Riding an electric bike
Riding an electric bike has gained popularity due to its health benefits and the numerous opportunities it brings to your social circle, which helps you to stay happy and energetic while meeting amazing people.
Some folks say cycling is a very addictive sport. I’d say that’s not too far off.
In this blog, I’ll be sharing with you my top 15 tips on how to stay safe on the road using your very own buddy, the Electric Bike.
Use a headlight, especially at night
The two headlights serve 2 purposes; Firstly, the back headlight allows others to see you when you ride an electric bike at night.
Secondly, the front headlight allows you to see where you are going when it’s dark or in areas with low visibility.
To ensure your safety, make sure that these two headlights are always working properly, to avoid any accidents.
Riding an electric bike without proper headlights can be dangerous as it can put you at risk of getting hit by cars when cycling on the road.
Ensure the tires are pumped up
Your bike tires should be correctly inflated according to the recommended air pressure.
If you feel the rim of your wheels hitting any objects in general as you ride your bike, this indicates a lack of air in your tyres.
On the other hand, if you feel that your tyres have sort of a “bouncy feel” to it, this means that your tyres have too much pressure to it and should be released to at least 5 psi.
Given the fact that everyone might have different “levels of comfort” when riding a bike, we recommended that you find the perfect balance by adjusting the tyres to your comfort and experiment it first before taking your bike out for long distances.
Check the brakes
The most important part before riding your electric bike is to check your brakes and adjust them if needed.
To check the brakes, you must spin the wheels and press the brakes to ensure the cables are working properly.
If you hear or notice a change in the sound of your brakes such as the squealing or rubbing for instance. It is a good idea to take your electric bike to the local shop to have it checked by the technician.
Do not forget to use a bike bell
Majority of the electric bikes have a bike bell, so make sure you use them. The last thing you would want to do is to shout to alert someone every time you pass them.
I know I wouldn’t.
It is a very useful way to help avoid accidents and can be a polite way of informing people that “I am coming” or “beware I am here”
Wear a bike helmet
A bike helmet is designed to protect your skull from any unexpected danger.
It can help prevent serious head injuries in the case of an accident.
Always make sure that you wear them. Do not wear a damaged or cracked helmet.
Do not forget the sunscreen
I know, cycling is fun, but getting a sunburn can be annoying if you forget to put sunscreen on when riding your electric bike during a sunny weather.
It is recommended that you use sunscreen when riding your electric bike, especially during summer, when the temperature can soar to extreme levels.
Use a sunscreen that offers UV-A and UV B protection. This can prevent your skin from getting burnt and thus reduce the risk of skin cancer in the long term.
Choose your route wisely
You must choose a perfect time when riding your Electric bike. From 8 am to 10 am, you will be met with the peak hour traffic as people are rushing to go to work. Using an Electric bike can allow you to whizz through traffic even under conditions such as these.
If you ride an Electric bike for health and fitness purposes, I suggest you ride it either early in the morning before everyone is awake to go to work, or at night when the traffic is not as heavy, or after peak hours, around 10 pm to 2 pm.
Don’t ride your electric bike on the sidewalk
Never ride your bike into the sidewalk. Not only does it put pedestrians at risk of getting hit but it also puts your own safety at risk.
Anything could happen in the case of an unfortunate event when you hit a pedestrian on the sidewalk. You could either injure them or yourself even. A hefty fine applies when you hit someone on the sidewalk, which is something you do not want to get involved in.
Be vigilant and aware of your surroundings
It is always important to be vigilant and be alert and observant of your surroundings.
Major things that you as a rider must watch out for, are the pedestrians in the sidewalk passing by, the tendency of running up and down the street and any vehicles on the road that might seem like a potential hazard.
Often, at times, drivers themselves aren’t careful. There could be some reckless drivers out there on the road. So, we always emphasize the need for riders to constantly stay vigilant.
So, always stay alert! It’s for your own safety!
Don’t drink or consume alcohol while riding your Electric Bike
The worst thing that could ever happen to you when cycling on the road is to get drunk and I state this for a very good reason.
As alcohol is considered a depressant, it slows down part of the brain and can affect one’s thoughts, feelings and actions. Riding your Electric bike outdoors requires high levels of attention and focus. Consumption of alcohol would affect your reaction time in the event of an emergency and decrease your level of concentration as well.
Make sure you know the safe route first before you leave home
It is always better to have done some research on places that you are not particularly familiar with before leaving home.
There are free tools on the internet such as Mapmyride and RideWithGPS you can use to find your way around. Or you try using the more popular one, Google Map which I am a pretty sure majority of the smartphones would have that application.
Do not use your phone to listen to music while riding your electric bike
In order to reduce the risk of you getting hit by a car or any vehicles on the road, you must not use mobile phones or headphones while you are riding for your safety.
Listening to music or texting your friends while cycling is the worst thing you could ever do when riding your Electric bike.
Be aware that It is against the law to use mobile phones or headphones when riding your Electric bike in Australia.
Hands signals are important for your safety
You should never assume that people such as drivers or pedestrians know which direction you might be cycling towards.
Therefore, it is imperative that you use your hand signal to inform others about where you are going.
For your personal reference, I’ve attached an image at the bottom displaying some of the hand signals you can use when changing lanes or stopping.
Watch out for the pedestrians
Although you might be wearing protective gear when riding your Electric bike, it doesn’t mean that you will be completely free from harm’s way.
You must be on the constant lookout for any pedestrians that walk on the road or any jaywalkers particularly, as their actions can sometimes be quite unpredictable.
Heavy large fines apply when you hit a pedestrian, and heavier penalties apply depending on the severity of the pedestrian’s injuries. Especially with kids, as they run around all the time after school.
It is vital to know and recognize the signs and signals on the road.
I have attached at the bottom for your convenience, some of the more common signs and signals that you must remember and constantly look out for when riding your Electric bike.
Make sure you have plenty of rest before your riding your electric bike
If you want to have a better first-hand experience from riding your electric bike, it is vital that you should have adequate rest before embarking on your electric bike journey the next day, so that you maintain a focused and clear mind when cycling.
Better sleep enhances your cognitive abilities. Not only it helps you focus but also it enhances your alertness which allows you to think more clearly, thus significantly reducing your risk of injuries and accidents.
It is recommended that you get a minimum of at least 6 hours to 8 hours of sleep per day to get the most out of the following day.