It's time to ride and you're nervous about the rules and etiquette for riding an ebike. You've heard all sorts of things, some good, some bad. With a little preparation, your first ebike ride will go great and maybe even be more fun than your car rides!
Here are some ebike road rules and etiquette that are specific to electric bikes (but some apply to conventional bikes as well). It’s important to know the rules because not knowing them could lead to confrontations with other cyclists which can not only ruin your day but could also result in injury.
Ebike Road Rules and Etiquette
- Consult the nearest bike shop and find out how road e-bikes are operated in your area and whether you are classified as a bicyclist or a motorized vehicle. E-bikes and the laws that govern them differ from state to state. Bicyclists can ride with the direction of traffic in most cases, halting at traffic signals and stop signs. Practice slowing down, stopping, getting on and off, and maneuvering the e-bike before going out on it (a great place to start is an open parking lot or side streets without much traffic).
- It is always a smart thing to take extra care to be noticed. This is important whether you are riding an e-bike or a normal bike. A safe way to start is by wearing bright and/or reflective clothing and using front and rear lights. The Cruiser Bike has built in lights and reflectors but in most cases more is better.
- You don't have to ride at 20 mph all of the time just because your bike can. Wherever you are, go with the flow of traffic. Whether you're on a bike lane, ride as if you're on a regular bike. Act like a pedestrian if you're in a heavily pedestrian city. There are lots of chances for your electric bike to shine, but it's still good etiquette to blend with the traffic.
- It’s always important to signal especially when sharing the road with other vehicles. If you’re not comfortable riding with one hand, you can come to a complete stop before making your turn to signal. After all, riding is not simply about etiquette, you have to put your safety first.
- Bells are a nice, polite way to warn people that you're approaching! Just remember to be respectful. A single ring would normally work, but if they don't respond, a second (or third!) ring may be necessary.
- If you need to get into a store but there’s no bike rack nearby, lock it up somewhere that won't obstruct foot traffic or ADA access. Always choose a high-traffic, well-lit location. Parking it in an open area means more eyes can see your ebike and keep thieves at bay.
- Be nice! When you're riding a bike, you're an advocate for riders all over the world, because when people have a good time, it benefits us all. A simple wave will go a long way. Using common sense speed will also help ebikes be allowed in more places which helps the whole community.
These are just some of the things to keep in mind when riding your ebike. Just make sure your ebike is well kept and maintained so you can get the most out of your electric bike.
Do you have other tips we missed? Leave them in the comments so we can add it in this article.