Whether you are hopping on an e-bike for the first time or have been cycling for years, this is a good checklist to review to ensure your safety on the trails and the road. Riding an e-bike is fun, good for the environment, and great exercise. With these tips, you will be less likely to encounter problems and accidents, so you can enjoy your time in the great outdoors.
You may think that adults do not need cycling safety classes, but it is a great idea, especially if it has been a while since you have reviewed the laws regarding e-bikes on the road. Know your hand signals, rights of the road, and best practices, and move beyond maintaining visibility to ensure your safety. Keep your head up while riding your e-bike, making eye contact with drivers and other cyclists. Some assertiveness will go a long way toward keeping you safe on your e-bike.
Taking your e-bike in for regular tune-ups will keep it running smoothly for years to come, but you should also have a minimal amount of e-bike maintenance knowledge to keep you from becoming stranded during a trip. Knowing how to change a tire (and having one in your emergency kit) is a must. A basic understanding of your brakes, motor, battery, and gears can serve you very well until you are able to get to your favorite e-bike shop.
Accidents can happen at any time, so it is advantageous to know what to do in the case of an injury while riding your e-bike. Do not assume that a serious injury cannot occur just because an automobile is not involved. If you feel like you need medical attention, get it. This is especially true in the case of head injuries, which can take some time to fully present themselves. We’re talking about your brain here, so get to the ER if things do not feel right, even hours later – you could have a brain bleed. The same goes for the rest of your vital organs. If you have been in an e-bike accident and feel as though you cannot breathe properly or have unexplained pain in soft tissue, get it checked out.
You should have a kit of supplies always on your e-bike that is customized for the way you ride and what you are likely to need. A poncho, charging cord, spare tire tube, and a snack are good items to carry. If you mostly ride in the city, you may decide that taxi fare is all you need in your kit. Determine what you are likely to need if you find yourself stuck at the side of the road, and make sure it is in your kit. For a great list to start with, see our article on what to keep in your emergency e-bike kit.
When you are riding an e-bike, dressing properly means more than being weather appropriate. It does mean this, and you will want to make sure that you stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. However, it also means wearing clothes that will not chafe or cause discomfort regardless of the length of your trip. This is why lycra is so popular among cyclists. It is free moving and silky smooth, for comfortable motion and layering. Experiment with what works for you on shorter trips, so that when you set out for a long haul you know exactly what you need for extended comfort on the road.