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  1. #1
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    Default Park Adopts New Regulation for E-Bike Use

    this came down this morning...........there was a long thread on this topic earlier on...


    Great Smoky Mountains News Release

    Release Date: October 24, 2019



    Park Adopts New Regulation for E-Bike Use
    Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced the adoption of a new regulation to allow the use of low-speed electric bikes (e-bikes) in the park at all locations where bicycles are currently allowed. Both Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes, which can provide electronic assistance until the rider reaches a speed of 20 mph, are allowed under the new regulation.

    Park specific regulations, as described in the Superintendent’s Compendium or Code of Federal Regulations, Title 36, have been amended to record this change in Chapters 1. 4 and 4.3. Bicycles and e-bikes are allowed on any park road where motor vehicles are allowed; seasonally closed roads; and the Gatlinburg Trail between the Sugarlands Visitor Center and Gatlinburg (1.9 miles), the Oconaluftee River Trail between the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and the town of Cherokee (1.6 miles), Indian Creek Trail (2.9 miles), and Deep Creek Trail (1.4 miles).

    E-bikes enable more people to enjoy a cycling experience in the park in a manner that is consistent with conventional bicycle use. Cyclists may only use the small electric motor to assist pedal propulsion. The motor may not be used to propel an e-bike without the rider also pedaling, except in locations open to public motor vehicle traffic. More people, especially those with physical limitations, will now have the opportunity to explore the park in a unique way.

    For more information about biking inside the park, please visit the park’s website at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/biking.htm.

  2. #2
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    I'm not so sure the people who put this regulation together understands the classification system for e-bikes...

    The 3rd paragraph seem to be trying to differentiate between and e-bike (can go where ever conventional bicycles can go) and a motor scooter (treated like a motor vehicle) by saying the e-bike motor must only be able to assist the peddle power.

    But the 1st paragraph clearly states Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes can go anywhere a conventional bicycle can go.

    Yet if you read the definition of a Class 2 e-bike, the motor can have a throttle and the motor can be the exclusive means of propelling the bicycle.

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    Class 2 does make the bike capable of operating without pedal assist, but the regulation is saying that the user can't operate it that way unless in areas that already allow motor vehicles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post
    Class 2 does make the bike capable of operating without pedal assist, but the regulation is saying that the user can't operate it that way unless in areas that already allow motor vehicles.
    IF that is what they are intending, then they should not be listing Class 2 e-bikes in the 1st paragraph.
    The effect is:
    I. Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes can go where ever bicycles can go.
    II. Class 2 e-bikes can only go where motor vehicles can go.

    A contradiction...

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    Class 2 bikes are listed because class 2 bikes are allowed on the trails. They just can't be operated while on trails using the specific function that distinguishes them as class 2 (power without pedal input). Once they're in an area that allows motor vehicles, that function can be used.

    I don't see any contradiction or ambiguity whatsoever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post
    I don't see any contradiction or ambiguity whatsoever.
    I guess I would need to see the exact wording of the new regulations within Title 36.

    But what you seem to be saying is that the new regulations indicate a Class 2 bike is allowed (where ever bicycles are) ONLY if you are pedaling the bike.
    But I don't see how such a rule could begin to be enforced... especially when you consider "coasting" is a part of riding a bike.

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    The other day---the amendment that includes e bikes was on the compendium website...

    I don't see it now but I'm also on a phone trying to view it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    I guess I would need to see the exact wording of the new regulations within Title 36.

    But what you seem to be saying is that the new regulations indicate a Class 2 bike is allowed (where ever bicycles are) ONLY if you are pedaling the bike.
    But I don't see how such a rule could begin to be enforced... especially when you consider "coasting" is a part of riding a bike.
    Close. More like you can't use the power assist when you aren't pedaling. Coasting would be perfectly fine.

    As to enforcement, agreed that it's not something you can easily do. Just like a lot of other rules on the books (following too close while driving, for example). But having it written makes the intent clear and when egregious violations are apparent, the law is there to fall back on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    I guess I would need to see the exact wording of the new regulations within Title 36.
    But what you seem to be saying is that the new regulations indicate a Class 2 bike is allowed (where ever bicycles are) ONLY if you are pedaling the bike.
    But I don't see how such a rule could begin to be enforced... especially when you consider "coasting" is a part of riding a bike.
    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post
    Close. More like you can't use the power assist when you aren't pedaling. Coasting would be perfectly fine.

    As to enforcement, agreed that it's not something you can easily do. Just like a lot of other rules on the books (following too close while driving, for example). But having it written makes the intent clear and when egregious violations are apparent, the law is there to fall back on.
    I guess the easy part would be to give a ticket (or whatever) to someone going uphill without pedaling (as that isn't physically possible without the power helping). That would be pretty obvious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyGr View Post
    I guess the easy part would be to give a ticket (or whatever) to someone going uphill without pedaling (as that isn't physically possible without the power helping). That would be pretty obvious.
    That assumes there's someone there to give a ticket...
    I'm always seeing "bad behavior" in GSMNP. But the problem is that there usually isn't anyone around to police the crowds. Only exception is at some of the most popular spots (where sometimes rangers or volunteers are stations to help with the crowds).

  11. #11

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    I'm sure everyone will follow the pedal only rule and will never ride electric or manual bikes on prohibited trails as is done today in many unsupervised areas.

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    No, that would never happen.

    People are inherently good.
    Be Prepared

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyGr View Post
    I guess the easy part would be to give a ticket (or whatever) to someone going uphill without pedaling (as that isn't physically possible without the power helping). That would be pretty obvious.
    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    That assumes there's someone there to give a ticket...
    I'm always seeing "bad behavior" in GSMNP. But the problem is that there usually isn't anyone around to police the crowds. Only exception is at some of the most popular spots (where sometimes rangers or volunteers are stations to help with the crowds).
    True. I wasn't suggesting it would always happen, just that it would be easy enough to do so if someone was around when the situation occurred (someone on a bike going uphill without pedaling) as there would be no question in that situation that they were using the power assist when they weren't supposed to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    But I don't see how such a rule could begin to be enforced... especially when you consider "coasting" is a part of riding a bike.
    Agreed.

    Rule would likely inform gateway community shops’ decision on what bikes to buy for their rental fleets, however. To avoid possible hassles and misunderstandings.

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