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A Word On Washington's E-Bike Legislation



If you spent any time on the "internets" or the "twitters" last week, you probably saw that little old Washington was the topic of some major (at least by biking standards) news. Namely, at the end of session, the Washington Legislature passed a fairly innocuous bit of law adding a definition of e-bikes that aligns with current industry standards and specifying that certain e-bikes can be ridden on paved surfaces along with regular bikes.

What caught folks attention, however, was language restating the current status of e-bikes once they're off the pavement. Namely, e-bikes are not permitted on non-motorized trails unless allowed by the local land manager. Groundbreaking? No. In fact, this was the exact state of the law before the legislation and is (obviously) the state of the law after this legislation, including in Capitol Forest. Did that stop click-bait headlines from industry news sources around the globe? Of course not.


But, e-bikers, fear not. To begin with, this legislation clarifies that it is up to local land managers where and when to allow e-bikes on non-motorized trails. Those of you following the bikes in wilderness efforts in Congress might recognize this strategy as a common-sense approach that avoids across-the-board absolutes while allowing use to move forward on a case-by-case basis. 

More importantly, e-bikes have always been allowed on motorized trails. And, Washington has a *wealth* of quality moto singletrack. Close to home, Capitol Forest is primed for e-bike use on its large network of moto trails, some of which see relatively infrequent use and could use a group of interested folks to help keep up with maintenance. So, if you are an e-biker and are interested in e-bike use on moto trails in the Forest, drop us a line! 


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