The Mammoth Bike Park has long been at the forefront of mountain biking. Among the first lift-accessed parks in the world, Mammoth’s progressive trail building program has made it one of North America’s top riding destinations.
Now, another major first that will thrill some and anger others. Aimed at making the park more accessible to more riders, the United States Forest Service has approved e-bike access with the goal of providing an alternative for up and side-hill travel on a trail system that sees most users riding the gondola and chair lifts.
The USFS approval follows a thorough review process and allows for the use of Category 1 (pedal assist) e-bikes within the boundaries of the Mammoth Bike Park. E-bikes will not be permitted on any trails on USFS land outside the bike park boundaries.
The Mammoth Bike Park opens for the year on Friday, May 25, and their fleet of Trek demo bikes will include e-bikes for 2018. Not surprisingly the e-bike manufacturing community welcomed this news. “We are thrilled to learn that Class 1 pedal-assist eBikes will soon be allowed to roam and adventure in Mammoth Mountain Bike Park’s vast trail network,” said Claudia Wasko, GM of Bosch eBike Systems Americas. “Mammoth has always been on the forefront of embracing the new since way back in the 80s when they helped popularize downhill mountain biking at the Kamikaze Bike Games. I expect more resorts around America will take note and realize that Class 1 eMTBs allow more people to access and appreciate the outdoors in a healthy, sustainable way.”
To learn more, here’s a Q&A provided by Mammoth to Mtbr.
In short, it’s about inclusivity and access. E-bikes will help some of our guests experience the Bike Park in ways they wouldn’t otherwise be able to. Having studied e-bike usage at bike parks and mountain bike destinations in Europe we felt quite comfortable that this was a move that would benefit a number of our guests, with minimal impact on the trail system and non-motorized riders.
Where will e-bikes be allowed at Mammoth?
On all trails within the boundaries of the Mammoth Bike Park.
Where won’t e-bikes be allowed at Mammoth?
E-bikes are not permitted on USFS trails outside out of the Mammoth Bike Park. Mammoth will also be installing new signage at every access and exit point to the Bike Park, clearly indicating where e-bike access is permitted and where it isn’t.
Will Mammoth have demo bikes available? Can you bring your own e-bike?
Mammoth will have a fleet of Trek e-bikes available for demo. Guests with a valid Bike Park pass can also bring their own class 1 e-bike. All Bike Park tickets may be purchased at any ticket window, by calling 800.MAMMOTH or visiting mammothmountain.com.
What kind of skill level do e-bikes require?
While e-bikes provide pedaling assistance, they require the same skill level as non-motorized mountain bikes when it comes to descending and navigating more technical terrain.
Are e-bikes allowed anywhere else in Mammoth?
The USFS has approved e-bike access only on the trails located within the Mammoth Bike Park. E-bikes have always been permitted on most roads in the area and are also permitted in the Inyo National Forest on roads identified on the MVUM (motor vehicle use map).
What is a class 1 e-bike?
Class 1 e-bikes are the only e-bikes allowed in the Mammoth Bike Park. They provide assistance only when the user is pedaling, and only under 20mph.
Is the e-bike approval that Mammoth was granted good indefinitely? Is the Forest Service looking at providing the same access at other bike parks?
All questions regarding the nature of the approval and the Forest Service’s process and intentions are best answered by the Forest Service.
To learn more head over to www.mammothmountain.com.