U.S. Forest Service Sued Over Decision to Allow eMTBs in Tahoe National Forest

Nov 26, 2019
by Daniel Sapp  

As recently reported by BRAIN, the United States Forest Service is the subject of a lawsuit pertaining to the USFS allowing Class 1 e-bikes on non-motorized trails in the Tahoe National Forest without first conducting a public study and analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to assess the impact of the decision. The lawsuit was filed October 23, according to a press release and cites a violation of the "Travel Management" rule, limiting motorized access to certain U.S. Forest Service trails.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are represented by the Western Environmental Law Center and include The Wilderness Society, Gold County Trails Council, Backcountry Horsemen of California, Back Country Horsemen of America, and the Forest Issues Group.

According to the press release, the Tahoe National Forest recently permitted “Class 1” electric mountain bikes on more than 130 miles of trails that had been developed and managed for hiking and other non-motorized uses. The Tahoe National Forest area already has about 2,500 miles of trails and roads available for motorized uses.

The decision purportedly undermines long-standing travel management laws and policies in place to help ensure higher quality recreation experiences for both motorized and non-motorized users, prevent avoidable damage to water, wildlife, and other resources, and alleviate public safety concerns and conflicts between users, according to the statement.

The statement goes on to say, "prior to opening non-motorized trails to motorized bicycle use, the Tahoe National Forest should have followed the required travel management planning procedure, which is a public process that includes analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)."

There has been controversy regarding e-bike usage on public lands as government agencies have moved to change policy regarding trails that are open to e-bikes. In August, we reported the U.S. Department of the Interior had decided e-bikes would be allowed in National Parks and other Federal lands under the Department of the Interior. While the decision left the execution of the policy open for local land managers and agencies to implement their own regulations on a case-by-case basis, it caused quite a bit of debate.

In the case of Tahoe National Forest, and other National Forests in America, the land is managed by the Department of Agriculture and falls under different rules and regulations than lands under the U.S. Department of the Interior. subject to the ruling in August.

In the press release on the Back Country Horsemen of America website, Helen Harvey, the president of the Nevada County Gold Country Trails Council, said, "Allowing motorized bicycles on nonmotorized trails meant for hikers, backpackers and equestrians poses risks and conflicts for the many visitors who enjoy that type of quiet recreation. It also undermines the trail building and maintenance time and money our volunteers have contributed in the Tahoe National Forest for decades."

Randy Rasmussen, director of public lands and recreation for the Back Country Horsemen of America, concluded the press release by saying, "We would love an early settlement of the case wherein the Forest Service acknowledges its process for authorizing e-bikes on non-motorized trails on the Tahoe National Forest was not done in accordance with the law and agency policy."

As the debate over e-bikes and access on federal lands in America continues to develop, we will provide updates when major news breaks.


  • 264 90
 Not good. How many equestrians do you think can actually tell the difference between a mountain bike and an e-bike. If this passes, expect a lot of mountain bike access to get put on the chopping block too. Hate e-bikes all you want, but at the end of the day, they're the trail users most similar to us and alienating them instead of banding together will only hurt mtb access in the long term.
  • 207 91
 That's the problem. They're so similar to us they're giving us a bad name by association. All that the MTB community has worked for is at risk of being undone.
  • 231 19
 Exactly! F%#* equestrians man! They are the shittiest (pun absolutely intended) trail users. I would argue horses are more dangerous to other trail users than emtbs, along with more damaging to trails. Equestrians won’t be satisfied til all the trails are for their own private use. They don’t engage with any other trail users, they don’t do trail work, they just show up to meetings and complain. At least that is how it is in my area. But after spending years in the comments section on this site, it would seem that is the case almost everywhere, world over.
  • 166 120
 or we can just call them what they are ( motorbikes) and not be associated with them at all...e-bikes are not the same a mountain bikes the sooner we make that clear the better for all of us
  • 65 4
 People ride horses? That's so weird.
  • 5 7
 Tahoe is possibly going to be the next Marine. Where you can bike on large path where cars go.
  • 55 1
 @bicimane: same here. not all equestrians are bad people mind you, but the activists are pretty much that. zero trail maintenance, take all the space, poop everywhere (never clean up), and pretty much want all non-car trails for themselves. They barely tolerate hikers.

Weird culture if you ask me - what makes them more likely to get what they want? The fact that the clubs make a lot more money than mtb clubs or hiker clubs? (yes, probably)
  • 109 1
 @bicimane: I've never walked past a MTB and been kicked in the head.
  • 44 11
 @bicimane: There are also a lot of equestrians who have been maintaining true back country trails for decades where MTBers simply do not even ride despite no regulations saying they can't. It's also important that the main point of the lawsuit seems to be that the ruling to allow e-mtbs seems to be mostly motivated by corporations wanting to sell e-mtbs rather than current e-mtb users, and was done illegally by not following the guidelines MTB, equestrian, and wilderness groups have been forced to follow.

Just because there are some wealthy dicks who ride their horse once a week around your local state park doesn't mean all equestrians don't bring their fair share to the table. MTB access groups probably have a lot more in common with Backcountry equestrians than not, and going forward if we can work together it will be best for everyone.
  • 88 0
 I'm all for an environmental review as long as they do one for horse riding too...
  • 16 55
flag chriskneeland (Nov 26, 2019 at 15:29) (Below Threshold)
 @dthomp325: Throw deer and bear in their too. And snakes and field mice while your at it. Animals in nature should be illegal!
  • 9 1
 completely disagree. If we did not have them as a lighting rod we would not have half the issue.
  • 14 4
 @nismo325: If we don't work together with Ebikers for trail access, THIS is who will:
  • 16 4

Lol... nothing has been accomplished hikers, environmentalists and equestrian still hate MTB. It’s not rational and won’t ever change
  • 5 6

All those groups just lived Mtbs before e-bikes cane along /s

Give me a break
  • 11 3
 @bicimane: You are 100 percent right, a fcking horse could kill someone easy sauce compared to a mtb, I’ve watched horses buck people off on my local trails
  • 40 55
flag spiderninja (Nov 26, 2019 at 16:02) (Below Threshold)
 @nismo325: Just so you know they are talking ONLY about CLASS 1 ebikes WHICH IS only a pedal assist NO MORE. Meaning class 1 IS closely related to a non assist bike.

There plenty of studies coming out now showing that people actually get the same workout on a ebike as on a mtb. the big deference is that ebikers are having way more fun with the same amount of physical workout. Also in a lot of cases people are getting more of a work out cause it brings more joy and they are going out more often.

So don't be a d!ck tell you try one out.
  • 61 38
 Just ban e Mtbs and be done with it, no motors in the forest simplifies our argument for continued trail access
  • 37 1
 Sounds like a bunch of horse shit.
  • 6 26
flag hkimpickering (Nov 26, 2019 at 16:16) (Below Threshold)
 your wrong! the "the most similar to us is the hiker" he uses his lungs not a motor. e-bikes are "easy" "there motor bikes"
can I ride a segway on the trail to. its an easy world only getting easier. sometimes i wish i still rode a 26r. sorry about the spelling
  • 4 9
flag matttauszik (Nov 26, 2019 at 16:24) (Below Threshold)
 @AntN: I've never walked past a horse and been kicked in the head.
  • 7 1
 @bicimane: They don't pick up their poo either
  • 35 26
 How many motorbikes can you name that you need to pedal to operate? I think you should be excluded from the debate as you don’t really understand what your talking about @nismo325:
  • 30 0
 @bankz: "the activists are pretty much that. zero trail maintenance, take all the space, poop everywhere (never clean up)" ...and their horses are even worse.
  • 10 11
 @AntN: I've handled horses for a long time and never been kicked in the head either. If you've been kicked in the head by a horse you put it where it shouldn't be.
  • 1 5
flag d-man (Nov 26, 2019 at 16:51) (Below Threshold)
 @mkotowski1: couple mountain bikes deaths this year unfortunately.
  • 17 0
 @chriskneeland: horsey people have better lawyers thats the problem, any trail user know horses damage the trail way more than bikes of any kind, the studies are very conclusive. this is sour grapes and a last ditch effort by the old schoolers who have prevented us from enjoying "their " trails the whole time. f-them and their lawyers.
  • 5 0
 @bulletbassman: they are never going to work with us thats painfully clear.
its a battle of money and lawyers and it doesnt matter who wins people still going to ride ebikes wherever they want.
  • 2 0
 @d-man: true but that’s ultimately on the individual whereas if a horse bucks it’s rider and then tramples me standing on the side of the trail, that’s out of my control
  • 28 0
 @bicimane: Every horse has two a*sholes
  • 30 0
 @bicimane: Lol i got screamed at by an equestrian here in NorCal this past weekend for not stopping before hitting a small feature that I couldn't even see her from the top of.

I did stop as soon as I saw the horse, but I still got a lecture about how "these new bikes" are ruining everyone else's experience like my bike drops buckets of shit in the middle of the trails.
  • 2 0
 How does one give extra up votes, this is spot on.
  • 1 0
 @HITNRUN: neither do I ;-)
  • 4 4
 @hkimpickering: thanks for the obviously uneducated argument. Please tell us more about things you know nothing about?
  • 1 0
 @sumarongi: Yes. But they hate motos even more.
  • 12 14
 @DDoc: Saying f-them doesn't allow us access to trails. Every jock-strap on ebikes set to turbo mode should be the ones f-ing off.
  • 13 5
 @jamesstoup @bicimane It's not about horses. It's about MOTORIZED VEHICLES on national park trails.
  • 4 0
 @bankz: I have had many encounters with equestrian riders while riding ATVs and MOTOs. I personally have never had a problem with them. I think a big part of that is because of where I live. People around here are very tolerable and acceptable to each other.
  • 25 16
 as an ebikes, why would I want to share trails with acoustic bikers? They are just slow, get in the way and call me a cheater. If the bike industry wants to keep selling me ebikes, they should work on getting me dedicated trails.

