Why does it matter where we ride?2019-07-22T14:43:22+00:00

Why there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.

“Where should I be riding this?” That question pops into the head of many of our riders as soon as they hop on one of our mobility products. Unfortunately, bikes and scooters have been in a kind of gray area up to this point.

Should they be ridden on the sidewalk? The street? Bike lanes? Dedicated paths or paved trails? The rollout of next-gen mobility products, like our electric trike, makes this question even more pertinent. So what’s the answer? Here’s the short version: there isn’t one—yet.

Every city, town, and college campus is different. They all have unique infrastructure and regulations that try to make the most of what’s around already.

For instance, some locations don’t have any bike paths at all, let alone enough to be the main thoroughfare for shared bikes and scooters. Those municipalities may instruct riders to stick to sidewalks and stay off the roads. Other cities have narrow walkways, making it difficult for pedestrians and mobility products to coexist. Many of these places will tell you to hit the streets and ride with the flow of traffic.

FTL-Local-Scooter-Ordinances

What does all this mean for riders?

While we don’t have any hard and fast overarching rules about where you can ride our assets (at least in this regard), there’s a good chance your city, college, or university does. That means you should do everything you can to educate yourself on local regulations. We try our best to keep up and make sure everyone’s informed, but some of these guidelines change on a daily basis. Check with your local government to get the latest info in your area and avoid any fines or tickets.

Rider-Education-Safety-Gotcha

If your local area doesn’t have any bike or scoot regulations in place yet, here are some tips to make your rides the best (and safest) they can be:

Ride wherever you’re most comfortable. If you don’t mind dodging pedestrians, the sidewalk might be best. If you’d rather take to the streets, that’s cool too—just obey traffic laws and be mindful of cars around you.

Avoid issues before they happen. Staying alert and mindful can do wonders in helping you avoid any incidents, whether they’re verbal, physical, or otherwise.

Be considerate of others. If you’re riding on a sidewalk, give pedestrians a heads up when you’re passing, wait to safely go around them, and be conscious of your speed. Don’t bob and weave through traffic, obey signals, and make your intentions visible when changing lanes or turning.

Remember: no one cares about you as much as you do (except maybe us). While most drivers and pedestrians are conscientious people, they often have other things on their mind. Remember they may not always see you, even if they’re looking right at you. Ride defensively.

Where-to-Ride-Decision-Tree

*Not sure where to ride? Follow our Gotcha tips to help you decide.

Let’s flash forward.

As riders get more familiar with mobility products like bikes, scooters, and other shared transportation options, we think municipalities and campuses will become more familiar with the benefits and opportunities they present. At the same time, we’ll work with decision makers to help develop the infrastructure and policies necessary to make sure bikes and scooters are operated in a safe, convenient, and efficient manner that benefits both riders and their communities.

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