National Park Service allows e-bikes into national parks

I want to ride my bicycle — I want to ride my … e-bike?

Just like Freddie Mercury would have wanted, you can now ride them (mostly) where you like inside national parks.

In an effort to maximize the amount of landscape people are able to see when visiting a national park, the National Park Service has allowed e-bikes to make an appearance inside parks.

In a statement, the National Park Service said that e-bikes will be allowed in all national parks that have designated areas for regular bicycles. They will also have the same restrictions as regular bicycles, so don’t go dreaming of wilderness excursions with an electric motor.

“As more Americans are using e-bikes to enjoy the great outdoors, national parks should be responsive to visitors’ interest in using this new technology wherever it is safe and appropriate to do so,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith in a news release.

The e-bikes would be limited to models that only provide assistance when the operator is pedaling, and are capped out at 750 watts or roughly one horsepower.

In the policy memorandum that allows e-bikes into national parks, the Park Service said one of the goals of introducing the motor-assisted bikes is to promote less-impactful means of travel within parks as they allow visitors to travel farther with less effort and may take the place of automotive transportation in some places.

The release and policy memorandum do not mention a specific start date, but park superintendents have 30 days from the release of the memorandum to insert the policy change into their park’s compendium. The memorandum was published on Aug. 30.

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