I have no desire of supporting trails for regular bikers. They are a bunch of dweebs who dress up like they are riding dirt bikes but hate ebikes. And XC guys in spandex. They are the worst.
  • 16 6
 Good. It's about time ebikers started doing their own advocacy for access instead of piggy backing off the trail access gains that mtbers have made
  • 11 5
 @chriskneeland: Thank you! I'm glad there are other people out there who see it this way. While I don't disagree with @jamesstoup 's comment, I think that maintaining clear distinctions between E bikes and mountain bikes is crucial.
  • 4 1
 @nismo325: tell that to Paul Basagoitia
  • 5 0
 @spiderninja: where were you when every trained researcher on this site ripped those e-MTB findings to bits? Those findings were anything but rigorous.
  • 1 0
 @bicimane: yeah equestrians generally suck. But the problem is they have a lot of political clout, money and have been around forever. In other words, they have a lot of influence on public land use in the United States. Not at all suggesting that I like equestrian use, just need to know the facts/history.
  • 4 1
 @High-Life: This article actually never mentions national parks, its talking about national forest which are 2 completely different things. In national parks bikes both e and non-motorized are banned on almost all single track trails.
  • 9 11
 Faulty line of reasoning there bud - you really gonna go with the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" argument? Hope you ebike has enough juice to tow all those fallacies along with you. Riders need to address both issues like adults. E-mtb is not mtb that is one discussion to have. Equestrians and multi-use non motorized trails, that is another and seperate discussion to have. Like many have pointed out, this concern of traditional mtb being mistaken for an e-mtb did not exist before the problem (e-mtb) was created. The solution is not to band up with a user group that has direct conflicting interests with your own. And one that is driving for access of motorized vehicles on NON-motorized trails clearly is doing exactly that. Pretty black and white yall
  • 12 13
 @enduroNZ: motor. bike. does a traditional mtb have a motor? no Does an emtb have a motor? ..............pretty simple einstein
  • 2 0
 @mkotowski1: and you might get hit by a car in the parking lot... Come on man quit making up what ifs to back up your opinion.
  • 3 0
 @wibblywobbly: hahaha, awesome
  • 16 12
 have you ridden a pedal assist bike???they are mountain bikes with a little help. i have family that have health issues and would not be able to ride at all we’re it not for e bikes i have ridden their bikes on multiple occasions and to be honest all they really do is allow you to ride more miles. there exercise is still there the technique is still required a pedal assist e bike should be allowed anywhere a mtb bike is allowed they are not more damaging to the trails or other users than a regular mountain bike. most are ignorant about them because they have never taken the time to ride one or understand how they work@nismo325:
  • 7 5
 @burnskiez: don’t get me wrong, I don’t like eBikes either. It’s got a motor, so it makes sense to keep them off non-motorized trails. But if you watched even a second of the FMB ebike championship it should be very clear they are much much closer to mtbs than mxbs. I’m not in league with eBikes, but I’m sure as hell not in league with equestrians either.
But really, I feel like eBikes are this weird in between thing and quite frankly that’s their own damn problem. They don’t belong on trails that allow motorized vehicles because they are slow and will get in the way. They don’t belong on non-motorized trails. I second the notion they need to figure out their own access instead of piggy backing off of us.
And yeah, I get that the main point of contention in the lawsuit is that these lands are managed under different standards, ebike companies are lobbying for going around rules to allow their users to ride to keep growing the market, and that that is bullshit. But I also notice that this lawsuit is being brought by two equestrian groups and that equestrians always seem to be complaining about anyone on trails. I fully realize that they maintain backcountry trails we never even use. There are lots of hiker only trails that are the same way and there are lots of more recent trails (at least in my area) that are seemingly purpose built for mtbs. Mtbers have fought hard for trail access and I feel like this is an example of exactly what everyone was worried about, that eBikes would give equestrians fuel for their fire. And that’s exactly why everyone wants to keep eBikes and mtbs separate. The distinction is important so the buck stops at eBikes. Don’t let the equestrians fool you, they will come for us next. But maybe the best way to keep them from coming for us is to get them to lay off of eBikes? I dunno. Again, not a ebike fan, don’t feel like they belong on anyone’s trails. They should build their own riding centers.
  • 13 2
 @nismo325: They’re more similar to mountain bikes than horses. Numerous impact studies (and common sense) have shown that horses have a much higher negative impact than foot traffic or mountain bikes. In fact, an article I found today seems to indicate that bikes actually have a positive impact on the trail in that the tires create downward vertical force, compacting the terrain, increasing shear strength, and thus making the trail less vulnerable to erosion.

I don’t own an eMTB but most of the people I’ve seen riding on them are low impact riders. They may pass us on the trail and make us angry (or jealous) but likely don’t have a much higher impact than regular mountain bikes. In fact, I’d bet the vast majority of eMTB riders are much less impactful on downhill trails than other riders, per capita.

I don’t fully agree with the lawsuit but someone, somewhere *should* conduct [another] MTB vs eMTB impact study and put this app to rest.
  • 12 0
 wait until the trails are full of e-horses:

  • 6 1
 @dbendixen: I was typing a big long reply and my phone died, when it came back on I read yours and it was basically what I wanted to say. I think the whole premise of the lawsuit that eBikes somehow do more environmental damage, are disruptive of quiet outdoor recreation, and are dangerous is just bunk. My only beef with eBikes is that I feel like they are being pushed too hard too fast and are trying to use the fact that they are similar to mtbs to get access to trails too quickly. The ebike community needs to put in the work to convince other trail users that they aren’t a problem. I dont want to keep people from riding and enjoying the outdoors, but I don’t want that to keep me from riding and enjoying the outdoors either. I think people get wayyyyy overly upset about eBikes- but I get it, our trail access is a tenuous situation and we shouldn’t let another group potentially screw us over just because they look and function 90% like us but have a pretty negative perception among other trail users. eBikes and mtbs aren’t that different. To me this whole lawsuit reeks of the stereotypical equestrians trying to keep people off trails. So I think being angry at the eBikes sorta makes sense for the reasons I laid out before, but you should really truly be angry at the equestrians. If only we could all just get along hahaha
  • 4 0
 This is a very complicated argument... I hate encountering horses on trails and yielding forever, I hate seeing piles of shit for miles. But, backcountry is a very vocal organization that can only exist by advocating multi-use trails. This leads to opening hiking trails to bikes as well. Emtbs are a luxury most bikers can never afford nor want and the dept of interior is not the dept of agriculture. Emtbs were created by the bike industry to make money. It is very muddy... most people will never own a emtb but big bike industry will push it. It is not about inclusion it is about making a 5k bike a 10k bike and your favorite rider will probably shoot a video for the Gram.
  • 11 4
 @jroc42069: Emtb market is growing and will continue to grow. You must live in a conservative area or something. Poland is not exactly a rich country, if you go to a trail center there, there’s e-bikes all over the place. Rentals are in each bike park. Most MTBers who already buy 5-8k bikes will change to Emtb after the age of 40-45. Why wouldn’t they? There will be only more and more grumps who started riding 20-30 years ago.

As to equestrians, these are animal lovers, they have different brains than yours, they will always treat a horse as their baby and anything that can scare it as enemy. They have the moral superiority because they breed and take care od animals. And animals are nature and all this bullsht. There’s been a case in my hometown where two mtbers scared a horse that threw the rider off its back and started running, broke the leg and they had to shoot it. Nobody cares whether horsie was supposed to be there or not. MTBers are evil and hikers should get out of the way and bow to them. Horse is such a status symbol. You are up there and it costs shit loads. More than Yeti, more than Porsche to park at the golf club.

I feel for ya... keep fighting but emtb is ain’t your problem. Emtbers need to get together and start doing sht small group of mtbers were doing. Apparently most mtbers don’t gibe a crap, they don’t do advocacy nor they show up for trail building, they just whine in ebikes taking credit for actions of a small grouo of people
  • 2 0
 @savagelake: I want a 2 stroke horse.
  • 1 0
 @trmcl24: you should have respond take your shit with you my lady!
  • 3 3
 horses are just dumb. expensive, living bikes that are ridden by antisocial douches.
  • 1 0
 @DDoc: ...you forget about the deep pockets power of Yeti bike owners.
  • 3 1
 @jason475: not even close. Yeti sramds no chance against a horse... you need some real $ for horses. Anyone can fork out 8k for a Yeti to feel cool for 2 years.
  • 5 2
 @chize: You know people who ride emtb are still mtbers - it's in the acronym
  • 4 2
 Horses cause more trail damage than a bicycle. E Bike is a bicycle and you can't say they cause more damage. I say all those involved in the lawsuit should all go on a group E bike ride and find Jesus
  • 8 14
flag chriskneeland (Nov 27, 2019 at 5:46) (Below Threshold)
 @NickBulley: Yeah we need to disassociate ourselves from that. They're motorcycles with cranks. MTB is reserved for riders who don't fake pedal.
  • 11 7
 @nismo325: "Class 1: eBikes that are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, and have a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph." No throttle...not a motorbike. EBikes do no more trail damage than regular mountain bikes. Maybe less actually as spinning out on climbs rarely occurs. Downhill they are no worse than any DH/Freeride rig and again maybe better since you didn't need to have a shuttle vehicle involved. Stand upon your high horse all you want; you'll be standing with the horses.
  • 7 4
 @chriskneeland: so how do you call riders who “fake” pedal and “fake” motorcycle? Because e-bikers still pedal and motorcyclists don’t
  • 4 13
flag chriskneeland (Nov 27, 2019 at 6:07) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: I never said someone fake motorcycles. An ebiker is fake pedaling with the assistance of a motor. So they're actually real motorcycling. Some motorcycles have throttles, and now some have cranks.
  • 5 4
 @chriskneeland: analog bikes are going to hold back ebikes. We should do our own thing and not be held back by luddites who want to pedal. The sooner ebikers embrace the motor and stop trying to act like regular bikers the sooner we can band together and have real ebike trails.
  • 4 0
 @AntN: I've never walked past a mountain biker taking a dump in the middle of the trail either!
  • 4 0
 @wibblywobbly: I assume this is satire?
  • 6 3
 @chriskneeland: pardon me but ebiking has nothing to do with motorcycling. It is ebiking...
  • 5 6
 @WAKIdesigns: So ebikes don't have a motor? I'm confused.
  • 3 2
 @bbeak: Then you've never ridden with me.
  • 7 5
 @chriskneeland: go out on the street approach anyone you want, show a picture of a ebike to people and ask them whether it is a bicycle, an ebike or a motorcycle. I mean sorry are you stupid or something? Don’t you know what a motorcycle is? How do yhey look like? Yamaha? Kawasaki? Ducati? Ask wikipedia as well... Jesus

