Mountain biking Blue Sky Trail

Overview of Study

Larimer County Department of Natural Resources will be implementing an exploratory E-bike study period on designated natural surface (soft) trails in Devil’s Backbone Open Space beginning July 15, 2020.

Class I, two-wheel E-bikes are allowed, defined as an electrically assisted bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance 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 E-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.

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 E-bike study period 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 period does not guarantee, nor will it automatically allow E-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 effort.

Several factors have spurred the E-bike study period 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 you would like us to know?

Take our Online Survey

Participant Lottery

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 will be required. The study will allow Class I, two-wheel E-bikes, as defined as an electrically assisted bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance 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.

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 E-bikes only - as defined as an electrically assisted bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance 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. View E-Bike Study Map.

  11. No. The E-bike study does not guarantee, nor will it automatically allow E-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 e-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 E-bike study will 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. 

  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 you must have your special permit marker prominently displayed on your bike.

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