Where Can You Ride An E Bike? | E Mountain Bike Access Around The World

– Over there, Wales, raining as usual but one of the hubs of
the Industrial Revolution. And in that particular area, one of the densest, legal
networks of trails in the world. As a direct result of
people traveling to work in days gone by. Over here, in England, also
an intricate network of trails but due to different landowners, there’s different rules. And so, it is all over the world whether you look west
to Island onto America, or east to Germany, Georgia, and Ladac. But as we’ll find out in this video, if you want to get out there
and enjoy the countryside, the opportunities, the trails, are vast. (electronic whirring) Now, I don’t want to bore you but any conversation
about e-bikes and access obviously has to start with
the different types of e-bikes. Now, Pedelec’s, especially the ones restricted to 25 kilometers an hour, are in general, in most
parts of the world, treated just like a mountain bike. However, the higher powered bikes, the S-Pedelec’s, which go
to 45 kilometers an hour, and there’s really
ridiculously high-powered bikes which go 70 kilometers an hour and above are actually treated differently in most parts of the world. Let’s begin this conversation, have a look at the UK as an
example of different ways you can access the countryside. And obviously, let’s start
off with tarmac roads. After all, anybody can use tarmac road. You can use it on an e-bike. Bear in mind the
different types of e-bike. But not all roads are made equally. Can you believe it? This is actually a county road. It’s a legal road in
which you can walk up, you can take a dog up, you can ride a horse up, you can ride a bicycle up, you can definitely ride an e-bike up it. You can ride a motorbike up it and, if you’ve got the skills, you can actually drive a car up it. Now, the problem with places like this. If you don’t actually
know the legal status of this particular track, then you probably might not use it. And obviously, tracks like this come in different shapes and sizes. This is an incredibly technical one. So, if you’re super skilled, a great way to test out your skills. I mean, this is challengin’. (bike sloshing) Crikey! (bike crunching and sloshing) (host laughs) As you can see, it’s definitely a black. It’s also worth noting that all countries have different rules regarding e-bikes on the road. And such things as age limits, speed restrictions, licensing, and insurance all vary
from place to place. For example, here in the UK
you need to be 14 or over to ride an e-bike. And if you do so, that
bike needs to be restricted to 25 kilometers an hour. Cycle paths and small
roads are great places to ride your e-bike
and all over the world, there are waymarked and dedicated trails. But from there you can actually
move on to forest trails. And let’s face it, they’re safer, they’re
quieter, less polluted, and lots prettier. That’s worth bearing in mind that forest trail you’re
riding might actually be in a forest park or a conservation area, or a national park. But the point of this
is that protected areas all over the world have different designations
and different access. In France, you cannot
ride in national parks whereas here in the UK, because of the landowners and a strong public rights of way network, you can actually ride there. And the same applies to forestry. Now, here in Wales National Resources Wales have
a very open access policy to mountain bikes. Whereas, in England as
we’ll find out later, different rules apply. The point of it all is that even though it’s a protected area, that doesn’t mean to say you
cannot ride your e-bike in it. Landowners then vary all over the world. As mentioned in the UK, it could be the forestry in
which you can ride e-bikes and mountain bikes on surface trails. Or maybe the National Trust,
another large land owner. This place near one of
the UK’s largest cities, Leigh Woods, owned by the National Trust, has a great mountain bike network. Another place we ride
is in a protected area, an area of outstanding natural
beauty very close to London. An amazing loop and not too difficult. And again, owned by the forestry. Now, I mentioned earlier
the different access laws between the forestry in England
and the forestry in Wales. The forestry in Wales is now known as the Natural Resources Wales. Here in England, as you can see cycling permitted on
hard stone tracks only. Now, this sign is in a residential area. Goodness knows why. But yes, when it comes to informal trails, the deer tracks and the sheep tracks, they’ve not yet adopted
those here in England. Although, rumor has it that
might be about to change in the future. Over the other side of the border in Wales you can still ride the permit… The stone tracks as well. But also, they’re a bit more relaxed about riding the sheep
tracks and the deer tracks. Now, that sign that we saw a minute ago would probably have you think
that you could only ride these stone surface tracks. However, that’s not quite the case. Even though this is an area
of outstanding natural beauty, there are these unsurfaced
bridleways in this woodland. Ones similar to this. Now, because they’re not waymarked, you probably might not think
that you can ride there. And this is the whole
business about access to the countryside is that if
you haven’t got the knowledge, similar to, say, that road that we saw at
the beginning of the video, that very difficult and
