Would allowing e-bikes make Colorado trails accessible to more riders?

A Friday morning a couple weeks ago I was in Fruita and was blown away by how many vehicles were in town with bikes strapped on the back. I guess it shouldn't be so surprising. We live in one of the best mountain biking locations in the US with Fruita pretty much ground zero. It's on my "to do" list. I've got to get a bike and get in the game.

Recently, I've heard some talk and saw online there's a growing conversation on whether e-bikes should be allowed on trails. You see more and more of them all the time. The assistance of the electric motor makes riding easier, especially for older adults. I would think that's argument enough to allow them on Colorado trials. Now persons that can't peddle a challenging trail and get out and ride with the help from the electric motor. And there lies the issue. If it has a motor, is it still a bicycle?

Those on the other side argue that e-bikes shouldn't be allowed because of safety issues and possible trail damage. Because e-bikes are heavier, they are more difficult to maneuver on some trails. Plus, e-bikes are capable of speeds up to 25 mph. That's a possible safety issue too.

Most believe a comprise of some sort is the solution. E-bikes may be too heavy or not practical on some trails and perfectly fine on others. They believe the trail system should adopt some type of rating system that would designate some trails as solely human-powered, others motorized, and yet others some kind of combination of the two.

This issue isn't going away. As e-bike become more affordable and more appealing to an aging population, there will be more around. What do you think? Are e-bikes ok on Colorado trails?

Credit: Out There Colorado