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When asked by People for Bikes a few years ago, MA DCR's stated policy was that ebikes are "motorized vehicles," and relegated to motorized "OHV" trails. So yes, technically, you're right, but it was never in writing.

MA's motor vehicle code, however, allowed "motorized bikes" up to 50cc or 1000w to be classified as bicycles, as long as they capped at 25 mph. This has been in place for well more than a decade, but apparently it does not apply to "natural surface" trails or paths.

The proposed new DCR code, pushed for by NEMBA, singles out "pedal assist" bicycles and forbids them from all DCR trails/paths, making no exceptions even for OHV-friendly trails, which boggles my mind and tells me that the "author" of the new code doesn't want ebikes in MA parks AT ALL.

I've been eMTBing on DCR trails since 2015 (for thousands of hours), and have never been told to stop - not by Rangers, and definitely not by MTBers. Some have been curious and open-minded enough to hop on, but most say **** like "I don't need it" etc. Many have been supportive, saying that if it keeps me riding, great, but the majority have expressed indifference. They seem to be unaware of NEMBA's hardcore stance against ebikes on trails.

NEMBA will find itself on the wrong side of history sooner or later, as its membership ages but wants to keep riding. FOr now, they're certainly missing out on a growing potential for new members!
 

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Massachusetts law does not expressly define "electrically assisted bicycle" separately from a bicycle with a gasoline engine. Mass. Gen. Law Ch. 90 Section 1 does define "motorized bicycle" as a pedal bicycle with a helper motor OR a non-pedal bicycle with a motor and a cylinder capacity not exceeding 50 cubic centimeters, an automatic transmission and the capability to reach a maximum speed of 30 mph."

https://www.bikeaccidentlawyersblog...s-spark-controversy-massachusetts-bike-paths/

Under Massachusetts state law, an e-bike can be interpreted as being a "motorized bicycle" which would make e-bikes subject to different rules of the road from regular bicycles, such as:

E-bike riders must carry a driver's license and are subject to registration requirements.
No one under 16 years of age can use an e-bike.
E-bikes are prohibited from all bike paths, as well as all sidewalks, regardless of local context.
https://www.massbike.org/ebikes

Sorry for your situation. I will write a letter against the proposed change. The MA senate has a bill https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/S2071 that will fix this situation and that might be NEMBA and DCR's motivation to step in front and solidify MA current approach to eBikes.
 

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Why anyone would choose to live in the NE, is beyond me. There are some nice areas and great scenery, but the whole area seems to be about saying NO to everything, and everything is about control instead of freedom. "Live Free Or Die"? Looks like the NE has chosen a slow death by a million cuts.

No surprise that the population of that region as a whole has barely grown in the past ten years. Time to raise taxes again to compensate.
 

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Why anyone would choose to live in the NE, is beyond me. There are some nice areas and great scenery, but the whole area seems to be about saying NO to everything, and everything is about control instead of freedom. "Live Free Or Die"? Looks like the NE has chosen a slow death by a million cuts.

No surprise that the population of that region as a whole has barely grown in the past ten years. Time to raise taxes again to compensate.
umm, these towns and counties are interconnected with a zillion trails and paths thru much private land where landowners are cool with it but only human powered or horses. I constantly ride miles of endless trails that are not particularly known as a destination more of part of a huge loop and the landowners are wicked cool with it...but they don't want motorized anything.

stay out if you don't like it. or use a bicycle and not an e-bike and ...experience some of the best riding -anywhere- here in Ma

NEMBA is doing just fine and growing all the time

and no, e-bikes are not globally banned, re-read it please. DCR allows them on some specific paths of which there are many...so find out that part of the docs and check some maps and see where you can ride them

essentially this is the first step: defining e-bike separate from motorized, and laying in the first set of rules. Now if this goes through, then you can work to modify the rules. But the re-definition of e-bikes here is the biggest thing and without that in place first, nothing will ever get done. think of the big picture, there has to be a starting point. and redefining them and separating them from motorized (pedal-assist of specific power) has to be done. future work and rules changes cannot proceed without this redefinition. Once in the DCR books as pedal-assist a whole barrel of options for new rules and discussion can take place.

For you e-bikers wanting access, This part has to go through:
Motorized Conveyance. Any conveyance powered by a motor, other than a "motorvehicle" as defined in M.G.L. c. 90, sec. 1. For purposes of this regulation, a "Pedal- Assist Electric Bicycle," as defined herein, is not a Motorized Conveyance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
stay out if you don't like it. or use a bicycle and not an e-bike and ...experience some of the best riding -anywhere- here in Ma

and no, e-bikes are not globally banned, re-read it please. DCR allows them on some specific paths of which there are many...[/B][/SIZE]
Not sure what part of the following proposed code change allows for pedal assist bicycles on ANY DCR trails (see page 30 of the first my originally linked PDFs above):
"Pedal-assist electric bicycles are not permitted on improved DCR trails that are less than 8 feet in width, and on dirt roads that are not open to vehicular traffic. Pedal- assist electric bicycles are not permitted on any natural surface trails, regardless of width or other conditions."

I huff pretty damn hard when I ride my eMTBs and don't want to breathe ATV/Moto exhaust. Plus I'd have to drive nearly an hour to get to the nearest DCR OHV trails, whereas I have several singletrack trailheads within a 10 minute bike ride.

I keep trying to get back on my old Stumpy, but my anaerobic threshold has diminished since my third battle with Lyme and turning 50 several years ago. We need to learn to share and be inclusive not exclusionary.
 

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I think it's because Colorado also would need some sort of a helper motor to try to keep up.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/10-best-states-to-live-in_n_5661eb26e4b072e9d1c60d8c
"poverty rate, the percentage of adults who have at least a bachelor's degree, and life expectancy at birth."

Yes, those factors alone are going to totally dictate where I choose to live. That ranking has New Jersey as the fourth best state to live in! LMAO. Wonder why people are leaving in droves. We could cherry pick "best gumbo, most people speaking Cajun, and highest hot sauce production" and Louisiana would win hands down. I still wouldn't live there.

Even with the bogus criteria, CO came in 6th. The real story is here:
MA > 10-yr. population growth:
9.1% (21st lowest)
CO> 10-yr. population growth: 17.4% (8th highest)
 

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oh, ranking states now ?

States ranked by Intelligence, MA #1.

I would expect it to not have the most population growth, nor the most rapid changes to land use rules governing lands owned by the oldest money in the USA.


Smarter people make better choices on average.

Let's keep sidetracking yet another thread with irrelevant BS.
 

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NEMBA will find itself on the wrong side of history sooner or later, as its membership ages but wants to keep riding. FOr now, they're certainly missing out on a growing potential for new members!
NEMBA is a mountain bike group. You shouldn't be shocked that they are not advocating for a motorized sporting activity. It's not mountain biking.

If there are enough ebikers in the area to matter they should start and advocacy group and make their case for access, trail maintenance, trail interactions, etc...

It be like saying a sailing group should advocate for power boating because their members might get too old to sail and would want to switch to power boating. That doesn't compute.
 

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my opinion on this will get ripped again and again
but it is this

don't fight this first step, which is largely definition. instead embrace it and use [whatever the result is] to move forward with, embrace it, and work on the next intelligent steps to get your access sorted and moving in the direction you feel is appropriate. nice friendly teamwork and ideas instead of the screwbag fights and pissin matches.
 
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