There are various reasons people struggle with commuting by car, from the cost factors to environmental impacts. Many seek better, more eco-conscious travel methods for everyday and leisure uses. An electric bicycle can take you there, whether it's to the grocery, gym, or office.
An electric bike is an opportunity and a solution for those in the market for other transportation methods. But before you hit the road and head to your desired destination, there are several things you should know. Let's go over ten tips for commuting on an electric bicycle to help you ride safely and get the most out of your e-bike!
Choose the Right Bike
This is clear, and you should consider investing in an electric bicycle that meets your needs and fits your lifestyle. All Harley Davidson e-bikes are excellent commuter bikes because of their ergonomic design and user-friendly functions.
You may not encounter varying terrains for an everyday commute, but these e-bikes are great for shifting modes to accommodate riding needs. Additionally, the battery life enables commuters to travel around town without the worry of breaking down.
Check the Weather
Depending on where you live, you may already have a habit of checking the weather before leaving your home. But when you're on a bike, this is even more critical. Now that there isn't a secure roof over your head, you want to ensure you have optimal conditions during your commute.
Pending the weather, you may decide you need to pack water, a jacket, or an extra shirt to change into. This brings us to our next pro tip!
Wear Appropriate Attire
After checking the weather, you should always dress accordingly and consider your destination. If this is a casual commute, dress according to the weather and keep comfort in mind. When heading to work or somewhere of importance, consider your footwear and how it impacts the safety of your ride.
Packing and wearing a backpack with extra supplies can ensure you remain safe going to and from and have the things you will need while at your destination. It may be a case of packing an extra layer, an extra undershirt, socks, and an alternate pair of shoes appropriate for your day.
It's essential to plan your route beforehand and investigate traffic patterns. This process can ensure your ride is smooth and timely. Sometimes accidents also occur, which can close roads, create detours, shift the sidewalk access, and make stress riding dangerous. Looking ahead can help you map out an initial route and a plan B if you need to change directions.
Invest in a Bike Lock
An essential tip for commuting on an electric bicycle is securing its safety when you're not physically riding. When your bike is parked, two primary areas of concern are theft and weather. Thieves are intelligent in their craft, so you must ensure the bike features an alarm function to alert you of any suspicious activity. An alternate parking method would be inside your destination, space permitting.
Additionally, heavy storms with high winds can increase the chance of the bike experiencing damage. If the wind knocks your bike, various components such as the pedals, battery, or handlebar can encounter damage or dysfunction. It’s best to place a durable, e-bike-specific bike lock around the bike's frame and attach it to something sturdy.
Pack a Backpack
Packing a backpack is essential. Your weather check might indicate potential inclement weather, so having extra supplies is vital. In addition to things like a jacket and different shoes, you should consider snacks and hydration. If the skies are blue and the sun is hot, you will need to stay hydrated no matter how long or short your commute is.
Packing a snack like a trail mix or a snack bar is effective without too much space. You could experience an energy crash going to or from your destination, and pulling off the route to eat may need to happen to ensure your safety.
Remain Alert to Traffic
While you do not need a license to ride an electric bicycle, you must adhere to basic road rules and safety. Planning your route ahead of time can give you an awareness of traffic trends leading up to your commute. But once you're on your way, you should always have a high level of alertness to the traffic around you.
Riding a bike puts you at greater risk for possible collision, but there are a few things you can do to contribute to the safety of everyone. Some basic safety steps include:
- Using arm and hand signals for turning indicators
- Attaching reflectors to your bike
- Wearing a road-worthy helmet
- Attaching reflectors to your backpack
- Wearing a reflective vest over your outer layer
Keep Up on Bike Maintenance
Though you cannot perform any maintenance while mid-commute, you can perform routine maintenance to ensure safety on your commutes. Some routine things you can do for your bike include:
- Lubricating all moving parts
- Oil the chain monthly
- Check for loose spokes
- Check the health of the brake pads
- Remove dust and debris
Be Mindful of Battery Life
An appropriate step to handling your e-bike is monitoring and being mindful of the battery life. Allow the battery to charge to enable maximum ride time fully. Typically, a full battery can last a few days of riding for most commuters.
If you leave the house on low, you risk getting stuck in a potentially unsafe area. Ensure you leave on a full battery and charge your battery when receiving a low signal.
Consider Storage Efforts
In addition to where you park your bike with a locking feature, you should always consider where you store your bike, whether at home or somewhere else. Think of your ability to lift or access the bike, and what works best for you.
Also, consider the user-friendliness of the storage unit regarding storing your bike gear. Having all your garb in one accessible location can ensure you're always ready for a commute. You could even store a riding-specific jacket and shoes to secure these items in the event of a grab-n-ride moment.
The joys of commuting via electric bicycle go unparalleled. They accommodate a variety of riders, from young to senior and everything in between, which makes them an excellent option for commuting purposes. Reach out to Voltaire Cycles today to get started on your e-bike journey!