Mountain biking Blue Sky Trail

Overview of Study

Larimer County Department of Natural Resources is implementing an electric motorized bike study on designated natural surface (soft) trails at Devil’s Backbone Open Space beginning July 15, 2020. Special permits are required for riders to participate. 

Class I, two-wheel electric motorized bikes are allowed, defined as an assisted bicycle equipped with a motor that provides help only when the rider is pedaling and ceases to provide assistance at 20 mph.  The active study period duration is July 15, 2020-February 15, 2021.

The study period will allow electric motorized bikes at Devil’s Backbone Open Space on the following designated natural surface trails only: Hidden Valley, Laughing Horse Loop, Hunter Loop, Blue Sky and Indian Summer. The designated trails combine to offer up approximately 12 total miles. See Study Map.

No other natural surface trails in Larimer County will be part of the study, nor will any of Fort Collins or Loveland trail system (Horsetooth Mountain Open Space/Coyote Ridge/Prairie Ridge). 

The electric motorized bike study will provide an opportunity to collect data to assess safety, trail experience impacts, public opinion, and trail etiquette awareness as they relate to E-bike use on natural surface trails. Opportunities will be available for the general public and riding community to submit input via website and social media platforms. 

The E-bike study does not guarantee, nor will it automatically allow electric motorized bikes on any or all natural surface trails in Larimer County following the study period

This study phase will help to inform a potential comprehensive E-bike study in 2021 and future system-wide travel planning efforts. Several factors have spurred the E-bike study in Larimer County including the growing demand in the market, increased recreational use on trails, emerging electric motorized vehicle technology, and greater accessibility to the outdoors for those needing assistance. 

Much research has been completed by municipal/regional partners for e-bikes on paved trails. This study will be the first preliminary study done on soft-surface trails in Larimer County. 

Do you have feedback about E-bikes on trails? Tell us!

Take our Online Survey

Participant Lottery

The participant lottery is now closed. Participants will be limited to 30 individuals selected through a random lottery, which will open in mid-June.  Each participant will have an identifier to alert other trail users and Natural Resources staff as a permitted participant. Attendance at an orientation meeting and finish meeting are required.  The active study period duration is July 15, 2020-February 15, 2021.

Interested in a FREE E-bike permit?
Enter here for the E-bike Participant Lottery

FAQs

  1. Lottery submissions will be taken through June 30, 2020. The study will occur from July 15-Feb 15, 21.

  2. July 1, 2020

  3. July 15, 2020 and February 2021.

  4. You will receive a phone call and email.

  5. No fee required.

  6. 30 permits.

  7. July 15, 2020 – February 15, 2021.

  8. Allowable will be Class I, two-wheel electric motorized bikes only - as defined as an assisted bicycle equipped with a motor that provides help only when the rider is pedaling and ceases to provide assistance at 20 mph. 

  9. Devil's Backbone Open Space is located off Highway 34 at 1725 Hidden Valley Drive in Loveland. The study will open an estimated 12 miles on designated natural trails for e-bike riding.

  10. Hidden Valley, Laughing Horse Loop, Hunter Loop, Blue Sky and Indian Summer.  See Study Map.

  11. No. The electric motorized bike study does not guarantee, nor will it automatically allow electric motorized bikes on all natural surface trails in Larimer County. This preliminary study will help inform a potential future comprehensive E-bike study in addition to a system-wide travel management plan.

  12. Several components have spurred a electric motorized bike study in Larimer County. These factors include the growing demand in the market, increased recreational use on trails, emerging motorized vehicle technology, and greater accessibility for those needing assistance. 

  13. The study will collect data to assess safety, trail experience impacts, public opinion, and trail etiquette awareness as they relate to electric motorized bike use on natural surface trails. 

  14. No entrance fee is required at Devil’s Backbone. You must have a daily parking permit ($9) or annual permit pass to park at Blue Sky trailhead. 

  15. No limits of days and times, but riders must have the special permit assigned to them prominently displayed on the handlebars and saddle of the bike.

  16. Yes, please fill out this comment form and we will include it in the study documentation.