eBikes. They are a divider amongst Mountain Bikers. Long term friends are arguing. Not seeing eye to eye. Internet forums are fit to burst with eKey eWarriors. E bikes may well be the 'devils bike'. 'The worst thing ever' as voted by some OR they could be 'Awesome' and a fantastic resource. Its really your choice to decide. But. And I like big BUTS (and I cannot lie). You really have to ride one before you can decide. And there lies the problem. Once you ride one, a good one, its hard not to grin like a 1 year old trying his first ever Ice Cream. Really Hard.
I popped my eCherry riding four trails that I never imagined I could do in one day. A brutal climb that I have never before climbed. Too steep. I climbed it all bar one 2m section of super steep wet roots, admittedly with some difficulty, but I climbed it all! Stoked. But the thing is, I climbed it all THREE TIMES. And the other thing is. I climbed it three times and got back to where I started in an hour and a half. Pretty awesome.
Then comes the downhill. Now everyone thinks these bikes suck downhill. And they are right. If you didn't own and race a DH bike back in the early 2000s you won't like the weight. If you can't adapt your riding to cope with fatter tyres and a different Centre Of Gravity then do not apply. However, if you did own a heavy DH bike back in the day then hey hey, its like that, but the suspension and geometry is now better. WAAAAAAAY better. The plus size tyres make so much sense on these bikes. A 140mm travel +tyred ebike is now faster than my race bike back then (even with assist off) I would love to race my former self and see who wins on these two bikes. That would be interesting.
Anyway, my point is coming. I had a couple of months off due to illness and then subsequently, injury, but still I managed to ride almost every week on our Tuesday night ride. Even when I was pretty ill I could still partake in riding action. Pretty good for the skills to be able to ride through illness and disability. This leads me onto my point. eBikes are helping so many people to get outdoors and do some activity where they could not before manage. They take you up hills with grace and ease and its making a lot of people happy. More and more people are catching the bug for riding. Mountain biking is a great community of like minded folk and I like being part of it, its kinda my religion, so lets not hate on everyone who is riding an ebike, there may be circumstances you don't know about meaning that person can only ride an ebike. To me if they are riding bikes outside then that's great!
Love them or hate them, eBikes are here to stay. And they have a place. Local trail rules are going to come into play with access for these bikes and in some areas they are already barred from certain trails. But lets not hate. They are not going away.