Letter to the Editor: Updated, fair and realistic regulations are needed for Class 1 e-bikes on natural surface trails | SummitDaily.com
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Letter to the Editor: Updated, fair and realistic regulations are needed for Class 1 e-bikes on natural surface trails

Doug Trieste Breckenridge

This letter is a follow-up to my Oct. 6 guest column, “Throttling the e-bike conundrum.”

In 2018, the Summit Board of County Commissioners, with input from the Open Space and Trails Department and public, stated, “No e-bike use will be considered this year for dirt routes (natural surface trails) overseen by Open Space. But it is now 2022 — not, this year.

Class 1 e-bikes have a small electric motor, are pedal assist only, do not have a throttle, have a 20 mph speed limiter, and are peddled the same as a regular bike whether the motor is used or not. And if the bike is being propelled via the electric motor, it will not do any more damage to a natural surface trail than a regular bike, nor intimidate other riders who may be prejudice and unaccepting.



A Class 1 electric mountain bike simply allows a rider — especially those with physical limitations — to enjoy trails other than paved trails which are the most dangerous due to crowding. An example is the recpath along the Breckenridge River Walk that is often packed with pedestrians, yet about anything with wheels can be rampant at unsafe speeds dangerous to pedestrians and with no safety restrictions in force. But a Class 1 e-bike on a sparsely populated natural surface trail is deemed dangerous and unacceptable. Something is wrong with this picture!

E-bike usage is rapidly growing, and it is time for regulators from the Town of Breckenridge, Summit County, and the USDA Forest Service to be open minded, realistic, and accept Class 1 e-bikes allowance in today’s — not 2018’s — world on natural surface trails. There is absolutely no sound reason to penalize riders of those bikes.


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