In the world of alternative transportation, eBike riding is rising so fast it isn’t unreasonable to think it can shake off the “alternative” prefix when being discussed. In Portland and other urban areas, specifically, the use of electric bikes is spiking, with no signs of letting up. The rise has coincided with increased fanfare from the media as well, with the BBC recently asking if eBikes are the way of the future and Dallas News reporting on Uber’s introduction of a brand-new rent-a-ride eBike program called Jump.
Even locally, the surge in electric bike riders has led to legislation that proposes giving bike commuters tax breaks, as Oregon bike commuters will be able to write off up to $53 in monthly expenses
How To Safely Ride An eBike
We at The eBike Store couldn’t be more thrilled with the electric bike boom that’s going on all around the country. Seeing as how we are the proud owners of Portland’s original and premier eBike shop, we’ve got some skin the game. But we are avid eBike cyclists ourselves, so it’s wonderful to see our passion being shared by countless people around the world!
Because we are so invested in the world of electric bikes, we want to be a resource for folks interested in trying out this “alternative” mode of transportation for the first time. For some, riding an electric bike for the first time is a daunting proposition — it’s new, potentially difficult to control, and there might be traffic around while you are trying to figure out what’s what. Others might be able to pick it up more swiftly, but everyone is different.
Today’s blog is dedicated to the former category of individuals, so read on if you’d like a few tips about safely riding your electric bike in Portland — or elsewhere for that matter!
A Good e-Cyclist Is A Defensive e-Cyclist
We at The eBike Store are decidedly not in the business of using scare tactics to get our point across, but we won’t sugar coat anything either. As such, it’s the case that e-cyclists get into accidents more often than traditional cyclists.
A 2016 study performed by Transportation Research found that eBike accidents with cars were 30-percent more likely to occur than with traditional cyclists. The researchers surmised that this had to do with drivers’ inability to accurately judge an electric bike’s speed. Since they look so much like traditional bikes, drivers might think that they are going more slowly than they actually are, especially if they take a mere cursory glance before making their turn.
While every form of transportation inherently involves some degree of risk, the sage wisdom of “a good driver is a defensive driver” applies to eBike riding as well. We recommend assuming that every driver isn’t going to give you the benefit of the doubt, which means you should always be prepared for something unexpected to happen. If you do this, you’ll be able to put yourself in much safer situations regardless of where you are riding.
General eBike Safety Tips
- Make Sure You Are Easily Seen – It’s not a novel concept by any means, but it’s indispensable nonetheless; it’s simply a must that you make sure you are visible when riding an eBike. Think about purchasing a reflective vest and/or adding reflectors to all sides of your eBike so that you can be seen from all vantage points at night.
- Wear A Helmet – Did you know that wearing a helmet can reduce the odds of a cyclist getting a head injury by half? That’s substantial, and your head is important. So be an adult, set a good example, and protect your noggin’ at the same time!
- Tie Your Shoelaces – Before you tie them, make sure they are on your feet! Never wear sandals while riding an eBike, in the same way that you should never wear baggy clothes that might get caught in the wheel or chain.
- One Human Per eBike – It’s a bad idea to let anyone ride with you on your eBike, no matter if it’s your first time or a seasoned pro. Not only will it greatly hinder the performance of the vehicle itself, but you’ll be putting the passenger and yourself in harm’s way! Enough said.
Electric Bikes Are Safer Than Other Forms Of Transportation
We know, we know — earlier we mentioned that eBike riders are 30-percent more likely to get into an accident with a car. While those findings are no doubt accurate, they don’t tell the whole story, as Bicyling.com explains.
eBikes have plenty to offer folks looking for a safe mode of transportation. For instance, whenever you pull the break on an electric bike, the motor will automatically cease from spinning. Additionally, eBikes have superior braking systems that traditional bicycles, not to mention the fact that being able to accelerate out of trouble is a handy thing to keep in your back pocket!
In conclusion, safely riding an electric bike is more than possible — it’s quite easy to do with a bit of forethought! So follow traffic signals, be attentive, and learn at a pace you are comfortable with!
For eBike rentals in Portland, shop The eBike Store today!