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Older adventurers tangle with preservationists over battery-aided bicycles — The Wall Street Journal
Michael Kelley has jumped on a mountain bike almost every weekend since off-road bicycles were invented in the late 1970s. This year Mr. Kelley, 71, purchased a new one powered by an electric motor, which pushes him uphill when he gets tired.
“It takes me so long to ride to the tops of the hills now that it wasn’t that fun anymore,” says Mr. Kelley, who lives in Berkeley, California. “I’ve been riding for decades and I hope to be riding for decades more.”
Electric mountain bikes — commonly called e-mountain bikes in the cycling industry — are relatively new to the U.S. market. Manufacturers say the bikes will attract new participants and help older riders like Mr. Kelley stay in the sport.
The bikes, however, have ignited a dispute between manufacturers, mountain bike advocacy groups, and riders. The argument hinges on whether the bikes should be allowed on the same trails as traditional mountain bikes