E-Bikes To Be Banned From Trestles - Stab Mag

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E-Bikes To Be Banned From Trestles

San Clemente city officials in search of vigilante-type figure to impart justice on its trails, pier, and shores.

news // Dec 31, 2021
Words by Jack Mutschler
Reading Time: 3 minutes

According to the OC Register, reports of e-bike related chaos have flooded in from the popular sidewalks, beach paths, and piers of San Clemente, California.

In a recent survey, the San Clemente city council received over 300 written complaints towards e-bikes. You might even recall an official complaint submitted during the WSL Finals.

In response, members of the San Clemente City Council have drafted laws to prohibit electronic motor vehicles in various places throughout the town. The specific areas include the beach, the pier, and the trails that line the city’s coast. The change to city ordinances need to come back to the City Council for final approval before becoming law.

None of this would be remotely interesting, were it not for the fact that most San Clementine surfers ride these ridiculous contraptions down to Trestles on a daily basis.

Stab’s editor and chef Brendan Buckley mounts The “Rad Wagon”, somewhere near San Clemente.

Lowers, Uppers, Middles, and all the other breaks along San Onofre State Park* are not accessible by car. The nearest parking spots are about a mile away as the golden finch flies, or nearly two miles by foot. So unless you keep a wingsuit in the back of your Prius, you’re looking at a substantial journey in both directions every time you want to surf the points.

Prior to the advent of e-bikes, San Clemente surfers would either: 1. Get dropped off by a friend at the Basilone park entrance, which effectively cuts the walk in half (this is the preferred method); 2. Park near Carl’s Jr. and ride a skateboard or traditional bike down to the beach (great on the way down but not so much on the way back up); or 3. Tuck their tail between their legs and make the half-hour walk in each direction (meaning you’ll both start and end your session in a dusty pool of sweat).

But then e-bikes came, and they came hard.

Boasting a median home value of 1.5 million, San Clemente surfers were happy to shell out one, two, three-kay a pop for assisted pedal bicycles, which allowed them to travel up to 30 miles per hour in both directions, up and down the Trestles trail. Most locals stopped driving to Trestles altogether, preferring instead to pedal straight out of their garages and down to the sand, often in a space of 10 minutes or less.

For regular Trestles surfers, it was a game-changer. Alas, the sheer volume of e-bikes has caused serious issues in the community.

Apparently, packs of prepubescents have been running tax-paying Southern Californians off nature trails, and according to one report, even colliding into dogs. 

Zoom zoom.

This isn’t the first time e-Bikes have been in the spotlight. In 2015, a law was passed making it illegal to ride them on sidewalks. But this law has been mostly ineffective since the city lacks the resources to enforce it.

“We simply don’t have the resources to enforce effectively, but we can enforce selectively on high-density days,”  said councilman Gene James.

Resident Mary Franta added “Even if they pass a rule, do you think everyone is going to follow it? Who is going to enforce it?”

Who? is a great question.

It would seem that San Clemente needs a vigilante — one who regulates and instills a sense of fear amongst the trail-hungry groms.

If you’re reading this, Batman, please come punch these blonde-haired children in the back of the head. But also me.

Your author at 15, moments prior to a wicked asphalt abrasion.

*Besides actual San-O, which, thank god, because imagine a 70-year-old riding e-bike with a 9’6 log hitched to the side.


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