I’ve been riding mountain bikes in the area for nearly 30 years. I’ve introduced countless youth to the joys of mountain biking, as well as enjoying the sport with friends and acquaintances over the years. As my body has aged, I found that my range and ability to ride was diminished to the point that I was no longer able to enjoy full access to the trails … until I purchased an e-bike a few years ago. Riding the e-bike has allowed me to re-engage with riding partners and introduce a new generation of riders to the joys of riding in the foothills. E-bikes don’t have a throttle, and data show that the pedal-assist function simply allows a weaker rider to achieve pedaling power similar to strong riders. In all other aspects, an e-bike is simply a bicycle, nothing more. Classifying e-bikes as motor vehicles is inaccurate.
Recently, the City of Boise (along with Ridges to Rivers) has placed restrictions on where to ride my e-bike and Ada County is considering following suit. This is discrimination against a class of people who prefer or require the accommodation to access the foothills. Further, it would appear that such discrimination may run afoul of equal protection as well as equal access, which will undoubtedly be tested in the courts, costing taxpayer money to defend seemingly unconstitutional regulations.
Gary Case, Nampa