Friday, October 1, 2010

Should electric bikes be allowed on trails?

The Rio Grande Trail near Aspen, Colorado has recently banned electric bikes and Segways.

Segway on Glenwood Canyon Trail
It's a sticky issue. For some people such as the elderly and disabled, electric bikes may be just the incentive to get them out exploring our wonderful U.S. trails. If used properly, electric bikes still allow the rider to get exercise while providing assistance on hills or for that last stretch when they don't quite have the energy to finish a ride under their own pedal power.

On the other hand, allowing electric bikes on trails could also create problems that would be hard for law enforcement officers. Which types should be allowed in which areas for how long? Sometimes it's just easier to say, no motorized vehicles, period; and leave it at that.

Personally, I'd like to see different rules on different trails, just like we currently have for equestrians, cyclists, hikers, and inline skaters. I've enjoyed riding a Segway on the Glenwood Canyon Trail and I've ridden a motorized bicycle on the Coal Creek Trail. But mostly, I prefer to ride my bike or hike on trails. I'm a big fan of peace, quiet, and a slower pace on the trails.

This sounds like a new topic for the reader's survey in the left hand column of this blog.As soon as we're done with the fall colors survey, you'll get a chance to let me know what you think? Should electric bikes and Segways be allowed on our trails? (If you can't wait for the survey, feel free to hit the comment button below and leave your comment about this topic.)


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