Everything You Want to Know about Ebike Etiquette | Rad Academy

The Scenic RouteKnowledgeJustin Duckham
A trio of riders take their electric bikes down a bike lane.

Learning the rules of the road can be tough, especially if you’re a new rider who suddenly finds themselves on the trail with tons of seasoned cyclists.

When is it okay to pass? Where should I lock up my bike if there’s no rack available? And what about the sidewalk? Can I ride there? These are the kinds of questions that we sought to answer with the latest edition of Rad Academy!

And since we know that it can sometimes feel a little uncomfortable to ask these kinds of questions publicly, we opened up our inbox for anonymous questions across the Rad Family. This is a no judgement zone, after all.

Check out the answers Rad Academic (and customer experience extraordinaire) Olivia gave in response to your big, burning questions. Even if you’ve been riding for years, you might be surprised by what you’ll learn.

 

Here are a few of Olivia's tips:

  • When it comes to where you can ride, contact your local transit authorities if you have any questions. Ebikes are still relatively new, so rules and regulations can change on a dime. Plus, some areas may have different guidelines.

  • While your bike can go up to 20 mph, that doesn’t mean you always have to. Go with the speed of traffic wherever you are. If you’re on a bike path, act like a traditional bike. If you’re in a heavily pedestrian area, act like a pedestrian. There are plenty of opportunities for your electric bike to shine, but sometimes it’s just good etiquette to blend in.

  • Signaling is always important, particularly when you’re sharing the road with cars. If you’re nervous about riding with one hand, you can always bring your bike to a full stop to signal before you make your turn. At the end of the day, riding predictably isn’t just about etiquette — it’s about safety.

  • Bells are a great, friendly way to let people know you’re passing them! Just try to keep it respectful. A single ring will usually do the trick, but if they don’t hear, a second (or third!) ring may be in order.

  • If you need to run into a business but there isn’t a bike rack, lock it up in an area that doesn’t impede foot traffic or block ADA accessibility. In general, always go for a high-traffic, well-lit area. Don’t give thieves privacy! More eyes on your bike is a good thing.

  • Be friendly! When you're on a bike, you're an ambassador for cyclists everywhere, so when others have a positive experience, that helps out all of us. A quick, happy wave can go a long way.

  • Okay, this one's pretty gross but it's a valid question. What do you do when your nose gets runny? Do you shoot a snot rocket? While some cyclists may find a weird kinda joy in that, most bike gloves have a soft area around the thumb you can use to quickly wipe your nose instead. Just make sure to wash it after ...

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