Friday, November 17, 2017

E-Bikes - New Technology for Access to the Great Outdoors

BH Product Manager, Ollie Dine, Explains E-Bicycle
Construction and Use at OHV Commission Meeting

QWR appreciates the effort put forth yesterday by the CA OHV Commission, staff, and E-vehicle manufacturers to present various vehicles and discuss the growing popularity of E-bicycles/motorcycles and just where they fit into the land-use equation.

OHV Commission Chair, Ted Cabral, Discusses Future of E-Vehicles 

OHV Commission Chairman, Ted Cabral, opened the “E module” with a discussion of current rules and regulations related to their use on the street, paths, and trails.

FS R5 Trails Lead, Garrett Villanueva, Tries Out E-Motorcycle

Participants were then given the opportunity to ride various E-bicycles/motorcycles.  Years ago, I rode one of the 1st Zero off-road motorcycles and thought then that they would become an important part of the OHV family.

Don Amador Getting Ready for his First E-Bicycle Ride

But for many of us, it was the first time to ride an E-bicycle.  Judging by the smiles of folks taking that initial ride, I feel that E-bikes are here to stay and will become an important transportation and/or recreation vehicle for many who want to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

While some states have crafted regulations that allow for E-bicycle use on streets and mechanized trails, most, if not all, federal agencies are still restricting E-bicycle use to motorized trails.

Alta and Zero Representatives Give Thumbs-Up to Electric Motorcycles

QWR believes that E-bike stakeholders should be proactive and work with trail managers to create a strong land-use ethic and regulatory platform that both protect the resource and the long-term viability of the sport.

E-Vehicle Regulations in CA

With an aging population that continues to seek access to high-quality outdoor recreation, QWR believes that discussions should continue about use of E-bicycles on mechanized (non-Wilderness) public land trails.  

FS Multi-Use Trail that Allows E-Bike Use

Another option is for E-bike users to partner with the agencies to support new E-bike specific trail opportunities through grants, dedicated use fees, and volunteer efforts.

Trail Ethics an Important Factor 

QWR believes it is important for both the OHV and traditional mountain bike communities to work with E-bike enthusiasts and stakeholders as part of a “rising tide lifts all trails” ethos.

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