The United States Forest Service (USFS) has approved e-bike usage in Mammoth Bike Park, which leases its 3,500 acres from the USFS and is one of the largest mountain bike parks in the country. When the park opens for its 2018 season on May 25, it will become the first major park on U.S. Forest Service land to allow complete e-bike access on all trails, lifts and gondolas within the park. The move is sure to heat up the debate over allowing motorized bikes on public lands.
Mammoth will allow Class 1 e-bikes (e-MTBs without throttles and with motors that max out at 20 miles per hour while the rider is pedaling) on its 80 miles of singletrack and 3,100 feet of vertical descent. Park access points will be clearly marked with signage, according to a statement issued by Mammoth officials, to keep such riders off adjacent lands.
Aimed at making the park more accessible to more riders, e-bike access will provide an alternative for up and side-hill travel on a trail system that sees most users riding the gondola and chairlifts, said Mammoth Mountain.
“Mammoth Mountain’s founder, Dave McCoy, talked often about the importance of having fun. E-bikes are an absolute joy to ride. But e-bikes also represent access and inclusivity,” said Joani Lynch, Mammoth Mountain’s Vice President of Brand Marketing. “They give us the ability to introduce mountain biking to new and different audiences. And having reviewed the impact and usage of e-bikes on trail systems in Europe, where they’re quite common, we think they’ll fit well into our bike park.”
“This approval allows a rapidly emerging recreational use (e-bikes) to be implemented in the SUP (Special Use Permit) boundaries with appropriate oversite by MMSA. We determined that Mammoth Mountain would have the ideal bike patrol park staff to implement this use and manage it accordingly to minimize any issues if they arise,” said Margie Derose, USFS Acting District Ranger.
Mammoth’s fleet of Trek demo bikes now will include the Trek Powerfly 5FS, available for rental starting at $59 for four hours. Guests with a valid bike park pass can also ride their own Category 1 e-bike. The Mammoth Bike Park will also offer e-bike specific lessons in both individual and group settings.