While focused on nabbing that next record mount, eBike crashes are likely far from your mind.
But due to the nature of the hunt, crashes happen. There are many obstacles to overcome, from rocks or downed trees to losing balance on your bike that’s loaded with hunting gear.
The proverbial best defense is a good offense, and knowing how to avoid crashing in the first place can keep you safe and keep you hunting longer.
Following is some advice on avoiding electric bike wrecks while hunting and what to do if you happen to crash.
1. Stick to a comfortable speed
Riding an eBike is a lot like riding a pedal bike, only you can typically move at much greater speeds.
As speed increases, impacts happen much more quickly, it's easier to miss potential threats, and you can efficiently run into something you don't intend to if you're not careful.
Throw on the added weight of your gear, and it can be much harder to react at the speeds you usually do.
Take it easy. It's not a race to the tree stand anyway. Ride the eBike at a speed you can easily manage, and you're far less likely to wipe out.
2. Avoid loose ground
Yes, you're hunting eBike does come standard with electric bicycle tires designed specifically to thrive on the dirt and other loose terrain touring tires usually struggle with. They do have limits to what they can bite into, though.
If you can see mud, heavy layers of snow, or even dense piles of leaves, it's a good idea to slow down and avoid them if you can. The tire can easily slip and throw your balance off. Besides, you don't know what objects may be obscured by those piles.
3. Puddles may be deeper than you think
Even if you're riding on an old wagon trail, you should do your best to avoid puddles. The water might be obscuring a deep layer of mud that you'll sink into and send yourself over the handlebars.
You also don't know if the trails are explored by ATVs that cut through the soft layers, making the puddles much deeper than they appear. As a rule of thumb, you should avoid puddles anyway because your electrical components are only designed to handle small amounts of moisture.
4. Keep away from steep inclines
Your hunting eBike might have a monstrous motor powering some beefy tires, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea to approach steep inclines head-on.
Remember that the center of gravity sits up high with you on top, and it can easily roll over on you.
If you have to overcome a steep hill, you should approach it at an angle and gradually climb until you reach the top. Better yet, the safest option is to find a way around or walk the eBike to the top, which can be made easy with a walk-assist mode.
5. Balance your load
Think about the weight of your gear and how it influences balance as you ride. The last thing you'll want to do is consciously ride in such a way that you have to offset the weight or accommodate it in your riding style.
Take your time to layout your cargo in such a way that you can ride as naturally as possible, as this can help prevent it from pulling you one way or another on hills and other obstacles you may encounter.
6. Mind the ruts
Riding into ruts left behind by other vehicles is a bad idea, especially if they're a size match to your eBike's tires. These ruts can be hard enough to redirect your tire in an instant, causing you to crash.
If you can, do your best to avoid them and ride around any areas where dry mud is in your path. If you have to go through, continuously moving your tire in an "S" pattern can break the ruts up and keep you right-side up.
7. Keep your eBike in shape
A flat tire, loose drive chain, and sagging handlebars are all things that can cause you to wreck on your way to the blind. That's why it's a good idea to keep your eBike in shape.
It's wise to go over the bike and make sure everything checks out before each hunt. This is also a good way to find any other potential issues, such as loose connections, that can cause the eBike to fail you on the trail.
Firstly - make sure the firearm chamber is always clear before you do any riding. This is because a wreck can cause an accidental discharge, leading to more severe issues.
With that out of the way, wrecks are a funny thing. Sometimes you bounce right back up without a scratch on you. Other times you're out for the count for a few minutes until you can catch your breath again. In any case, you shouldn't rush to get back on the eBike.
Your adrenalin will be pumping, so there's a good chance you might not feel any pain initially. Take the time to check yourself out to ensure no issues require medical assistance.
After you decide you're good to go, take the time to check your gear out. Start with your cellphone. Make sure you have it, and it's functional as that might be necessary to get home safely.
From there, inspect your firearm, bow, knives, optics, and other equipment to make sure nothing is damaged, lost, or dangerous.
After all of that's sorted out, move to the hunting eBike. Go over it to make sure nothing was jarred loose, broken, or disconnected.
Be sure to inspect the monitor and speed sensor connections as these are easily affected in a wreck. It's also a good idea to look over the wheels and spokes to make sure they weren't bent before you try to ride again.
Although it’s tough to realize, sometimes a severe wreck may be a good reason to call it a day. It can be hours until adrenalin wears off and pain flares up, play it safe, get some rest and leave the hunt for another day.
Otherwise, you may wind up stranded in the woods until someone can come to get you out.
eBike wrecks happen. That's just a natural fact.
That's why you want to do your best to avoid them by using the tips above. But if one does, you’ll also know what to do to get safely back to the hunt or safely back home.
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