It’s an E-bike or an E-MTB. Nobody cares what you think. You can ride them clipless.
  • 4 0
 @nismo325: interesting opinion but the laws in the US disagree. No-throttle ebikes are by law, not motorbikes.
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: wow, is that really a thing-study to show increases in neg sentiment to mtb since emtb was born? Im assuming those type of folks are just gna always be the complaining, quick to get lawyers type.
Like those that live on the beach and restrict access..entitled.
  • 1 1
 @jrocksdh: I think the more appropriate term is protective.
  • 4 1
 @jrocksdh: yes just like MTB purists complain on everything that is not a bike they and their elitist buddies ride at the moment.
  • 8 9
 @WAKIdesigns: But it's driven by a motor. So technically...it's a motorcycle. You can keep denying it, but it still remains true.
  • 5 5
 @chriskneeland: no it's driven by the person pedalling it, the motor starts after the rider pedals it.
  • 6 3
 @d-man: So if the motor isn't driving it, why does it have a motor?
  • 1 0
 @n1ck: do the battery and motors go on them?!?
  • 2 1
 This is a month old news, and the title is misleading. This lawsuit isn’t about acres it’s about the way access was granted with out going through the proper channels. The suit specifically says that the lathered is a process of environmental study’s and voting procedures that were ignored, and is not necessarily in conflict with allowing ebikes access. PB will post anything these days to get clicks.
  • 4 3
 Not good, how many white blood cells do you think can tell the difference between cancer cells and normal cells? If you get chemo, expect a lot of normal cells to be on the chopping block too. Hate cancer all you want, but at the end of the day, they are the cells most similar to your own and alienating them instead of banding together will only hurt you in the long term.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, the 1,000 pound horse that craps everywhere is doing no damage to trails and the environment but the ebike that weighs 20 pounds more than a regular bike or 50 pounds more than a person hiking is completely destroying the trails. Come on people, can we just get along and understand that we are all out there for the same reason?
  • 1 0
 @AntN: Not kicked, but shoved, pushed, and run over.
  • 4 2
 @chriskneeland: not hard to figure out but I'll give you a hint to ASSIST the rider.
  • 2 2
 @d-man: he cannot tell Yamaha R1 from a Haibike...
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: My argument against this will always be that many outlaw trails that now have MTB access, were being ridden illegally before. The battle of bikes being legal in the first place seems like the harder battle than E-Bikes allowed on MTB trails.
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: But I can tell ebike from mtb.
  • 2 3
 @chriskneeland: me too. That is why I call it ebike not a mountain bike. Eventually E-mountain bike. That is a mountain bike with electric motor and battery, a kind of mountain bike because it has same wheels, tyres, forks, shocks, derailleurs, bars, brakes, saddles as a fkng mountain bike. It does not share parts with a fkng motorbike like 250 mx bike. You try to be so smart with yout motorbike thing you achieve the opposite
  • 5 2
 @WAKIdesigns: But it does have a motor. That's the qualifier.
  • 2 0
 @bicimane: I appreciate your well thought out and reasonable response, rare to see on an interweb comments section. I think we probably agree on about 90% of the content being discussed here which is whats important. Its such an unfortunately complex situation because we see so many positive aspects of the emtb like getting people out on trails riding who otherwise physically wouldnt be able to. Or the case of people who enjoy the outdoors but just lack the motivation and fitness to get out of a bike so they do not. I would put many of my relatives and friends in this group. And @dbendixen yes this particular group of emtb riders probably does not have any more impact than a traditional mtb and definitely less than equestrian users, we all can agree on that. But I am seeing tracks getting way rutted out by e-mtb users who are in it to gain speed and adrenaline that they are too untalented or unfit to get on a traditional mtb and because they do not have those abilities on a traditional bike, they end up destroying trails beause they have no understanding of fundamentals. Theres no concept of carrying speed out of a corner because the motor will compensate and get them out of it after locking up both wheels and skidding in and through it. Ruts ruts ruts.
Thats for another discussion though and it is one worth having for sure.
I'm just not comfortable putting at risk what has been acomplished by the years and years of hard work mtb access activists. If e-mtb riders want trail networks then they should show that by advovcating for more trail networks for them. Show your community is willing to put in the work and I'm sure we'll all welcome them with open arms. This is commonly called a squid filter in the dirt bike, putting a very difficult obstacle at the start of the trail to discourage novice riders from making a mess of a great trail. Unfortunately this is what we've had to resort to, making it so they cant get there since common sense cannot really be counted upon anymore.
I'm also more aware than most of the risk that the equestrian user groups pose for mtb. In addition to working for years for the Forest Service and dealing direclty with those groups in areas where they are the primary user group (ie Frank Church Wilderness, Inyo National Forest) riding in Santa Barbara makes you very aware of just how much the equestrian users want us gone, in fact that was the impetus for the formation of our local IMBA chapter, at the time it was one of the first around to be advocating like this for mtb access. The focus wasnt even soley on mtb, it was just trail access and maintenance in general for all non motorized users. MTBers were just trying to survive, let alone have a voice or large impact like the mtb advocacy groups do have now. I think the real issue here is that we just need more trails in general. Trails of all types. Trails for just mtbs, trails for mtbs and emtbs, trails suited for hikers, trails suited for bikers. We're all different user groups and that should be embraced. What we need is to slow everything down a bit, the companies are the ones most encouraging this rapid expansion of the market and we really should be bringing our disputes to them they are responsible for the results of their actions.
  • 1 0
 @bulletbassman: Where have you seen equestrians maintaining backcountry trails? Back in MT we used to work with the horsemen (they still do, I'm not there any more) in that they carried our tools to the site, that's the closest I've seen
  • 2 0
 @fuzzhead45: wow a cancer analogy, in this conversation?? Really?? What a joke, go ahead and drop some hitler analogies too while we're at it. Did you receive your medical degree at webmd yesterday?
  • 1 0
 @nismo325: a-f*ckin-men.
  • 1 0
 @bicimane: I’m late to the party but you’re spot on about horses causing more damage than other trail users, I’ll see if I can find it when I get back to my laptop but I have a couple of academic journals saved that I can send your way if you’re interested in checking them out.
  • 1 2
 @burnskiez: Only because you asked
(Setting: Germany pre WWII)
Not good, how many Europeans do you think can tell the difference between a nazi and an average German citizen? If the treaty of Versailles persists expect many normal citizens to be on the chopping block. Hate Nazis all you want, but at the end of the day they are the people most similar to you and alienating them is only going to hurt Germany in the long run.
  • 2 0
 @burnskiez: (On your reply to @dbendixen )

Absolutely. Might I suggest that that is how a large part of the growth of MTB riding has moved in Japan (at least in my area); there are more and more advocacy groups who are working with rural communities to create, manage and run specific trails for specific user groups; everyone is looking for win-win scenarios that attract outdoor users and boost rural economies.

Would that model work everywhere? IMHO it takes everyone to be willing to give up something to get something else. Japan has written and unwritten rules that might not sit well with your average freedom-toting, freedom loving, "gnar shredder" (Anyone see Sam Pilgrim's attempt at bringing his version of street freeride to Tokyo and the ensuing response in the Japanese media and online?), but for people who were born or live here and get it, it works. It is easier I'm sure though when you live in a society built on the notion of the group.

Does this mean that in societies based on the freedom of the individual, multi-user trails are bound to fail?
As you have suggested elsewhere regarding the necessity for low numbers of users, it only seems to work until that freedom for all to use what they like, how, when and with who they like hits the "tragedy of the commons" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons). That's where the inter-group strain begins to show.

And when that point occurs in turn depends on how much wilderness you have got to play with. The north american continent has enough of it one would think to allow that point to come later rather than sooner. In Japan it comes real quick, so the society has evolved to deal with that.

Muir knew this I believe when he and the Sierra Club along with its Thoreaux-inspired membership first started campaigning for Wilderness. In the specific case of the USA, the impact that the landscape has on the American mindset cannot be ignored. I read a fantastic take on that as part of my undergrad thesis over 30 years ago on the economics of ownership models of pristine landscapes called "Wilderness and the American Mind" (1967 classic; on Amazon, it's a damned good read www.amazon.com/Wilderness-American-Mind-Roderick-Frazier/dp/0300091222) .

Good reading your thoughts Sir. Have a good day.
  • 2 0
 > there are more and more advocacy groups who are working with rural communities to create, manage and run specific trails for specific user groups

@orientdave: That model more or less works in US rural areas too, especially areas that aren't doing too great economically and want more tourism for the money it brings in, but the problem is the majority of riders live in urban metro areas where there are tons of people and conflict around trail use. A typical multi-user trailhead within an hour drive of a major metro area with mountainous terrain will be completely full on weekend mornings and weekday afterwork hours with hundreds of people on the trail at the same time.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: Interesting; thanks for the insight, and good to know it works. Here in Japan, everywhere is within two hours of a major metro area but lucklily everyone is well catered for!!

My only experience of North American wilderness was a drive from Whistler to Vernon via Lilloet... wow! Rural?
No, back end of absolutely nowhere to me; quite the eye-opener!
  • 1 0
  • 1 5
flag BeerGuzlinFool (Nov 27, 2019 at 18:08) (Below Threshold)
 @chriskneeland: Do you understand how an E bike actually works? The motor doesn't just kick on and take over once you start pedaling. The chainring rotates at a different rate than the cranks depending on the assist level you select. It's completely different than a throttle controlled bike.
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: sorry Waki, it’s the new American pastime. Being stupid on purpose and braying about it on social media
  • 3 2
 @enduroNZ: that’s why they are called a moped and not a motor bike.
  • 3 0
 @girardif: I agree, enough whining about other users and just let people enjoy the trials however they want.
  • 2 3
 @spiderninja: I had a motorcycle, but sold it because I would rather mountain bike - E-bikes are motorcycles, i.e. they do in fact have a motor. Motorcycle riders also get a great workout and have fun, that is NOT the point. The point is motorized bikes should only be allowed on OHV trails—— don’t f&@k up what we have fought for for many years- trail access
  • 3 3
 @mikeyb76: I had a motorcycle too. Sold it to buy my truck. Class 1 E-bikes are NOT motorcycles. My floor is made of wooden boards, and people walk on it. Guess I better start calling it a boardwalk by your logic? The semantic argument stating that any type of motorized assistance+bicycle=motorcycle is the dying gasp of dudes whose strength was climbing rather than riding mtn bikes well. Being passed on the uphill by people who use assisted mtn. bikes makes them feel like the thing they prided themselves on has been negated. If all of them stopped worrying about how other people ride, and just went back to pedaling their butts off while the rest of us enjoyed double the dh and rolled with the newest innovations to mtn biking, everything would be roses. In a decade, bikes without levels of electric assist will be in the minority. It's the new derailleur. e-mtb IS mtb. Get used to it.
  • 1 2
 @ranke: "dying gasp of dudes whose strength was climbing rather than riding mtn bikes well"

no it's simplier than that - whiny little bitches who want gratification for any bigger effort they do. Like pedaling.

At the same time I wholeheartedly agree with people saying that e-MTBers should engage in advocacy, trail building and maintenance otherwise they should not be allowed on mixed trails. You reap what you sow. Same is true for dirt jump sites. Folks building and maintaining them will always look sceptically at cooks showing up on full uspension bikes because there is a rather high chance they are clueless and will cause 10 times more harm than good.
  • 4 0
 @WAKIdesigns: “whiny little bitches who want gratification for any bigger effort they do. Like pedaling.”

How is that any different from “people who demand everything be made as simple as possible so they can have gratification”?
  • 2 2
 @WAKIdesigns: No...just want to point out the difference between real and fake mountain biking.

And I wholeheartedly agree. Cooks (I'm assuming you meant kooks?) showing up with enduro and DH bikes at the DJ's is exactly how I see someone showing up to ride XC/equestrian trails with an ebike.
  • 1 2
 @wibblywobbly: Because you assume everyone on ebikes is a whiny btch wanting everything as easy as possible. Same has been said by virtually every occasion some groundbreaking invention came into MTB. Ebikes are different than MTBs, not much different but they are. This is why they need to show up on meetings with paper and pencils, and on trails with picks and shovels. But that is a general problem that is also concerning "acoustic" MTBers. We trail riders around the world simply want more people doing trailwork, we need more participation.

