E-Bike Safety and Manners for Greater Enjoyment

Make the most of your e-bike! These tips on safety and manners will increase your enjoyment on roads and trails.

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E-bike on mountain road

Follow these tips to increase your safety and enjoyment on your e-bike. Let’s go exploring!

What is an e-bike and why would I use one?

Electric bicycles (e-bikes) have a rechargeable electric motor that gives you a boost with each pedal. The rider chooses the assist level based on the steepness of the grade, the fitness and energy level of the rider, and how long they need the battery to last.

E-bikes provide many benefits in our parks and cities. Use of e-bikes instead of gas-powered modes of transportation can lower greenhouse gas emissions and consumption of fossil fuels. More visitors on e-bikes can decrease congestion and parking needs for vehicles.

E-bikes are often used by commuters, to enable riders to travel longer/steeper routes than they might otherwise, and for fun!

What should an e-bike rider be aware of?

Riders should be aware of local regulations, basic operations of their e-bike, and personal preparedness to protect their safety and the safety of others. You can’t have fun if you’re not being safe!

In our area of the Olympic Peninsula, here are some links and highlights regarding e-bikes that you should be aware of:

What is e-bike etiquette?

  1. Plan Your Route and Know Local Conditions
    • In many places, cyclists are not allowed to ride on the sidewalk. Even if they are, it is usually in everyone’s best interest for cyclists to utilize the road rather than compete with pedestrians for sidewalk space. Often, there are rules regarding max group size and helmet use.
    • It is also wise to check local weather forecasts prior to your ride.
  2. Mind Your Speed and Follow the Rules of the Road
    • Respect the space and enjoyment of other path users.
    • For example, ride on the right side of the road in the flow of traffic, yield to pedestrians, and obey traffic signals.
    • Pay attention to other traffic and signal or verbally explain your intentions (“passing on your left”) to increase safety and enjoyment for all path users. A bell can also come in handy!
  3. Personal Safety
    • Proper safety equipment can include protective gear (helmet, gloves, long sleeves and pants), brightly colored reflective clothing, and support items (drinking water, snack, dry clothes, flashlight, form of payment, bear spray, map, bike repair tools, basic first aid kit).
    • Familiarize yourself with the operation of your bike (for example, how to mount/dismount the much heavier e-bike).

Want to learn more about e-biking?

Check out this detailed story on e-biking the Dosewallips River Trail!