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The first sign of the apocalypse

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24 minutes ago, Sluggo said:

There’s enough flatlandia around here to kick your ass on an all day ride, but I wouldn’t want to do it on an e-bike. 

For sure. I'm also not big on riding around in circles and in ditches all day😁

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14 hours ago, AustinBike said:

I'd just be happy with some education to the buyer. "Here's a list of all of the places that you can and cannot ride them" and then let the buyer decide.

I have some more ideas:

"congrats on your new car!  this is the blinker switch on your car,   Use it BEFORE you are making a turn.  It doesn't mean you are going, it means you intend to go, ensure you are clear to turn"

"congrats on your new puppy! The city has a list of parks where your puppy can roam leash-free.  Elsewhere, including the streets and sidewalk please keep your puppy on a 6ft leash"

....I could go on...

 

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I bought a Santa Cruz Heckler a couple of weeks ago. Here are my reasons for doing so:

-I've wanted to get one for my wife so that we can ride together at my speed with me on my Giant Trance Pro. She doesn't want one. So my devious plan is to have her ride this one to realize how much fun it is so that she'll let me get her one. BUT the reality is that me riding this one TURNED OFF accomplishes the same goal. So instead of speeding her up, it slows me down. But not by much. Last week at Crank and Drank I took off and forgot to turn it on. I was two miles into the ride before I realized it. This should be an example to people that are reluctant to buy one because, "Yeah, but then you run out of battery and you have to ride the huge thing home." Ha! This is not an impossible task. This is a fun mountain bike turned off.

-It acts as a life preserver. On my few rides so far I have had it on the lowest possible setting. It is not much different than riding with it turned off. It barely offsets the added 20 pounds of the bike. BUT I know the power is there if I need it. A friend, that's even older than me (yes, I know, hard to believe) with one told me about this. On a Crank and Drank once he bonked "out there" before he got his ebike. He was scared about getting back. No more.

-I've been "having" to ride the four routes for the SATN SOCIAL to get good Strava routes in the bag to post up. I didn't really feel like riding one day but I knew that the bike would "save" me if needed. Turns out I never used more than the minimum, but the comfort of knowing the reserve was there was enough to get me out. I got a ride in whereas before I would not have.

-This will allow me to go on group rides that I wouldn't be so comfortable with before. I went out to Lajitas with a group last month. They were very accommodating with me. They would ride a segment and then wait at the next intersection for me. That was very nice but I don't want to feel like a burden. Nor am I willing to give up the fun and camaraderie of participating in that type of activity yet.

I told the guys at ATX Bikes, where I bought this, that everyone gave me shit about getting one at the Crank and Drank last week. Even though about 15 people gave it a spin, and laughed out loud when they did, of course. The bike guy said, "yes, but they'll all have one eventually." I think that is mostly true and this debate about ebikes yes or no will be looked on in the future as, "why did we even fight that?" I'm sure the hardcore skiers in the past looked at chair lifts with disdain. "Pussies. How can they enjoy the skiing experience if they don't earn it with the hike up the hill?" "This will ruin skiing. The mountain will be full of people now." In reality they just built more ski areas. A win.

So there you have it. You know what side of the debate I'm on now! But saying all that I doubt it will be my primary bike. Yet.

ps, On my first battery charge, I went 150 miles before it died. And that included the test ride session where everyone used a lot of battery because they had it set to Boost. lol. I personally have yet to use it on Boost power. I can't imagine ever using it.

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Sitting around thinking about some of the differences of my experiences when comparing riding standard and "E" bikes I remembered one factor from riding the acoustic bike (the Brit's name for standard) was managing heart rate.

As we age, most should know how max heart rate declines. "Max" being where the heart is being stressed at a level that could shorten its operating lifespan, and ipso-facto, its owner's lifespan as well. Pushing things to the max on a regular basis is asking for trouble as we get older. Knowing this, for the past several years I've used my watch to monitor heart rate while I ride and this has happily led to developing a good feel for noticing when I was getting out of the yellow and into the red zone. It has become second-nature for me to feel when I was pushing too far, then verifying this on the watch. My SOP for managing this was to stop (often mid-climb) and wait a couple of minutes for the HR to come back into the yellow before moving on. An added advantage derived from this tactic is how I've become quite adept at resuming a climb from a standing start on the acoustic bike, rather than pushing it up the hill.

Because I do enjoy riding and want to continue to do so for as many years as possible, it seems like a good idea to not overwork the cardiovascular system. It is well out of warranty and this strategy is as close to an extended warranty that I've been able to find. Besides, the manufacturer never was all that good at responding to warranty claims anyway.

