Leslie Smail/CPR News

It’s been a disappointing year so far for bike sales. The bright spot has been the sale of e-bikes, which are up 80 percent over the last year.

Colorado has a new law to regulate the powered bicycles, since they occupy an odd place: they're not pure bicycles, nor are they motorcycles or scooters.

The regulations place e-bikes in three classes dependent on how fast they go, whether the rider must pedal or if the bike can simply cruise on motor power.  The law lets municipalities decide whether to allow e-bikes on pedestrian and bike paths. It also prohibits minors under the age of 16 from riding the fastest e-bikes, those that can go up to 28 mph.

Denverite Todd Wenskoski allowed us to try out his electric cargo bike. The big bike allows him to carry everything he needs for his commute to work, even his kids so they can be dropped at daycare. Wenskoski said the power assist and speed of his e-bike keep him out of his car.

The PeopleForBikes organization promoted Colorado's legislation to give local governments, bike sellers and consumers a better framework for using these new motorized rides. Alex Logemann, the organization's director of state and local policy spoke with Colorado Matters Host Ryan Warner.