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The Second Sign of the Apocalypse


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I bought an e-bike.

 

 

For my wife.

image.thumb.jpeg.b8349c017fd343d46fc7eeaca637986a.jpeg

 

She loves it. It allows her to ride with me and keep up. Now all of her errands are bike first, car second. It was an amazing transformation. Urban e-bikes are a very viable use case (as I have always said).

I'll probably never have one. And definitely not ever a trail bike. As a comparison, that bike is 2X the weight of the bike behind it.

 

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I bought my wife an e-mountain bike recently. Giant Trance. It's been a game changer. Now I'll be on my regular bike and it's up to her to keep up with me...and she can. So I can ride at my pace with my wife. 

We have done rides now where I was huffing and puffing doing climbs. She would have NEVER been able to make it up those before. But there she was at the top waiting for me. lol

We just rode the mission trails in San Antonio last week. We did 32 miles. Great fun for me, great fun for her. Again, she would have never been able to do that. So fun

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1 hour ago, WhoAmI said:

I would buy a commuter e-bike for errands if I had the spare coin.  One of these days......

I wish I had my e-bike when I commuted 13 miles each way years ago- I likely would have ridden a day or two more a week.

Now as AB said I use it in my hood to run errands- Dr Appt, Grocery Store, Haircut, local bar.

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19 hours ago, The Tip said:

I bought my wife an e-mountain bike recently. Giant Trance. It's been a game changer. Now I'll be on my regular bike and it's up to her to keep up with me...and she can. So I can ride at my pace with my wife. 

We have done rides now where I was huffing and puffing doing climbs. She would have NEVER been able to make it up those before. But there she was at the top waiting for me. lol

@Jessica is a strong rider, but being an XX she is naturally disadvantaged as compared to an XY like myself. I love our rides together, but it would also be an interesting option to have he try an assist bike. She's adamant that she doesn't want one until she's infirm in some way, but maybe I can talk her into demoing one some time in the land of e-bikes that is B'ville. 

 

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1 hour ago, AntonioGG said:

How do y’all secure your e-bikes when running errands?

I'll tell you what NOT to do, don't get an Otto Lock. I've twice had them spontaneously change their combination on me and had to destroy them. Several other times I've had them change but I've been able to find the combo. Hell, it's even a question in their FAQ. I can't believe I bought another after the first one failed me. But there's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.

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3 hours ago, AntonioGG said:

How do y’all secure your e-bikes when running errands?

https://www.amazon.com/Kryptonite-Kryptolok-Combination-Integrated-Bicycle/dp/B078XM2MTB/?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_w=etvQl&content-id=amzn1.sym.e4bd6ac6-9035-4a04-92a6-fc4ad60e09ad&pf_rd_p=e4bd6ac6-9035-4a04-92a6-fc4ad60e09ad&pf_rd_r=022YKYNDMJ8C103DQ72Q&pd_rd_wg=y3lPv&pd_rd_r=2004488e-8fa5-4aba-85ed-f8f79f2b7adf&ref_=pd_gw_ci_mcx_mr_hp_atf_m

Spring for the extra $30 or so for the insurance. If her bike gets stolen, we basically get enough to cover a new one. One time fee.

I have an Abus lock on my commuter. Smaller, easier to handle, but, hey, it's a $400 commuter bike.

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16 hours ago, Barry said:

@Jessica is a strong rider, but being an XX she is naturally disadvantaged as compared to an XY like myself. I love our rides together, but it would also be an interesting option to have he try an assist bike. She's adamant that she doesn't want one until she's infirm in some way, but maybe I can talk her into demoing one some time in the land of e-bikes that is B'ville. 

 

I've been lobbying my wife for two years to let me get her one. Maybe it took so long because on our rides she would constantly apologize for being slow but I would always say that it's just fine. "Riding with you is a different experience from my normal rides but I enjoy these too." And that was mostly true. But now it's the best of both worlds for me. On our rides this last week it was ME that had that huge "e-bikes are fun" grin going on watching her!

