In a move being heralded by the electric bicycle community, e-bikes are now permitted to ride in all national parks on any trails open to pedal bicycles.
The new decree came in the form of an order signed under the Trump Administration by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.
It reclassifies electric bicycles as “non-motorized bicycles” on national park land, removing them from the category of dirt bikes, motorcycles and other gas-powered single or dual-track vehicles. The move comes at a time when electric bicycles are becoming increasingly affordable and thus more popular, with many models starting at just $500-$600.
Previously, electric bicycles where often forbidden from cycling trails in national parks, though Class 1 e-bikes were allowed in some areas.
In the United States, Class 1 e-bikes can reach speeds of up to 20 mph (32 km/h), but require the rider to pedal to engage the motor. Class 2 e-bikes can reach similar speeds but have an additional hand throttle, meaning they can be ridden like motorbikes and do not require pedal input to activate the motor (though most also have pedal assist systems to function like Class 1 e-bikes). Class 3 e-bikes are similar to Class 2 e-bikes, except that they can reach higher speeds of up to 28 mph (45 km/h).
The new law allows all three classes of e-bikes to ride on cycling trails in national parks, though Class 2 and Class 3 e-bikes are not allowed to use the throttle control. Those e-bikes must be pedaled like standard Class 1 e-bikes while on national park trails. Thus far it appears this will be handled on the honor system.
Escape Adventures currently offers numerous eBike tours. Click HERE to see all available locations and dates. We applaud the news that pedal assist electric bicycles will finally be treated like the bicycles they are, at least in national parks.