Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

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SpiderLegs
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Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by SpiderLegs » Dec 10 2017 7:15 am

Had my first encounter with one of those new motorized E-Bikes on Trail 100 yesterday. Guess the intent of these bikes is to have a small electric motor to "assist" the rider up short, steep sections of trail. The bikes have a max speed of about 20 MPH. I really got ticked off when I saw this guy plowing down the trail on what in my mind is essentially a low powered motorcycle.

Has anyone else bumped into these bikes yet? From the cursory bit of research I've read these bikes exist in a grey area and haven't been banned yet because they are so new to the market.
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CannondaleKid
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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by CannondaleKid » Dec 10 2017 8:38 am

SpiderLegs wrote:I've read these bikes exist in a grey area
Huh? Grey area?
What part of 'motorized bike' is vague? Seems to me whether the 'motor' is electric or gas it is till a motorized vehicle, whether sometimes human-powered or not.

Now if the bike had a wind-up spring which could be released as a short-term assist (which I wouldn't consider a motorized vehicle), that would be more likely a grey area than an electric bike.
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The_Eagle
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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by The_Eagle » Dec 10 2017 8:48 am

CannondaleKid wrote:Now if the bike had a wind-up spring which could be released as a short-term assist (which I wouldn't consider a motorized vehicle), that would be more likely a grey area than an electric bike.
Maybe so, but still considered a motor. You are splitting hairs at this point.
giving, imparting, or producing motion or action.
any self-powered vehicle.
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
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sidhayes
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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by sidhayes » Dec 10 2017 11:27 am

Whatever one wishes to call them, it's pathetic to use them on the trails or the roads.

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SpiderLegs
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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by SpiderLegs » Dec 10 2017 11:30 am

I've only done about 20 minutes of research on them. Appears the position of the BLM right now is that some E-bikes are fine because the motors are so small and not big enough to qualify as a real engine, but others with more power are banned on trails within the BLM owned lands like most of the BCT. One blog post from 3 years ago had a quote from a Phoenix Park Ranger and her opinion is that if it has any motor, no matter how small it's banned from the park system. Looking back I should have run over to find a ranger to catch this guy. He was so overweight that the engine was doing all of the work, not just a short term assistance uphill.
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KBKB
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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by KBKB » Dec 10 2017 1:17 pm

SpiderLegs wrote:Had my first encounter with one of those new motorized E-Bikes on Trail 100 yesterday. Guess the intent of these bikes is to have a small electric motor to "assist" the rider up short, steep sections of trail. The bikes have a max speed of about 20 MPH. I really got ticked off when I saw this guy plowing down the trail on what in my mind is essentially a low powered motorcycle.

Has anyone else bumped into these bikes yet?
I came across a group of three riders with this type of bike while mountain biking in the Granite Mountain / Brown's Ranch area several weeks ago.

It wasn't immediately obvious that they had a motorized assist. In fact, I would not have noticed had it not been for my friend commenting on them when we stopped to chat. The batteries are fairly small and could conceivably be concealed in the tubing of the bike. I learned several days later that they're not permitted in the Preserve. Enforcement of this rule might be hard, however, since it won't always be clear if it's an ordinary mountain bike or a bike with motorized assistance.

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toddak
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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by toddak » Apr 14 2020 6:55 am

The AZT Association is conducting a survey about allowing e-bikes on non-motorized trails, including the AZT. Link below, comment period ends May 10.
https://aztrail.org/e-bike-questionnaire/

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CannondaleKid
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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by CannondaleKid » Apr 14 2020 7:03 am

@toddak
Right after receiving the ATA newsletter last night I responded to the questionnaire.
Sounds we may need a poll about it here on HAZ?
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friendofThundergod
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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by friendofThundergod » Apr 14 2020 7:49 am

Seems like they have made their minds made up already, the questions are written in a way to sell e bikes. One says something to the extent of are you aware e bikes will open up access to new users and several other that lead towards them seemingly promoting the benefits to e bikes.

Personally seems like a horrible idea, also was not sure to reply to this because it almost seems April Fools ish to me, but the detailed survey leads me to believe this is true...

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Tough_Boots
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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by Tough_Boots » Apr 14 2020 7:50 am

I don't understand why mountain bikers just don't get better at mountain biking? The solution is training-- not adding motors to bikes and loosening restrictions.

