At the naive age of 6, I successfully tumbled down the driveway on my new Barbie bike. What did I gain from that? A banana-shaped scar on my right knee.
Let’s not do what I did.
Whether you are looking for adventures in New Mexico, fun things to do in Albuquerque on an eBike or bike trails near me, educating yourself on safety precautions when riding an eBike is important, unless you want matching scars.
How to Safely Ride
A key safety component is the physical gear.
Make sure you are investing in a MIPS helmet, in order to protect your brain and be prepared for a possible collision.
We want everyone to experience a moonlight ride, but make sure you do not camouflage. Wear brightly colored clothing that can help other drivers on the road locate you.
Get the right headlights for the bike. Headlights provide a way to be seen and to see.
Don’t wear flowy clothes. They may get stuck in the bike gears.
A car has blinkers, eBikers have their hands. When turning or changing lanes stick out your hand in the desired direction to signal drivers.
Check Your Speed
While we want the breeze in our hair as we cruise through New Mexico's scenery, make sure you tame your metal foot. The eBike can legally go 20mph, but check your surroundings before you crank up the pedal assist. The same goes for the throttle feature. It can be easy to kick back and relax while you let the bike cruise, but you want to stay aware of other riders.
What about Stopping?
With an eBike, you will be moving a lot fast with more momentum. You want to account for more time when stopping. Remember to squeeze the right AND left handle breaks to stop quicker. Oh and never squeeze just the left. Just don’t.
Make Sure You’re Visible
Always make sure you have lights on your eBike so that you are seen and headlights so that you can see. Use a white front and a red rear light. Another important visibility rule is what you wear. Don’t wear all black at night, as you will probably not be seen. Try to wear brighter colors.
Sounds obvious, I know. Just make sure you pay attention to surrounding bicyclists and vehicles. Just because you see them, does not mean they see you. Make sure you yield to slower users and obey the rules of the trail.
Check Your Batteries
In for a long trek? Make sure your batteries are charged and even bring a second one if you’re going for a super long ride. Other battery safety tips include locking the battery into the bike so it doesn’t pop off mid ride and making sure that you charge the batteries and unplug them once they are all charged up -- aka don’t leave them charging overnight.
Here is a quick acronym that's as easy as ABC (literally) to check for before you enjoy your eBike.
Use a pressure gauge to insure proper pressure.
Check for damage on tires.
Make sure your tires are inflated to the pressure listed on the side of the tires.
Make sure all of your brakes are working properly.
Inspect pads for wear; replace is there is less than ¼" of pad left.
Look to see that you can fit your thumb between the brake lever handlebar when the brakes are squeezed all the way.
C-Clamps, Connectors, and Chain
Tighten and check all clamps on eBike.
Ensure all cables are connected.
Check to see that your chain is free of rust and gunk.
Now you are ready to electrify your ride (and not add to your scar collection) . Have fun expanding your world with your Free-to-Roam eBike! Speaking of gear and safety, make sure to check out electric bike laws by state to find out whether or not electric bikes allowed on bike paths, safety protocols for each state and more. Interested in New Mexico’s laws for eBikes? Check out our New Mexico Legislation page.