E Bikes, the new motorized access scourge?

idahodave

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In general i'm addressing means of access, not means of take or hunting gear and I still think the below quote is a poor analogy. None of the stuff you list here is regulated i.e. a rifle cant be "too light" to use legally.




Maybe you missed it the first time. My stance is we should not be opening up or reducing already existing restrictions to make access to wild places easier. I never said we should me making it harder but i do prefer harder to easier. I'd argue it's much harder to restrict things once people get accustomed to doing them over time so it makes more sense to not open the flood gates more.

I don't care about allowing horses other than it would be awful shitty to people who have invested in training, feed, trailers, real estate, etc on horses only to get the rug pulled out from under them (especially if in favor of ebikes). Me riding a horse in the mountains would likely be bad for my physical well being, haven't been on one since i was a kid close to 30 years ago. So I damn sure am not renting them or buying them, paying to house and feed them, and hauling them from the midwest to the mountains. On the flip side, i could have an ebike bought or rented tomorrow and I'm competent on a bike. If ebikes become standard for mountain access, I will have one so I am on the same playing field as others. I'm infinitely more likely to benefit from ebike access than I am from horse access and there are 10s of thousands or more just like me. That is why I'm against legalizing them in motorless areas and why they are worse than mountain bikes or horses.
We'll have to agree to disagree on the semantics of whether or not method of take is similar/dissimilar to means of transportation argument as it pertains to protecting wild places...and by association wild things.

Your comment in orange is one I hadn't given a lot of thought to in this discussion though, and merits consideration for sure. Anyone using a horse today is doing so under a long-standing tradition of unfettered access on public lands...regardless of whether it makes it "easier" to get to game in wild places. Anyone that buys an e-bike now, should be doing so with the understanding that it's new technology and doesn't have the bedrock of tradition to stand upon. Essentially...buyer beware.

The discussion/consideration of that was worth the engagement alone for me. Thanks for participating, even if we don't see eye to eye on most of this.

Dave
 

parshal

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After this thread I started looking around to see where e bikes can be used in the areas I have hunted. I called BLM and spoke with a regional officer and asked. Basically, all e bikes are considered motorized and can only be used on roads where motorized travel is allowed. This is on BLM, Forest Service and CPW owned lands. No off trail use and no use on bike trails is allowed.

An additional piece of information he shared is that they approved, this spring, closing off many of the roads on the BLM in unit 3. They've started already but aren't very far along. He said, at some point, they'll probably have to physically block access on the roads due to folks ignoring the closed signs they're putting up.
 

wind gypsy

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We'll have to agree to disagree on the semantics of whether or not method of take is similar/dissimilar to means of transportation argument as it pertains to protecting wild places...and by association wild things.

Your comment in orange is one I hadn't given a lot of thought to in this discussion though, and merits consideration for sure. Anyone using a horse today is doing so under a long-standing tradition of unfettered access on public lands...regardless of whether it makes it "easier" to get to game in wild places. Anyone that buys an e-bike now, should be doing so with the understanding that it's new technology and doesn't have the bedrock of tradition to stand upon. Essentially...buyer beware.

The discussion/consideration of that was worth the engagement alone for me. Thanks for participating, even if we don't see eye to eye on most of this.

Dave

Dave, appreciate the discussion and the civil tone (which I could stand to learn from).
 

Fatcamp

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What trails are being modified from single track to allow the use of any bike? An ebike isn’t new tech, it’s foundation has been around forever only diff is the assistance given to pedals otherwise it’s just a bike.

To allow pickups on many single track trails would take a considerable amount of work and funds, to allow bikes on a single track takes zero $$$ and labor.

Personally I think horses should be banned from trails before any type of bike with pedals, horses cause a ton of damage to trails.

If you get your electric motorcycle I want a real one with a two stroke.

E-bikes are nothing more than a lame attempt to skirt the rules and make things easy. Just how things are I guess.
 

tdhanses

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As with everything else, whatever happens with the eventual FS decision I'll adapt, and so will the elk/deer whatever. I will say one thing, if I ever see one of those things off-trail it won't ever move again unless it is being carried.
Seriously you would commit a felony, pretty sure these ebikes are pretty darn expensive and above misdemeanor $$$, could be wrong but hope no one ever vandalizes your goods because they don’t agree with you.

At least your not afraid to admit your character and that you are ok of vandalism to others property committed by you vs calling the proper authorities.
 
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tdhanses

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If you get your electric motorcycle I want a real one with a two stroke.

E-bikes are nothing more than a lame attempt to skirt the rules and make things easy. Just how things are I guess.
Well can’t motorcycles currently be used on the same trails legally as ebikes?

Personally i see ebikes like i see electric pickups, they won’t go long distances loaded down and solar charging won’t do it probably.
 

tdhanses

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I don't think anyone's worrying about e-bike usage on a legal motorcycle trail, its the usage on an area open to non-motorized bicycles or to horses that causes alarm.
If it’s legal it’s legal but in most instances it still isn’t legal.
 

307

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I hope that regulatory agencies create a separate category for e bikes. They don't really fit well into the previously established/common categories. They are motorized, so they obviously don't fit into non motorized category. "Motorized", however, was clearly and obviously established in reference to internal combustion engines, and e bikes don't fit very well there either, mostly due to noise differences, but possibly some acute local pollution (fumes, fuel spill) concerns.

