Ah, spring break, the perfect time to shake off the winter chill, enjoy some warmer weather, explore a new area, and have some fun! And what better way than to explore a new (or familiar) place than on your electric bike. eBikes enable more carefree and fun exploration of new areas without having to worry about big hills or headwinds.
Consider parking your car and exploring a new city or national park on your electric bike. This allows you to take in the sights and sounds at a leisurely pace, rather than rushing past them in a car. eBiking generally takes you on the paths and areas less traveled and you may find some great restaurants, coffee shops, stores, museums, parks and other hidden gems. Plus, with an electric bike you don’t have to worry about traffic jams, finding parking, paying for parking, and the other headaches of driving in popular areas.
Whether you're looking for a leisurely ride or a more challenging adventure, there are many great ways to ride your electric bike on spring break. Here are a few ideas of the types of riding to consider when you are planning a spring break eBike trip.
Top places to ride your eBike
The Beach: The classic spring break is a great beach vacation with tons of fun in the sun. If you're headed to the coast, take advantage of the miles of bike paths along the shore.
This can be a great way to cover a lot of ground while taking the time to stop and enjoy the beaches that look good. Plus you can easily checkout the restaurants and stores along the way. Double check the rules of the pathways along the coast to make sure they allow electric bikes.
National Parks: National parks are also a classic spring break vacation with some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country and many have bike trails. They truly are a national treasure.
Below are some National Parks to consider for Spring Break. The weather can be a bit temperamental during February, March, or April so plan for and be prepared for inclement conditions.
- The Grand Canyon, Arizona
- Zion, Utah
- Canyonlands, Utah
- Arches, Utah
- Joshua Tree, California
- Yosemite, California
- Everglades National Park, Florida
- Shenandoah, Virginia
- New River Gorge, West Virginia
- Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
- Saguaro West and East, Arizona
- Death Valley, California
- Cuyahoga Valley, Ohio
- Redwoods, California
- Big Bend, Texas
- White Sands, New Mexico
- Indiana Dunes, Indiana
Beyond national parks there are also great places to ride in national monuments and state parks.
Urban Bike Trails: If you are headed to the city there are cities that have extensive bike trails that take you through parks, along lakes and rivers, and past iconic landmarks.
Here are some thoughts on cities that would be good to explore for spring break:
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
- Las Vegas
- New Orleans
Mountain Bike Trails: Getting off the beaten path with an eMountain bike can be a fun way to explore some dirt roads and trails.
Below are some good resources for searching for places to ride your electric mountain bike. Keep in mind that eMountain bikes are restricted from riding some trails that traditional mountain bikes are allowed to ride.
Trailforks has a very comprehensive map of trails and routes around the world. They have an “Activity Type” filter so you can see where you can ride your eMountain bike. With that filter selected you will be able to look around to see where there are a large concentration of trails to ride. Similarly MTB Project has a lot of trails with an eMTB filter. Finally, People for Bikes also has an eMountain bike trail map that is a good way to see where the hot spots are for riding an eMTB.
If you go to a National Park or Monument for spring break, there may be some dirt roads to explore in or just outside of the park boundaries.
Rail to Trails: This is exactly as it sounds; old railroad lines that have been converted to trails for hiking and biking. Many of them go through scenic areas and because they were built for trains the grades are very consistent and usually easy going.
Below are some ideas on rails to trails routes.
- Katy Trail in Missouri. Machens to Clinton, Missouri
- Great Allegheny Passage. Cumberland, Maryland, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Silver Comet Trail and Chief Ladiga Trail. Smyrna, Georgia, to Anniston, Alabama
- Little Miami Scenic Trail. Springfield to Newtown, Ohio
- Wabash Trace Nature Trail. Council Bluffs to Blanchard, Iowa Greenbrier River Trail.
- Cass to Caldwell, West Virginia
Checkout the Rails to Trails Conservancy for more information and trails to ride.
Traveling with Your Electric Bike
If you are revving up for a road trip with your eBike there is some gear that will make your adventure easier and more fun.
First of all, if you don’t have a bike rack for your car then this guide to car racks designed for electric bikes will be helpful. Since electric bikes are heavier than conventional bikes it is important to pick one that is designed for eBikes.
Next, it is important to keep your electric bike safe and secure as you travel. There are many locks available to keep your eBike safe and there are also tracking systems available in the case that it is stolen. This electric bike security guide will give you ideas on locks, tracking, and other ways to prevent your eBike from being stolen.
When you are out exploring on your electric bike it's important to enjoy the ride while also riding safely.
The most important safety gear is a helmet. You might think this is a boring piece of gear but there are a lot of styles and features built into helmets these days. Some helmets have fun graphics and others look like hats, no joke! Helmet high tech features include smartphone connectivity for answering calls and built-in front and rear lights, just to name a few.
Good lighting is an important piece of gear for riding day and night. There are some lights that are bright enough that they can get anyone's attention, even on a sunny day. Being seen on the road by people in cars, other riders, and pedestrians is an important part of a safe ride.
Similarly, reflective items on your bike, clothing, and bags help to stand out at night.
Making some noise with a bell or horn is a courteous way of letting other riders and pedestrians know you are there followed by an “on your left” to let them know that you are passing.
Picking a safe route with low traffic is a good way to stay safe and to enjoy the ride more. Google Maps has a bike route option which tends to recommend routes that are off the main streets and along low traffic neighborhood streets. Here is an article on finding fun eBike routes with more ideas on planning a ride.
Before every ride it's a good idea to do a quick bike check. Check the front and rear tire pressure to make sure it is in the range recommended on the side of the tire.
Next, squeeze the brake levers to make sure the brakes are engaging at least half of the lever range and that the brakes are providing good stopping power. If not, take your eBike to a local dealer for service.
Finally, following the rules of the road as a bicyclist is another important part of riding safely. People for Bikes has a good instructional video on this:
Here is an article with more details on a safe eBike ride.
Denago is opening new dealers across the United States and if you get a chance, stop by to check out the latest bikes and gear. Here is the dealer locator.
Enjoy the Adventure
Spring break is a great time to relax, have fun, and explore a new (or familiar) place. Riding an electric bike is a great way to explore and experience more than you can by car.
Consider some of these places mentioned in the article as spring break destinations. Enjoy your rides and have a great vacation!