I was dismayed and upset when I read in last week's Outlook about the e-bike trial in K-Country. In my opinion, the premises on which the policy stands are erroneous.
The policy seems to have all over it fingerprints of desk bureaucrats without knowledge of reality.
Let's start with the obsession of "throttle e-bikes" in the e-bike trial. I have never seen one or heard of one before. As described, they would be covered by already existing regulation of "no motorized vehicles allowed."
I have been a lifelong outdoors person, enjoying mountain cycling at a rather high level of intensity. However, because of the ravages of old age and simple wear and tear of my body, I can no longer climb the hills as before.
My full-fledged mountain pedal assisted e-bike makes an enormous difference, allowing me once again to ride mountain back country roads and trails.
In our active Canmore community there are many people like me. I use the e-assist at a minimum, working hard as long as I can.
Speed is absolutely no issue. I cannot see how riding wide trails in the Nordic Centre such as the Legacy trail to Banff on an e-bike can be more destructive than on an non-e- bike.
According to the article, the stakeholders consulted were "retailers and rental shop owners," with emphasis on the Kananaskis resort. These businesses cater mainly to tourists happy with riding on flat paved trails around the resort.
The real impact on the back country and mountain parks is not from e-bikes, but the sheer number of users. Many ride aggressively, fast, even on rain-softened single tracks, removing all the soil, and leaving only roots, thus accelerating erosion. It is the speed that increases the risk of conflict with wildlife.
I filled the survey on the Alberta Parks website, however, I caution it not easy to find it.