CHEYENNE– With the growing popularity of electric bicycles nationwide there soon became a quandary regarding whether or not E-bikes should be allowed on trails designated as non-motorized.
With the help of some impassioned bicycle shop owners, like Patrick Collins for the Bicycle Station, and the bill sponsor State Senator Tara Nethercott, The Wyoming State Legislature passed SF81, allowing for the use of correctly labeled E-bikes on state trails and roadways. The bill, signed into law by Gov. Mark Gordon, goes into effect July 1.
With the Passage of the E-bike legislation Wyoming State Parks wanted to take the lead and is currently working on rules that will allow the Type-1 E-bikes on non-motorized trails. Wyoming State Parks is also piloting an experiment to look at the effects of Type 2 on the trails and hope that if there are no effects we will be able to allow Type 2s as well. During this upcoming season while Wyomign State Parks works on official rules the parks will allow the Type 1 E-bike usage on our non-motorized trails.
In research from the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Office, E-bike sales and manufacturing have been climbing exponentially over the last few years.
“E-bikes allow people who may not normally be able to enjoy trails for whatever physical reason the chance to get into our beautiful parks,” said Domenic Bravo Administrator for Wyoming State Parks and Outdoor Recreation Office “we look forward to seeing you on the trail”
According to the legislation, electric bicycles may be operated where “bicycles are permitted to travel…” with the following exceptions:
- Class 1 or Class 2 electric bicycles may be operated on bicycle or multi-use paths where bicycles are allowed unless otherwise stated by the local authority or state agency with jurisdiction over the specific path or trail.
- Class 3 electric bicycles shall not be operated on a bicycle or multi-use path unless it is adjacent to a highway or roadway or a local authority or state agency allows that operation.
- Persons interested in purchasing an electric bicycle should discuss how and where they intend to use the E-bike with their dealer, who can either provide insight into where the particular bike can and can’t be used or who to contact to get a clarification.
Electric Bicycle definitions
Class 1 – electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of 20 miles an hour.
Class 2 – electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used to propel the bicycle without pedaling and is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of 20 miles an hour.
Class 3 – electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of 28 miles an hour.