I’m in Charlottetown, PEI, for a week! With a day to myself I could do a self-guided tour with a rental car, walking, public transit, or e-bike. By my title, I think you know which I chose.
Probably inspired by other FIFI e-bike posts, I rented an e-bike for the first time in hilly, windy Wellington, New Zealand a few years ago. Here in PEI, where it is flat and the weather has been warm, the electronic motor was more of a luxury!
It’s been long enough between rental e-bike day tours that it was good for me to plan ahead and review some self-reminders, which I’ll share:
- Read some research/reviews on the e-bike rental store first, and read the waivers before you rent.
- Pack hydration, some money, and a layer, as you would when you’re out on your own bike.
- Take the time to ask questions about the e-bike. I reminded myself that although I ride this bike wasn’t mine. The store staff want renter safety and they love to answer questions about e-bikes.
- Find the bell in the store. I yelled “on your left” at people for hours. The staff showed me where the little bell was hiding when I got back.
- Pay for add-ons that will make your trip comfortable, if affordable. In my vanity, I didn’t want a basket at first, but it turned out to be incredibly convenient.
- Resist the urge to leave right away for familiarization and to ensure the e-bike works properly. I used the gears and brake in front of the store first before I would need them on my journey.
- Always helmet. Always lock.
- Have an idea of where you want to go as well as where you shouldn’t go. There was a fun downtown boardwalk on the map, but e-bikes aren’t allowed on it. There were also some busier streets I was warned about by staff. I stuffed a print map in my sports bra for quick review en route.
- People can be surprised by the speed of approaching e-bikes. I tried to be extra sure folks knew I was coming.
- Keep safe. Ride during the day and on recognizable roads. Bring a charged phone. But skip the trip if you are solo and worried about your personal safety.
It’s always good to follow traffic rules and ride defensively. But compared to my hometown, I noticed here drivers were much more courteous to cyclists. Nearly every driver gave me the right of way, even when it wasn’t my turn. So, be aware of the vibe of your touring area when you e-bike.
Overall, if you have the time the weather is decent, I highly recommend renting an e-bike while traveling and touring! You can go further than on two legs, get some outside time, and make some unexpected discoveries along the way.
FIFI readers, what would you add to my list? Where in the world do you recommend e-biking?