Fast-forward to pondering about the eMTB and how the realization struck me that while still using the feel I've developed to gauge whether I'm punching near the red zone, instead of stopping the ride I can just bump up the assist level a notch. Then, bump it back down as soon as I feel my heart rate is back into the yellow zone. Being able to keep the flow of a ride going without stopping to manage HR levels has been much more enjoyable. I am able to get the workout I desire, get more time and distance riding, and I'm enjoying riding in a way I haven't experienced in a decade or two.

The phone app (Specialized Mission Control) allows fine-tuning of the support levels, and I've been dialing them down as my fitness improves. This results in extending the range I can get from the battery as my muscles take on more of the load. I've found this to be a good thing as the miles of new trail we've added to Rocky Hill are getting to the point that two laps now use up most of the battery.

YMMV

Edited by Ridenfool
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Clearly there are use cases for eBikes, and nobody has ever doubted that.

I think the debate on eBikes is not about "are they good?" and more of a discussion about "if they are used in places that they are not allowed, will that potentially cause the rest of us to lose access?"

If I was 100% sure that eBikes would never threaten trail access, I would not care a bit. But when the trails where they are not allowed start to overflow with eBikes, it threatens access for all of us. This is not an argument about technology vs. not. This is an argument about the individual vs the community. There are some that believe that they are individuals and they can do whatever they want. And that risks access for the community.

EBike riders should ride their bikes as much as they want, on the trails where they are allowed. And they can work with the local authorities to get access to trails where they are not allowed today. But they should not be riding those trails until access is granted. Too often, today, they just believe that because they have spent $5K+ that they are entitled to ride wherever they want. And that sense of entitlement risks access for everyone.

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... and the same types of riders who would threaten trail access when riding an eMTB are like the type who threatened trail access over the years on their MTB by riding recklessly on shared trails, and/or on illegal trails, and so on.

Who among us couldn't raise our hands for past transgressions that contributed is some way to such a problem as described?

How many routinely refused to ride those trails, which shan't be mentioned in a public thread, once it was clearly understood they were not officially sanctioned? 🙄

People CAN be trained (it's almost as easy as herding cats), and eventually peer pressure can result in a positive effect on behavior. This will be an educational process and I'm sure that many who are buying eMTBs may be new to the sport and have no concept of the history of similar problems which have been met. So, lather, rinse, repeat the sharing of information with them in a respectful way that offers a better chance to educate rather than alienate.

Endlessly going on about the problems one perceives in other riders without putting personal effort toward resolving them has always seemed a fruitless endeavor to me. It is but another example of a Pot meet Kettle discourse.

Everyone can bitch, curse, and shame this type of user when they meet them on a trail. How many take time to speak with those errant trail users and build rapport to show the advantages to them in considering changing their ways? Seeds have to be planted in order to bear fruit.

In the grand scheme of things this too shall pass and the latest version of the new normal will reveal itself. The only universal constant is change.

It has always seemed easier for me to embrace shifting paradigms rather than resist them.

Edited by Ridenfool
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"They" are not going to suddenly shut down every trail to mountain biking because of ebikes being "caught" on a trail somewhere. Let's start giving the "we'll lose access" argument more credence if and when it actually occurs on a single trail. And it probably won't. What a land owner would do is just step up the enforcement of their no ebike policy. 

But if it does happen then it can be said, "They shut down xyz trail because of this. So our concerns are valid." 

Edited by The Tip
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8 hours ago, Ridenfool said:

As we age, most should know how max heart rate declines. "Max" being where the heart is being stressed at a level that could shorten its operating lifespan, and ipso-facto, its owner's lifespan as well. Pushing things to the max on a regular basis is asking for trouble as we get older.

It is both age and the condition of the heart that causes max heart rate to decline. I'm no doctor, but perhaps a better indicator of longevity, at least from a heart muscle perspective, is resting heart rate. I've known incredibly fit folks who died in their forties and incredibly unfit folks who've died in their nineties; so there are plenty of other things in play when it comes to predicting the end. True max heart rate though is in fact measured through exertion; so if you're not exerting yourself to the max, you don't even know what your max is.  

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2 hours ago, The Tip said:

"They" are not going to suddenly shut down every trail to mountain biking because of ebikes being "caught" on a trail somewhere.

You are fortunate down in the Southlands to have probably not dealt with those who manage the Balcones Canyonland Conservation Plan. A proliferation of eBikes in some of the areas they covet might be just the excuse they are looking for - to put up a nice black fence.