They need their own category, and they're common enough now that it should be done soon.
 

goathunter

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If it’s legal it’s legal but in most instances it still isn’t legal.
?? where is an e-bike legal where other motorized vehicles are not?

I hope that regulatory agencies create a separate category for e bikes. They don't really fit well into the previously established/common categories. They are motorized, so they obviously don't fit into non motorized category. "Motorized", however, was clearly and obviously established in reference to internal combustion engines, and e bikes don't fit very well there either, mostly due to noise differences, but possibly some acute local pollution (fumes, fuel spill) concerns.

They need their own category, and they're common enough now that it should be done soon.
I disagree. e-bikes are becoming every bit as powerful and capable as a dirt bike.
 
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Dalton138

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If you were on USFS lands on a non-motorized trail...then they weren't actually open to e-bikes. If you were on BLM lands, then yeah they were likely legal. The USFS is largely the last holdout as it pertains to classifying e-bikes as "motorized". The BLM, NPS, and most city/county/state lands allow for them within certain "classifications"...basically Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 as they are commonly referred to across the country.

The management of the classifications and associated restrictions is largely a joke, as enforcement is nearly impossible. A USFS LEO has essentially zero chance of looking at an e-bike and definitively declaring what "type" it is simply based on appearance. That water is getting muddier by the day with the Chinese segment growing cheaper by the day. Think flat-screen TVs and you'll get a sense of where this is headed. They will dominate the market in the next 10 years and become the norm.

My educated guess is the USFS will cave soon enough too. They already have a policy in place that allow for consideration of e-bikes on non-motorized trails on a route-by-route basis if they go through a formal NEPA process. That bureaucratic morass is the only thing keeping most Forest Supervisors/District Rangers from doing so. It's only a matter of time before they cave though. I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it.

Dave

p.s. I'm not trying to be an azzhole here, but rather pointing out a phenomenon I regularly see. If "big game security" was the goal, we wouldn't allow standard mountain bikes (or even horses) to be used in hunting. After all, they offer an advantage over hiking...no? People usually draw a line right behind where they are standing on a given issue, and this one is no different. The OP is okay with the advantage his "regular" mountain bike has over a hiker,...but thinks e-bikes should be restricted in the name of "big game security" because they tip the scales away from his favor. I'm guilty of doing the same thing btw...I just like to point this out every time these discussions come up.
I completely get your point, but personally I'm cool with horses. At least they aren't motorized. Haha
 

displacedtexan

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You're simply giving equestrian use a "pass" because people have been doing it a long time and you're in favor of it. I have no problem with that...it's your opinion and you're entitled to it. I'm just pointing out that that if the goal was to make it "more difficult" to get into "wild places" then horses would be excluded right along next to e-bikes.
While I don't disagree with you at all.

I do think "historical use" is a factor.

Dogs can make deer hunting easier, but I don't see a reason to ban running deer with hounds in the southeast, where they always have. I see less reason to start allowing it in the west, where it's not a historic use.
 

CorbLand

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I think it would be great to know how many people would actually use an e-bike if given the opportunity to use one for free? Like what is the reason some people don't get one and use it where they are allowed? Is it pride? Is it because they are expensive? Is it principles? I don't have one and don't have plans to get one. I am just curious the basis for peoples opinions on them. I like the idea of keeping "wild" places harder to access and recognize the need to protect these places. I once rode a mountain bike on a non-motorized road and because it was a cheap POS it was a terrible experience, I would have much rather started earlier and walked. I now have a much nicer mountain bike and have thought about using it where we live now, but fairly certain the mountains are completely accessible by SxS's, atv's, and motorcycles, so I will be looking for the areas that they can't necessarily access.
I havent bought one because in my opinion and what I believe for the vast majority of places is that they are/should be limited to motorized trails and why would I pay 5-7 grand for a bike when I can get a dirt bike for half that much? If you give me the option of pedaling to the top of a mountain or riding to the top of the mountain, I am going to pin it to win it.
 
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CorbLand

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I hope that regulatory agencies create a separate category for e bikes. They don't really fit well into the previously established/common categories. They are motorized, so they obviously don't fit into non motorized category. "Motorized", however, was clearly and obviously established in reference to internal combustion engines, and e bikes don't fit very well there either, mostly due to noise differences, but possibly some acute local pollution (fumes, fuel spill) concerns.

They need their own category, and they're common enough now that it should be done soon.
They have a motor, it doesnt matter what powers it.

There is a guy a couple miles south of me that has a road bike (its similar to the Harley Buell) that will do 60 MPH. I know this cause he passed me on it one day when I was going 60. It sounds like the batmobile when it passes you. There are also electric dirt bikes that will compete with 2 and 4 strokes.

To say that because the motor is powered via electricity and not gas, therefore they should be classified different is absurd. We have areas that are open to motorized access and areas that aren't, it should stay that way.
 
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cnelk

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Guys using ebikes in areas not allowed is no different than everyday traffic offenses that we see all the time.

People will do whatever want anymore. They know there’s isn’t much for law enforcement presence - in the woods or even on the highways.

You better get used to it
 

PredatorSlayer

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It won’t be long until e motorcycles and e ATVs and e SxS are common. At that point they’ll tighten up the regs and ban ebikes along with every thing else.
 
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