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Opinion: CABDA session emphasizes need for and benefit of e-bike rider education

Published February 6, 2023

By Clint Sandusky

YUCAIPA, Calif. (BRAIN) — At the recent CABDA West Expo, Mike Fritz of Human Powered Solutions, Dejan Gakovic of UL Solutions, and Rob Latham of Call2Recycle held important and informative sessions, discussing various topics about e-bike product safety. Many articles also have been published in BRAIN and other resources addressing these topics.

Of at least equal importance to me and my colleagues is the need for quality and relevant operational education and training for riding faster, heavier, and at times less nimble, e-bikes — especially by our youth.

My CABDA West session on E-Bike Safety: How Retailers are the First Line of Defense and our California Association of Bicycling Organizations' (CABO) booth at the expo addressed this topic. If you were unable to attend, check out my BRAIN story.

But don't take my word on the need for rider education. Look at what Pedego, in collaboration with the American Bicycling Education Association (ABEA), is doing to enhance dealers' and customers' safety. As was the case in the 1970s with the motorcycle industry seeing the need for safety education and training, now is the cycling industry's time.

As fellow CABO and ABEA's CyclingSavvy program representatives and I observed, our booth drew many expo attendees — especially from Pedego retailers excited with the new collaboration. Based on past experience, bicycle safety educational booths were often dismissed.

One e-bike retailer who stopped by, John Breza of Trans Port Station, later told me he was "interested in advocacy and was pleased to see it was represented at CABDA." Breza said our "materials were well-presented and displayed, and that we "were friendly, very knowledgeable and passionately helpful." He told me he would share information and materials to all customers.

We provided attendees wonderful resources for safe, legal, and successful cycling in traffic. This included CyclingSavvy's 10 tips for safe & easy bicycling around town handout and our new Ebiker's Guide to Safety & Etiquette, part of CyclingSavvy's PowerSavvy e-bike content. This guide is a must for everyone selling and/or riding e-bikes. It will be available for download on CyclingSavvy's website in the near future.

I believe a real shift is taking place, aided by the growth of e-bikes, about the importance of safety education and training, especially when riding in traffic.

I continue to believe it is going to take all of us working together — retailers; manufacturers; distributors; cycling educators, advocates, and organizations; parents; schools; the media; and law enforcement — to ensure e-bike use is more safe, legal, responsible, and enjoyable.

Go to CyclingSavvy to learn more about defensive bicycling and to gain access to resources and courses.

Cpl. Sandusky retired in 2016 after a 24-year career in law enforcement, both with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's and Riverside Community College District police departments. While with RCCD, he was a bike officer for 23 years and has been an active CA POST-certified Bike Patrol Instructor for 28 years. Sandusky has taught, presented, authored, and consulted in e-bike training and content to law enforcement and the cycling community/industry both in California and nationally. He is a member of IPMBA's E-Bike Task Force and conducts e-bike content at its annual conferences. He was recently asked to participate in PeopleForBikes' E-Bike Safety Task Force. The opinions and recommendations expressed in this column are his own. He can be reached at

Clint Sandusky.
Topics associated with this article: Electric bike

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