@chriskneeland - agreed, but oh boy these Dirt Jumpers raise their eye brows when kooks start helping digging or carrying water and shit that would take days to build is completed in 2-3hours. Not only that, they also can tell rich kooks what to do and kooks are happy. It's a challenge to get people involved.
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: see, it goes both ways.

It’s dishonest to pretend that electric assistance is the same impact as suspension, 29 inch wheels or boost spacing. Everybody that whined about minor incremental progress over the years has no credibility and can easily be dismissed.

Shouldn’t have cried wolf about Dub bottom brackets. Now that something has come along that will fundamentally change mountain biking nobody will listen to you.
  • 2 7
flag ranke (Nov 29, 2019 at 9:21) (Below Threshold)
 @chriskneeland: There are few things I enjoy as much as showing up at the jump park on the way home from the trails on my enduro rig and hitting all the stuff petty kids thought I was too old or too over-biked to hit. However, one of them is passing grumbling acoustic hold-outs on a climb while riding my ebike, saying hello to them and being friendly regardless, reaching the peak and having people clearly assume I am "said kook" by the way they treat me (granted their number has dwindled over the course of the year) and then torching them all the way down, sending stuff they have to ride around. It's enjoyable to see how many of those people talk to me at the bottom of the trail because it helps dispel ignorant stereotypes about emtb riders. And then I go build and maintain the trails they ride at my local spot. And almost all my buddies are at least middle aged, ride better than most people, build and maintain trails, and ride emtb's because we want to, not because we have to. If your eyes are closed to the reality that emtb riders are the same as you, all you have to do is open them.
  • 7 3
 @ranke: ooooohhhh please tell us more about how amazing of a rider you are........spray spray spray it from the hills brother!!! Saved us all the trouble of defining you as said kook. Let me guess theres a SUP in your garage as well, leaning against the tesla and 4 other dusty emtb ooooh I bet you've even ridden with a pro before and they said hi to you, you are so incredible man.......did I tell you how incredible you and all your incredible friends are?
  • 3 0
 jeeeeeeez... i don't mind the ebike content, but can we get a filter for the same ol' arguments in comments? Smile
  • 2 4
 @burnskiez: more stereotypes. Thx for proving my point bud.
  • 1 3
 @burnskiez: there’s nothing wrong with Tesla. Great car and in most cases it means you have some real cash... Unlike Prius... which is a piece of virtue signalling crap... virtue signalling... yes
  • 5 1
 @ranke: you really are an inspiration for the rest of us ebikers. Hopefully some day we can live up to the high standard you have set. All these other losers are just jealous of our great success in life. I mean why would you pedal at this point in life. Pedaling is wasted time. Ebikes allow you to ride more and free up time that can be better spent driving exotic cars and sleeping with models.
  • 5 3
 @ranke: It's not that you're overbiked, it's that you're tires are too aggressive and f*ck up the jumps. Super douche move. Unless you're not riding actual dirt jumps. Which hopefully you're not. If you are, I hope you're decent enough to repack and water the lips before you leave. But definitely the type of cluelessness I'd expect from an ebiker.
  • 1 4
 @wibblywobbly: I know, right?
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Ok, so strike up a conversation with someone who has no interest whatsoever in mountain biking. Then describe an electric bike to them. I guarantee you they will say "that's not mountain biking". Then start to argue with them and watch them slowly back away....
  • 2 5
 @chriskneeland: woah there dirt cop. take it easy. you might hurt someone's feelings. plus, again, stereotyping. and if you're the rare person who's moved more dirt than me, kudos to you. I think the difference between you and me is that I don't get my panties in a wad when trails/jumps/berms get worn. I just put the work in and get back to riding. you seem to enjoy pretending you have more knowledge than anyone about tires, dirt, ebikes and their environmental impact, and really? you're just full of sh*t, and angry to boot. let it go bud. let it go.
  • 4 3
 @ranke: Nah, just hate clueless dbags. Sounds like you fit the bill.
  • 2 2
 @chriskneeland: narrow of the mind . Are you..yes.
  • 2 1
 @BeerGuzlinFool: Nah, I just see it how it is.
  • 3 0
 Y’all still going at it on this thread?!? Pfft
  • 101 22
 you can't have a motor on a non-motorized trail. that's pretty cut and dry, right?
  • 33 10
 it's too difficult for some to comprehend the obvious. Like Speed Limit and Gun Free Zone signs
  • 24 15
 I think it's a little more complicated. The issue probably lies with the definition of a motor vehicle, for instance, the definition I found: "...a vehicle which is self-propelled and capable of transporting a person or persons or any material or any permanently or temporarily affixed apparatus shall be deemed a motor vehicle." An eMTB is not self propelled unlike a motorcycle.

The definition goes on to make exclusions for certain vehicles like "The vehicle cannot exceed a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour over level, paved surfaces;..." Does that mean that the combination of a person pedaling the eMTB and the motor cannot exceed 25 mph? Does that mean just the motor coasting with a person cannot exceed 25 mph?

What happens if a rider turns pedal assist off? Are they now a non-motorized vehicle? There's plenty to discuss here
  • 63 0
 So what the f*ck is a horse? It's propelling you and doing the work for you.

Horse power? It's basically a organic atv.

Horses do way more damage then any mtb e or otherwise.
  • 4 1
 @Rokcore: they specify “class 1” which is really the weakest version of an ebike
  • 5 4
 @shwinn8: This matter is far from obvious and you stating that just proves your ignorance.
  • 5 7
 @Rokcore: I'd imagine the legal system will see a ebike as self propelled, the turning of the pedals to activate the motor is not fundamentally different than the twisting of the throttle on a conventional moto to activate it's motor. The power the motor produces is the primary motive force
  • 6 2
 sorry its not.

all motorized boats are not the same.
electric ones are allowed on reservoirs with a speed limit.
how is this different?
  • 7 3
 in the US there's some people having serious problems recognizing anything under 5.0 Liters per cylinder, as an engine!!!
  • 3 2
 Or you can if you don't get pedantic about tiny e-motors (like the rest of the world). Someone needs to rewrite the legislation here.
  • 1 0
 @reverend27: 100% agreed!!!!
  • 1 0
 @shwinn8: Nope. Its just unenforceable. The speed limit gets enforced heavily. A law means nothing if its unenforceable.
  • 2 0
 @reverend27: Yes but horses are not going anywhere anytime soon, they are as grandfathered in as it gets. The one positive thing is their numbers will be gradually decreasing over time as the core of their user group dies off. Its too prohibitively expensive of a hobby to be self-sustaining, sort of like conservative christains, baseball, or the Bible Belt. And I'm saying that as someone who loves Baseball!! Why don't you read up on the history of the Wilderness Act and it'll make a bit more sense why the forest circus seems to be so arbitrary in some of the decisions they make. In many of our larger Wilderness areas, horseback remains one of the most viable options for access, largely due to their remote nature and the great distances required to travel throughout the areas. This is made sustainable thanks to limited numbers of users. When the numbers of users become less limited, it becomes problematic. Once again this is not a conversation about horses or mtbs or e mtbs, this is a conversation about resources and the most appropriate way to share them amongst the public and maintain them for future generations. In most cases e-mtb is the greatest threat to maintain this access just because it makes it entirely too easy for users who have no business being in the backcountry to instantly gain access. Put the time in, learn how to ride a bike, learn how to generate speed with only your own power, get humbled get hurt, you'll be better for it and the trails will be too.
  • 108 46
 This is the kind of e-bike content I want to see Smile
  • 14 1
 inject this into my veins
  • 16 18
 Yeah but you being against e bikes in this case means you side with equestrians who don’t want any mtn bikes at all.

The equestrians are really throwing a wrench into the e bike haters agenda, and I think it’s hilarious and ironic.

The only people ashamed of riding an e bike are the ones shaming others into not riding one.

The only people ashamed of riding a mtn bike are the ones shaming others into not riding one.

Pick your sides wisely pinkbikers.
  • 63 6
 How do e-bikes effect "quiet recreation"? I can't imagine they do more damage than horses.
  • 46 1
 Way less. And I've never seen an equestrian get off his high horse to clear a trail either. We should be friends with the wilderness and equestrian people but they decided no way we're not worthy. Cunts everyone of them.
  • 21 3
 Most freehubs are louder than any e-bike motor I've heard. When I'm riding one on the road I can barely even hear the whirring of the motor, and can't even hear them at all riding on gravel.
  • 5 3
 @bitterrooter: username checks out
  • 61 14
 You are all very misguided if you're siding with the equestrians here. You know they hate all MTBs right? The people behind this lawsuit have notoriously lobbied against trail access by cyclists in the past. Pull your head out of your ass, get informed, and quit pissing on your own feet, or, trails, in this instance.
  • 24 55
flag nismo325 (Nov 26, 2019 at 14:51) (Below Threshold)
 Maybe your the misguided one thinking that mopeds and mountain bikes are the same thing when clearly they are not. check your own feet before talking bro
  • 13 8
 @nismo325: still dry. Yeah, sure, they're low powered mopeds. I don't own one, I don't like 'em, and I don't understand why they shouldn't have access to the same trails we do. I know we don't have any long term studies to support this, but I doubt they do any more trail damage than a regular MTB, and I bet it's even less than the wear a highly skilled rider causes to the same trails. Horses on the other hand...
  • 15 7
 I agree that equestrians have always hate mtbs. That's a major part of why we decided not to align with dirtbikes back in the early days of mountain biking. That's also why we should separate ourselves from ebikes now. Equestrians (and everyone else) have a much stronger argument for getting "bikes" off trails when ebikes are being considered. We can either sink with the ebikes or distance ourselves from them.
  • 4 0
 Horses have had trail rights before bikes were even invented.
  • 2 0
 @High-Life: What's your point? Despite the negative comments here, nobody is trying to get the horses off the trails.
  • 6 0
And slavery still existed. Just cause it’s old it doesn’t automatically mean it’s right.
Thinking needs to evolve. Horses are worse for trails in every way and it’s lazy and cruel IMHO.
I’d give an ebike rights over horse riding any day of the week.
  • 1 0
 @High-Life: OK, never mind. There are a few comments here about getting horses off the trails...
  • 5 0
 the press release says "...trails meant for hikers, backpackers and equestrians", in their view the trails belong to hikers, hikers with backpacks, and equestrians. I get the impression they don't really like bicycles.
  • 2 0
 @High-Life: yup who, that's who actually built the original trails into the back country. City folk think they were the first people to blaze trail
  • 11 2
 Another issue here is that equestrians are good at complaining. When was the last time an official read a complaint about a horse rider being an a*shole while so many are. Lord knows how many times they stop this giant, dumb pile of smelly crap in the middle of a narrow trail and we have to go around them through swamp and bushes. I am 100% hikers write more letters of complaint on people with dogs than on horses. All out of pure minority complex.

