While electric bicycles, or e-bikes as they are often called, offer a variety of benefits over non-motorized bikes, it is important to learn how to operate one safely. This is similar to other bicycles, but adding the weight and function of a motor changes the dynamics of riding in a multitude of ways. Weather safety, riding gear and other traffic are all topics with which to familiarize yourself before beginning your first ride.
Consider the Weather
First of all, Safety 1st Driving School suggests getting to know how your e-bike operates in inclement weather, especially when precipitation is involved. Rain can make braking more difficult, so slow and steady is the best option for riding on wet roads. When precipitation changes the conditions of the ride, make sure to give yourself extra time and take it easy. If you do need to ride a lot in heavy rain, ice or snow, consider buying tires that are specialized for these conditions and practice somewhere private to gain experience.
Use Protective Gear
Helmets are a must on any bike, but the higher speeds of an e-bike make it even more critical. Most states have helmet laws in place. According to Dolman Law, regardless of whether you are legally required to wear a helmet, it is what you should do to keep yourself safe. Helmets protect heads. When choosing a helmet, make sure to try it on, as a good fit is critical to enhancing safety. Replace the helmet after a head impact even if you see no damage.
Other safety gear can include high visibility clothing, front and rear lights, a bell or horn, and mirrors. The first two help increase your visibility to others, and a bell or horn allows you to alert others as you pass. Mirrors increase your range of visibility, especially behind you. Once again, try out options to ensure the best fit for both you and your bike. Replace any worn or damaged gear.
Share the Road
Another safety consideration is other traffic, including motor vehicles, pedestrians, other bikers, animals and parked cars. Stay aware of your surroundings while riding. According to Curbed, by being aware of the additional power of your e-bike, you can be better equipped to ride with cars and other bikes.
E-bikes can give you a great ride, especially when you work to keep safe. Riding an e-bike can be one of the most fun ways to get around, but you need to make sure you take the proper precautions to protect yourself. Make sure you are visible to others, and be aware of how the weather affects the terrain when you set off on your next journey.
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