A few tips on how to ride an eBike

There are quite a few things to think about before your first time on an electric bike, an eBike. 

An eBike comes with a electric motor as a pedalling assist and you’ve also got a throttle. It rides pretty much the same as a regular bike, but it’s still a different experience and responsibility. The system works by sensing a turn of your pedal, the sensor tells the motor to kick in. Thus, even one single turn of your pedal will activate the assist, and can be surprising if you don’t expect it. Know your bike.

Your best bet, is to start off riding it like a Regular bike. No assist. Get comfortable with the geometry, gears and how they work, gearing up and gearing down, disc brakes if you’re not used to them, the mirror adjustment, bell location, turning your lights on and off.

Start slow before you turn on your assist. If it’s your first time, you might be surprised at a sudden burst of pedal help. Especially if you’re going slow. 

Test the throttle too. It can help you cross the street faster. Or breeze past your biking buddy with a big grin on your face.

Your controls

Numbered assist

One to three assist is usually enough to ride your bike comfortably on moderate hills and flats. Assist four and five will help you on really long and steep climbs. But there are few of those climbs in Oceanside.

If you approach a group of people or a traffic light, any kind of barriers, bring it back to zero assist. Keep riding it like a normal bike till the obstacles are past. Nothing worse than a sudden burst of assist to send you forward into some obstacle.

Because your eBike is heavier, it takes a longer time and distance to slow down and stop. 

If you’re walking your bike, set it on zero, it can be scary having the bike take off all by itself, if you inadvertently rotate the handle grip throttle. If your assist is set to zero, the throttle does not work.

If the throttle does not work and you do have the assist turned on, try pushing the throttle on/off toggle button at your right thumb.

On the flats, if you keep it in assist-one or two it will kick-in only if you seem to slow down. You might not even notice that it is helping. If you’re in a hurry, assist-three and a higher gear will get you there faster.

It’s fun to figure out your best settings as you roll around; your cadence (that perfect rhythm to each individual), your gear (1-7) and your assist-#, (if you need, 1-5).

Once you get used to the assists, we’re sure you’ll have a great time.

Follow all BC biking regulations  

Where can you cycle? Cyclists are allowed on all highways except designated freeways, such as Inland Island Highway 19 on Vancouver Island, BC. There are more enjoyable places to ride anyhow, check out all our posted rides!

For more information on biking regulations in BC, do visit their cycling rules page: gov.bc.ca/cyclingrules

ICBC list some pertinent info as well.

Here’s a quick overview:

  • must wear a bike helmet
  • “… a person operating a cycle on a highway has the same rights and duties as a driver of a vehicle.”
  • “must not ride on a sidewalk…”
  • “… ride as near as practicable to the right side of the highway”
  • must not ride side-by-side, but in single file
  • no passengers
  • don’t ride on Inland Island Highway 19
  • I’m not sure if distracted driving charges could apply to eBikes, probably, let’s not test it
  • good to keep your front and rear lights turned on all the time
  • remain at the scene of an accident and render all possible assistance
  • indicate a left turn by extending your left hand and arm horizontally
  • indicate a right turn by extending your your hand and arm horizontally, or your left arm out and upwards at a 90 degree angle
  • indicate a stop or decrease in speed by extending the person’s left hand and arm out and down from the cycle
  • respect all railway crossing indications
  • on trails, pedestrians and equestrians have the right-of-way
  • follow all motor vehicle laws, all signage
  • 32 km/h on level ground is the set maximum speed, about the speed of a sprinting soccer player!
  • No driver’s licence is needed to ride an eBike, but you must be at least 16 years old, we prefer 19 years old, here at Bark Echo eBikes
  • and lastly, “… a person must not open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so.” But some drivers seem to forget this when it comes to bicycles. Be careful out there. Keep at least a metre and a half away from cars and their doors.

 

Go farther, go longer, have fun.

Pay attention to your surroundings.

Wear your brain bucket!

The Bark Echo eBikes Team,

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