Why are you comparing recreational trail riding to competitive sports. On trails where e-bikes are allowed, no one loses. As long as everyone obeys the rules it is a win-win situation. Sure some may not obey the rules and there could be repercussions, but that happens all the time already with riders on regular bikes. I know of several larger trail systems where I ride that now allow e-bikes, and it has changed nothing for me.
No, no, no, they are both recreational, that is precisely my point. This is something you do for fun (I’ve been a recreational weightlifter for decades). Since this is recreational that implies (for me) optional. IMHO you don’t need electrical assistance for something that is an optional human powered activity. I think it best if you choose the option of taking an easier (non-amplified) path….whatever that may be, for whatever the human-powered activity is.
Reading the opinions here I have come to the conclusion that we’re just going to have to agree to disagree.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going out for a nice long jog….on my Segway. ;- )