Bernhardt order allows electric bikes on federal trails

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt signed an order last week that allows e-bikes to be used on National Park and Bureau of Land Management trails where bikes are allowed.

Supporters say this is a great way for elderly or handicapped riders to enjoy trails that they normally couldn't ride.

But those against argue that e-bikes could damage trails, or make them more crowded for standard bike riders.

A statement from the Interior said riders must use the electric motor only to boost their pedaling, and not rely on the motor alone.

"I have heard some rants about them, and not everybody thinks they should be out on the trails but I don't really mind,” said Grand Junction Bike Rider, James Schafer.

“Electric bicycles do nothing to properties or bike trails that regular bikes don’t do. A lot of people, especially those who visit national parks, they are older people, and this allows them to see the park, and ride bikes,” said owner of Colorado Electric Bikes, Scott Manuppella.

The Interior's order allows motorized bikes that can go up to 28 miles per hour to be classified as regular bikes.

The National Parks Service and the Bureau of Land Management were given 30 days to come up with public guidance on how this will be carried out.

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