Ooooh I am a horseback rider, I am important, I promote out of doors life, I love animals, I love nature, let me just pack my fancy boots and stupid helmet hat in the back of my fresh Land Rover while some peasants who cannot own a horse fiddle with my Flavio. Such a good thing that kids take care of my horse, thanks to that they can ride some shitty horse for one hour. Otherwise they wouldn’t be able to afford it. Kids these days need to learn discipline and responsibility, I especially like when it is girls taking care of my horses. Good girls. Mommy likes’em good girls taking care of horses. Those rough, manly dads teaching their daughters to comb and stroke my Flavio... yeeees! I will also stroke it on the face so it feels calm and loved... oh wait there’s a stain on my rosé-gold Iphone case. Horses are fun! So holistic!
  • 4 2
 @Dustfarter: What's awesome is you can apply basically every pro electric bike argument to horses: "I can go further with my debilitating impairment and it's fun so you're all just jealous". See, electric bikers and equestrians are the same.
  • 1 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Go home, there is no discussion here for you. Ebikes have been accepted in Europe thats fine. Just like how you have no true wilderness, the mountains are littered with backcountry huts and via ferrata, but we chose differently here. Different ethics, thats why we passed the Wilderness Act. Its great though because if you want a true backcountry experience come to the west, if you want the hotel in the alps stay euro, everyone wins and we do not have to compromise our values, neither side does. Same with Ebikes, make your own trails, ride your own trails. Do not bring that shit here. This is frighteningly reminiscent of the trad vs sport climbing wars of the 80s/90s will we be chopping eachother's tires like they chopped bolts on routes back in the day? Anyone else notice the similarities?
  • 2 0
 @burnskiez: It is frighteningly reminiscent of any "It's us versus them" situations.

Rarely do those conversations end constructively through acceptance of the others' points of view and attempts to find win-win outcomes.

Want to change that? There's gold in here for anyone willing to look for it.
Start at 2:12
  • 38 6
 Let us not forget.. horses are the real enemy.
  • 56 3
 *equestrians. Horses are cool.
  • 5 1
 Couldn't agree more!!!
  • 26 2
 Let's point out the poop and trail damage due to stomping all over the place. It's like a semi driver saying you can only drive cars instead of pickups.
  • 2 0
 @kittenjuice: How cool do you think these horses are exactly.....kittenjuice?
  • 9 0
 Yeah wealthy people who don’t give a shit about the general public’s access to trails, you think a yeti is expensive, look at what these equestrian goons spend to pretend like it’s the 1800s
  • 2 3
 @kittenjuice: horses are not cool. they are animals that will bite you, stomp you, throw you into a fence and kick you in the face.
  • 2 0
 Humans do worse things
  • 1 0
 @DDoc: how many have you owned to know so much about them? Sounds the same as walking down an alley in a city a night.
  • 28 3
 I would be on the plaintiffs side if it wasn't the equestrians and the wilderness society. These organizations could of had a great coalition with mtb but decided that they are the only one ones with the right to the backcountry. I hope they loose and in a few years all these non inclusive lazy fat old farts on top of there trail apple producing animals die out. Trails literally disappear when these cunts have control of them.
  • 8 1
 we have some Marin county type anti mtb folks where I live. They are slowly dying thankfully. Every year less and less show up to protest.
  • 7 2
 @mustbike: I live there too, and the joke in my crew is we're getting trail access "one funeral at a time". (Until then, poach all the things!)
  • 1 0
 The Wilderness Society gets it from all sides -- from the environmental extremists when Wilderness Society advocates for mtb trails, and then from mtb'ers when they stick up for rules that excludes bikes from wilderness.
  • 38 14
 I'm so tired of the "motorized" and/or "mechanical devices" argument by the equestrian folk. Shoot, half my family rides horses and have ranches so I definitely can empathize. If all us riders could simply follow the #1 rule of "don't be a d!ck," usually everything is all peaches and cream.

So to re-cap the rules for a happy and successful ride:
1) Don't be d!ck
2) If you see a horseman, stop, let them ride by, say hello and have a great day
3) Carry on you merry way

If a horseman gets bothered and says you shouldn't be there, politely respond with, "Oh I'm sorry. I wasn't aware that I couldn't ride here. I must have missed the sign - sorry about that. Thanks for letting me know." Then pedal away.
  • 46 11
 I disagree. I would remind them that they need to pick up the mound of shit they left on the trail and tell them to fuck off. Your expected to clean up after your dog right.
  • 24 0
 @bitterrooter: Very fair point. But I can't control what the next person does or believes. At the end of the day, all I can do is try to be a better person to the community and the planet. So just maybe the way I treat them will change their next encounter with a fellow cyclist; emtb or otherwise.

I know it's naive optimism, but all I can do is try.
  • 9 26
flag tobiusmaximum (Nov 26, 2019 at 15:09) (Below Threshold)
 @bitterrooter: there’s a big difference between dogshit and chewed up grass.
  • 15 0

And so it began, the great Eque-Velo wars that characterized the early 2020s. That fateful day when, whilst out riding, Archduke Franz Ferdinand took umbrage at having his metaphorical face rubbed in his charge's discharge.

The resulting rallying of the two's troops, entrenched in their positions at either end of the field of broken dreams, each nurturing their belief in the innocence of their own personal wilderness, condemned everyone to ultimate disappointment.
  • 9 0
 I found it interesting that's it's phrased in a way, where the mtb'er has to be extra nice to the equestrian.

Now of course, I do exactly as you say because I try to be as nice as I'd want people to be with me - but it shows the bias. The equestrian should also not be a dick. They should also stop. They should also carry on their merry way. They should also be careful where they go, and pickup poop or fix trail every now and then too yea? Or also apologize for taking the wrong trail?

Anyway, it's a complex problem, not so much due to sharing the trail or maintenance, but if a mtb comes at 40mph and you're here in the middle with your horse, it's going to be scary. Personally, I never go fast if I can't see far ahead but I see many who don't do that at all.
  • 8 0
 @tobiusmaximum: so you have no issue eating a mouth full of "chewed up grass" that's been through an animal's digestive tract? Recycling, right?
  • 5 5
 @ssteve: I obviously don’t crash as badly as you it seems.
  • 2 0

Absolutely; it is really tough sometimes to be the person you'd want to be with, but absolutely.


How do you keep hold of your naive optimism? I struggle to hold on to mine and am finding myself increasingly dreaming of a hut deep in the back country where it may be safe!!!!
  • 11 1
 @bitterrooter: but we need the horses.

They turn into the glue for the patches that mends our tires.
  • 6 0
 I have always followed the rule of stopping and chatting when confronted with horses on the trail. I grew up next to a horse stable so had to know what to do.

The horseback riders are about 50/50 on being courteous with this technique with half just chatting back and its all "Have a good day, great weather eh" the other half seem to just grumble a bit while staring distrustfully or saying something like"Your not going to come back down this way are you?"

Regardless all trails that have any sort of heavy horse use tend to be completely destroyed, especially after any rainfall, along with a lot of poop. I've been on one mixed trail user day where hikers, bikers and horses were encouraged to come out and use trails together. The long sections of hub deep mud created by the horses meant that I learned my lesson to not ride there on the day of the event, or for a week or 2 after as it took a while for the trail to recover.
  • 6 4
 @Chris97a: this is worth mentioning and it isn’t directed at you. I think mtb riders who haven’t been on a spooked or runaway horse should try it some time. Horse riders are rightly wary of us, we turn going pretty fast, often with little warning. If the 1200lb, seven foot animal you’re on decides it isn’t happy, you could be in serious bother.
  • 3 1
 @tobiusmaximum: I mean, it's all shit, you can't pretend it isn't annoying. While horse shit is less offensive on a per volume basis, there's a lot more volume.
  • 4 0
 @orientdave: I just remind myself that bikes are way more fun than horses!

That and tasty post-ride libations!
  • 4 1
 @tobiusmaximum: I've been thrown off a horse superman style and almost kicked in the face. I'm scared of those things and any smart horseback rider is too. I think horses are dangerous and should be banned from the trail. I think i'm going to start a law suit. Can anyone recommend a cheap lawyer?
  • 1 0
 @bitterrooter: that attitude really makes other want you around. Well done.
  • 1 4
 @sspiff: easier to see, easier to avoid, less harmful if you don’t. if a rider doesn't have the skills to hop over it, maybe they shouldn’t be on the trails?
  • 2 0
 @bitterrooter: Rule #1 for increasing trail access as a mtber: be as surly as possible to other users. Especially in rural Western US where everyone in the backcountry is armed.
  • 1 0
My younger sister grew up riding horses competitively. I got on one once, got ejected off the back, stepped on and was done, never wanted anything to do with them again.
In my opinion if the horse can't handle being safe for everyone on trails where people are doing regular trail user stuff, I think that it would be wise to keep that horse off the trails where you might encounter other trail users. There would be no question if we were talking about a dog that had 50/50 chance of attacking someone that surprised them. That dog should not be on trails.

About being able to hop over the mountains of poop left by horses. Kind of tough to hop over three big glops of poop that are staggered across a granny gear climb on singletrack.
  • 2 1
 @tobiusmaximum: okay...? I have the skills to hop over horse shit, dog shit, human shit, and other kinds of shit too. That doesn't mean they are fun obstacles or that they belong on the trail.
  • 1 1
 @sspiff: look, you ain't gonna get a horse rider to dismount to clear up when the horse does a poo. partly because they may not even know its happened. and what on earth would they even do with it? carry a poo rucksack? its just biodegradable garden fertiliser, it really isn't a big deal.
  • 1 0
 @tobiusmaximum: I'd think your crashes are harder, because you haven't a basic understanding of physics: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centrifugal_force
  • 1 0
 @tobiusmaximum: If I wanted to be wary of 500kg+ objects, I'd ride road.
  • 1 1
 @ssteve: it would be nice if i had any idea why you'd bought that up. care to share?
  • 22 2
 While way less fun than the, "f*ck horses" comments, it would be helpful to understand that the lawsuit isn't seeking to ban e-bikes from public lands. The lawsuit says correctly that the Parks Service didn't follow its own rules in allowing access.

Under the law, if the Park Service wants to make a change like this, by law, it needs to do a study to understand impact to the environment and other trail users before making that change. For whatever reason, this study wasn't done here. The ban on e-bikes was simply lifted one day and it's not clear what went in to this decision.

If successful, the suit would force the Parks Service to do the study they were supposed to do. That's all.

I don't see how anyone concerned with trail access and/or sustainability wouldn't support this challenge and while it makes for strange allies, I would hope that most mountain bikers would support the equestrians on this one.

