The Current State of Electric Mountain Bike Trail Access in the US

Photo provided by People for Bikes.

Rachel Fussell is the electric mountain bike Policy and Program Manager at People for Bikes. The group’s stated mission is to change the world through bikes by focusing on empowering cities, creating connections, and supporting the bike industry.

In this episode we ask:

  • What are the current regulations at the federal, state, and local level regarding eMTB trail access?
  • What types of conflicts exist where electric mountain bikes and regular mountain bikes share the trail?
  • Does basic trail etiquette cover eMTBs, or do we need to update and/or add new rules of the trail?
  • Where and how are e-bikes gaining additional trail access?
  • What do land managers generally think about e-bikes on trails? What are their concerns?
  • How big of a role do studies and unbiased reports play into eMTB advocacy? Do opinions play into the discussion as well?
  • Is there a risk that advocating for e-bike access could hurt traditional mountain bike trail access?
  • What do you think about registration programs for e-bikes that are needs-based?
  • Aside from PFB, who else is advocating for eMTBs? Do we need separate eMTB advocacy groups, or is this something that can fit into existing groups like IMBA and local clubs?
  • Why should other mountain bikers care about e-bike access?

Learn more about People for Bikes and eMTB policy at: peopleforbikes.org/topics/electric-bikes

This episode of the Singletracks podcast is sponsored by Explore Brevard.

Professional mountain biker Adam Craig says it’s one of the top three places in the universe he’s ever ridden. Where is this magical mountain biking nirvana? It’s none other than Brevard, North Carolina, home to Pisgah National Forest and DuPont Recreational Forest. The area boasts over 300 miles of peerless singletrack, not to mention hundreds of miles of gravel roads, creating a near endless array of routes, terrains, and challenges to explore. Four vibrant bike shops will get you sorted, whether you need gear, service, or a top notch rental. Top it off with an array of craft breweries, cafes and gathering spots that have earned Brevard the title as one of the best small towns in America in 2021. It all adds up to a premier mountain biking destination you’ll want to experience for yourself. Find out more at ExploreBrevard.com.

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