderness is far stronger then the argument for banning them.

  25. #25
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    Is it just me or has MTBR adopted a pro-emtb agenda? Vested interest? Most places don't resemble California...speed limits? What's the point of getting out in the woods again? Motorized trails are already prolific. Perhaps it would make more sense to align e-mtbs with them, you know motors and all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    Is it just me or has MTBR adopted a pro-emtb agenda? Vested interest? Most places don't resemble California...speed limits? What's the point of getting out in the woods again? Motorized trails are already prolific. Perhaps it would make more sense to align e-mtbs with them, you know motors and all.
    Major bicycle companies including Trek, Specialized, Cannondale and Giant want electric-assisted two-wheelers to be treated like bicycles and not like mopeds, scooters or motorcycles, said Jay Townley, who analyzes cycling industry trends at Human Powered Solutions.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...=.97f0874b48c4

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by figofspee View Post
    Major bicycle companies including Trek, Specialized, Cannondale and Giant want electric-assisted two-wheelers to be treated like bicycles and not like mopeds, scooters or motorcycles, said Jay Townley, who analyzes cycling industry trends at Human Powered Solutions.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...=.97f0874b48c4
    Of course they do, they already have a base market. How many of those dollars flow here?
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    Of course they do, they already have a base market. How many of those dollars flow here?
    Those dollars are flowing from people who ride unassisted bikes (you) into the hands of those who support and benefit from relaxed laws on eBikes (me). Thanks bro!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by figofspee View Post
    Those dollars are flowing from people who ride unassisted bikes (you) into the hands of those who support and benefit from relaxed laws on eBikes (me). Thanks bro!
    Firshure "bro".
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    Quote Originally Posted by figofspee View Post
    Those dollars are flowing from people who ride unassisted bikes (you) into the hands of those who support and benefit from relaxed laws on eBikes (me). Thanks bro!



    What relaxed laws exactly?
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  31. #31
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    Few points.

    1) I don't want speed limits on trails. This is stupid and pain to enforce. One of the things I like about riding my bike is not having to worry about some artifical speed limit. I ride to my ability and conditions (including hikers).

    2) Don't make trails wider. This stupid.

    3) I know one guy with a Pivot Shuttle and I have ridden with him. He really wants to remove the 20mph limiter and loves charging up climbs as fast as possible. He has gone up climbs at limiter speed while I have been going 8 mph slower on the same climb. I am not pro racer fast, but still in top 10 to 15% of fastest climbs on strava. He is getting older, but loves the easy climb speed and is looking to climb stuff he would never take a normal bike on just because he can. Over 20mph and coasting DH the bike is just a heavy regular bike, but climbing is where it feels special.


    So how a land manger needs to deal with e-bikes comes down to user conflicts and user conflicts are down to how the riders ride them. What worries me most is when those user conflicts start changing rules for all bikes and changing my experience by adding speed limits, widening trails or simply closing trails due to a few poorly behaving e-bikers.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Few points.

    1) I don't want speed limits on trails. This is stupid and pain to enforce. One of the things I like about riding my bike is not having to worry about some artifical speed limit. I ride to my ability and conditions (including hikers).

    2) Don't make trails wider. This stupid.

    3) I know one guy with a Pivot Shuttle and I have ridden with him. He really wants to remove the 20mph limiter and loves charging up climbs as fast as possible. He has gone up climbs at limiter speed while I have been going 8 mph slower on the same climb. I am not pro racer fast, but still in top 10 to 15% of fastest climbs on strava. He is getting older, but loves the easy climb speed and is looking to climb stuff he would never take a normal bike on just because he can. Over 20mph and coasting DH the bike is just a heavy regular bike, but climbing is where it feels special.


