Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ebiking Safely, Thanks to Gracie's Wrench

Last night, I had the opportunity to take an ebike-focused bicycle safety class, courtesy of The eBike Store. Led by Tori Bortman of Gracie's Wrench, the class is a free service offered by Wakefield Gregg, owner of The eBike Store, to all his new ebike customers. It was a great chance to review some general bike safety rules, and some ebike specific ones as well.

We started with basic bike checks that should be performed before any ride, with the addition of batteries and wiring points. This led into a review and discussion of the Oregon Bicyclist manual and the rules of riding in a bike lane, taking a lane, and turning safely. Tori stressed that making ourselves visible and predictable is vital to riding safely, whether on an ebike or a regular bike.

Tori's casual style yet encyclopedic knowledge of bikes and bike safety, as well as years of experience riding and wrenching made her a great instructor. Obviously, her skill as an instructor far outstrips my photographic skills.

All of the participants in the class were looking to their new ebikes as a way to get out of their car, get more exercise, and build strength/fitness. Now we'll all be able to do that, and a little bit more safely.

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