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Class 1 electric bikes now allowed on some trails in Tahoe National Forest

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 10:35 PM PDT
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TRUCKEE, Calif. (KOLO) - For the first time, a new class of electric bicycles is allowed on dozens of miles in the Tahoe National Forest. This shirt means a new experience is waiting for you and your family.

“I see E-bike use continuing to grow in the region.”

Jonathan Cook-Fisher, District Ranger in Truckee Ranger District

Forest officials have opened up 35 miles of existing non-motorized trails to class 1 E-bikes in and near Truckee. It’s the first national forest in the Pacific Southwest region to allow these types of bikes on its trails. They were not allowed before because they were put in the same class as motorized vehicles.

“They are particularly popular with families, or with individuals who are maybe reengaging with mountain biking, perhaps recovering from knee surgery, or lost that ability to really get out deeper into the trails and explore the forest,” Jonathan Cook-Fisher, District Ranger in the Truckee Ranger District said.

So what is an E-bike?

“it provides a power-assist that’s most useful on flat or uphill terrain. you have to be pedaling for that motor to be engaged and it does shut off at 20 miles an hour, Cook-Fisher said.

Class 2 E-bikes have a throttle and max assisted speed of 20 mph. Class 3 E-bikes are pedal-assisted only, with a max assisted speed of 28 mph.

According to Cook-Fisher, class 1′s have most of the same components as a traditional mountain bike and are safe when it comes to speed.

Cook-Fisher added, “The class 1 E-bike is very quiet, you may not even notice that the person who just rode by you is on a class 1 E-bike. A standard mountain bike rider going downhill was actually able to achieve higher speeds than a class 1.”

Class 1 E-bikers can now ride on the Emigrant Trail, Big Chief Trail, and Sawtooth Trail. Cook-Fisher says this mode of transportation won’t leave a negative imprint on our planet and provides inclusive access to what the Tahoe National Forest has to offer.

“The environmental impacts from E-bikes are indistinguishable from standard mountain bikes,” Cook-Fisher said.

In addition to the 35 miles of non-motorized trails in the Tahoe National Forest, the Town of Truckee allows all three classes of E-bikes on 22 miles of scenic paved paths, bringing the total to 57 miles of paved and dirt trails open for riding. To view a map of the multi-use paved trails and bike paths, click here.

Learn more about E-bikes on Tahoe Donner trails.

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