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2 hours ago, throet said:

It is both age and the condition of the heart that causes max heart rate to decline. I'm no doctor, but perhaps a better indicator of longevity, at least from a heart muscle perspective, is resting heart rate. I've known incredibly fit folks who died in their forties and incredibly unfit folks who've died in their nineties; so there are plenty of other things in play when it comes to predicting the end. True max heart rate though is in fact measured through exertion; so if you're not exerting yourself to the max, you don't even know what your max is.  

Just talking about the zones shown on the watch. The watch's app takes input on physical criteria like height, weight, etc., as well as logging daily activity, sleep cycles, calories burned, and that sort of thing. It then comes up with whatever it does for those HR zones based upon its programming. Better than nothing.

I'm sure there are more in-depth methods to come up with an exact number, but all I look for is a ballpark guideline and it feels right to me.

Pushing that envelope to the max on a regular basis seems counter to my goals. I'm doing what little I can to make a play for the long game. Just hoping to beat my dad's high score of 72 years. The fact that I ride and he didn't might figure into it. Or not. Only time will tell.

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15 hours ago, The Tip said:

"They" are not going to suddenly shut down every trail to mountain biking because of ebikes being "caught" on a trail somewhere. Let's start giving the "we'll lose access" argument more credence if and when it actually occurs on a single trail. And it probably won't. What a land owner would do is just step up the enforcement of their no ebike policy. 

But if it does happen then it can be said, "They shut down xyz trail because of this. So our concerns are valid." 

So, which trail are you willing to have shut down in order to prove your point?

We've lost sections of the greenbelt. We lost Forest Ridge. City Park is always under attack. Why should we ever take the stance that we can afford to lose *some* trail access in order to prove a point?

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Sections of the greenbelt? Which? I was actually going to use the greenbelt as example of the lack of power that "they" have to close a trail system down. As we all know there is but one trail that is sanctioned there. Probably represents about 20% of the system. The other 80% blowing and going. I'm not advocating banditry, just pointing out a fact.

And yes, the BCCP sucks. They hate people. But they don't control even close to all the trails. 

City Park is not a very good example of ebikes being the reason it will ever be shut down. Ya know, motorcycles and all. But they sure try, don't they? I laughed when I read an article from one of their henchmen that had a picture of "out of control erosion" at City Park. It was a small ledge literally 4" tall. Ridiculous. BUT, unsuccessful in their efforts. 

I get the concern. But even if a land owner did close a trail because of this, I think it could be reversed. Let's take Maxwell Slaughter Creek trail for example. "Too many ebikes are using this, we are closing it to all use." This would be like the "no dogs" problem that has been addressed. "We will close this if we see dogs out here."  The community has been engaged to educate and inform the dog people that they are not welcomed. Success so far. So the mountain bike community would tell the Water Quality Protection folks that we will self police and educate to the fact that ebikes are absolutely forbidden on this trail. They would say, okay, we'll try it again.

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Wife and I were discussing e-bikes yesterday on our ride at reimers. She was opposed to us ever buying bikes as long as we are physically able to without assist. When i suggested we rent an ebike just for her during our next out of state trip that involved 20+ miles of trail, she had a change of opinion. While we're nowhere close to ever buying an e-bike, it'd be great for her to even the playing field a bit and be able to keep pace, and most likely outpace me on big rides. I really enjoy having her with me, and removing some of that anxiety from the trip would make it a lot more fun.

To me, ebikes are tool. Just like any other category of bike. You take your DH rig to the bike park but aren't silly enough to try and ride it on regular trails. Same should apply to ebikes, but human nature will almost always have us taking the path of least resistance. 

Nice thing about the trails here is they are all pretty much the same. If one doesn't allow ebikes, a rider really isn't missing out on much😁

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3 hours ago, The Tip said:

Slaughter Creek trail

Last time I was there I came upon a hiker going in the wrong direction (the bike direction), with over-the-ear headphones AND an off-leash dog. 

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At some point I have to acquiesce to the fact that I can no longer do the things I used to. Not that I just haven’t kept in shape, but I just can’t. Some people try to extend that time with money, others changes their goals. Pick a side. 

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16 minutes ago, Chongo Loco said:

 Some people try to extend that time with money, others changes their goals. Pick a side. 

Did some Googling just now:

Pfizer’s worldwide known erectile dysfunction product Viagra generated around 500 million U.S. dollars in revenue in 2019.

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14 hours ago, Sluggo said:

Tanning balls may help. For local trail stuff, turn off heat maps and know your followers if you Strava. 

If there is a problem ball tanning can't fix, I haven't found it yet.

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15 hours ago, Sluggo said:

Tanning balls may help.

and 

1 hour ago, notyal said:

If there is a problem ball tanning can't fix, I haven't found it yet

So, exactly parallel and 100% germane to this discussion. Are you going au naturel  or artificial light?

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