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  • Andy Hitch

Ebike vs. Peddle Mountain Bike - The Controversy

There is a hatred coming from non-ebike riders. Personally, I think it's childish and reminds me of the 1990's when every town in America was making rules and laws against skate boarders and roller bladers because of their popularity. Frankly, it was just a bunch of old folks having a hissy fit over young whipper snappers having fun in a way they didn't understand.

The same thing is happening with ebikes. Some old school pedal riders have a problem with ebikes. They claim since ebikes have motors, they tear up the trail. I can tell you with 100% conviction, that is absolutely not true in the least. It's just a bogus excuse they've made up without any evidence to back up their claim. They're probably just pissed that they spent the better part of their life working their butts off in order to get up a steep hill so they be rewarded with the downhill. Well, I'm sorry bud, but times change.

Face the facts. Our TV's don't weigh 500 LBS anymore. online shopping has taken over retail, 90% of the cars on the road will be electric in the next 20 years, and pedal assist bicycles are the future. You can't deny it. It's going to happen whether you like it or not.

In Boulder and Larimer counties here in Colorado, ebikes have been shunned from public mountain bike trails. I got news for you guys, we pay our taxes just like everyone else and we deserve the right to utilize our public trails. Here are the facts:

  1. Some of us don't have the ability to ride a regular pedal bike. We may have bum knees, we're older, or have some other minor disability. Ebikes give us opportunity to stay active and be involved in the sport. You're discriminating against us in my opinion. Ebikes are meant to make the sport more accessible and inclusive.

  2. Class 1 and class 2 ebikes do NOT tear up the trail. You can't spin a tire any faster on a pedal assist bike. Pedal assist is just like having stronger legs. That's it. It's that simple.

  3. Ebikes are the future. Trek, one of the most popular name brand bikes on the planet is selling ebikes faster than they can make them. You can buy a normal Trek bike all day long. A trek dealer has to order ebikes over a year in advance. That's how popular they've become. It's time for the public and governments to get with the program and embrace it.

Look, I get it. I'm a middle aged man. I grew up on pedal bikes. I'm actually a mountain biker. I paid my dues. I've worked my butt climbing for miles on a non-electric bike. However, as I get older, I still want to stay active in the sport. Ebikes have given me that opportunity. Please stop discriminating against people like me. Don't force my hand. Hordes of us will eventually start showing up to your city and county meetings. You've spent millions of tax payer dollars to make areas available for eco friendly activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. What about the large percentage of the population who are not physically fit enough for those activities? Ebikes are eco friendly and thousands of us getting into the activity. Do we not matter? Does mountain biking need to be an elitist sport only?

Not long ago, I rode my ebike on a public trail where ebikes are outlawed. I was passed by a guy, going uphill on a non-electric bike. As he passed, he yelled at me, "ebikes aren't allowed here, get off our trails". I truly wish I was as fit as he was, as young, as strong, and as good a rider, but I'm not.

There is absolutely no harm in allowing class 1 ebikes on public mountain bike trails. Furthermore, it can be proven that they don't tear up trails. It's simply not even possible if you actually knew what you were talking about.

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