Electric bikes soon to be humming along national park trails

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rlown
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Electric bikes soon to be humming along national park trails

Post by rlown » Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:58 am

"WASHINGTON (AP) — Motorized electric bicycles may soon be humming along serene trails in national parks and other public lands nationwide. It’s part of a new Trump administration order — hotly opposed by many outdoors groups — that will allow e-bikes on every federal trail where a regular bike can go.

Sales of the bikes, powered by both pedals and battery-driven small motors, are booming, and some aging or less fit people have sought the rule change. It will allow them to whirr up and down biking trails in the country’s roughly 400 national parks and other federally managed backcountry areas.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed the order without fanfare Thursday, classifying e-bikes as non-motorized bikes.

The e-bikes “make bicycle travel easier and more efficient, and they provide an option for people who want to ride a bicycle but might not otherwise do so because of physical fitness, age, disability or convenience,” National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith said in a statement Friday.


https://www.apnews.com/d22c8bb8a83c48c0b421dc0da81efd0b

Personally, I think this is a bad idea. They said in the article that they would allow for public comment and have only one: "don't!"








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Re: Electric bikes soon to be humming along national park trails

Post by Snowtrout » Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:10 am

I don’t really see the issue if regular bikes are already allowed on those same trails. Biggest issue I see is dependence on the battery for long rides. I’m sure it will lead to someone slowly peddling or pushing one of those heavy bikes along the trail when the battery is depleted.

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Re: Electric bikes soon to be humming along national park trails

Post by bobby49 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 1:09 pm

Hmmm. I might need to use some spike strips out on those trails.

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Re: Electric bikes soon to be humming along national park trails

Post by rlown » Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:36 pm

Oops! My crampon landed upside down on the trail. Sorry you hit it. ;)

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Re: Electric bikes soon to be humming along national park trails

Post by c9h13no3 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:50 am

I see no issue with this, but I'm willing to make accommodations for my fellow man.
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Re: Electric bikes soon to be humming along national park trails

Post by balzaccom » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:40 am

Ebikes aren't a lot different from normal bikes in terms of noise or anything. Bear in mind that bikes are only allowed on paved trails in most national parks...
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Re: Electric bikes soon to be humming along national park trails

Post by dave54 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:26 am

Some random brain drippings on the subject:

People dislike change, and oppose change. When the law changed to allow firearms in National Parks, the Park Service rank and file opposed it, the usual activists went ballistic, and predictions of Wild West shootouts in campgrounds and widespread poaching of wildlife were widely broadcast. Similar for the allowing of mountain bikes on select trails -- claims that wild out-of-control bikers would be crashing into families on trails and wildlife would be scared witless. Neither occurred. People now wonder what the fuss was ever about. Both changes came and almost no one noticed.

Most people that own e-bikes only use the motor to help them on uphills. The power is dialed back to provide an extra few watts of power on grades, assisting the pedaling. The rest of the time they are pedaling on their own. If you max the power to do all the work the battery will soon be depleted -- then you will do all the work yourself both up and downhill.

Since mountain bikes are only allowed on certain trails -- wide multi-use trails or old road conversions -- I do not see this as a major potential problem. Nothing in the rule change will allow e-bikes in designated Wilderness.

E-bikes are a relatively new technology, still in its infancy. There is little doubt as R&D continues, battery capacity will grow, and motor power will increase. The potential for future conflicts certainly exists even if little conflict occurs now (egads! The dreaded Slippery Slope Fallacy!). Inserting limitations later will be difficult and controversial. Perhaps a horsepower limit now would be wise.
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Re: Electric bikes soon to be humming along national park trails

Post by rlown » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:32 am

I don't really have an issue with e-bikes on paved trails, but If you have one, please don't silently sneak up behind me.

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Re: Electric bikes soon to be humming along national park trails

Post by schmalz » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:54 am

I live at the base of the Angeles National Forest and many of our trails are full of mountain bikes. My opposition to this is mainly due to the fact that access to the backcountry should be earned. If we make it incredibly easy for people to do 50 mile rides on trails, then the areas where one could typically hike to to avoid people/bikes will suddenly have much more usage.

Bikes on narrow crowded trails tends to be a safety concern and they cause significant erosion to the trail, so I can't say that I'm for this move.

I also am mountain biker so this isn't just an anti-biker sentiment.
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Re: Electric bikes soon to be humming along national park trails

Post by balzaccom » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:53 am

I would invite you to ride an ebike for 50 miles on those trails. They weigh a ton and won't hold a charge that long. Have fun on the last half of the ride...
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