Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Larimer County Adopts Policy Regarding E-Bikes on Soft-Surface Trails

Image credit: US Department of the Interior.

Beginning July 1, 2021, Larimer County will allow those with mobility issues to ride Class I and Class II electric-assist bikes (e-bikes) on soft surface trails that allow bicycles. This change follows results of a pilot program allowing e-bikes at Devil's Backbone Open Space as well as extensive public input. The policy will update a policy adopted in 2011 allowing mobility assistance devices on all Larimer County trails and open spaces. County rangers may enforce the new policy by asking e-bike users about a mobility disability; however, rangers may not ask for details on the specific condition.

Public opinion, greater accessibility for those with disabilities, and support for alternative modes of transportation all played major roles in the County's decision. Class I and II e-bikes are already allowed on Larimer County paved trails and open spaces. E-Bike regulations by trail surface type vary among other land managers in Larimer County such as Fort Collins, Loveland, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and the US Forest Service.

Read more on Larimer County's decision from the Loveland Reporter-Herald.

Electric-Assist (E-Bike) Classification - Under Colorado and Fort Collins law, e-bikes are defined as bicycles with two or three wheels, fully operable pedals, and an electric motor.
  • Class I E-Bike - Provides electrical assistance only while the rider is pedaling, up to 20 mph
  • Class II E-Bike - Provides electrical assistance regardless if the rider is pedaling or not, up to 20 mph
  • Class III E-Bike - Provides electrical assistance while the rider is pedaling, up to 28 mph. Class 3 e-bikes must be equipped with a speedometer, and may not be ridden by people under 16 (unless as a passenger).  People under 18 must wear a helmet.

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