    So how a land manger needs to deal with e-bikes comes down to user conflicts and user conflicts are down to how the riders ride them. What worries me most is when those user conflicts start changing rules for all bikes and changing my experience by adding speed limits, widening trails or simply closing trails due to a few poorly behaving e-bikers.
    you do realize that point 1 and point 3 are in conflict. You don't want speed limits, but the eBike riders you know want to go as fast as possible on the climbs...... Basically your anecdotal account of your friend in point 3 is why speed limits are needed.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    you do realize that point 1 and point 3 are in conflict. You don't want speed limits, but the eBike riders you know want to go as fast as possible on the climbs...... Basically your anecdotal account of your friend in point 3 is why speed limits are needed.
    There is a big difference between a trail speed limit and the limit when pedal assist stops on an e-bike. And I don't avocate for my friend's position. I consider it lame to do that, but it just an example of how e-bikes create new challenges. There is always a group who will want to make there e-bikes faster with "mods" or "Hacks" or whatever. Many of riders of normal bikes swap parts to make our bikes faster all the time, but we have the natural limitation of human power. e-bikes have no theoretical limit on maximum power other than what is artificially set by the rules and bike manufacturers. But some folks see joy in exceeding those limits.

    And back to trail speed limits. I don't want to see them. I don't want to ride my bike on a trail and have to worry about "am breaking some arbitrary speed limit?" I don't even ride with device that shows me current speed. Used to, but just don't any more. So there in lies the ultimate problem with all e-bikes. They can significantly change trail usage and because they look like normal bikes we can get lumped in and access restricted and new rules applied. If e-bike were limit to a max of 300 watts of combined rider and motor power then they would be much better. In this way they can take weak rider and bring them up to Cat 1 racer power levels, but never really go faster. So then people of different strength could ride together in harmony. But this not how e-bikes work now. They take your existing power (maybe 200 watts) and another 200 watts turning you into a superhuman. This what creates the conflicts is that superhuman power that not even top pros can put out. They try to limit speed, but really that is not the right way. They should limit combined power, but that is a harder problem to solve technically and more expensive. However in any case people that can "hack" the control logic to boost power will be out there given legit e-bikers and by extension right or wrong non-ebikers a bad name.
    Joe
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  34. #34
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    Trail speed limits are pointless when there is no practical way to enforce them. The cost of enforcement is beyond any land managers' budget in all but a few cases.

    Same goes for trying to regulate type of motorized system on a bike. Nobody would have the time or knowledge to determine if a machine is legal. You would need a subject matter expert to stop every motorized bike and examine it closely to see if it is legal. Software hacks may not be detectable even at that kind of inspection.

    The only thing keeping motors off non-motorized trails to date is social/peer pressure and because the addition of a motor to the mix is so obvious. Once some motors are allowed de facto anything remotely comparable at a glance is going to get a pass. At that will be where the arms race will start. Not where it will end. The pressure will be at the bleeding edge of speed/power and range. There is a huge motorsports recreation segment of folks out there who are salivating over the idea of getting access to what has been to date non-motorized human powered trails. Not to mention the motorsports product manufacturers and their dealers itching to sell more product.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Trail speed limits are pointless when there is no practical way to enforce them. The cost of enforcement is beyond any land managers' budget in all but a few cases.
    I disagree. Setting a speed limit means it does not matter if a Bicycle is pedal powered or Battery powered, the same as a no wake zone could care less if you have a sail boat or a top fuel drag boat, in that zone the speed must be limited for safety reasons.

    Enforcement does not need to be 24/7, but rather spot checks on occasion to make sure trail users are not causing issues, and really only then if the public has valid complaints for unsafe speeds on multi-use trails.

    My local riding area has a posted speed limit of 15 mph, which is pretty fast for Multi-use shared trails, and in the 11 years I have been riding it I have only seen the Police out there once (land is managed by the city of Carlsbad). I stopped and spoke to them to see why they were out there and the primary reason was to ticket off-leash dog walkers, but they did mention the speed limit (which I did not ever see on the sign until then). They were out there because the City parks department had received a number of complaints about off-leash dogs, so they did some spot checks to educate the people at fault and then did not come out again that I have seen.

    If a speed limit was imposed on a trail system where Bicycles and eBikes were both allowed, it would not matter what the Wattage limit of a motor is, the riders must keep it civilized when on trails with a limit.

    You have a few outcomes:
    • Riders of both Bicycles and eBikes obey the speed limits and no enforcement is needed.
    • Riders of eBikes modify them to have very high wattage, but ride within the speed limits, no enforcement is needed.
    • Riders of either sport routinely ride above the speed limit and cause Trail conflict which leads to complaints to the land managers, land managers do an enforcement campaign to stop the speeders.


