Riders of every age are already enjoying the many benefits of electric bike ownership. Young riders are delighted at the speed and sustainability of e-bikes. Middle-aged riders enjoy the practicality and social advantages of the sport and senior riders can exercise without pain or risk of injury. The uses for electric bike transportation are limitless, but because e-bikes are still relatively new in the past decade or two, not everyone is aware of how to safely ride them. And according to new data, more and more individuals are suffering from injuries of all types such as arthritis, knee replacement surgery, or recovering from a broken bone. They are looking for good equipment and proper guidance to assist with a recovery routine. An e-bike is an excellent way to recover from a mobility issue, but proper safety while you are riding is a good way to prevent another injury from occurring!
This article will focus on safety riding tips for seniors and general riding advice for seniors, but riders of all ages can apply these tips to ensure a safer, happier, and healthier riding lifestyle. We’ve covered why e-bikes are the Best Transportation for Retired People During the Summertime, so now let’s cover how to stay as safe as possible while riding! Not only will you reduce the likelihood of injuries by using these safety tips, but you can also rehabilitate yourself from a previous injury if needed.
Tip #1: Use Proper Safety Equipment
Proper safety equipment is the first step towards maintaining a high level of safety during any ride. Helmets, bright reflective clothing, and rearview mirrors will all help you avoid or reduce an injury. According to a 2019 study published in Brain Inquiry, “wearing a helmet significantly reduces injury severity, length of stay in a hospital, and length of stay in Intensive Care Units.” Kids are also least likely to wear a helmet, so it is helpful for their grandparents to provide a good example by always wearing one while riding. This safety riding tip cannot be overstated. Accidents happen when you least expect them. Eliminate the risk of a head injury by wearing proper safety equipment whenever you are in motion.
Tip #2: Know Your Route
Knowing your route in advance is an excellent way to increase the safety of your ride. You do not want to be surprised by rough terrain, steep hills, or tight turns. Choose paths and roads with smooth surfaces and new pavement if possible. Try not to ride where cars cannot see you such as hilly roads or fast streets, especially during sunrise and sunset, when driver vision may be obscured by the bright light.
If you find yourself on an unknown or unfamiliar path, ride slower than usual and watch for obstacles in your way. An e-bike can allow you to cover huge distances and give you access to more of the city you live in, but it’s always a good idea to have a plan. Check out your ride on foot, by car, or by using Google Maps before you embark on the journey. You can also ask other riders in your area about their thoughts on certain trails or roads. They may have helpful tips or alternative routes you can take that will be safer or easier.
Tip #3: Ride with a Friend
Include a friend or family member on your rides to eliminate the risk that you get into an accident and are unable to move or call for help by yourself. Bring a friend, especially if you are going to a new park or part of your city. Multiple riders are more visible, can help each other during an emergency, and watch for upcoming obstacles. Riding with a friend or cycling group is one of the best safety riding tips for seniors. You may also find that it is a good opportunity to reconnect with someone you don’t see very often!
Tip #4: Choose the Correct Bike
You will want to consider all your bicycle options when you are just starting to ride.
- Make sure that your bike isn’t too big or tall, as previous injuries or arthritis may prevent you from getting on or handling it well.
- Ensure the bike has multiple speed settings such as Himiway brand e-bikes to avoid going too fast and losing control.
- Review the battery of any e-bike you are considering so that you do not find yourself stranded without power and needing to manually pedal more than expected. Himiway bikes use high-quality 48V 17.5Ah Samsung/LG batteries to give you lots of distance and power.
- Finally, choose a bike model with fat tires to increase your traction and provide a more stable ride. Fat tires have a bigger surface area which makes them easier to use in tough conditions where skinny tires might cause you to slide or skid such as sand, snow, or mud. And because fat tires have a unique tire thread, they may be able to avoid small fragments of metal or glass from puncturing a hole in them.
Tip #5: Obey the Law
Our final safety tip is to know the rules and laws of the location you are riding. Many states have slightly different regulations governing the use of e-bikes. Even regular bikes may have different laws in different parts of the country. We’ve covered the various e-bike laws in major states before and it is good to familiarize yourself with the different classes of e-bike available. Not all e-bikes can be ridden on all paths as some will have speed limits set by the park or state.
Proper education and increased awareness of your surroundings will reduce the chance that you are in an accident with a motor vehicle, pedestrian, or another biker. Remember to always use the proper safety equipment, know the route you will be riding in advance, ride with a friend or family member, choose the correct bike for you, and obey the riding laws wherever you are. Use this riding advice for seniors to have more confidence and enjoy your next ride in the safest way possible.