Learning to ride an electric scooter is relatively easy. If you used a manual scooter in your childhood, you will already be familiar with the basics of riding an electric scooter. The experience and instruction are pretty much the same. If you understand and follow the basic principles, you should have no trouble putting the pedal to the metal. If you are a relative beginner, learning how to ride an electric scooter maybe a little more difficult. Even if you already have experience riding a bike, you may not get used to riding a scooter right away. An electric scooter is a completely new vehicle with different ways to grip, control and navigate than you’re used to. But with a little patience and practice, you can learn how to ride an electric scooter. Once you master the techniques, you’ll be able to ride your best electric scooter with ease and feel the wind in your face.
DO A PRE-RIDE CHECK
First and foremost, you should always wear a helmet when riding, no matter how short the ride or how fast you’re going. A CPSC-certified bicycle helmet is a minimum, but you may want to wear a little more protection at higher speeds. Your gear and clothing should always be appropriate for the speeds and type of ride. More speed = more gear.
At higher speeds or if you are riding in traffic on the road, you should wear long pants, gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, and closed-toe shoes.
You can also put on more protective gear, such as elbow and knee pads or possibly a full racing suit. For most riders, however, this is too much of a good thing. On your first ride and every ride thereafter, do a pre-ride check to make sure your scooter is in good working order. The tires are in good condition and inflated to the proper pressure. The folding mechanisms are engaged. The brakes are properly adjusted. The scooter looks and sounds good (no strange noises, obvious damage, altered or unusual things). The battery is sufficiently charged for your ride. Equipment bag for longer rides (tire lube, pump, multitool). Cell phone for emergencies.
TIME TO GO
Once you’ve made all the above preparations, you can finally sit on your electric scooter and see how it rides. Once you’re ready, all you have to do is push up on the stand and lift it off the ground to get your electric scooter moving, just like a non-electric scooter. After you are in motion, you can start to gently turn the throttle to engage the motor and get some speed so that you can build up to the fastest electric scooter. During your first few rides on the e-scooter, you should drive at a modest pace. However, you can gradually increase the speed as you get comfortable with your driving skills.
When you accelerate or decelerate, do so slowly and gradually. The throttle of each electric scooter has different sensitivity. Riding slowly will allow you to become familiar with your model and see how quickly it increases its speed. Use the handlebars of your electric scooter to keep your balance, but your feet and legs should do most of the work. If you notice that you are pushing or pulling the handlebars very hard, that is not a good sign and means you need to work on your balance. The handlebars are at the end of a very long lever arm, and even the best-built scooter is not designed for the rider to crank the handlebars frequently. At very, very low speeds, you will be actively using the handlebars to steer your scooter. You will also need to use your midsection and adjust your weight to maintain balance. At normal riding speeds above 5 mph, you should keep the handlebars mostly straight and rely on weight shift and tilt to maneuver and turn.
Regardless of the vehicle, you are driving, it is important to stay focused on the road. Multitasking and driving an electric scooter don’t mix. You can stay alert to what’s in front of you by:
Leaving your phone alone – texting and driving are not safe. Keep both hands on the handlebars to maintain your balance and steering ability. If you must use your phone for GPS directions, you can attach it to your e-scooter with a phone mount instead.
Don’t wear headphones or earbuds – Riding an electric scooter with the wind in your hair and your favorite song in your headphones may sound like a lot of fun. However, it’s safer to turn off the music while riding.
You can save your self-compiled playlists for another time. You’ll need all five senses to take in your surroundings and stay out of the way of traffic.
Keep a watchful eye on the road – From potholes to pedestrians, there are many obstacles you need to avoid while riding your electric scooter. To do this effectively, you need to spot obstacles before they get in your way. In turn, you should always look in the direction you are going and focus on the road.
When braking fully, bend your knees and shift your weight to your back leg – as if you were sitting down. Most of your braking power comes from the front brake, so use both brakes. Full braking in a turn is much more likely than full braking in a straight line, so straighten up before you full brake if possible. To achieve maximum braking force, stand just before the rear wheel breaks free without locking the brake. It is very unlikely that the front wheel will skid, but if you apply the front brake too hard, you may fall over the handlebars, especially on scooters with stronger front brakes (such as disc brakes).
Spend some time practicing using the front brake, applying it harder and harder as you get more comfortable with it.
Riding an electric scooter is relatively easy to learn, but the ability to safely navigate traffic must be learned through experience.
If you are a complete beginner, you should wear a helmet, practice, and gain confidence before riding in mixed traffic.