E-bikes may or may not be dangerous to other trail users. They may or may not cause injuries as more people with less skill are riding further and faster than they otherwise would. We all have our anecdotes and opinions. The lawsuit is trying to force the government to not act based on opinion and instead do the work to seek facts about their impact.
  • 13 0
 anti access people use lawsuits to stall and get their way. see it all the time in the OHV access battle, especially in the tahoe area.
  • 6 4
 Or they could just follow Washington and designate class one ebikes as “bicycles”. Either way it’s going to happen, it’ll boil down to equal access arguments and any person who’s seen a handicap parking space, can understand the broad scope of it. There might be some dickering left to be done about wattages etc but nationally the conversation is following the European model more and more. Also, f*ck horses.
  • 1 0
 You are assuming that what WELC alleges on behalf of the plaintiffs is correct, LA-Law. It may or may not be. We will see if the Forest Service (not the "Parks Service") mounts a defense of its action as not falling under either NEPA, APA or Travel Management or if it does not and we return to the status quo ante awaiting the next move.
  • 3 1
 @graniteandrew: two thumbs up bro!
  • 5 0
 @LA-Law You can bet your ass they wouldn't raise any concern about the process if they were onboard with the outcome. No one has ever cared about the process until something occurs that they find disagreeable. Forcing the process (which I'm not necessarily saying is a bad thing) will, to them, hopefully yield a definitive "no" to e-bikes on the trails, nice and tidy. If it doesn't, there will almost certainly be some other form of push back. You heard it here first.
  • 49 31
 There is no throttle... whats the difference from someone out of shape and Lance Armstrong (in his prime) pedaling on those trails? That is basically what a "class 1 Ebike" is capable of, giving anyone Lance power.

sofa-king stupid
  • 20 12
 Many of us wouldn't even have non-doping Lance power on an e-bike. Super duper sofa-king dumb.
  • 24 15
 I've already seen a ton of people modding e-bikes to have throttles so its not that clear cut
  • 54 19
 @nismo325: I don't understand why a having a throttle matters. It has a MOTOR.
  • 22 13
 @scottzg: 100% agree
  • 17 1
 I think this is actually good news for e-bike riders. Right now the regulations are based upon what something is rather than what something does. Apparently there is a perception that bicycle with pedal assist cause more trail damage and disturbance to the peace and quiet than non-assisted bicycles. Possibly caused by the comparison to other motorized two wheel sports. Remember back the days there was a similar perception regarding (unassisted) mountainbikes. It eventually was a research that apparently revealed that mountainbikes don't cause more disturbance and erosion than other accepted means of recreation (like walking and running). And trail organisations could actually use this report to negotiate trail access, to show that it isn't all that bad.

It appears like mountainbiking with pedal assist is in a similar situation now. The PB comment section does a great job at generating the most awkward claims of why e-bikes on the trails are considerably worse in all aspects compared to having non-assisted bikes on the trails. It is definitely time for a proper research just like has been done for regular mountainbikes. Either it proves that e-bikes really are that bad for the trails, animals etc and these bikes should be rightfully rejected from those areas. Or their trail impact proves to be comparable to that of unassisted bikes (and other already accepted trail users) which implies there is little reason to ban them. Either way, the discussion as it is now needs some foundation. Some proper research could provide that hence is more than welcome.

So yeah, again as I said I think requiring them to do a public study is a good one.

As the horseriding guy was so vocal, it may indeed be fitting to do a research on the impact of horseback riding on the area. For context and maybe it could be reason for the landowners to reconsider their access to the area.
  • 19 8
 The difference is that one takes phenomenal discipline and decades of commitment to make that kind of power, and the other requires only a Prime account and a credit card. There a dozens of the former, tens of millions of the latter.
  • 6 10
flag onemind123 (Nov 26, 2019 at 15:48) (Below Threshold)
 @scottzg: such a grey area. I'd does have a motor.

But some of them the motor only assists the human motor.

Know what else assists the human motor? Gears. So maybe we should all singlespeed.

Or maybe a singlespeed e-bike.

Time for another beer.
  • 7 6
 @kcj801: yep, Lance could put out around 500 watts for over an hour. Most eBikes have 250w motors. Lance was far more powerful than anyone except a very fit eBike owner
  • 7 9
 @scottzg: guess what, your bicycle has a motor too, it's named scottzg. The motor that powers Nino Schurter's bicycle is a hell of a lot more powerful than a 250w electric motor+scottzg's motor.
  • 4 0
 Sensible talk @vinay:
  • 4 5
 @chrisclifford: I think that power number for Lance is exaggerated. I believe it's more like 400 for an hour, but maybe he managed 500 at some point on a good day. Either way, the 250w ebike rule is not well defined or regulated. These motors are capable of much more than that before their temperatures gets hot enough to kick in the thermal protection. 400w continuous is pretty realistic, so it is like adding a 20lb Lance to whatever horsepower you're putting out. IMO all the arguments for why ebikes are just like regular bikes just lose all validity if we're talking about more than 100w. That's all that's needed to turn an average rider into a super rider. 250-400w is a lot of power for anyone, and it's a ton of power for light weight riders.

All that being said, I personally find any motor to be antithetical to the nature of a bicycle.
  • 6 3
 @nismo325: It actually is completely clear cut legally. If it has a throttle it's not a class 1 ebike period, which is exactly what this article is taking about.
  • 16 1
 I ride trails in TNF all the time. A lot of the comments here overlook a lot of the nuances here. 1. This lawsuit has been brought about by 2 very anti-bike equestrians. These very wealthy people spend all their time trying to limit access of all mountain bikes anywhere they can in Northern California. This whole lawsuit is just an attack by them. 2. Tahoe National Forest has done studies themselves. None of the issues that equestrians, hikers, and general bike haters suggest have happened. No users have collided with e-bikes. E-bikes are not destroying trails. E-bikes are not overrunning the trails.
  • 21 4
 "HorseMEN of America" is sexist, should be "HorsePersons of America". Sue them!!
  • 28 0
 pretty sure those are centaurs, dude.
  • 14 0
 This horse hate is distracting from the E hate, which is distracting from the wheel size hate, which is distracting from the super boost hate, which is distracting from the boost hate, which is distracting from the press fit BB hate, which is distracting from the overall ‘industry’ hate. I hate that.
  • 2 0
 No kidding, I hate haters.
  • 20 4
 Merica land of the free . Place is a joke on how people sue for and on anything
  • 18 1
 And here comes backcountry.com to sue the horsemen.
  • 1 0
 great joke
  • 26 12
 Cyclists would be wise to distance themselves from mopeds, but all the money is in tying the two sports together. This should be good for mtb'ers, but it isn't.
  • 11 1

"USFS allowing Class 1 e-bikes on non-motorized trails in the Tahoe National Forest without first conducting a public study and analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to assess the impact of the decision."

You know what, this is great! While we're at it, why not make all trail access dependent upon public study, analysis and conduct an environmental impact report? I would love to see how riding f*cking horses affects those trails and perhaps then we could determine whether or not to continue to allow them access?

Also, "It also undermines the trail building and maintenance time and money our volunteers have contributed in the Tahoe National Forest for decades."

Exactly how much trail maintenance have you ever seen horse people doing? I'm gonna guess some but the overwhelming majority of trail work is done by the Forest service itself and MTB and hiking advocacy groups. I don't see horse people doing shit.
  • 9 0
 Instinctively I like the purity of drawing the line at muscle power for access. But equestrians kind of muddy the water. They have somehow achieved an ill deserved special status with the forest circus. That said, there is a great equestrian/mountain bike partnership every year in the Henry's Fork Mountains here in Montana. The horses carry all the chainsaws to the ridgetops and the bikers then put the saws on mountain racks and clear trail. Everyone gets along on the same trails. SO...while I think horse access receives more than its share of favoritism and legacy bias, and their impact is incredibly harmful to trails, not all horse people are dicks.
  • 17 8
 This sport is sooooo elitist!

If you have asthma and can't pedal 6000ft vert in 20 minutes than f÷@# you....get off my trails brah.

Been mtb 25+ years and it is sad to see....we used to all be stoked on everything mtb fun including our very illegal trails.....now it's just a bunch of pompous arrogant pricks telling everyone the right way or wrong way to do it.
  • 7 3
 I have super-asthma and can't pedal a bike without getting wheezy, but people still give me a hard time for riding my Vespa on the singletrack. What gives?
  • 14 6
 I don't own an ebike, nor am i in the market for one, but here's my thoughts:

1. Ebikes are here and they've sold crud-loads of them. That means there's a market and they're not going away.

2. Since they're likely to be here to stay whether you like it or not; if you have legitimate concerns over the use/impact of eMTB's being used alongside regular bikes, it's in your collective interests to work out how they can coexist together and be sustainable. As long as it's making money for someone, eMTB isn't going to disappear no matter how loudly you demand it rolls in a ditch on fire. So if you don't work towards a compromise that you can be at least 50% happy with, you'll almost certainly end up stuck with a result you're 100% unhappy with.

3. I would imagine most people here love mountain biking and would dread the thought of having to give it up. When you get older, the fitness levels decline and the body just can't cope with the demands of riding anymore; how many people are seriously going to turn down the option of even just a few more years riding and doing what they love? Work towards making eMTB sustainable and trail-friendly now, reap the (hopefully guilt and impact-free) benefits in the years to come when you might need it.
  • 3 2
  • 13 3
 Just get rid of the horses and problem solved. We can say it is abuse of animals to ride them!
  • 8 0
 Removing equestrians from those trails would provide a marked benefit for all the other trail users. Nothing destroys a trail faster than a truck sized shitting machine with hooves. (MX bikes excluded)
  • 10 1
 It's always the Horse NARCs ruining a good time. Last time I checked, my bike never kicked anyone's face off.
  • 11 1
 My bike once took a big dump on the trail, but I able to pick myself up.
  • 16 10
 Such bullshit. I'm not an e-MTB rider but have plenty of friends that are. Class 1 is basically pedal assist. It's not like 2 or 3 where it has a throttle. I can understand being a little upset about 2 or 3 because even though they are speed governed they do dump a lot of power that could damage the trail, but getting upset over class 2 is nonsense. A cyclocross or gravel bike tears up a trail worse than a class 1. Oh and let's talk about how bad horses fuck up a trail. Don't even try and tell me they don't because I have seen that shit first hand and it absolutely wrecks the trail. Way worse than any e-MTB let alone a class 1. Get educated on the matter and cut it out with the bogus lawsuit.
  • 13 4
 Noteworthy: All eBike classes limit the motor’s power to 1 horsepower (750W).
  • 1 0
 Thank you for this.
  • 6 0
 i don' t live tahoe... I live in san diego. My sister has a house in tahoe City so I visit and ride in the summers. There are literally hundreds of miles of trails there. I have never come across a horse on a trail that I consider a fun /harder trail for MB , ........they stick to the mellow stuff? N o effing way a horse can ride the Plume , etc. type runs. Who give a rat's ass
  • 21 12
 So much ignorance regarding e-bikes.
  • 11 2

This. I have no interest in getting an e-bike, but still, this.

After half a century on this little corner of the firmament, I have only recently grown to fear for the world my children and their descendants have to inhabit.. Why? Because of this...

