Through the lobbying efforts of companies looking to increase their sales, motorized bicycles (e-bikes) are now allowed on many trails once developed, designed and intended for non-motorized recreation. These trails were once for hikers, non-motorized mountain bikers and horse riders. Now, many of those trails are opened to motorized recreation.
The first off-road e-bikes I tested were pretty bad. I was criticized for being “too negative” at a time when other reviews read more like advertising copy. I even had the audacity to point out that e-bikes were not really legal to ride on non-motorized trails as well as bike paths. Well, e-bikes have become way better (I figured that would happen) and lobby groups have changed the laws (I didn’t see that coming). This is a bad combination for outdoor enthusiast who use trails for hiking, biking and horsing around. Now they have to share that trail with a much-faster user who is changing the trails much in the way mountain bikes changed the trail dynamics when they were allowed on hiking trails. Only they are doing it at higher speeds and with sometimes far less competent riders.
I don’t believe it is too late to put the genie back in the bottle. Land managers will see the damage and conflicts that arise from motorizing their trails. They can reverse the crazy decision and return their trails to non-motorized use while offering the motorized bikes access to where they belong, Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) trails.
Speeding on a trail near you: This company makes it tough to argue against my belief that motorized recreation belongs on land and trails designated for off-highway vehicle use. The right pilot could ride this bike faster than a motorcycle in certain conditions.