New law allows e-bike recreation use on more trails
MASON COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) — With biking season here, new legislation allows electronic bikes in more areas of the state.
Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill last fall that allows electronic bikes, or e-bikes, on more trails and non-motorized trails.
State Representative Holly Hughes sponsored the bill. Rep. Hughes is chair of the House Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committee.
“We want to make sure since we invest so much money in trails both private and public dollars that we can use these e-bikes and be with their families on these bike trails,” Rep. Hughes said.
Bikes are classified under three different types: Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3.
E-Bikes in the Class 1 group go up to 20 miles per hour and are now allowed on state owned trails.
“Two’s and three’s go a lot faster and so those you still can’t ride on the bike trails,” Rep. Hughes explained.
Dave Maclean owns Spindrift Cyclesports Shop in Ludington where they sell, repair and rent several types of bikes. He has a handful of e-bikes there.
Maclean says they’ve seen an increase in intrest for the bikes at the shop.
“A husband and wife will come in, where he is a little more of an avid rider than her but they want to bike together, an e-bike will allow her to ride at the same pace that he rides at,” Maclean said. “You still have to pedal the bike but it has various levels of assist that will help you.”
“If you’re an older person you still have to pedal but you can do it at ease and not get so tired and so you can go out with your kids or grandkids and just enjoy them,” explained Rep. Hughes.
Some riders say it helped them enjoy the outdoors and the sport they love, even when facing some physical challenges.
“I ride bikes a lot I hurt my knee years ago, but I wanted to continue to ride and give my leg a break and so I rode it all winter long and I really believe it helped me heal,” Daron Stocking, an avid bike rider and employee at Spin Drift Cyclesports said.
Hughes says last year the sales of e-bike quadrupled and they expect it to do the same this year.
The one place the bikes are not allowed is Mackinaw Island where no motor vehicles are allowed on the island. However officials on the island can decide whether to change that now that the law allows them.