By Jamie Leary

DENVER (CBS4) – Many people who are serious about biking have been strongly against allowing electric bikes on Colorado trails, but a new order from the U.S. Department of the Interior means bikes with a battery boost are now welcome on public lands. Some people who say that without their e-bikes they couldn’t go riding. That includes Peggy Watrobka, who supports the move by the Interior. (Read the complete order.)

An electric bicycle in Denver

Peggy Watrobka on her e-bicycle in Denver (credit: CBS)

“It’s kind of a psychological thing,” Watrobka said. “It’s like ‘I don’t need an e-bike’ and so you put it off for a while because you’re like ‘I’m not old enough. I don’t need this.'”

The switch wasn’t easy for Watrobka, who said she has been biking her whole life. She suffered a health scare while riding a traditional bicycle and realized her heart couldn’t take the distance.

“I realized I did need it and when I got it, the really telling thing was my husband said, ‘I haven’t seen you have fun biking in two years.'”

Watrobka heard many negative reactions when the Interior made its decision, and now she says she “feels like she’s become a PR person for e-bikes.”

“Because there is a misunderstanding about what they are,” she said. “The majority of people who have e-bikes are not trying to go faster than anybody else. They’re trying to ride with other people.”

As people get used to sharing the trails, Watrobka hopes people keep her story in mind.

“The goal isn’t to see who I can beat, it’s to see ‘How can I survive with this, or, you know, keep up?”

If you’d like to learn more about e-bikes, the City and County of Denver are hosting a demo event in Civic Center Park on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors can take e-bikes and other electric modes of transportation for test rides.

Jamie Leary


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