「So much ignorance regarding (insert anything you want here)」

You have distilled life into one short sentence that is pretty universal. Trying to engage with people about any subject involves so much work to get past everyone's knee-jerk infested echo chambers that I find myself unwilling to try, so rarely contribute to any meaningful extent online anymore. Which is a shame because there are some mighty fine people here.

Is it just wishful thinking this will ever change?
  • 2 5
 @orientdave: who told you that you’re right about ‘insert topic’ though?
  • 6 1

Yes, Toby, if you want to look at it that way, you can.

For me though, the truth lying within the statement is that one should first, and in fact only, level it at oneself, never at others. When one does, then it instantly becomes helpful. If you don't level it at yourself, yes, therein we have a problem.

Unless you level it at yourself first, you yourself are still stuck in your own personal knee-jerk echo chamber.

I try to ask myself about my ignorance; just imagine how cool it would be if we all managed it all the time? I still can't manage it, but hell do I try.
  • 2 0
 @orientdave: John Lennon, is that really you?
  • 5 0
 I think ebikes are fine. But they should be allowed at trail centers and more developed dh oriented places. The backcountry more primitive riding should be no motors allowed. Here in Oregon and Washington we have thousands of miles of ebike trails and thousands of miles of trails that ban motors. Some trails allow horses, motos and bikes. Some bikes and hikers only. It all just comes down to the topography, popularity of the trail, soils type, etc. We got to factor in lots of reliable data and let local managers make the tough decisions with input from various user groups.
  • 8 1
 Can't wait to see the comments section on an article about trans e-bike athletes
  • 5 0
 We have right if access here in Scotland. We have no issues with ebikes, mtbs, horses or walkers in the wilderness. It’s amazing what happens when you give access to all and tell them not to be dicks.
  • 5 1
 Bikes don't poop all over the tails. Or put holes in them. Equestrians getting bent out of shape about e-bikes is like a semi driver saying you can only drive cars and not pickups.
  • 8 2
 Sounds like they don’t actually know what an e-bike is and they’re comparing it to a dirt bike
  • 3 0
 People just need to watch the Eddie King video, mind their own business and let people use the trails. If horses can use them, which tear up trails faster than any biker or hiker, E-bikes should be allowed as well.

  • 4 1
 I'd bet majority of non-mtbers wouldn't be able to tell the difference between an e-bike and regular mountain bike if they saw it. I myself haven't notice many e-bikes riding near me because they are relatively quiet. Also, horses damage trails more than e-bikes or mountain bikes.
  • 4 0
 This is funny. Assholes on horses make thousands of bomb holes when they ride on our trails during and right after rain. Obviously just another step to clear everything else from the trails.
  • 5 0
 Great example from the land of the free here...... oh wait! Land of the free my arse, only in America would you get a stupid case like this
  • 3 0
 My favorite trail is also a favorite horse riding trail. The other day I kicked 22, yes 22, piles of horse shit off in 6 miles. Then in the muddy spots there were holes 4-6 inches deep. After we rode across the mud holes, we actually packed the trail back in. The trail wasn't perfect, but it was a lot better after we rode across the holes. We actually fixed the damage they had done with bikes. Then in the meadows all the horses walked side by side. The single track trail was now SEVEN single tracks through the meadow. I've owned horses and mountain bikes and horses are way harder than trails.
  • 6 3
 They need to stop calling them eMTBs. They are mopeds. I don't want to be lumped in with the people who ride them. This is the industry just trying to market and it is going to hurt MTBers. sadly these mopeds are not going anywhere so we better figure this out. The fat asses who want a moped outnumber the pedalers by a lot. Just wait we will be the minority soon.
  • 2 0
 I mean yeah screw horsies and all, but also why would the forest service enact something without doing their legally required process? Like they knew people would bring this up right? Maybe they rushed it on purpose specifically so they would get sued
  • 7 4
 They did there own testing and realized there was no difference to trail impact then a normal MTB which is true. If you have tried an Ebike it’s the same.
  • 8 1
 Fuck Horses.
  • 1 6
flag Fastfish11 (Nov 26, 2019 at 17:21) (Below Threshold)
 That is totally unproductive & uncalled for if you we don’t respect the horses we won’t have any trails to ride period push bike or eMTB it won’t matter
  • 5 0
 That’s against the law.
  • 6 0
 Wait'll they get a load of my E-Horse!
  • 6 1
 This isn’t about environmental impact. The rich people don’t want bikes bothering their horseback rides.
  • 3 1
 Simple solution. If you are a hiker, go to "hiking only" trails if e-bikes or mt bikes bother you.

Hikers and horses should be segregated from mountain bike trails by making lots of directional mountain bike only trails like New Zealand. No conflicts. Win-win-win situation.
  • 9 4
 I sell ebikes. I have been to ebike trainings and demos. I have ridden plenty of emtb's. I FUCKING HATE THEM!!!
  • 4 0
 How are horses different than a motor? Historically, motors are defined in their horse power. If e-bikes should be banned, so should horses.
  • 3 0
 Someone needs to sue to require the horses to wear butt buckets to capture all the shit. I walked the pct and I got tired of avoiding land mines and getting bit by all the flys that like to eat the horse shit.
  • 2 0
 The main problem equestrians, hikers ans horse-lovers have with mtb: coming downhill fast. If all mtbers would only ride up the hill and carry the bike down, nobody would care for them. But they (we) are dangerous with our high speed optimized long-low-slack-beasts. If they carry a tiny motor in the bb or not, the downhill is the problem with every bike.
  • 3 0
 I love my ebike and my regular bike. They are both awesome. It is just about being respectful of each other. People just have a fear of the unknown. In a couple of years this will be behind us.
  • 2 0
 Wow, late to the party but....

AS a person who grew up with horses, motorbikes and ride Mtb's I might just throw something into the mix that isn't hugely considered on both sides of the equation. Horses are dumb, fact. They are hugely governed by flight responses to perceived threats and when there is a person on top of one in a flight situation it isn't fun for most riders.

Usually with exposure, horses can learn that things like motorbikes, Mtb's and much else, isn't a huge threat to them and then they are pretty chilled. If not then how do you think they managed to use horses in War situations.
It is mostly more about riders being scared of a horse which gets a scare from meeting a Mtb/eMtb on a trail.
One time riding a 1st cross Quarter Horse I came across a mtb coming down the dirt road on a slight hill. He slowed but my horse went stupid and spun on his hind quarters and bolted in the opposite direction. I reigned him in, turned him around and rode back up the road towards the Mtb-er who had proceeded to get of his bike and walk. I also got off my horse said hello, he apologised and I laughed whilst at the same time introducing my horse to the bike. It was a case of calming the horse and letting the horse see that the bike was ok.

Nothing hard to deal with. Had some excitement from the encounter but maybe luckily for me, I had experience with competitive reigning and cattle work as well as horse eventing so I wasn't fazed and able to stay put on the horse when he spun. Most riders would have gone sideways into the dirt or worse, half off and dragged. Anyway, at the end of the day, be friendly with riders and see if their horses want to have a look at your bike if the rider is ok with that. This will be what helps the 2 worlds come together. As for horse shit, well just something else to jump over on the trail.
  • 1 0
 I have to disagree horses are dumb, they are intelligent animals.
  • 17 12
 No throttle... no issue... duh
  • 27 11
  • 14 6
 Yes I agree the current off the shelf E-bike is a non issue. But the real question is who will police this criteria and how will we see "e-bikes" evolve in the world of aftermarket mods. Imagine down the road, an E-mtb company slowly roles out with a "shift paddle that offers assistance under shift load" and then this turns into "power threshold adjustment capability" and basically you have a pseudonym for a throttle lever but no one can draw the f*cking line between god damn e bike and f*cking electronic motorbike. some f*cking hick from down south is visiting his hick family drinking f*cking busch beer. now you got people from the motorcycle background riding these "e-bikes" while no one is properly policing the trails. The line has been crossed there is no turning back, we hire police officers on E-horse's to chase them down, its a complete anarchy society, all because 75 year old Jim still wanted to shred the gnar for f*ck sakes.
  • 7 3
 @BoneDog: You seem angry. Need a hug? Smile
  • 4 0
 @BoneDog: "all because 75 year old Jim still wanted to shred the gnar for f*ck sakes"

hahaha yeeees
  • 1 4
 @BoneDog: Tom Richey and Bobtraeger are from the moto background. Mtb was the alternative to not being allowed to ride at all after the oulawing of motorcycles offroad. So you're the hick that doesn't know what he's talking about. Meanwhile I'll be riding all winter ( down south where mountain biking was invented) here in California while you're in the snow. This Bud's for you hoser!!
  • 5 0
 Countersue, ban all horses from trails.
  • 7 2
 I get a lot more trail work done on my Ebike.
  • 3 0
 You can't fix people who don't understand what is non-motorized! No E-bikes on County Park Trails, but people turn blind eye anyway.
  • 4 0
 Perfect thread for Mark weir to chime in..if he's not to busy rippn his scooters all over NorCal......
  • 13 8
 E-bikes. Undoing decades of trail advocacy.
  • 3 0
 Yeah keep them off the trails because they destroy the trail. Lol cmon clowns ! A horse does 10 times the damage that am ebike can do.
  • 4 3
 E bikes are an off shoot of normal mt bikes....hence a mt bike at heart, despite its tiny little assist motor. I dont ride one myself, and wont unless and until I cannot physically ride a normal mt bike....then I (and I would bet 100% of you haters) will be estatic to ride one if it allows me to get on the trail despite my old age physical problems. They have a place at our mt biking table.

As for access.....100% no differant than a normal mt bike. Period. What is this? Communist China?? F@$%ck....Let people damn ass ride!!! E bikes have zero differing affect on trails than normal bikes......The bottom line is this : Can the little teeny tiny motor make the rear wheel break loose, ala a motocross bike when you twist the throttle? Nope. It cannot.

Debate finished.

If you want a real debate then debate me when I ponder taking my TC250 and really, and truely and honestly ripping the living s$h*i3t out of mt bike trails !!!!!! Believe you me......I think about that allllllllll the time!!!!! Then you E bike haters would have something to complain about!!
  • 1 0
 Own single speed MTB, full suspension MTB, EMTB and KTM 300 dirt bike. (Have owned horse!) Wondering if rsmallfoot would care to borrow my ktm 300 for bike trails. More torque!
  • 2 0
 Moutain bikers need to start a coalition to ban horses. Horse are dangerous to all trail users and they leave shit behind. No other trail user takes up so much space and creates such destruction.
  • 1 0
 You forgot that horse owners are usually rich land owners.
  • 3 0
 Equestrians and their dangerous mind-of-their-own, trail ruining, shit dropping horses should be banned from all public trail use.
  • 1 0
 this is going on with snowmobile zones in Tahoe also, organizations not even located in the area trying to call the shots! Let snowmobiles play where they have zones and let bikes ride trails that are already damaged by horses. Someone old needs to get on the ageism front to support e bikes and shut up the horse back riders!
  • 4 3
 People are scared of what they don't understand........mtb folks are way too soft to handle the ebike movement let alone to handle animals and understand their value and contribution to "their trail networks".......more ammunition for my philosophy that mountain bike culture is lame!

