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Mark from Altadena

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    Mark from Altadena

    Hi all. Been riding riding for several years in Altadena on my haibike all mountain. Having a blast but lately the wave of activism has reached a fever pitch.

    The trails near my house are steep and frankly not that fun to ride on a push bike but ebikes make the ride thrilling and technically so much fun.Just
    recently I and few other ebike enthusiasts have now been informed by the local mountain biking association that all the trails, even county or fire roads, are completely off limits to EMTB and our ilk should all be driving 50 miles to a motorcycle and Atv area. Yeah that won't be dangerous!

    Honestly I never thought fellow mountain bikes could be so disrespectful and they have even taken it upon themselves to organized a letter writing campaign to local retailers urging them to inform customers that ebikes are illegal on just about every multi trail they can dream up. It's a nightmare for the industry and I don't understand manufactures complete passivity. The law is ambiguous at best and full holes and Californai is supposedly a model for the class system yet manufactures sit on their hands. Sorry but it's pure BS. The activists groups don't want us on any trails and they recently pursuades an over reaching Park director to ban all ebikes from Cal state parks effective Oct 1st 2017.

    I urge all EMTB owners to get to involved and write your manufacturer and them know that the continued growth of the ebike market is directly proportional to reasonable trail access. Without clarity here and manufactures continued passive response, I think it would be foolish for anyone to invest in a EMTB. Absent an organized response these anti ebike groups will destroy this market in only a few months.


    Alarming. Not just in how adversarial that is but also how ignorant. No "local mountain biking association" can dictate where ebikes are allowed. There are jurisdictions and laws that apply to them. (You're right about some ambiguity though. USFS roads for example). Haven't seen that kind of hate near me yet. Trying to just be a responsible "ambassador". My LBS seems to be on my side.

    You're also right about advocating for reasonable laws being necessary. Manufacturing lobbyists should be out there. (Not sure where that leaves us "home-builts".) California did pretty well with the law on the street. So far not so good on the trail.

    My advice on the trail. Don't stoop to the contentiousness. Carry a copy of the law and be respectful.

    Two years ago I started writing an article called “Why do they hate us ? Ebikes vs Bikers” but I never finished it. Several weeks ago I stumbled across this article on …


      The only thing politicians understand is donations, lobbyists, and PACs. The sellers should have a bit of moolah to contribute and the ebike community needs to unite especially if the pedal pushers have such a negative attitude.


      • max_volt
        max_volt commented
        Editing a comment
        Furthermore there needs to be a distinction between a motor vehicle and a motorized vehicle

      • skymon
        skymon commented
        Editing a comment
        California law distinguishes between "Motor Driven Cycles" (149cc or less), "Motorized Bicycles" (aka Mopeds), and "ebikes" (of which there are 3 classes).

        Ebikes are, by legal definition, neither "Motor Vehicles" nor "Motorized Vehicles".

        This drives the eMTB haters crazy as ebikes obviously have motors. :)
        Last edited by skymon; 10-22-2017, 05:19 PM.

      At the main mountain bike destination in my city (Annadel State Park, which just completely burned anyway), they do not allow motors. After taking my ebike there twice, I just decided to stay on the street. The street is fine, but my ebike is also illegal on the street.

      Other than the fact that my ebike has too much power and can go too fast, I really do make an effort to drive like a gentleman. In three years and 6000 miles, no cop has ever even looked twice at me. The potential to have my bike confiscated serves as very good motivation for me to drive in such a manner as to keep a low profile.