Mickelson Trail Home
The Mickelson Trail
Mickelson Trail Home Edgemont Minnekahta Pringle White Elephant Sanator Custer The Mountain Hill City Mystic Rochford Dumont Englewood Lead Deadwood Mickelson Trail
Mickelson Trail Map

Reply to Dangerous E-Bikes and Mopeds

Cancel and Return to Forum
Scroll down to see the discussion
All submissions are reviewed for appropriateness. We reserve the right to remove or edit any comment that we consider incorrect, misleading, or inappropriate, at our sole discretion. Please remember that this is a family-friendly website.
Reply to Dangerous E-Bikes and Mopeds
Your Name:

This does not have to be your real name. It could be a "screen name", your initials, or just leave blank.
Your Hometown:

Optional - it's just interesting to know where people are from
Email Address
So we know you are a human, please answer this easy math quiz:
4 + 4 =
Bill from Springfield, IL on 9/22/2023 6:24:43 AM:
Just got back from my trip up to the Trail. Poor management of the trail. E-Bikes going way over Class 1 or 2 speeds and even a MOPED near Deadwood. I showed the rider the sign where motorized bikes aren't allowed. He said his moped was approved by the Deadwood police as long as it didn't exceed E-Bike speeds. SMH if that's true. During my 3 days on the trail, I never saw a single trail steward asking for passes or telling people to slow down. If you are considering taking young children on the trail, I would advise against that. 80% of the bikes I saw in my 3 days were E-Bikes (and the one moped) and most were going way too fast. The non-policing of E-Bikes is ruining this trail for hikers and traditional bikers. I realize E-Bikes are the future (even for otherwise young, healthy riders). But someone is going to get seriously injured by a 60-70# e-bike going 25-30mph (or faster). Trail stewards need to do better.

DandyDon from Fairfield ,Ohio on 9/22/2023 11:55:41 AM:
Bill, you are absolutely correct!
This e- bike thing is quickly getting out of control. It's bad around here also. "No Motorized Vehicles Allowed" reads the signage on nearly all bike trails. Law makers have ok'd these e-bikes on trails-there beholden to bikes dealers, etc. Someone should have educated the law makers of the definition> "Motors run on electricity".

I don't have an E-Bike --I have a ME-Bike-I make it go.

Bill from Springfield, IL on 9/22/2023 2:03:03 PM:
DandyDon, I've been up to the Mickelson and the Black Hills 3 times. A beautiful trail for sure. But each time gets a bit worse. Most likely, I won't be going back. I realize that more people can ride the trail with the assistance of an e-bike. Riding our "ME-Bikes" takes too much effort. E-bikes get the trail more sold passes and that's the bottom line. But if they don't control the speed better than they are doing now, people will get hurt. I am going to contact the Deadwood police department to see if they actually approved Mopeds on the trail. I will post their reply here. Keep riding!

Dandy Don on 9/23/2023 6:23:33 AM:
Bill, I bikepacked Mickelson about 5 years ago and it's unique and beautiful. I do hope the local authorities govern the trail effectively. Bike On brother.

Bill from Springfield, IL on 10/3/2023 9:48:06 AM:
I spoke to John at the Deadwood PD today and he wasn't aware that mopeds on the trail have been approved by his department. So, I don't know if the grandfather with his grandson on the moped was told something else by a different person at the PD, or if he was just giving me a made-up excuse for being on the trail with a moped. Hopefully, the Deadwood PD would post something more specific to clear up this matter.

Pedal Power from Wyoming on 10/9/2023 3:14:03 PM:
The Deadwood Police Department does not have jurisdiction over the Mickelson Trail therefore cannot approve mopeds for the Mickelson.

South Dakota Game and Parks does need to do something about abuse of the trail by e bikes.

Seriously an e-bike on the Mickelson? But I guess they are here to stay with the amount of lazy folks out there.

I agree with the comment that an electric bike is still a motorized bike.

Proud of all those who still enjoy the Mickelson with a real bike.

Bill from Springfield, IL on 10/9/2023 5:53:32 PM:
Yes, I figured the gentleman was making it up. He claimed the PD had jurisdiction within the Deadwood city limits, but I doubted him.

During my 3 days on the trail (mid-week), I'd estimate that 80% of the riders were on E-Bikes. Very disappointing but I think the Trail likes the added revenue, so they aren't going away unfortunately.

My real concern is that many are Class 3 bikes, or Class 1 or 2 converted to Class 3 speeds. Very dangerous, especially if you have young children riding with you on the trail. Unless the Trail stewards crack down on E-Bikes, I probably won't go back and wouldn't recommend the trail to others if they have young children riding.

Finding nice bike trails that prohibit E-Bikes is getting harder to find coast to coast. Sadly.

