Forest Service outlines steps to allow e-bikes on Colorado forest trails – CBS Denver

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colorado (CBS4) – Chad Schneckenburger of the US Forest Service believes that interest in e-bikes has grown significantly in recent years. This has allowed more Coloradoans to access more parts of our state along motorized bike paths or trails that allow motor vehicles.

“They allow people who might not have the ability to ride a bike as much, people who might be a bit older or physically disadvantaged,” Schneckenburger explained.

The US Forest Service recently released new internal guidelines on how to handle e-bikes on forest trails, which in turn outline how people could apply to allow e-bikes on their local trails, as long as they are successful. the environmental investigation and call for public opinion.

Bob Hufnagel of Rebel Sports in Frisco, Colorado thinks more bikers on the move is always a good thing, but introducing more areas for e-bikes has to come with a lot of foresight about what it might do to traffic and the types of interactions between people who currently use the trail.

“Some of the trails are very busy, and you’ll have people walking their dogs, and then you’ll have people riding e-bikes at 20 miles per hour on the same trail,” Hufnagel said. “That’s where you’re going to have a conflict with people. it’s hard to support both on the same trail.

(credit: CBS)

All trails must go through a qualification before allowing e-bike riders, but Hufnagel was concerned that some people might access trails they might not be able to handle with the assistance of e-bikes.

“They are going to go 20 miles in the backcountry on unmarked trails and if the battery stops working on the bike for some reason or it crashes…they can have issues. And the bike is a bit heavy to carry if you have a mechanical problem,” Hufnagel said. Still, he agrees that the more people interested in getting out into nature or along city trails, the better.

Schneckenburger thinks that while the Forest Service is actively trying to inspire new locations for e-bike riders, the trails that suddenly allow motorized bikes to get there won’t be overcrowded.

“We don’t expect a drastic increase in usage there just because there may be an allowance for e-bikes on trails that were previously unmotorized,” Schneckenburger said. He referred to the majority of people they see on e-bikes tend to be former riders who can go back with the added power of the motor.

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