They should charge the same amount of money for reg and ebikes; but, raise the price to split the difference for the extra track maint. That way they are making money from both.
There is really little difference between a regular bike/MTB and ebike/eMTB other than the road/trails are more accessible for a wider range of riders that would have been excluded before. I'm leaning towards the bias some MTB'er have against eMTB thinking we are cheating the natural order of things with technology.
One thought is that the price difference is largely noise compared to the purchase price and maintenance costs of any bike, electric or not.
My other thought is that there are dramatic per-mile maintenance costs between hiker-only trails, trails that allow horses, and OHV trails. Bikes and e-bikes are somewhere in between livestock and OHV trails in cost. The cost difference between livestock and hiker-only trails is due to (1) higher clearance requirements (a person on a horse is quite tall, and you need to snip tree branches up about 11-12 feet on a horse trail), and (2) increased engineering to prevent erosion of the trail tread. Most of the higher costs for OHV trails is going to be due to the higher speeds, which produces more engineering requirements for the trail and also dramatically increases wear of trail tread. Even a comparatively small speed difference can produce a dramatic increase in wear on trail tread. One could reasonably assume that e-bikes will travel at a higher average speed than a regular bike.
I'm not sure if the park is factoring in the ebiker can travel further because of the motor assist compared to just traveling faster. The ebiker might be doing more laps because they are not as fatigued compared to the regular MTB riders? I would have to load up my pedal bike on my SUV, drive down to the single track trails near the Rio Grande river, ride for few hours, and load up and head home. Now, I ride out my garage to the same trails, ride 2X longer, and have enough juice to ride home. I'm still averaging about 10-14 mph on the trails with either bike; but, I can have more track time with the ebike before my energy level drops.
If you get past the initial umbrage at them charging more for an E bike, it makes perfectly logical sense as he explains it. I would never agree with a premise that we do more damage,but I certainly agree we cover more miles.
Yeah, he talks about the eBikes being able to go twice as many laps (6-12 vs 4-5) hence the higher charge for wear and tear on the park trails.
Obviously if there was an easier way to track the number of laps, I'd be okay with charging a fee per lap or per KM, but tracking the riders isn't practical right now. Regardless, it's nice that they aren't banning eBikes entirely.
Of course, many eBike riders may also be disabled or in poor health (like me) and can't ride any more laps than those on regular bikes. I just saw the blurb of comments after I typed part of this, and it seems others agree with me that it's not fair for the disabled.
I think it's fair, unless I missed something, he never said they cause any more damage, just that you can ride farther on an ebike than on a p bike using the same amount of human energy. Which is true.
As far as the disability bit goes, it's not the comparison between a disabled person on an ebike and an able bodied person on a regular bike, it's the difference between the same person on either bike. So, the difference in usage would still stand I'd think.
I would be curious about what the bike to ebike % at this park? I usually see ebike to bike ratio around 1 ebike out of 250-500 regular bikes in the southwest. It would really suck at that park if every ebiker is really paying for the damage caused by the +100 regular bikers.
I have read on the UK forums of a possible reason for the increase is that the park is loosing revenue from the uplifts because ebikers are powering up and making their own way to the top of the trails. Probably a bit of truth in this??