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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by friendofThundergod » Apr 14 2020 8:10 am

@Tough_Boots
That was the theme. One of questions specifically mentioned, "mountain bike advocacy." I just don't get the AZT and their obsession with attracting mountain bikers. There are several other thru hiking and national scenic trails with less mountain bike accessibility. Hike it, backpack it, run it, or ride a regular bike when you can, otherwise stay off the trail, lol. I am already picturing some big AZT reroutes to accommodate E bikes, charging stations at THs, quads and dirtbikes by 2030, :lol: ...

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SpiderLegs
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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by SpiderLegs » Apr 14 2020 8:32 am

I took the survey and concur it was definitely written to put e-bikes in a good light. I'm thinking that the first wave of people that got into mountain biking back in the early 80's are now in their mid-60's or older. I'm friends with some of the early mountain bike pioneers in the southwest and a huge percentage are also into motorcycles. My guess is with e-bikes it helps them continued access to trails that their knees can't handle but at the same time are shut off from their motorcycles.
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BunsbertMontcroff
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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by BunsbertMontcroff » Apr 14 2020 8:35 am

friendofThundergod wrote: I just don't get the AZT and their obsession with attracting mountain bikers.
I think it's as simple as attracting new users to the AZT who may support, protect, and volunteer for trail maintenance. I mostly ride (not an e-bike!), but have also run and hiked sections of the AZT and appreciate the opportunity to do so where it is allowed. And that's what led me to start support AZTA.

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chumley
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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by chumley » Apr 14 2020 8:52 am

@BunsbertMontcroff
I appreciate your post. I've always gotten the impression that thru hikers are by and large not the type to support, protect, or volunteer. They're leeches of the land in pursuit of some personal checklist without any interest in the landscape they travel through. Thank you for helping me temper that perspective and know that they're not all like that!
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gummo
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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by gummo » Apr 14 2020 9:04 am

@Tough_Boots
Because going outside our comfort zones and physical work is not the American way. People don't feel secure enough in their own abilities to believe that they'll improve. Marketing strategies target our insecurities by telling us that we are missing out if we don't have the latest product (I'm talking to all you Pet Rock owners out there). Since Americans believe that material goods equates to happiness, we buy into it.

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BunsbertMontcroff
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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by BunsbertMontcroff » Apr 14 2020 9:30 am

chumley wrote:I appreciate your post. I've always gotten the impression that thru hikers are by and large not the type to support, protect, or volunteer. They're leeches of the land in pursuit of some personal checklist without any interest in the landscape they travel through. Thank you for helping me temper that perspective and know that they're not all like that!
Oh, you're welcome : )

And FTR, nothing in my comment stated or implied that thru-hikers didn't support the AZT. Only that by attracting mountain bikers, the AZT might find a new group of users to steward the trail. See you on the AZT!

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chumley
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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by chumley » Apr 14 2020 9:35 am

@BunsbertMontcroff
Ah yes. Growth at any cost. Got it! ;)
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friendofThundergod
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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by friendofThundergod » Apr 14 2020 10:00 am

Hike the Colorado Trail through a section that allows mountain bikes and you will never want to see another one on the trail, :lol: Apart from the weird bravado mountain bikers seem to come with, the trail becomes trash, picture walking foot over foot on a 6-8 inch deep five inch wide rut all day, ](*,)

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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by friendofThundergod » Apr 14 2020 10:05 am

@SpiderLegs
I took the survey and concur it was definitely written to put e-bikes in a good light
Right? They have clearly made up their minds on the E bikes, they will be on trails next year. This survey was just an attempt to pacify curmudgeons like me, lol. That survey was a classic example of leading questions to get what they want.
1. Would you prefer E bikes on the trail or forest fires?
2. On a scale of 1-10 how much do you want e bikes, 10 being yes please and 1 being I am a heartless person that does not take into considerations the physical limits of other people.
3. What would your rather encounter an E bike on the trail or a pack of rabid wolves?
4. Research indicates E bikes cure cancer and corona, do you support them on the AZT?
5. E bikes it is, lol...

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Re: Motorized Electric Bikes On Trails

Post by toddak » Apr 14 2020 10:11 am

@friendofThundergod
Agreed, and e-bikes will cause even more damage than pedal-bikes. So I hope you went ahead and took the survey. Maybe if more hikers express their misgivings about e-bikes in the wilderness, the momentum can be slowed.

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