E-bikers in Chicago-Any experience with local authorities on Forest Preserve bike paths.

harryS

Well-Known Member
Nope, but my bikes are kind of low key. I've ridden the North Branch Trail, but I have to tote my bikes up there and park. My area is the western burbs. Along the Fox river is nice.

I used the fpddc contacts page and just put in a inquiry. Maybe I'll get an answer.

It probably would have been better to be blissfuly unaware. Still, low powered electric bikes are defined in Illinois as being excluded from the motor vehicle class. As long as we stay off the sidewalks that adjoin the paths, and below 20 mph, I think we're legal until we're told otherwise.
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
Nope, but my bikes are kind of low key. I've ridden the North Branch Trail, but I have to tote my bikes up there and park. My area is the western burbs. Along the Fox river is nice.

I used the fpddc contacts page and just put in a inquiry. Maybe I'll get an answer.

It probably would have been better to be blissfuly unaware. Still, low powered electric bikes are defined in Illinois as being excluded from the motor vehicle class. As long as we stay off the sidewalks that adjoin the paths, and below 20 mph, I think we're legal until we're told otherwise.
Hi Harry-Thanks for you reply. The NBT is one of my absolute favorites. I am in Sauganash on the far northwest side and the trail starts there. I am happy that nobody has approached you. You say you have a stealthier bike? I like the Bulls and the Turbo Levo! Enjoy! o_O

I posted this on another thread for a FYI from cook county codes:

Motorized Bicycles: Persons may not use or ride within the District any electric or electric assisted bicycle capable of exceeding a speed of fifteen (15) miles per hour. Any violation of this Section 4-3-1.B. shall be fined not less than seventy-five dollars ($75.00) or more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each offense. This section is not intended to prohibit any person with mobility impairment(s) from using an electronic personal assistive mobility device.

from: https://www.municode.com/library/il/cook_county/codes/forest_preserve?nodeId=TIT4MOVETR
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Hadn't seen that info above. I do have bikes where I can set the speed limiter. Fifteen mph is too fast there on crowded summer weekends, that's for sure, but it is pretty ridiculous.

This one presently will do 16 mph on 36V, and over 20 mph on 48V and higher. I could dial it down to 15, mount a smaller battery in a bag under the seat and no one would ever know unless they got close, but I think I'll just stay here.


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harryS

Well-Known Member
Someone in the bike lobby is going to have to give Mayor Rahm of Chicago an e-bike.

I wonder how far they expect the bike cops on the Lakefront to ride each day. I would think 30 miles is a full day with all gear they carry. I usually have seen seen them taking a break by the taco stand near Northerly Island. Those guys should have police e-bikes.
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
Someone in the bike lobby is going to have to give Mayor Rahm of Chicago an e-bike.

I wonder how far they expect the bike cops on the Lakefront to ride each day. I would think 30 miles is a full day with all gear they carry. I usually have seen seen them taking a break by the taco stand near Northerly Island. Those guys should have police e-bikes.
You hit it Harry. I agree! They are all suited up and ready to rock and roll. I work downtown and see those guys all the time! Get the cops and Rahm some ebikes and perhaps they may change their minds about trail usage. I use to go by NI when it was a small airport for the dignitaries in their corporate planes. Very cool, Now it is a tourist attraction! Boy how Chicago Lakefront has changed!
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
Hadn't seen that info above. I do have bikes where I can set the speed limiter. Fifteen mph is too fast there on crowded summer weekends, that's for sure, but it is pretty ridiculous.

This one presently will do 16 mph on 36V, and over 20 mph on 48V and higher. I could dial it down to 15, mount a smaller battery in a bag under the seat and no one would ever know unless they got close, but I think I'll just stay here.


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Nice setup on that Diamonback Harry! Have a great riding season with it this year. Maybe I'll see you on the trail up near Botanical Gardens or nearby Skokie Lagoons. Great trail!
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Someone in the bike lobby is going to have to give Mayor Rahm of Chicago an e-bike.

I wonder how far they expect the bike cops on the Lakefront to ride each day. I would think 30 miles is a full day with all gear they carry. I usually have seen seen them taking a break by the taco stand near Northerly Island. Those guys should have police e-bikes.
I have ridden on the lakeshore trail may be 50 times. In fact, couple of times, patrol police came up to me and asked if that is an E-bike and thought they should get one ! :)
Chicago PD have a lot of pressing problems .....so I would assume as long as we keep low key, <20mph, nobody is going to bother...
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
I have ridden on the lakeshore trail may be 50 times. In fact, couple of times, patrol police came up to me and asked if that is an E-bike and thought they should get one ! :)
Chicago PD have a lot of pressing problems .....so I would assume as long as we keep low key, <20mph, nobody is going to bother...
Thanks for sharing Ravi! I hope the Cook County Forest Preserve Cops have the same attitude towards ebikers! :p
 

rcschmidt6

New Member
I'm not from the area but here in Columbus, OH we have an extensive bike path system. I ride an EMotion Evo 29. The people I have shown it to thus far don't even realize it's an ebike until I point it out to them. The motor is hidden by the cassette and the battery is well integrated into the down tube. Yes, it's beefy, but not huge. I don't really hear the motor over the tire noise. Except for the occasional road biker that is surprised when I ride by them on a 29" mtb most have no idea. As long as your not riding like an a** there isn't any reason even with an ebike that looks like an ebike that you should bring much attention to yourself. The bike trails have a 15 mph speed limit but most road bikers are exceeding that with ease. Again, as long as your riding respectfully and signaling when appropriate it shouldn't be a problem.
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
I'm not from the area but here in Columbus, OH we have an extensive bike path system. I ride an EMotion Evo 29. The people I have shown it to thus far don't even realize it's an ebike until I point it out to them. The motor is hidden by the cassette and the battery is well integrated into the down tube. Yes, it's beefy, but not huge. I don't really hear the motor over the tire noise. Except for the occasional road biker that is surprised when I ride by them on a 29" mtb most have no idea. As long as your not riding like an a** there isn't any reason even with an ebike that looks like an ebike that you should bring much attention to yourself. The bike trails have a 15 mph speed limit but most road bikers are exceeding that with ease. Again, as long as your riding respectfully and signaling when appropriate it shouldn't be a problem.
rcschmidt6-Thanks for the heads up and reassurance. This seems to be the general consensus of everyone that I have asked about this. I also reached out to an organization called Active Transportation Alliance which is a local group that helps bike legislation along for better trail, roadway and riding conditions. What was interesting was the rep was unaware of the local trail laws posted and their enforcements within our FPD trail systems. They initially thought it was okay to ride ebikes on the system, however there is that same 15 mph speed limit posted in the municipal codes. Safe riding!