classified county road. If you haven’t got the knowledge then that’s going to limit where you’re going to be riding
your e-mountain bike. So, I guess the message here is get ginned-up on it, get reading, and do some research. Then there are the big, wide open spaces, the ancient mule tracks
like you’ll find in Italy. And the right of way network
that you have in the UK, only bridleways remember. And it really doesn’t
matter who owns the land. And these can be quite easy to ride or really very difficult. Some can be as difficult as
a World Cup downhill track. But let’s move away from
Europe just for a minute. What about some of the less
developed e-bike countries? Countries such as the
United States of America which has been pretty slow on the uptake considering many people think of it as the birthplace of mountain bikes. I think one of the reasons behind that is because there have been
some crazy, high-powered mountain bikes out there. So, yeah, that county has
being quite restrictive for many, many years. However, in the last few months there has been some big developments. And a great place to start to see the access in different states, is a website called People For Bikes. Great place to see what access
you can get in North America. Bike parks are tricky, or at least they can be tricky. Wind Hill Bike Park here in the UK used by Chris a lot of the time. It has a load of jumps and berms. This small plot of land is pretty low key. The opposite then, say,
to Whistler Bike Park which has lifts, it has shops, it has coffee shops and bike hire. But where you cannot ride an e-bike. Which is a shame really because Whistler Valley
actually advocate the use of e-mountain bikes in
the whole Whistler area. However, it’s Whistler Off
Road Cycling Organization which advocate the use
of non-motorized vehicles on the single-track trails. Hence, no e-bikes in the park. I’m just thinking does this really need to be so complicated? Now, this is where the plot thickens. Bike parks and trail centers are great places to go and
ride your e-mountain bike. After all, why wouldn’t you? You can yourself a pasty, or a biscuit, or a bun. All you need to do is get
yourself a carpark ticket. I think they’re £4 a day here. And the whole trail network is free for you to go and explore. However, just down the road, with different landowners
is BikePark Wales. It costs you £11 to go and ride the trails there for a day. Actually, it’s not £11 for an e-bike. It’s actually £16 for e-bikes. But then, why would you
want to pay that much money when you can just go
out into the mountains and explore those for free? With this in mind, we should maybe look to the mountains for some of our e-bike adventures. Such places as the Portes
Du Soleil in the Alps, or maybe the Alps in general which have great
infrastructure for e-bikes, charging stations,
cafes, waymarked trails. So all you have to do is maybe go and ride a trail, stop for a coffee, get it charged, and go from town to
town, village to village, city to city. Why, you can just do whatever you want. It’s the wilder riding
which is really where we believe the best riding
to be had on e-bikes. Off the beaten track, away from the crowds. And the world is pretty
much waiting for you. Let’s turn our attention then to Italy as an example of that wild riding. Remember, I mentioned earlier
you can’t actually ride in National Parks in France, but you can do in Italy. Now, we’ve had some amazing adventures, particularly in the out Barga team, which is an area east of
Nice but west of Genoa, and just inland. This really is classic
e-mountain bike terrain. You can pretty much
ride anywhere in Italy, mostly on the Mula Tierra, or mule trails, once used to access villages and farms. There maybe some local laws
in highly populated areas such as the coast, but by and large, the access is great. And the cool thing
about this whole area is that there’s money being made available to the local authorities to make purpose-built e-bike trails. So the forestale, or
the local land rangers, are totally in-tune with e-bikers. So there’s that huge network there which they totally understand. But also, don’t forget
about the coffee stops and also, the e-bike rentals which are available in those areas. Wow, isn’t that a beautiful looking trail to ride down? Primed for action. But what you might not have noticed is to the side is a sign. And not only can you not
ride a bike down there, nobody can go down there. Keep out, no fun! Those secret trails is where land access becomes very complicated. Many of them are illegal. Some of them are legal because the landowner
has given permission. But this can be where you find the e-mountain bike gold. Yes, some of them can be super technical. And also, this is where trail etiquette and local understandin’
really comes into serve. Because there might be
some unwritten rules, some understandings which the locals have set up with landowners. So it’s really important to get to know what is goin’ on in that
area before you start goin’ and venture on those type of trails. So there you go. Land access. Huge, huge subject. Varying massively from country to country. Let’s hear your thoughts
about land access. What places do you go to? Should there be places that we should be going
to explore on our e-bikes? If you ever see some
places that we’ve explored our e-bikes, have a look
at a video down here and down there (claps). Give us a thumbs up, like this video. And don’t forget, there’s the Globe. We shall take you to some
more e-bike adventures.