We hope to provide a variety of resources for land managers as you get to know e-bikes, and grapple with where they should be allowed.
Electric Mountain Bike Policies
- Bureau of Land Management Information Bulletin on “Electronic Powered Bicycles on Public Lands”
- E-bikes are regulated as “off-road vehicles” as defined in 43 C.F.R. 8340.5.
- Read about the first Class 1 e-bike allowance on non-motorized trails in the San Juan National Forest.
- U.S. Forest Service Briefing Paper on “Managing E- Bikes on National Forest System Trails” (May 13, 2015) and U.S. Forest Service letter to Regional Foresters on “Electric Bikes and Trail Management” (March 24, 2016)
- E-bikes are motor vehicles, as defined in 36 C.F.R. 212.1.
- National Park Service definition of e-bikes (search under “motor vehicle”)
- E-bikes are motor vehicles as defined in 36 C.F.R. 1.4.
- Summary of state and federal eMTB regulations (with IMBA)
- State by State eMTB Inventory
Progressive E-Bike Laws and Ordinances
- Jefferson County (Colo). allows Class 1 eMTBs wherever a bike is allowed, including on singletrack trails open to mountain bikes.
- Santa Clara County Parks allows electric bicycles anywhere bicycles are allowed.
- The City of Durango, Colo. allows Class 1 e-bikes on paved city trails after a yearlong trial.
- Ada County (Idaho) allows Class 1 e-bikes on its 125-mile bike park for a year long pilot period (starting in November 2018).
- The City of Boise, Idaho allows Class 1 and 2 e-bikes on city streets, sidewalks, bike lanes, and Greenbelt paths.
- Maricopa County (Ariz.) allows Class 1 and 2 e-bikes anywhere a traditional bike is allowed, including on singletrack.
- South Mountain Park (Phoenix) allows Class 1 and 2 e-bikes anywhere a traditional bike is allowed, including on singletrack.
- E-bikes are allowed in state parks in CO, DE, FL, LA, MO, MN, ND, NV, UT.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources issued revised guidelines on the legality of e-bikes on Pennsylvania State Forest trails, allowing Class 1 eMTBs anywhere a traditional bike is allowed.
- In the San Juan National Forest, Class 1 e-bikes are allowed on 13 miles of non-motorized singletrack trail between the Purgatory ski area (Durango, Colo.) and a motorized trail. The management decision for the Hermosa Watershed Recreation and the Hermosa Watershed Management Plan provides more information
- Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort secured approval from the U.S. Forest Service to allow Class 1 eMTBs on its 80-mile trail system. Here is an educational PDF on trail access.
Land Manager Handbook
New! The land manager handbook was developed in partnership with the bicycling industry and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in consultation with professional trail builders. It is intended to be a practical field resource for the planning, design, construction, maintenance, and management of electric mountain bike trails.
The above link takes the reader to a low-resolution version of the book, convenient for downloading. For a high-resolution version, please email [email protected]
We can make available a limited number of print versions to any land management agency, at no cost. To learn more or place an order, please email [email protected]
eMTB Loan Program
PeopleForBikes makes available Class 1 electric mountains to land management agencies who would like to borrow one for a short period of time (no more than four weeks) to test out the e-bikes on their trails and bicycling infrastructure. PeopleForBikes arranges to ship the e-bikes to and from a bicycle retailer within close proximity of your office, and arranges for the e-bike to be assembled by the retailer. The land management agency is expected to pick up and drop off the e-bike from the bicycle retailer, use and share the e-bike as appropriate, and provide feedback to PeopleForBikes (pre-, during, and post-ride accounts, three quotes, and closing thoughts on the overall experience). This program is free of charge.
In 2017, 20 land managers from 10 agencies – local, state, and federal – took advantage of this program.
Contact Morgan Lommele ([email protected]) for more information.
Best Management Practices for eMTB Trail Design
- Climbing grades
- Uphill flow
- Ascending turns
- Descending turns
- Single use trails
- Managing increased use
- Managing increased speed
- Fruita eMTB Study on User Perceptions: One page overview and more detailed responses (with the BLM)
- Survey of land managers on eMTBs (with IMBA)
- eMTB trail resource study (with IMBA) & Fact Sheet for IMBA’s eMTB Field Study
- The National Park Service’s Active Transportation Guidebook aims to assist and inspire parks and their partners to identify and pursue opportunities that enhance active transportation to and within national parks, and offers a section on electric bicycles
- Class 1 eMTB policy at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area Webinar (7/19/18)
- eMTB at Ski Areas, article in the National Ski Areas Association Journal
- Radio interview with the City of Fruita and the BLM (13 minutes)
- eMTB Trail Etiquette Guidelines
- Land Manager Webinar (1/24/18) on e-bike studies, e-bike share, e-bikes as ADA devices, and the e-bike loan program
- Front Lines MTB Podcast: eMTB Policy and the Future