    With this scenario the motor is no longer a problem, The rider is.

    This does all come down to general trail etiquette, but as any experienced cyclist knows, not all humans can be trusted to follow the general etiquette guidelines, thus enforceable rules are needed.
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    All the talk of speed limits is more reason just to exclude motorized anything.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Trail speed limits are pointless when there is no practical way to enforce them. The cost of enforcement is beyond any land managers' budget in all but a few cases.

    Same goes for trying to regulate type of motorized system on a bike. Nobody would have the time or knowledge to determine if a machine is legal. You would need a subject matter expert to stop every motorized bike and examine it closely to see if it is legal. Software hacks may not be detectable even at that kind of inspection.

    The only thing keeping motors off non-motorized trails to date is social/peer pressure and because the addition of a motor to the mix is so obvious. Once some motors are allowed de facto anything remotely comparable at a glance is going to get a pass. At that will be where the arms race will start. Not where it will end. The pressure will be at the bleeding edge of speed/power and range. There is a huge motorsports recreation segment of folks out there who are salivating over the idea of getting access to what has been to date non-motorized human powered trails. Not to mention the motorsports product manufacturers and their dealers itching to sell more product.
    What he said! Our human powered trails are a precious resource that shouldn't be squandered on the whims of a few who want one last go-round regardless of the consequences. Let 'em be at the bottom of the food chain on the motorized trails instead of trying to work their disingenuous mumbo jumbo on the human powered trails. The only place an effective line can be drawn is at the presence of a motor.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    With this scenario the motor is no longer a problem, The rider is.
    Even limited part-time enforcement of speeds is not practical in most cases. Your concept all hinges on the ability of land managers to enforce speeds and they cannot.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    I disagree. Setting a speed limit means it does not matter if a Bicycle is pedal powered or Battery powered
    Yes this how I would interpret it

    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    ... in that zone the speed must be limited for safety reasons.
    this BS that I don't want to deal with. I already have speed limits on the roads and I got to the trails to avoid that. This not to say I disregard safety, but what is safe and what is not a static thing. It is determined by a lot of factors most of involve common sense and basic courtesy. I don't want to break the law doing something safe because others can't handle it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    My local riding area has a posted speed limit of 15 mph, which is pretty fast for Multi-use shared trails, ...
    That sucks. My riding areas - In fact every riding area I have ever been (except that 1 day a DH bike park) is multi use and we have zero speed limits. We share the trail and don't need laws that only serve to create law breakers out reasonable people. And 15 mph is really slow. It is pretty easy to get up over 15 mph on even moderate single track on slight down grade on singlespeed hard tail. Just having some fun and riding doing nothing wrong. The idea of even placing speed limits on trails just to limit conflicts with e-bikes is one big reason that e-bikes bug me. Why should these bikes screw things up for the rest of us?


    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    If a speed limit was imposed on a trail system where Bicycles and eBikes were both allowed, it would not matter what the Wattage limit of a motor is, the riders must keep it civilized when on trails with a limit.

    You have a few outcomes:
    • Riders of both Bicycles and eBikes obey the speed limits and no enforcement is needed.
    • Riders of eBikes modify them to have very high wattage, but ride within the speed limits, no enforcement is needed.
    • Riders of either sport routinely ride above the speed limit and cause Trail conflict which leads to complaints to the land managers, land managers do an enforcement campaign to stop the speeders.


    With this scenario the motor is no longer a problem, The rider is.

    This does all come down to general trail etiquette, but as any experienced cyclist knows, not all humans can be trusted to follow the general etiquette guidelines, thus enforceable rules are needed.
    It always comes down to general trail etiquette and I don't want to see more rules on my trails. I don't want speed limits and we don't need speed limits. If I am going 20, 25 or even 30 on a trail I am by my speed alone not causing any conflicts. It is only when don't pass or cross paths with other trail users properly that there is a conflict.
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  40. #40
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    Most of the emtb riders are previous mtbrs. I think the MAJORITY of them probably know trail etiquette. JMO.
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