E-bikes are becoming increasingly popular, and it may be for good reasons. There are many benefits that come with switching over to a peddle assist bike. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources recently put out a draft e-bike policy and we thought we would share with you our favorite advantages of an e-bike. What is an E-bike?
  • E-bikes are bikes that are equipped with a pedal assist option that the rider can turn on and off as needed throughout their ride. To activate pedal assistance, the rider must be actively peddling the bike. E-bikes are powered by electricity and do not have a combustion engine. These bikes are quiet and hardly noticeable when used properly on the trail.
  • Creating and maintaining an accessible trail system is of upmost importance to Friends of the Riverfront. E-bikes help us do that by acting as an alternative to a traditional bike that enables people of all different abilities and health conditions to get back on a bike and start taking advantage of outdoor recreation and the health benefits that result. Pittsburgh is known for its unique terrain of hills and valleys that result in steep inclines, which can create significant challenges for people at any fitness level. Pedal assist options help to alleviate excess stress on the body and in turn opens biking accessibility to a variety of people.
Health Benefits
  • Heart disease is a leading cause of death for adults in the United States. People with this and other chronic medical conditions may find exercising to be exhausting and even dangerous. This gets to be more complicated as exercise also happens to be a leading treatment for these illnesses, often resulting in people forgoing proper treatment. Pedal assist bikes are a great solution for this problem, as they provide about the same physical health benefits that traditional bikes do, but they have the option to be adjusted to meet the users’ needs. E-bikes help to raise and maintain a strong heart rate for the duration of the exercise without overexertion, leading to longer, more enjoyable rides.
Economic Development
  • E-bikes make it possible for people to go further than before without overexertion, making them a great option for ageing riders and people looking to use a bike as their main mode of transportation that day. By assisting people to easily bike longer distances, E-bikes better connect riverfront communities and enhance economic development. Current development on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail is happening in communities along the Allegheny and Monongahela River, extending the trail further from downtown. E-bikes allow people to ride longer distances, and in turn, make connecting communities throughout the County by trail even easier, resulting in an increase in economic development.
E-bikes offer a lot of benefits to our users and our communities. The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is looking for your feedback on their e-bike policy for PA state parks. Why is this important to us? The Three Rivers Heritage Trail traverses one of these great state parks, Point State Park, and we want your experience on the trail to be consistent across the entire network.


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