I would like to offer an alternative opinion to the recent column by Joel Barde ("The Valley Trail is for everybody—but not e-bikes," Pique, July 11) and subsequent negative opinions on Class 1 e-bikes being allowed on the Whistler valley trail system.
As a family with two young children, we have been using this network year round, (studded tires in the winter) with a cargo e-bike. We have had nothing but positive interactions with trail users of all ages and abilities. Frequent comments and questions revolve around the ability to haul lots of cargo and where bikes can be purchased rather than criticism or disdain for our presence on the Valley Trail. We maintain a reasonable speed, alert other users with a bell, and use basic trail etiquette.
The original column by Joel Barde was unfortunately simple fear mongering based on his assumed risks rather than empirical evidence. Even positive change can sometimes be uncomfortable.
The RMOW has done a great job of progressively managing this change to best accommodate all users of the Valley Trail system. By educating e-bike rental companies and private users on appropriate trail etiquette, we as a community can all share this incredible resource.
As a family, being able to access the Valley Trail system with our Class 1 cargo e-bike has allowed us to significantly reduce our motor vehicle use, free up a parking spot in the village, and provide a healthy, stress-free way of moving around in our community.
I am certain we can all get along on our Valley Trail system.
Chris Williamson // Whistler