The interior secretary recently made allowances for class 1, 2, and 3 e-bikes to be allowed in national parks. It hasn’t yet caused a heated controversy I expected. Some say that parks are where you go to escape technology, but we know that isn’t the case, especially with the Instagram generation doing their thing. From meeting their death getting that perfect shot to increasing attendance like an Everest expedition. The road to majestic landscapes is now paved with technology. But should e-bikes be allowed? On the positive note, it does open up farther reaches of access to those that might not have the opportunity so go deeper in the park. And with that positive comes the negative, which is just that many more bodies and their bad habits that much farther in. I think we should have a plan to mitigate the impact. Sure, they cap the speed at 28 MPH. But let’s cap the total size. Insist on a limit of permits in a time period, similar to the limited permits to kayak in the Grand Canyon. Still, that won’t prevent the human challenges – we have all seen someone’s trash on the trail, and it makes me angry. We need to re-run the Keep America Beautiful ad from the 70’s. That way, everyone will get their perfect shot in preserved nature.
– James Rice, Digital Experience