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EBike ADA Access Question

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    EBike ADA Access Question


    I am a disabled Veteran who has a 30% lung reduction due to chemical exposure from disarming bombs. Additionally, I have various other injuries that cause long term standing and running to be very challenging at times. My balance is great, but my strength fades in and out. Due to this I have finally purchased an eMTB after all my local friends pushing me. For the first time in 10 years I am able to ride an entire trail with them. I cannot tell you happy valuable that is to me.

    My concern is that local law for natural surface trail was written years ago and appears to prohibit ebikes. It states no motorized vehicles, but doesn't define them. It then states powered wheeled chairs are permitted. It doesn't list any other ADA devices such as segways.

    I attain normal mountain bike speeds now. My former boss only has one leg and his ebike permits the same. We both want to ride the trails without bothering anyone and staying legal. I am willing to take the request to our county gov. Does anyone have any pointers or examples of good legislation I can present?

    I could just remain quite and continue on as even the rangers stated they don't care about my use. One contradictory point is our local former rail turned trail actually has a pro ebike sign. As long as the ebike meets the usual standards such as only being pedal assist and motor size it is permitted. The sign actually appears to go against the outdated, but still standing laws.

    Thank you,


    As far as the law is concerned bikes that fall under the "ebike" classification are not motorized vehicles.

    It is basically for internal combustion engines or electric bikes that are so high powered they are closer to a motorcycle, such as the Sur-Ron.

    That said, we have seen instances in locations where ebikes are explicitly forbidden that disabled folks got an exception under the ADA.


      I appreciate the response. While I have heard of these cases, I was hoping for references such as case law or regulations that I could show the local authorities. Over the last few weeks of research I missed arguably the most important law that matches just what you stated. Federal Law H.R. 727. If anyone has other references I would really appreciate it. Thanks.


      • mrm
        mrm commented
        Editing a comment
        Always carry the laws with you(H.R. 727. OPDMD.. etc). Also ALWAYS carry a device to video record any confrontations. Be sure to inform anyone involved that they are being recorded. I've been looking for years for some kind of verification of my disability ( to use my EBike, Segway) but have only gotten double talk from the ADA, Governors council on disability ETC.... (NH).Let me know if you find anything!
        Last edited by mrm; 05-04-2018, 04:18 PM.

      So after further research I have discovered that HR 727 does define 'low speed' electric bicycles as just 'bicycles'. However, it is only for importation and first sale of the ebike. It protects shops selling the ebike from liability of selling a motorized vehicle. HR 727 is then interpreted to leave open to state and local authorities to regulate ebikes how they see fit.

      Basically, I'm back to ground zero. When confronted by local authorities I would like information supporting the use of of ebikes by ADA people as legal similar to that of wheelchairs and segways. Anyone have anything to add?


      • Sneakers915
        Sneakers915 commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't think anyone classifies an ebike of any sort as a OPMD like an electric wheelchair, but on the other hand, if you hang a disabled placard on your bike, no one will hassle you either.


      You are protected Brother!

      -a fellow disabled Veteran