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E-Mountain bike racing is poised to rapidly gain massive popularity.

Prepare yourself for the emergence of E-Mountain bike racing in your vicinity, as it is poised to rapidly gain popularity.

I recently attended an E-Bike race as a spectator, and I must say, it was incredibly enjoyable, especially after I had the opportunity to try riding one myself. Initially, my preconceived notions about E-mountain bikes were quite different from the reality, but in a pleasantly surprising way. I had anticipated some sort of throttle mechanism, but to my surprise, it was purely pedal-assist. This feature not only made riding effortless, but it also made me feel incredibly strong, akin to a superhero. Imagine effortlessly pedaling up a hill as if it were flat ground. It's a remarkable feeling, and despite the ease, it still provides a great workout. In fact, there's a well-known Motocross podcaster, Steve Mathes with a podcast show ( ) who advocates for E-bikes and he has lost a significant amount of weight through E-Mountain bike exercise.

The GNCC EMBT Race I attended took place at the Lorretta Lynn's Amateur National in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. This relatively new sport is only in its 5TH season. The races currently consist of one-hour-long events held on a 3-4 mile long Grand National Cross Country track, predominantly traversing single tracks through forests and hills. However, I can envision various future variations and spin-offs of this sport, such as races on motocross tracks. It's exciting to contemplate the possibilities.

Below are the rules of E-Mountain bike racing. I highly recommend attending a race if you get the chance, and I definitely encourage you to try out an E-Mountain bike!

E-bikes have opened up new possibilities for individuals who previously never considered participating in mountain bike racing. I include myself in that category. I would have never thought that I could achieve the necessary physical fitness level to compete in a mountain bike race, and the intimidation factor would have deterred me from even attempting it. However, after witnessing different classes, including a novice category, I find the idea incredibly fun! Now, if only I could afford to own one myself.

Electric mountain bikes have become quite the sensation. Everyone is discussing, riding, investing in, and contemplating them. Steve Mathes, dedicated an entire hour on the PulpMX Show discussing these bikes. Eli Tomac, a member of a renowned family of mountain bikers, is a fervent supporter of these bikes. Aldon Baker a motocross trainer, has also introduced them to all of his riders. These bikes are game-changers, as they don't entirely revolutionize the sport. While rapid advancements in electric technology may eventually transform cars and motorcycles, e-assist mountain bikes momentarily delay that revolution. They aren't peculiar hybrids of mountain bikes and dirt bikes; rather, they resemble and ride like traditional mountain bikes. The only difference is the slight electric assistance they provide through the pedals. They make you feel stronger than you actually are. When you exert more effort, the motor gives you an extra boost. These bikes don't possess throttles; they are similar to the bicycles you already know, but... better? This additional boost doesn't completely alter the experience, but it provides just enough assistance, making the bikes more versatile. This increased versatility will open doors. EMTB bikes gained early popularity in the Amsoil Grand National Cross Country pits because pit bikes or side-by-sides are not allowed for transportation across the track. Bicycles or walking are the only options, and the assistance from electric bikes is greatly appreciated. Teams can also use bicycles to scout the track, once again benefiting from the assistance they provide.

GNCC Racing launched an eight-race series for 2019, with support from Specialized, I believed it was exclusively for hardcore bicycle enthusiasts who train tirelessly. While there were a few of those individuals present, there were also people who simply showed up to race. Charlie Mullins, a former GNCC Champion who now trains for professional mountain bike races, rides seven days a week, and he dominated the competition. However, another former GNCC Champ, Barry Hawk, raced in the amateur class and celebrated with a bag of Doritos and a Bud Light after the race. Currently, EMTB races are leaning more towards attracting weekend warriors rather than those who train rigorously. Barry's Hawk's son, Talon, isn't attempting to become a GNCC superstar like his father, but he thoroughly enjoys EMTBs and participates in the events. While his father outperformed him in lap times, that may not remain the case for long. Barry mentioned that he is trying to persuade his wife and daughter to participate as well. Would they consider entering a regular mountain bike race? No. Would they compete in a dirt bike race at a GNCC event? No. Would they consider racing in an EMTB event? Perhaps.

Colin Dierman embodies the classic "live to ride" bicycle enthusiast. He works at a local bike shop in Morgantown West Virginia, and spends all his free time riding. Approximately a decade ago, Colin delved into dirt bikes and even contended for some GNCC amateur titles. However, life caught up with him, and he reduced his traveling. Now that EMTBs are on the scene, he's back in the game! Colin has participated in numerous mountain bike races and he appreciates EMTBs because they don't push him to his absolute physical limit. It's a more enjoyable experience for him. Nevertheless, he still rode fast enough to win in the 50+ class.

In summary, I found EMTB racing to be a highly accessible form of competition. While there were some highly skilled bikers present, there were also individuals who were merely exploring the sport. The maintenance costs of EMTBs are lower than those of dirt bikes, and the intimidation factor is reduced as well. Elite fitness is not a prerequisite as it is in regular mountain bike races. Overall, it appeared to be an incredibly fun experience. Mullins, sharing his thoughts on Instagram, said, "If you think e-bike racing is easy, check out my heart rate from this past weekend. I work just as hard on an e-bike as I do on a regular mountain bike! It's no joke, but so much fun."


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