Part 3: Fun, safe eBiking in ‘the 15-minute city’
By Lynn Owens
Ebikes are fun, get you out of your car and help connect you to your Scripps Ranch neighborhood. For $800-$1,500 (or more, of course) you can find a good ebike to “take the hurt out of the hills” when visiting local friends, stores, service providers and recreation sites. But how to start riding your new ebike?
Think about safety. Buy and use a good helmet, front and rear lights, bell, basket and mirror. Practice starting and stopping, mounting and dismounting. Be aware: ebike riders’ faster acceleration and speeds can surprise drivers and create extra danger. Adjust for difficult conditions: sunrise, sunset, dusk, fog, damp, darkness, crowds, children, pedestrians. Visit sdbikecoalition.org for more advice or Google “ebike safety tips” and follow them!
Start with extra-safe routes. Miramar Lake can be a good starter route, with little traffic and small hills. However, you still need to watch out for cars on the shared road and in the parking lots, and for other travelers going faster or slower in either direction. “SoPo” (south of Pomerado), Sabre Springs and Meanley Drive on weekends have wide streets and light traffic. The Mercy Road Bikeway between Erma Road and Poway Road is car-free, but use extreme care crossing Scripps Poway Parkway – use the Walk button and stay highly vigilant for rushed or distracted drivers.
Plan your travel. For me, the best Scripps Ranch routes have dedicated bike lanes (most of Pomerado Road for example) or little traffic. Avoid or use extra caution for
- busy streets without dedicated bike lanes, such as Mira Mesa Boulevard
- freeway entrances and exits, even with traffic lights and marked crosswalks
- streets with lots of cars stopping, parking and starting; for example, near Starbucks, schools and parks as people arrive and leave
- narrow streets with lots of parked cars. You can’t see when someone will open their door. Always stay at least 3 feet away from parked car doors.
- Parking lots where cars back up
- Crossing multi-lane streets with turning cars, because drivers aren’t looking for you and may not see you.
Check out sdbikecoalition.org/events. They have Smart Cycling classes, bike maps and more.
Enjoy! Send your questions, comments, and ebike success stories to email@example.com. Happy riding!
Upcoming event: Scripps Ranch resident Don Endicott presents Amazing World Of Bats: Nature’s Tiny Fighter Jets. Friday, Nov. 4, 10 a.m., Scripps Ranch Library, 10301 Scripps Lake Drive.
Sustainable Scripps Ranch is a standing committee of the Scripps Ranch Civic Association.