Tuesday, June 19, 2018

eMTB Trail Fun at CA OHV Park

Don Amador at Carnegie SVRA Trailhead

For eMTBers who are looking for legal off-road trail opportunities in the S.F Bay Area, they may want to check out Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) located near Livermore, CA.

Entrance to Carnegie SVRA

Currently in CA, eMTB use on dirt trails is basically restricted to OHV routes on local, state, and federal lands unless the managing agency is allowing or has authorized eMTB use on native-surfaced routes within its specific jurisdiction.

One of the Off-Road Trails at Carnegie SVRA

Fortunately for those eMTBers who live near a SVRA, they can find legal riding opportunities of various difficulty or challenge on which to test their trail skills or the capability of their eMTB.

George MacDougall (L) and Don Amador (R) at Trailhead

According to California State Parks, the 9 SVRAs are OHV parks which are operated by the OHMVR Division of California State Parks. Each SVRA has an operational program which provides (in most locations) the following services:

  • Trails, tracks, and other OHV Recreation opportunities
  • Restrooms, camping, shade ramadas, water
  • OHV parts store
  • Public safety, including law enforcement, first aid, and search and rescue
  • Maintenance including repair and maintenance of OHV trails, buildings, equipment and public use facilities
  • Interpretive and educational activities and publications promoting safe and responsible OHV recreation
  • Resource management designed to sustain OHV opportunities, protects and enhances wildlife habitat, erosion control, revegetation, etc.


Don Amador, President at Quiet Warrior Racing/Consulting, states, “Riding our Atom Lynx 27.5 Pro at Carnegie was both a fun and educational experience for me.  The type-1 pedal assist eMTB provided this old guy with enough boost to make it up some fairly steep grades while the suspension provided a plush/stable ride.”

“Since 1980, I have spent many a day hill-climbing and trail riding at the Park on a variety of dirt-bikes.  Riding the eMTB offered a somewhat different yet similar experience of joy and exuberance.  While various land agencies continue to review their policies on allowing eMTBs on dirt trails, I think it is important for the eMTB community to realize they have some high-quality off-road routes at SVRAs.” Amador concludes.

According to the CVC 24016 “Green Stickers” are not required at this time for eMTBs to operate on OHV routes. 

"CVC 24016.
 (a) An electric bicycle described in subdivision (a) of Section 312.5 shall meet the following criteria:
(1) Comply with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (16 C.F.R. 1512.1, et seq.).
(2) Operate in a manner so that the electric motor is disengaged or ceases to function when the brakes are applied, or operate in a manner such that the motor is engaged through a switch or mechanism that, when released or activated, will cause the electric motor to disengage or cease to function.
(b) A person operating an electric bicycle is not subject to the provisions of this code relating to financial responsibility, driver’s licenses, registration, and license plate requirements, and an electric bicycle is not a motor vehicle."

However, to operate an eMTB at Carnegie you will be charged a $5.00 day use fee.

QWR continues its belief that electric bicycles are here to stay and are becoming an important transportation and/or recreation vehicle for many who want to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

QWR also believes it is important for land agencies to look for opportunities to try pilot projects as a way to gain insights into this new and evolving outdoor activity.

One just example of a new project or test case comes from the BLM in Idaho.  (see article below)

QWR strongly supports the solution-based efforts of California State Parks and other land agencies to authorize high-quality eMTB trail opportunities on public lands.

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*QWR wants to thank our good friend, George MacDougall, for riding with us today.  George is a retired grants administrator for the CA Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division and an avid SxS enthusiast, dual-sport rider, and eMTBer.


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