The great thing about electric bikes is that they open up cycling to just about everybody. Even if you’ve been sidelined by a bad knee or need a little bit of a boost to get up those big hills, you can climb on to the saddle of any of our models and get the support you need to stay active.
If you've ever wanted to get a little farther out into the forest, though, you may have come upon an impasse -- the U.S. Forest Service. Currently, the Forest Service doesn't allow riders to use electric bikes on trails reserved for traditional bikes. That’s a pretty big deal when you consider that the agency oversees more than 158,000 miles of trails nationwide.
(Fun fact: It would take you at least 329 days of non-stop riding to cover all that land, even if you went full-throttle.)
That could change soon, however. The agency, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, announced last month that it's weighing changes to that policy. If adopted, it could open up a lot more trail space to electric bike aficionados like yourself.
Under the revised guidelines, the National Forest Service would recognize the three commonly accepted classes of ebikes, consider emerging technologies when making new decisions, and give individual land managers the authority to designate trails for both regular and electric bikes.
(Unfun Fact: The proposed rules state electric bikes will still be managed as motor vehicles. We’re rooting for them to change that before they go into effect.)
The U.S. Forest Service has asked the public for their input on these new directives. If you’d like to get involved, you can fill out this template provided by our friends at People For Bikes by October 26. Feel free to tweak it so that you can share you own experiences with electric bikes, but remember, it’s not Rad to be rude.
This is a really exciting time to ride an electric bike. The Department of the Interior has moved to expand the use of electric bikes in National Parks, New York has announced legislation to allow ebikes on their streets, and in communities across the country, local lawmakers are clarifying their policies to level the playing field for cyclists of all stripes.
It’s becoming clear that there’s no stopping the ebike revolution, especially not when there's support from riders like you!
Interested in that outdoor life? Check out these cool ways electric bikes are helping folks get the most of out of their time outside.