Your Guide to a Safer Bike Commute

An electric bike makes commuting anywhere and everywhere in Portland a breeze.

There are so many reasons to start commuting to work or school with an eBike. It’s much healthier for you, allows you to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, saves money, reduces stress and more. The best part is that, with an electric bike rather than a standard bike, you won’t have to worry about showing up to work or school sweaty and disheveled, and you’ll get a little help getting up Portland’s biggest hills. The one downside to a bike commute is that it can be risky out on the road, but the good news is that there are lots of things you can do as a cyclist to stay safe.

#1. Always wear a helmet!

The number one thing you can do to keep yourself safe on an electric bicycle — or any bicycle — is to always wear a helmet. Just as you wear a seatbelt every time you get in the car, you should also wear a helmet every time you get on your bike because you never know when you’ll need it. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of getting a head injury by a whopping 50 percent, so it’s well worth it.

#2. Use bike lights.

One of the biggest challenges for cyclists on the road is simply being visible to drivers. If you’re riding your eBike at night or under low-light conditions, the best way to be visible to drivers is to ensure that you have bike lights on both the front and back of your bicycle. Don’t settle for just any bike lights either; make sure that the lights you choose are bright enough to truly make you visible.

#3. Ride in the bike lane.

A bicycle is considered to be a vehicle, which means that the sidewalk is not an appropriate place for cyclists to ride. Many cyclists believe that the sidewalk is safer than riding in the bike lane, but that’s simply not true. For one, there’s likely to be a lot of other traffic in the sidewalk, including pedestrians and dogs, all of whom may probably aren’t expecting a bike. Additionally, drivers are expecting cyclists to be on the sidewalk, and if they’re pulling out of their driveway or parking lot, they may not see you if you’re on the sidewalk. Here in Portland, we’re lucky enough to live in a bike-friendly city that has plenty of bike lanes, and believe it or not, you’re better off using them.

#4. Keep your eyes in front of you.

While you should always check behind you before turning or crossing the street, for the most part, you should keep your eyes ahead of you, focused on where you want to travel. The vast majority of accidents involving cars and bicycles happen when drivers and cyclist cross each other’s path, most commonly when drivers turn in front of cyclists. Make it a point to watch the cars in front of you.

To find the perfect electric bike for your commute, shop with us at The eBike Store today. And to learn more tips for a safer bike commute, stay tuned for part two of this series.

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