E-BIKE RULES ON PUBLIC LANDS FINALIZED

Today I received this letter from People for Bikes. We finally have rules for ebike use on public lands clarified.

Dear Mark,
 
On Friday, Oct. 2, the Department of the Interior released final rules for electric bicycle use on public lands. This new regulation more clearly defines electric bicycles and gives local land managers the authority to permit their use on non-motorized trails. 

The new rule applies to the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Reclamation. Generally speaking, these rules mean that: 
  • Electric bicycles are no longer defined as motor vehicles or off-road vehicles, but are properly defined within three classes.
  • Electric bicycle riders have similar rights, privileges and duties as traditional bicycle riders.  
  • Local land managers can authorize some or all classes of electric bicycles on roads, paths and trails where bicycles are allowed.
  • Local land managers maintain significant control, in partnership with the public, to make access decisions.  
FAQs and links to the individual agency regulations are posted on our electric bicycle webpage.
 
Together, we can make bike riding better!
 
– The PeopleForBikes team

In a nutshell this means if you see a sign that says NO MOTOR VEHICLES, that does not apply to you and your ebike.  Ebikes fall under the regulations of regular bikes but in addition to bicycle rules and at the discretion of the local land manager each of the 3 classes of ebikes can be allowed or disallowed on specific roads, paths, and trails.

​What are the 3 classes of ebikes?  To be considered an ebike under these rules the bike motor must have a power rating of less than 750 watts and have fully operable pedals. 

  • The definitions for the three classes of electric bicycles are as follows:
    • Class 1 electric bicycle: An electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
    • Class 2 electric bicycle: An electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
    • Class 3 electric bicycle: An electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour.

More details on ebike legislation can be found here.

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