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Friday Roundup: AZ Trails open to e-bikes, deals & more!

photo by Colin Meagher
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Arizona legislation opens state trails to e-bikes – As of the first of January, new state legislation ARS 28-819 has officially defined the classification of e-bikes, allowing those with a max power-assist speed of 20mph or less full trail access statewide wherever conventional pedal bikes are allowed. AZ is the ninth state to enact such regulation, and it applies to state, county & municipal lands, trail systems & multi-use paths.

Arizona legislation opens trails for e-bike riders, eMTB trail access AZ
riding photo c. Colin Meagher, trail photo c. Maricopa County, AZ

Local authorities still have the power to enact additional policies to prohibit e-bikes on their own trail systems (with some having already done so last autumn), but this should open up a number of desert southwest trails for e-mountain bikers (now linking three of the states around the Four Corners. To clarify though, much of the most famous trails in the state are on federal National Forest & BLM land which still prohibits e-bikes off-road as motorized vehicles. More detail on the access issue at: e-Bikerumor.com

Advocacy & Contests

  • Pitch in at GoFundMe for photographer Colin Meagher & even win a bike – So that lead photo of responsible eMTB trail riding is courtesy of Colin Meagher who shot it during a Shimano event. Now the thing is Colin is battling ALS, a debilitating disease that threatens both his life and more pressingly his ability to continue to take great photos. You can actually help offset some of the expensive treatment that he’s going through now via GoFundMe. And because his is so well respected in the bike industry, a number of companies have chipped in some killer gear as raffle prizes. There’s a Pivot Mach 6, a Cannondale Habit, a Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt, a Trek Session 29, a Marin Gestalt, a GT Performer, and a bunch of other kit. Help Colin one more time: GoFundMe.com

  • American Bike League recognizes 82 bike-friendly businesses –  The League of American Bicyclists is honoring 82 businesses in 30 states with its prestigious Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) designation. This award “recognizes companies for their efforts to promote and support active, healthy transportation options for their employees, customers, and guests.” Check out the full list of who made the cut here, or head over to their website for more about their Bicycle Friendly America Awards near you. BikeLeague.org

Where to Ride

  • Register quickly for the 2019 Epic Rides Off-Road Series races – Registration for Epic Rides’ Off-Road Series has been blowing up since it opened New Year’s Day. With lots of mountain bikers setting out resolutions to go ride, the series will likely sell out as amateur & pros alike look to mix killer singletrack combined with weekends of live music & mountain biker community good times.  First up, the Whiskey Off-Road Apr 26-28, then Grand Junction Off-Road May 17-19, Carson City Off-Road Jun 14-16 & lastly the Oz Trails Off-Road Oct 11-13. Full details at: EpicRides.com

  • Ride the Tour de Zwift, their biggest ever virtual tour – Running Jan 3-30, the Tour de Zwift is a 9-stage event across all five of their virtual courses. Open to everyone in the Zwift community, they’ll host each stage for 2 days with events rolling out every 2 hours each day (plus make-up days on Feb 2 & 3). Use the tour as motivation to get your riding & training on track. Complete all 9 stages & unlock a special Tour de Zwift kit. Zwift.com

Gear & Deals

  • Half Off Rapha for one more week – It’s the final reductions in Rapha’s annual clearance sale. A select bunch of popular Rapha favs are now 50% off both online & in their brick-and-mortar Clubhouses. Act now though, the sale finally ends next Friday, Jan 11. Rapha.cc



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Jay Turberville
Jay Turberville
4 years ago

This law went into effect back in the middle of August 2018. The January 1, 2019 date is only for retailer/manufacturers.

I’m not sure if an off-road trail is the same as a multi-use path. That said, bikes limited to 20 mph maximum speed shouldn’t present a problem on trails.

It is also worth noting that an electric bike that qualifies for one of these three classes is NOT a vehicle. So postings that say things like “No Motorized Vehicles” would not apply to an e-bike under AZ statutes since it is legally NOT a vehicle. Of course, local municipal laws might define an e-bike differently. I expect a lot of confusion due to the change (and lack of knowledge of it), the overlapping of jurisdictions, and possible problems with definitions.

Lester Binegar
Lester Binegar
4 years ago

Thanks AZ! Let freedom ring.

Brian Regan
Brian Regan
4 years ago

Federal Law alows E Bikes on Federal lands see below

Federal Law Governing Low-Speed Electric Bicycles:
Electric-assisted bicycles have been defined and regulated at the federal level since 2002. Public
Law 107-319 established that electric bicycles are regulated as consumer products under the
Consumer Product Safety Act, and more specifically, subject to the same regulations that govern
traditional, human-powered bicycles. Thus, electric bicycles are regulated by the Consumer
Product Safety Commission, and must comply with the bicycle safety standards at 16 C.F.R. Part
1512. In addition, electric bicycles are explicitly not “motor vehicles” for the purposes of federal
law, and are not subject to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration vehicle standards.
As a practical matter, Public Law 107-319 ensures that electric bicycles are designed,
manufactured, and tested like traditional bicycles for the purposes of consumer product safety
law. The main provisions of Public Law 107-319 are codified at 15 U.S.C. § 2085.
Under federal law, an electric bicycle is referred to as a “low-speed electric bicycle,” which is
defined as “a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of
less than 750 watts (1 h.p.), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered
solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20
mph.” Significantly, this definition provides a maximum assisted speed that an electric bicycle
can travel when being powered only by the motor, but does not provide a maximum assisted
speed for when an electric bicycle is being powered by a combination of human and motor
Federal law does not preempt any state traffic laws or vehicle codes. While there is a preemption
provision in Public Law 107-319, that provision is limited in scope to product safety regulation.
Therefore, Public Law 107-319 has no impact on state traffic laws or vehicle codes, which
regulate the use of electric bicycles, and it is still necessary to update these laws to incorporate
these devices

Tom Noyes
Tom Noyes
4 years ago

I’m going to AZ for a eMTB riding vacation. Thanks You AZ

G Mac
G Mac
4 years ago

Great, just remember that e-bikes are not allowed on National Forest and BLM trails that are designated non-motorized. E-bike riders can use any trail that motorcycles are legal on and AZ has a ton of those.

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