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Enthusiasts of electric bicycles are increasing daily for more reasons than one. In the United States, the sales of electric bicycles just before the pandemic grew 145%. In the same period of 2019-2020, regular bicycles’ sales rose 65% only.
In the midst of this glowing statistic, we have another rising concern. These concerns were fueled further with the much-publicized e-bike accident of a famous personality, Simon Cowell. Are electric bicycles really dangerous? How safe are they?
Like motorcycles, electric bicycles can be very dangerous if operated recklessly or maintained poorly. It boils down to who the rider is. In the hands of riders who know what they are doing, e-bikes are as safe as regular bicycles.
Are Electric Bicycles Dangerous for Seniors?
In recent years, older people have been picking up cycling as a hobby. E-bikes have never been handier. They are making it easier for seniors to cycle long distances while still providing needed health benefits. One stone for two birds, right?
Despite the assistance from e-bikes, are they worth it for seniors? Since we are talking about it, we might as well ask whether e-bikes are dangerous for seniors.
As mentioned above, electric bicycles are as safe as other regular bicycles, depending on the operator. Therefore, as long as seniors are careful with the bike operations, they have nothing to worry about. Furthermore, there are currently e-bikes manufactured for elderly or senior people. They are more comfortable and easier to operate.
If you’re worried that you may not be up to the task when riding your e-bike, or you’re not just confident of your skills, we are going to list the best tips on being safe with e-bikes. What should you do to ensure your and other people’s safety while operating an e-bike? Mmh, let’s get started.
How to Ride E-Bikes Safely?
For some, riding e-bikes is a fun and rewarding adventure. For others, they are just a means of getting from one point to another. Whatever the reason you have for owning an electric bike, one thing is paramount. The rider’s and other people’s safety is essential.
Thus, how should we ride our bikes safely? Are there things we can do to be safer while riding? Let’s find out!
Start in a field or empty parking lot.
If you’re new to e-bikes, you should try to do your practice runs in less crowded areas. Look for a field or an empty parking lot to ride your new e-bike. There will be no cars or people around you.
Additionally, if anything goes wrong, you will not be running into cars or people. Instead, you will have wide-open spaces to run into. How about that?
Work your Way Up
When you first get an e-bike, it is tempting to ramp up the speed setting. And sometimes, we want to feel what we bought, and that’s not bad. Right?
Wrong. It would be best if you started by riding through the lowest speed settings on your bike. Then, try feeling out your bike in the lower speed settings as you gradually work your way up.
Think of it like you’re a toddler learning how to walk. Initially, you’ll start by taking a few steps at a time. Then, once you’re comfortable, you will be ramming through anyone or thing in your path. Sounds familiar?
Chances are, if you work your way up gradually, you will never find out why we don’t recommend going the other way!
Imagine you’re in a car moving at any speed when it comes to a sudden stop! What happens? Right, you’ll jerk forward. Of course, the reaction would be more intense if the vehicle were moving at a higher speed.
Now, picture yourself on a faster and more powerful bicycle. What happens if, for whatever reason, you make a sudden stop? You probably got that right. The only difference between a car and an e-bike is that you are part of the body on the e-bike.
Sudden stops on an e-bike will not only jerk you forward (and hit the front seat), but you’ll also fly forward depending on the speed you were on. It would be best if you therefore practiced braking slowly so that your body has enough time to react appropriately.
E-bikes have disc brakes that have more power, control, and precision. It will help if you keep this in mind as you practice how to brake slowly with a lighter hand.
You should also never grab your front brake only. Instead, you should brake with both front and rear brakes evenly.
Beware of your Surroundings
E-bikes look very similar to regular bikes. Someone who knows nothing about e-bikes will be none the wiser when he sees one.
The similarity means that pedestrians and drivers will not expect you to be cruising along at 25mph when they see you. It is thus upon you to be attentive to your surroundings. At faster speeds, you’ll need more time to react, and so will those sharing the road with you.
This principle is more important when riding on a shared trail or path. It would help if you were more mindful of your speed when riding in a busy or crowded area. Always slow down and make sure other riders or joggers are aware of your presence. You can ring your bell or use verbal cues to alert people of your presence.
This is the part that most e-bike riders ignore, leading to accidents in busy streets. All traditional traffic and safety rules apply when you’re riding your e-bike.
You may not need a license to drive one, but you need to understand and adhere to traffic rules. If you don’t understand the traffic rules in your area, we recommend staying away from your bike until you thoroughly understand them.
For instance, you should always have your protective gear on you while riding. The helmet might not be what you want to wear, but it is essential for your safety. You should also dress in clothes that help you stand out while on the road. If it’s easy to spot, it’s easy to avoid you.
We have established that e-bikes are indeed quite dangerous. However, the danger should not scare you at all. With the above tips and some practice, you’ll be rocking it at high speeds and having great fun while at it.
Please also read Best Electric Bike Under $1000