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Thread: E-bikes now allowed in National Parks

  1. #1
    Senior Member griffin's Avatar
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    E-bikes now allowed in National Parks

    Thought this might be of interest.

    https://gearjunkie.com/nps-e-bike-rules-national-parks

    Here's the memo itself:

    https://www.nps.gov/subjects/policy/upload/PM_19-01.pdf

    The policy isn't up for public comment, but Park Superintendents do have some say in how it's implemented - if you have strong feelings or thoughts on implementation, it might be worth an email.
    Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

  2. #2
    Senior Member psmart's Avatar
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    It will be interesting to see how this is implemented at Acadia National Park, which has been consistently enforcing the traditional non-motorized use of the carriage roads. For the last two years they've had signs prohibiting eBikes at the primary carriage road entry points.

  3. #3
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    It will be interesting to see how it is implemented everywhere. What the non-motorized cycling community is concerned with is increased damage due to increased torque under the control of inexperienced riders leading to the banning of all bicycles. Then there are speed, control, and crowd concerns. One collision with an e-bike could also lead to banning of all bicycles. Similar problems on the road - drivers generally do not distinguish between the groups of road users and thus display anger against all cyclists, including the law-abiding ones. I am, in general, a fan of increasing access for bicycles but as always there are unintended consequences.

    On the other hand, there is joy to be felt when one catches and passes someone on an e-bike

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  4. #4
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    I envision S&R calls increasing for "out of charge" emergency's. My theory is a conventional bike rider is typically going to be able to make it back to the trailhead on their own power while an E-bike potentially encourages the rider to go farther off in the woods on a charge and then be unable to make it back when the battery is depleted.

    I also cynically see a new revenue stream for the parks. Set up ebike rental concessions and dump more usage on the trails.

    I do find it interesting that they think they are going to be able manage wattage limits and that electric assist is going to be the only option when off road compared to fully assisted mode. Many E-bikes appear to have the capability to rapidly switch from one mode to another and although the regulation calls out the various classes of Ebikes, they don't reference any discrimination in the class type for uses. Motor wattage ratings are quite susceptible to being under or overstated, and many can be swapped out for a larger motor. I expect larger wattage motors will quickly become a popular swap. Battery's also can be juiced for higher output by hacking the BMS or just swapping in larger cells. Barring a tech inspection for every bike a typical park employee is not going to care and I expect bikes with capabilities above what the parks expected will populate the parks where there are extensive opportunities to bike.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mac's Avatar
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    Then there's this - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanical_doping, where it looks like a "normal" bicycle, but is actually powered by a hidden motor and battery.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I envision S&R calls increasing for "out of charge" emergency's. My theory is a conventional bike rider is typically going to be able to make it back to the trailhead on their own power while an E-bike potentially encourages the rider to go farther off in the woods on a charge and then be unable to make it back when the battery is depleted.
    Well they sure won't be carrying or pushing back once depleted.

    I've demo'd a few e mountain bikes and they are HEAVY. The Trek I rode was 55 pounds. No problem when the batt is full but almost un-rideable when flat.

    Most do have a state-of-charge indicator to let you know what's left.
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