Electric Bicycles on Trails
Are electric bicycles legal on trails? It’s a good question and one that varies greatly by country, state, & trail. Before we get into the electric bikes on trails debate, let’s start w/ an overview of the:
Federal Electric Bicycle Regulations (not just for trails)
- an electrically driven bicycle is considered a bicycle
- electric cycle must have less than 750 watt motor
- must have functional pedals
- maximum speed of 20 mph
- Federal Law shall supersede State Law
What About Electric Bikes on Trails?
But these regulations don’t really seem to address the issue of electric bikes on trails, especially since they specifically refer to operation “on a paved level surface.” So what about a gravel trail that is not perfectly level?
And what about such vehicles as hybrid Trikkes? These are power-assisted, meet most of the requirements for power level & speed; but they don’t have pedals.
Thanks to Paul Wiegman for providing us with this American Trails link that provides Department of Justice requirements for the use of Other Power Driven Mobility Devices or OPDMD on trails. The article gives a clear definition of OPDMDs and begins to clarify the rules regarding their use on trails. It is written with trail administrators in mind and provides information regarding how those trail administrators can prepare for compliance with ADA and Department of Justice guidelines, rules and regulations.
Comments about Electric Bikes, Pedal Assisted Bikes & Pon-e Trikkes
So what has been your experience? What do you think. Should electric bikes be allowed on trails? Would you like to use an electric bicycle, Trikke, recumbent, or scooter on some or all trails? Please leave a comment (no email por favor) below.