She is not as an accomplished trail rider as Jessica by any means. So she frequently has to stop and walk features. But a lot of times I'll ride over the feature, she walks it, then catches up with me on the flats. Y'all wouldn't have that problem.

And I'll never do Bentonville again on a regular bike. They are so gravity oriented there it's perfect for e-bikes.

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On 11/17/2022 at 3:14 PM, Barry said:

@Jessica is a strong rider, but being an XX she is naturally disadvantaged as compared to an XY like myself. I love our rides together, but it would also be an interesting option to have he try an assist bike. She's adamant that she doesn't want one until she's infirm in some way, but maybe I can talk her into demoing one some time in the land of e-bikes that is B'ville. 

 

Maybe on a recovery day I'll indulge you.  😉

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On 11/17/2022 at 4:14 PM, Barry said:

@Jessica is a strong rider, but being an XX she is naturally disadvantaged as compared to an XY like myself. I love our rides together, but it would also be an interesting option to have he try an assist bike. She's adamant that she doesn't want one until she's infirm in some way, but maybe I can talk her into demoing one some time in the land of e-bikes that is B'ville. 

 

Exactly this^

It was crystal clear in Quebec that putting the wife on an ebike would've been a great idea. Everything is pay to ride there and spending the majority of the day coaxing her up the steep climbs to the top was a bad experience for both of us. When she can do more laps with less misery it means more fun for me. I can totally understand her frustration as Ive ridden with much fitter riders, and was the anchor they were dragging. The only way I was able to even things out was when the trail pointed down, which was few and far between in tejas. 

We're planning to put her on a demo ebike soon. 

Edited by ATXZJ
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13 hours ago, TAF said:

Likely BLM land.

Forest Service.  That entire trail system is actively maintained with weekly work days throughout the summer; maybe somebody brought the sign over from the trail head.  I noted a few e-bikers ignoring the the ban on e-bikes in that trail system. 

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5 hours ago, June Bug said:

 I noted a few e-bikers ignoring the the ban on e-bikes in that trail system. 

That has been my experience in Austin as well.

"I paid $@#^%@ for this bike, I'll ride it where ever the F--- I want."

That has always been my big gripe, it is people like that who will threaten trail access for everyone.

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Policy, education, enforcement, and funding are lacking.

In looking for policy for the San Juan National Forest, particularly regarding where e-bikes are and are not allowed, it was very challenging to find that information on the USFS website by following the links to specific bicycle usage info. Eventually, I did find some third party organization who linked to a PDF of a USFS document with the trail numbers for those trails near Dolores, for example, where e-bikes are allowed. Then, I tried to use the online USFS map to find those trails by number and was unsuccessful.

The point being that we already know that providing easy to find online policy data, signage, and enforcement is expensive, and doesn't get implemented as quickly as the initial legislation changes. Trail designation decisions are often not funded for signage immediately, if ever. There is rarely budget set aside to present any easy to understand policy in a way that is effective in educating a "typical" recreational trail user. The bike shops may not do their part if it interferes with making a customer happy during a sale. It is pretty much left to word of mouth in many places, and even then the information may not be presented in a useful manner.

But, there is a lot of griping to be found amongst the few riders who participate in forums like this one, but those numbers pale in comparison to overall numbers of recreational riders, and the growing number of e-bike riders with no peer group or personal experience to suggest there might be a restriction.

If the riders don't know and the only thing that indicates the policy is a hand made sign miles from the trailhead, is it any wonder e-bike riders are on these trails, or, react negatively when confronted by an over-zealous rider who lashes out at them for not knowing?

Further confusing the issue is how one federal agency defines pedal-assist, speed limited bikes (Class 1) as not being considered Motor Vehicles, conflicting with other agencies' policy that call them motor vehicles and lump them in with 4x4s, ATVs, dirt bikes, and the like.

