Investing in an electric bike is an excellent way to alleviate the burdens of life with a vehicle. But when it’s time to hit the road, you may feel nervous about etiquette and road rules. Because an e-bike isn’t like a traditional bicycle, there are a few other things to consider as you ride.
Here is a simple list of e-bike rules you should know before you ride to make you feel better about the process and ease your mind!
Rule 1: Make Your Presence Known
Make yourself noticeable to anyone on the road. This is a must-follow safety rule whether you’re on a traditional bike or an e-bike. But generally, an electric bike will move quicker and with the flow of traffic, so it’s essential to follow this rule.
Wear reflective clothing and outer garments like a vest, and ensure your bike has reflective light pegs attached securely to the front and back. To test out their effectiveness, you can place your bike about 10-feet from you and check for visibility.
Rule 2: Rules of the Road
Your local bike shop will help you understand how your local area views electric bikes. This is essential because you can ensure your own safety and acquire any necessary licensing or insurance. Some states and localities view e-bikes as motorized vehicles, while others don’t.
In most cases, riders can ride with the flow of traffic, which requires them to stop at lights, slow down effectively, properly turn on and off the street, and follow basic traffic patterns. Your local bike shop can ensure you’re knowledgeable about what goes on around you and help you work any kinks out.
Rule 3: Use a Signal System
In addition to understanding the rules of the road on a bike, you need to know how to make signals properly and adequately to those around you. For many, using the basic bike hand gestures will suffice, which is also a way to become noticeable.
If you’re not comfortable using only one hand to handle the bike, the next best step is to come to a complete stop. While etiquette is excellent, your safety should always be a top priority.
Rule 4: It’s Not a Race
Many electric bikes can ride up to 20 MPH. But just because your bike can handle that speed does not mean you should go at that pace consistently. Go with the flow of traffic and slow down or speed up when necessary.
Depending on where you’re riding, you may be using a bike lane. Treat them as you would on a standard bike and consider yourself a pedestrian. This can ensure your safety and help you blend a little better with traffic.
Rule 5: Beep, Beep!
A relatively easy e-bike rule you should know before you ride is using a bike horn. Consider attaching a bell or horn to the handlebars. It might feel cheesy to ring a bell, but if you’re in a situation of lower visibility, doubling up your safety with a noise attractant can help mitigate the issue. These horns make just enough noise to announce your presence politely and gain someone’s attention.
When you buy electric bikes online, you learn about the bike itself and not the process. Hopefully, this quick rules and etiquette guide can help you feel secure about your investment and remain safe. Reach out to Voltaire Cycles for any questions regarding e-bikes and their safety!