Anyone who has spent time on trails knows climbing separates "the men from boys", so-to-speak. It requires excellent physical fitness that is not easily obtained. The e-bikes are a short cut to fitness - you didn't do the work, but your performance makes it appear that you did. Kinda like taking diet pills to reduce weight rather than reducing food intake and increasing physical exercise.
On the other hand, it gets more people on bikes, so they get at least some exercise. I'm still conflicted.
Everyone has a right to their opinion, and I absolutely get where youíre coming from, I was very much conflicted about them as well early on. There was a time in my life I had the time to be in the shape to ride 75-100 road miles a day or spend 5 hours on the trail climbing but I donít anymore, and sold all my ďgoodĒ bikes because I couldnít find the time to ride all day like I used to which made it less fun and I hated seeing them sit. I was once a member of several bicycling clubs, worked building trails and donated to the causes mountain bikers face, I donít anymore because I donít ride much anymore. Itís a choice I made, I get it, but for this point in my life Iím choosing work and ďquiet timeĒ over riding enough to maintain that level of bicycle fitness to go alL day.
You can look at it being an ďearnedĒ thing, or separating Ēthe men from boysĒ but the simple fact is you do ďearnĒ because you still have to pedal, and if an ebike means I can go riding to places I normally couldnít because Iím not there yet physically, my wife can now ride as far as me and at the pace I do or I can take 3 laps instead of 1, Iím more likely to ride as are many others. For something that needs outside funding, participants and acceptance, the more people that do it, the better and an ebike is way to get it all. I know Iíd start back in helping and funding if I was doing it again. And still you build fitness because youíre going father and longer which eventually makes you use the E portion less and less.
My wife and I used to ride maybe 40 miles total a year together, her bitching the entire way and 3 days after about her legs. We now do 40-50 miles a weekend 9 or 10 times a summer and have a blast. No bitching, no real complaining and we talk about biking even more now which is a start.
I think thatís what ebikes bring.