Steamboat City Council approves e-bike policy
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs City Council pedaled into the future Tuesday night when it voted to legalize the use of electric bicycles on two trails in the city.
The e-bike policy will allow class 1 electric bicycles, which use motors to help a rider pedal, on the Yampa River Core Trail and the Walton Creek Trail.
Electric bicycles that use throttles in place of pedaling will not be allowed on the trails.
Electric bicycle riders are also still barred from riding on other city trails, such as the ones on Emerald Mountain.
The City Council’s unanimous approval of the e-bike policy followed a year-long trial program that city officials said did not produce any complaints or major issues.
Council members earlier this month again debated whether to impose a speed limit for bicycles on the Core Trail.
The council decided against doing this and instead will rely on wording in the code that calls on cyclists to follow trail etiquette posted along the trails.
Linda John, who sells and rents the electric bicycles at her Steamboat store, Pedego, praised the council’s decision to allow electric bicycles on the trails.
“Electric bikes are here, and they’re not going anywhere,” John said. “So, I think it’s good the city is looking at them and figuring out where they want them to be.”
However, John said the Core Trail isn’t the most popular route she sends electric bicyclists on.
She noted the Core Trail can get congested, and if riders are comfortable sharing the road with cars, they have better experiences out on the open road.
Routes she suggests to e-bike cyclists include taking Fish Creek Falls Road to the parking lot for the area’s most iconic waterfall.
Other routes include taking Steamboat Boulevard to the area of the Sanctuary Neighborhood.
“We also send them out River Road, so they can do a loop ride back to town,” she said.
John said some cyclists are using e-bikes to take trips they might normally take in a car, such as a quick ride to the grocery store.
If a visitor is renting an e-bike to ride on the Core Trail, Pedego disengages any throttle on the bicycle, so that it becomes a class 1 bike and complies with the city’s rules.
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