Monday, December 11, 2017

Engaged Users and Agency Staff is Good "Sign" for eBike Recreation

eBike Decal from ROCKART

QWR continues its series of eBike articles based on efforts last month by the CA OHV Commission, staff, and electric vehicle manufacturers to present various vehicles and discuss the growing popularity of eBikes/motorcycles/UTVs and just where they fit into the land-use equation.

In addition, there have been a lot of trail-use related bicycle articles and discussions related to an ongoing campaign led by Ted Stroll and his Sustainable Bike Coalition to have Congress via H.R. 1349 end the blanket ban of bikes in Wilderness.

Multi-Use OHV/MTB (legal for eBike too) Single Track Trail - Eldorado NF

Meanwhile, QWR has been contacting various local and regional park agencies to ascertain their position and/or policy on allowing eBike (Type 1 and 2) use on paved paths and trails.

Although California and a number of other states and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have basically reclassified Type 1 and 2 eBikes as non-motorized vehicles, often local/regional/state agencies interpret those new definitions and make the final decision on where to allow eBike use on paths or trails.

Don Amador Taking non-eBike Ride on East Bay Regional Park Trail
(tracking speed on GPS)

Based on feedback from those agencies, QWR believes there are two important takeaways or action items for both users and the agencies.

One – It is vital for individuals and clubs interested in eBike access to contact their local agency and ask them to plan for enhanced access for eBike use on both pathways and appropriate trails.  Many agencies are in pre or early scoping periods where your input is highly valued.  Be assured, your input can show support for increased legal eBike recreation.  Your comments can help the decision-makers when they craft subsequent proposed actions and/or create management alternatives.

Two – It is also important for the agencies to identify legal eBike opportunities with a quality signing program.   QWR believes the quality of the signing (eBike in this case) program is directly proportional to the agency’s commitment to provide the public with a high quality recreation experience.

Just as there continues to be a healthy discussion on the merits or detractions of H.R. 1349, QWR believes there should be similar discussions on just where eBike (Type 1 and 2) use is appropriate on
public land mechanized trails that currently allow use of non-eBike MTBs.

QWR continues to believe it is important for both the OHV and traditional mountain bike communities to work with eBike enthusiasts, legislators, regulators, manufacturers, and other stakeholders to try and find common ground on joint trail use where appropriate.

Stay tuned for more updates.  Feedback is always welcome.  Either post feedback in the comment section or send them directly to:

Also, watch for an upcoming announcement about the launch of QWR’s e-vehicle module for 2018.

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