While Mammoth’s Bike Park will accept e-bikes, Town policy for its trails is uncertain
On Monday evening, in Mammoth Library’s conference room, the acronyms flew. And if Mayor John Wentworth had his way, tickets would fly, too.
Recently, Mammoth Mountain received permission from the Inyo National Forest (INF) to make an exception to allow Class 1 e-bikes within the mountain’s special-use permit area.
According to Janelle Walker, the winter sports specialist at INF, the local forest service office made an exception because the mountain has a large staff, which—the INF believes—has the ability to properly oversee e-bike use.
What is an e-bike?
E-bikes are bicycles with electric motors. California law has classified e-bikes into three categories. Class 1 e-bikes have pedal-assisted motors. Class 2 e-bikes have throttle-actuated motors. Both 1’s and 2’s have a maximum motor-assisted speed of 20 mph.
The key difference between a Class 1 and Class 2 is the throttle, because, when initiated, it negates the need for pedaling. Riding a Class 2 e-bike is a lot like riding a dirtbike or motorcycle; a rider never has to make a pedal stroke.
Federal law defines all e-bikes—meaning classes 1, 2, and 3 (Class 3’s are the same as 1’s but have a maximum motor-assisted speed of 28 mph)—as motor vehicles, making them illegal on all soft surface, non-motorized vehicle, multi-use paths.