Electric bicycles in Anchorage have overcome bumps in the road

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ANCHORAGE, (KTUU) - Cary Shiflea has made e-bikes his full-time gig.

Alaska eBike is his baby. He sells, rents and works on electric bikes, he calls them electric-assist bikes, for a living.

“(The bikes are) essentially going to propel you,” he said. “Lets you ride a little farther, erase some of the hills and headwinds.”

A few years ago, these electric bikes brought up some questions. Were they essentially motor vehicles on bike paths? Were they more like motorcycles? Do they have a place on Anchorage trails?

The municipality cleared some of these questions back in 2016.

The ordinance clarified that low-speed electric bicycles are regulated as bicycles. They are not motor vehicles.

According to Cary Shiflea and assemblyman John Weddleton, when you’re on an electric bicycle, you follow the same rules as other cyclists.

"It’s been a battle kind of from the start getting proper clarification of what a legal electric bicycle is," Shiflea said.

Shiflea said that the general range for his bikes go for two or three thousand dollars. He also rents his bikes and lets users try them out for free.

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