BobR from Lead SD on 10/31/2023 1:23:09 PM:
Agree that class 3 and any type of moped, motorcycle should not be allowed. However for people who physical limitations I think that Class 1 & 2 e-bikes are fine. agree the class 3 should not be allowed. I do know that the trail does have people that monitor however i do not know if they have enough. I am pretty sure it is a volunteer position. trial is open to anyone to hike bike or ride horse back. guess you feel that bikes should be the only mode of transportation on the trail. i suppose a hiker that gets hit by a 30# mountain bike with a 175 pound person on it going 40 downhill or run over by a horse would not suffer any serious injury. personally I do think the trail could be monitored better. I also think that they should limit the number of passes. if ya don't come back we wont miss ya

john broomer from COLDWATER on 11/5/2023 7:49:01 AM:
really depressed by this report of so much motorized traffic...was going to visit from eastern Canada and also do Route of the Hiawatha but if both are plugged with sandal wearing helmet missing clowns on "motorcycles" there is no point...I'm 72 and ride high tempo gravel race bike and will do so into my 80's god willing...will stick to my local road rides of solitude.

Jim Hall from Huntington WV on 12/2/2023 8:10:07 AM:
E-Bikes are always the topic of conversation no matter the trail. I easily recognize the frustrations people feel and I do understand them. Most societies of the world contain some selfish people who ruin whatever the activity for the many, and that is sad. Most E-bikers I know complain of the "Spandex Brigade" who speed by with not a single "On Your Left." I wonder how many of the e-bike complainers are these same people? I hope not! My wife and I are soon to be in our 70's and I am type 1 diabetic. I wouldn't get 10 miles without my e-bike, but I'm reasonable sure the offenders are few. Regarding the "No motorized vehicles" signs, our government tries to protect the weakest, such as myself, with definitions such as defining any e-bike not greater than 750W motors as non-motorized. Federal law, the ADA, sets these guidelines. My E-bike is sometimes defined by them as a personal mobility device. I won't say we would never speed if there was a good reason, but I can tell you that we rarely exceed 10-12 mph. IMO, for every vehicle on the trail, the most important restriction is 15 mph, regardless of equipment, but weight should be considered to protect the trail surface. I regret that a few selfish people give the rest of us black eyes.

Dan W from Minneapolis,MN on 5/27/2024 2:46:08 PM:
I disagree that Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are tantamount to mopeds or motorcycles, but agree that class 3 speeds should be verboten, as absolutely should mopeds and any kind of motorcycle. Sounds like enforcement is needed. And many of these bikes are rented, so the rental shops could maybe be doing a better job of encouraging decent behavior.

When I last rode a Mickelson section, three years ago, on my regular bike I saw plenty of e-bikes but no real problems. I am bringing my class 1 e-bike this year (also so that I can explore the vast network of gravel forest roads in the BH) but will keep it down to 15mph or less on the Mickelson, so I can best enjoy the mileage.

Dave M from Minocqua, Wis on 6/19/2024 9:18:55 AM:
I and three others in our late 70's will be riding the Mickelson on our class 2 e-bikes next week. We will be riding reasonably and wearing our helmets.
I am surprised to read that some of the standard bikers are concerned about having an accident with a 40 to 50 pound e-bike but demand that real motor vehicles share the roads with them. They seem to have no fear of having an accident with a 2 to 4 TON car or truck moving along at 55 plus MPH but a 50 pound e-bike is a serious problem. Go figure!!

Bill from Springfield, IL on 6/19/2024 10:06:02 AM:
Technically, current South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks Department law does not allow Class 2 e-bikes with throttles on the Mickelson trail. But that doesn't stop e-bikers because many don't care about laws anyway. Many modify their e-bikes to go much faster than the rated speed. That's just a fact they brag about. And while the average e-bike weighs in the 50lb range, others weigh as much as 65-73 pounds.

It's only a matter of time before a hiker or traditional bike rider is run over by one of these 70lb bikes going 30mph or faster. Serious injury or worse is guaranteed to happen. Your comparison to riding on highways with a 2-ton truck is just plain silliness. No one is suggesting that riding on a highway on a bike is safe. That's why we ride on bike trails. Stay on point. The point is that 60-70 pound e-bikes with a throttle are a danger on the Mickelson Trail and anyone who disputes that isn't being honest. You'll feel different if you ever get run over by a 22-year-old kid weighing 250lbs on a 65lb e-bike. Ask me how I know.

Jim from Huntington WV on 7/8/2024 5:58:54 AM:
For most people, the complaint about e-bikes is violation of speed limits. Throttles seem to irritate a few as well.

Without the throttle, I might have a medical emergency. I have seen my friends crash in circumstances that the throttle would have prevented, and I have saved myself from a pack of dogs a couple of times, but back to the speed limit.

One gentleman mentioned the providers of the e-bikes doing something more to prevent speeding.

Many 18 wheelers on the highway have speed governors.

Perhaps the rental facilities could install governors, or simply program the bikes to limit speeds to 15mph, where that is the limit, which I believe is most trails. It would help some.