In the long run (5-10 years) Class 1 e-bikes will become ubiquitous and the vast majority of riders will be on e-bikes. Disruptive technology displaces previous tech in an S-curve. Horses to cars, hand wash to washing machines, land lines to cell phones, CRT to flat screen, 26" mountain bikes, the list is endless and the time for transition was fast. E-bikes will become the accepted standard on trails before any adequate budget is allocated to fund education, signage, and enforcement of policies to clearly define for the user how the sub-groups of MTBs have to use separate trail systems.

Anyone expecting otherwise will be as disappointed as users and purveyors of other technologies that have been replaced over the centuries. Search for Tony Seba on YouTube for some great examples of how quickly disruption like this has happened through history and is happening today.

Food for thought. Not intended to pee in anyone's porridge.

Edited by Ridenfool
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Forest Service and BLM have always flailed a bit where user policy is concerned, and not just related to mountain bikes, although sometimes they get it just right. 

Where BLM got it wrong: There's a new trail system near Mancos (about 9 miles from Dolores) called Aqueduct on a bit of BLM land, signed  for mountain bikes and equestrians only.  It's a well designed and purpose built trail...for bikes...but terrible for horses.  A section goes into a long flow trail in an arroyo that's unrideable for equestrians.  I really don't get it.  It's built on the Mancos Shale formation and one or two equestrians riding on parts of  the trail while it's still on the wet side would destroy it. 

Chicken Creek trail system (Forest Service),  very close to Mancos, has maybe 20 or 30 miles of buff singletrack and two-track winding through the Ponderosas,  perfectly suited to equestrians and I'm pretty sure it allows horses.  

A few miles further along towards Dolores?  3,000 acres of BLM land that strictly prohibits mountain bikes.  Equestrians and hikers only,  no defined trails.  Until this past year, when a survey issue was resolved, this BLM land could not be accessed by the public.  This allows public use, without much oversight on BLM's part, so equestrians, go for it!

I mention these as instances as a microcosm of weird policy by Federal agencies. 

The Forest Service has it right on Boggy Draw and Chicken Creek, though. In winter, Boggy Draw trails are groomed for fat biking and Chicken Creek is groomed for cross country skiers. 

Anyway, e-bikes.  I'm starting to realize that possibly the fastest segment of e-bike adopters are older cyclist, both mountain bikers and roadies.  Oh, and gravel. Don't forget gravel. 

Also, as all-electric and hybrid cars are becoming more popular and accepted, battery technology will grow at an accelerated pace and that tech will be reflected in e-bike technology. 

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eBikes are all over the place up in Salida - I think they are pretty much universally accepted at this point. It's either older riders, or younger couples where I suspect one party is a solid rider, the other needs the power assist to keep up. Interestingly, eBikes are only allowed on about half the trails - including the Crest - and this is well signposted. However, I see them everywhere, and as the battery / motor units become smaller and lighter, you often have to look pretty hard to determine if there's power assist or not. They don't really bother me, except when they come flying up behind me asking to pass, stop a quarter mile ahead, and then the whole process repeats - a lack of knowledge of trail etiquette which wouldn't matter much if they were on a regular bike, but which the power assist exacerbates.

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Good feedback on the Salida experiences.

As for inconsiderate trail users, I've had that problem with riders that pass, and then I pass when they stop, then they are coming up to pass again, and this has been going on since well before e-bikes were around. ha ha

Often enough I try to pleasantly chat with them offering suggestions to keep the trail clear for their stops, and avoid being a nuisance when they find themselves passing the same people again and again. Usually folks are receptive to this.

But, people, are a problem. 😏

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2 hours ago, Ridenfool said:

As for inconsiderate trail users, I've had that problem with riders that pass, and then I pass when they stop, then they are coming up to pass again, and this has been going on since well before e-bikes were around. ha ha

My most recent non-ebike experience of this was at the last Rocky Hill event - some youngish feller riding for Cycle Progression, I think, who kept stopping in the middle of the trail to wait for his much slower girlfriend, and eventually shot past me into a tree gate with no callout, causing me to crash into said tree. I cussed him out loudly and then never saw him again.

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