Soil Displacement and Erosion on Bike-Optimized Trails in a Western Oregon Forest
The emergence of electric bicycles, commonly known as e-bikes, is a rapidly growing component of the bicycle market in the US. As a transportation option, they represent an opportunity to reduce vehicle use and emissions, as well as the physical barriers to cycling. For use on trails, they present similar opportunities to reduce barriers to cycling but, as a new use, present new challenges for trail management.
A Comparison of Environmental Impacts from Mountain Bicycles Class 1 Electric Mountain Bicycles and Motorcycles
In the fall of 2015, under contract with the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA), with counsel from a field of recreation management experts, and through a review of existing studies of erosional impacts from trail users, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) conducted a scientifically controlled field study designed to measure relative levels of soil displacement and erosion resulting from traditional mountain bicycles, electric mountain bicycles (eMTBs), and traditional off-road motorcycles (i.e. dirt bikes). The observations were compiled in controlled environmental conditions, with each type of bike making multiple passes on separated sections of the same trail within a single test site.
Published January 01, 2016
Permeable Pavers provide stable, low-impact pathway through Rookery Bay Research Reserve.
In order to better guide research into the range of potential social and environmental impacts and benefits related to the use of eMTBs on natural surface trails, IMBA and the BPSA are interested in what questions land managers have regarding this new use. The survey explicitly targeted land managers’ experiences and concerns regarding eMTB use on natural surface and/or singletrack trails – not paths or bikeways – although some land managers are responsible for both types of trail infrastructure.
The study asked e-bike users in the greater Sacramento area about the reasons why they chose to invest in an e-bike, the ways in which they use their e-bikes, positive and negative aspects of using e-bikes, and reactions from friends and family members.