  • 2 1
 Soft? emtb is the definition of it. Y'all should try a real sport like climbing or surfing. Nothing on two wheels is "hard", theres no history to it no ethics to it, its just fun and thats the beauty of it, but dont try to justify your support for the ebike "movement" with that argument, you're the softest of all, you cant even get your bike to the top of the hill without an assist. All trail users are great, theres just an appropriate environment for each and most e-mtb users do not understand this.
  • 4 0
 Horsemen.... f*k em. My bike doesn’t shit all over the trail when i’m riding it.
  • 4 0
 Just another case of Lawyers, Bureaucrats and Consultants justifying their own existence...
  • 6 0
 i love ebikes and boobs
  • 1 0
 This ongoing debate is great and all, but can we not get an unbiased research study of trail wear and tear for ALL trail users? Everyone loves to throw around "who's worse" for trails, but let the numbers speak for themselves. I agree horses are some of the more significant damage, but e-bikes are pretty unclear. I can't quantify either though and make a well founded argument. And no, e-bike access doesn't have anything to do with whether or not an e-bike is a "good" workout.
  • 1 0
 @spiderninja: I understand your explanation of the difference between Class 1 ebikes and other ebikes with a throttle.

Where you lose me and I believe the entire "for ebike's argument/rational" is stating or bringing up studies that say "ebikes provide the same work out as a non ebike." This makes zero sense and is counterintuitive to the majority of reasons FOR ebikes. Those reasons being, ebikes help people with disabilities or are not in the best of shape get out on a mountain bike and ride. If it WASN'T any easier then why are these the stated benefits of an ebike? At some point if you need to rationalize why you want to use something seven ways from sunday then may be you/the ebike community should just say "the ebike helps me and aids in my riding making it easier on me." I mean come on, lets call a spade a spade here. Pedal assist, it's in the name.... The motor is ASSISTING you along the trail.

If I ride 25 miles on a normal mountain bike, a person on an ebike would have to ride X number of miles further on the same trails while giving the same effort to get the same workout.

At some point it comes down to plain old reality. That bike has a MOTOR ASSISTING you along while the other bike doesn't. The one with the motor WILL be easier to ride. Hence why it's being touted as an avenue for older people, people with disabilities or just plain out of shape people that want to experience MTB.

agree, disagree I don't care but I know it's easier on an ebike (that is the purpose for them to exist) than it is on a regular MTB.
  • 3 2
 The ebike is better for cardio training (higher cadence going uphill) and downhill technique (more downhills in one training session). The normal bikes is better for leg power (watts per kilo). Both is good for overall fitness. For Freeriders the ebike seems to be the better alternative for „having fun“. For XC- and Strava-addicts the classic mtb is better. just my humble opinion.
  • 3 1
 For a german bike mag i did a self-experiment: first day with classic bike. Riding for 2 1/2 hours on a 7km loop with 400 height metres. At the end i had 206 watts average watt power, 145 average heartrate, 1600 height metres and 4 loops. Next day i rode the ebike (eco mode) for 2 1/2 hours on the same loop with powermeter to achieve 205 watts average and with heartrate monitor. I achieved six loops (so two downhills more), 2400 height metres, higher average cadence (82 vs. 60) on the uphills and higher average heartrate 152 due to the higher cadence. This even made me burn more calories 2150 vs. 1680 on the normal bike. Fun fact: i was faster downhill on the e-bike.

After this i decided (just for me) that the ebike is the better training machine for what i am looking for: more downhill riding, more burned calories (for not getting fat now that i‘m older) and less fatigue so i can ride more often in this dimension.
  • 3 0
 For the numbers: i‘m 5 ft. 7, 69 Kilo, 50 years old. I ride bikes for 35 years now. Started with BMX, rode normal MTB but became a Freerider by heart and loved dirtjumping until the injuries became more and more often a season ender.
  • 1 0
 @Lasse2000: So your experiment basically reinforces what I stated. " If I ride 25 miles on a normal mountain bike, a person on an ebike would have to ride X number of miles further on the same trails while giving the same effort to get the same workout." In your case you rode more in the same amount of time and got more of a work out. I wouldn't disagree with that. You were able to climb faster due to the assist and therefore got two more loops in during the same time frame.

I do much more XC riding so an ebike doesn't hold any appeal to me.
  • 1 0
 Horse people have a much smaller following that ORV and MTB, so it's just a thing. It is right that the USFS is being sued because they did not go through proper channels, but that's what you gotta expect when Trump is president.
  • 9 5
 Assist is the key word always left out
  • 7 4
 I don't see how sueing the people that take care of the forest helps anything
  • 5 11
flag nismo325 (Nov 26, 2019 at 14:53) (Below Threshold)
 are e-bkers the ones taking care of the forests now? lol
  • 6 1
 @nismo325: ebikes makes trail maintenance fun. Riding uphill with a bunch of tools on regular bike sucks.
ebikes allow people to maintain trails much easier.
  • 5 0
 @nismo325: Actually the biggest contributing trail builders in my community have bought e-bikes to help with accessing areas for trail building/maintenance. They also use them occasionally instead of their normal bikes for fun, because why not.
  • 2 0
 @nismo325: the e-bikers aren't being sued, The forest service is... lol
  • 2 1
 I still think pinkbike will get more responses from the "Camelback gun owners" thread then this one.

Is there any way of easily telling what the all time high score thread responses are?
  • 3 1
 Lmao in the state that you can be a LGBTQ+ and believes the Constitution is a living document can’t handle a E bike LMAO hahaha.
  • 2 0
 I’m going to BBQ some horse meat tonight over oak, and sue the horse apples out of them for using the word “Backcountry” in their title!
  • 2 0
 They should ban horse back riding , the poor animals!!! And if I have to pick after my dog why can’t they pick after their “pets”...

Get a life
  • 2 0
 "Motors" run on electricity, while "engines" run on combustion . Sounds like an emtb is actually a motorcycle and a moto should be called an enginecycle Smile
  • 4 1
 This is just some a*shole that thinks it’s a cr 450.
  • 2 0
 Pretty sure horses create more green house gas than an Emtb. They poop more too..
  • 4 1
 1 horse power is non human power = motor
  • 4 3
 And this is exactly why I've been against e-bikes, and exactly why I couldn't ride motorcycles in my area as a kid. I hope all you ebike people haven't screwed us.
  • 10 7
  • 1 0
 What are you guys doing about eMTBs up there? Maybe we could use it as a good example.
  • 1 0
 @InsaNeil024: I believe it's decided by local park management, not at a national level.

"As a pilot for 2019, pedal assist e-bikes are permitted on all trails and areas that bicycles are permitted in Jasper National Park."
  • 1 0
 @bishopsmike: Seems very reasonable! PEOPLE!!!!! THIS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
  • 1 0
 @InsaNeil024: i also want to pitch in that in the greater vancouver area of BC, i only know of ONE riding area that allows horses. the horse trails are CLEARLY marked horses only and the bike trails the same. Where a bike trail crosses a horse trail there are speed warning signs and then offsetting wood fences to slow you down. Ebikes are allowed on all of the trails i am talking about. Maybe we just haven't come across such a nationwide problem yet with Ebikes, Horses and Bikers.
  • 19 18
 If you ban E bikes you might as well ban really fit non e bike riders as well.
  • 10 6
 Encountering a 160 lb fit rider on a 30 pound bike in control (years of dedicated training) is a lot less scary than a 220 pound rider on a 50 pound bike going the same speed out of control (bought confidence/power).
  • 5 4
 It has a motor get over it
  • 9 2
 @sspiff: the motor really doesn’t make you that much faster on rough descents, and I have yet to see someone climbing “out of control” on an ebike.
  • 2 2
 @DrPete: Agreed. But I have still come across sketchy ebikers a few times on punchy rolling trails.

Not saying there aren't sketchy regular bike riders out there, just that decoupling skill progression and speed can result in these situations. A few years ago if someone was riding faster than me, up, down, or flat, I could be pretty confident they had a modicum of technical ability. Not true now.
  • 8 7
 Good old Merica with its mass shootings and someone suing someone else. Shit hole on Earth
  • 4 3
 As long as it keeps you outta here I'm stoked. Take off hoser!
  • 2 2
 I feel like all you salty af people haven’t ever ridden and e bike and don’t care for fun. It’s like you seem to be better than fun
  • 4 2
 Wait until i unveil my '04 Kona Stinky with GSX R 1100 engine fitted.
  • 2 0
 Since when do horses need trails?
  • 1 0
 Equestrians should eat their horses shit to at least clean up what they have littered on trail...
  • 1 0
 @hkimpickering: why don’t you ride 26” anymore? How I is that relevant to this story?
  • 14 13
 If you all stopped buying E bikes they would go away
  • 1 0
 These lawsuits have happen to help figure all this out
  • 3 1
 Fuck Lawyers
  • 2 0
 I am offended....
  • 2 2
 did anyone else not read it and just come straight to the comments drop an up vote --------------------->
  • 2 0
 Ambulance chasers
  • 2 0
 Bunch of horse sh*t
  • 4 4
 And you know they’re just doing it for money.
  • 14 17
 Nobody can hate on E-bikes until they ride one, my dad rides with me only because of E-bikes. Most pro mountain bikers ride them too, you get the same amount of exersize either way.
  • 7 1
 its exercise but not the same.
  • 1 0
 What a joke.
  • 2 3
 Any argument that can used to ban eBikes could be used to ban MTBs with suspension and gears.....
  • 4 3
 The reason mtb was invented was because, of the outlawing of motorcross in California during the 70s. That's what mount tam was all about, and the liberals have been trying to stop mtb since then. Your post is exactly their argument of why we shouldn't be allowed to have bikes offroad.
  • 1 0
 @Websterminator: "the liberals have been trying to stop mtb". I had no idea mtbkg was primarily the purview of the right wing. Guess I'll take my Chardonnay, book club trans pals, slap a Bernie sticker on an ATV and go shoot some small animals instead.
  • 1 0
 @matttauszik: did I trigger you?
  • 1 0
 @Websterminator: Yes. And "triggered" is totally a real thing, not some manifestation of Fox television to further your swamp fever fantasies. And "we" are changing the name of Thanksgiving to Praise Hillary day. Blah hah hah hah! Stash your guns, frightened man.....
  • 1 0
 @matttauszik: now it's a gun issue. Don't slit your or anything spastic. Pull up your shirt, and go ride your bike before your retard brethren outlaw it. Happy thanksgiving Matt our nonbinary friend.
  • 1 0
 Sorry I meant skirt (typo). No one wants to see your man boobs.
  • 1 0
 I like turtles
  • 1 1
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