DAVE ROSS

Ross: eBikes on hiking trails distract from the real goal, getting back to nature

Jul 19, 2022, 10:03 AM | Updated: 10:06 am

(Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)...

(Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

(Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

I heard on Jason Rantz show, on our sister station KTTH, that state wildlife officials are gathering data on how the state should regulate the use of E bikes on hiking trails. Jason himself isn’t a big fan of eBikes, but he takes a libertarian approach.

“I think these eBikes are dangerous, but I don’t have a problem with them,” Rantz, said. “So long as you’re not dangerous around me. Thank you.”

He also thinks the idea of trying to regulate these things on hiking trails is absurd. Because the state’s been telling us to go outside, get exercise, and avoid the virus. Then when people follow that advice, suddenly, it’s too crowded.

“I don’t go out. And whatever you do on these trails is not going to impact me in the least,” Rantz said. “But when you tell me that we should all go out, and then people are like, ‘well, I like bicycling, and I like trails.’ They’re literally doing what you ask them to. And now you’re coming back and you’re getting angry.”

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But this is how every form of transportation works, right?

Same thing with driving. We love driving until we discover ‘Oh, so does everybody else.’

Same with hiking trails. Now on the trails, where we used to have just mountain bikes, which required really athletic riders. Now there are mountain eBikes, which expands the number of people who can ride the trails, or as Jason described it “bicycling for lazy fat people who want to go outside because their doctor tells them to. And I say that with love.”

And I say this with love. That’s going to clash with the reason people like me want to use the trails, which is to get just a few hours in a relatively untouched wilderness to breathe the fresh air, escape all technology, and maybe record a few bird calls on my Merlin app.

But instead, you’re going to hear stuff like, chain slaps, and then Amazon is selling these bike horns with four different kinds of sounds, and did you know that Harley Davidson now makes a new bike.

How am I going to hear my Spotted Towhee?

There needs to be places where you can go for a hike and feel like you’re seeing the forest as it was 1000 years ago, except for the occasional salmon culvert. Anyway, the survey wrapped up on Friday and wildlife officials have until the end of September to issue a report that will make everybody happy.

Good luck with that.

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