Electric Bike Rider Etiquette and Road Rules
A wise man once said, “with great power comes great responsibility…and electric bikes are powerful, so be responsible.”
Okay, the original quote may have been shorter, but you get the idea. With electric bikes — or ebikes — you can pedal farther and go faster than you ever could on traditional bikes, which makes them the de-facto choice if you have to commute or want to achieve sustained high speeds without being a Tour-de-France-level rider.
But what about that “responsibility” part? Ebike road rules are in place to ensure you ride safely when you’re around traffic, be that cars or pure pedal-power bikes or pedestrians.
Though your electric bike can let you get up to some pretty extreme speeds, which might make you feel like it’s more of a motorcycle, it’s definitely more of a souped-up bicycle. The laws that govern them treat them as such!
So how can you have an awesome time while safely riding your ebike? Pay attention to proper electric bike etiquette, and you’ll have a blast!
Ride Where You’re Allowed
While most states’ electric bike road rules are identical to those of traditional bikes, some areas may have more specific laws in place that treat electric bikes more like mopeds. You’ll have to check your state’s laws to make sure, though you can always ask your local bike shop too.
Now, where can you ride? Most ebike road rules say you have to ride on the road. Even if your state lets you ride on the sidewalk, it still shows better electric bike etiquette to ride where you won’t run such a high risk of hitting pedestrians.
Does that mean you can ride in traffic? No. Again, it’s not a motorcycle. You’ll need to stick to bike lanes or, if there aren’t any bike lanes available, the side of the road. Also, make sure you ride with the flow of traffic rather than against it.
Pass and Yield Safely!
While riding, you may come up behind other cyclists or slow cars. You can pass them if you like, but do so safely. Remember, you’re almost completely exposed on any kind of bike, even with a helmet, so you don’t want to zoom past someone just to end up on the pavement because of unseen danger.
As for yielding, electric bike road rules state that you are responsible for yielding to pedestrians, oncoming cyclists, and oncoming vehicles. When in doubt, play it safe so you don’t end up creating a dangerous situation!
Take a cue from professional and hobby cyclists and install lights onto your ride. Flashing rear lights with a random pattern makes you more likely to be seen, and a strong headlight will increase your visibility at night. Also, choose to wear clothing that’s bright or reflective (or both), especially in the dark.
You’ll also need a bell to announce your presence. The old-fashioned “ring-ring!” bells are great because when someone hears that noise, they instinctively know to look for a bicycle immediately.
Finally, use hand signals for other cyclists and vehicles so they know what to expect from you. Don’t use cryptic signals — make sure they’re clear.
Start Your Ebike Journey with SUPER73
If you’ve never ridden an electric bike, you should! The power, the feeling like you can go anywhere, and the freedom of open-air riding will undoubtedly be addicting. At Super73, we make Ebikes for just about every environment, from rugged trail rides to city streets.
Are you ready to experience the future of cycling? We thought so. Contact us today to find out how to bring a SUPER73 electric bike into your life!