To ensure a safe and memorable e-Biking experience on São Jorge Island, participants should follow these tips and suggestions.

Preparation Tips:

  1. Dress Appropriately:
    • Wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear. Layered clothing is ideal for varying weather conditions. Even on a nice day, the temperature will be significantly cooler at higher elevations.
    • Weather conditions change quickly on an island so you should carry a small backpack so that you can layer up or down, as needed.
    • DO NOT use flip-flops or sandals (unless they are hiking sandals that are properly secured to the foot.
  2. Safety Gear:
    • Always wear a helmet and consider additional protective gear like glasses / visor and gloves.
    • For greater visibility by drivers, ensure the front and rear lights are turned on (even during the day) and use the reflective safety vest that is provided for extra security.
    • Ensure that you have the lock & key in case you need to leave the e-Bike unattended for any period of time should you stop for a snack or to do a hike on foot (for example, walking to the Caldeira Santo Cristo. e-Biking there is not considered safe and become unpleasant to the rocky paths in the Caldeira).
  3. Sun Protection: Apply sunscreen and wear sunglasses and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
  4. Hydration and Snacks:
    • Bring plenty of water and some high-energy snacks to keep you hydrated and fueled throughout the ride.
    • Consider planning ahead (or stop at a mini-mercado like the one near the Cantinho das Buganvilias, just beside the Bar Luz as you turn off the main road) and prepare a picnic lunch to enjoy along your route.
  5. Check Your e-Bike: Ensure your e-Bike is in good working condition BEFORE you depart on your ride. Check the battery level, brakes, tire pressure, and lights before starting your tour. Ensure you have the safety repair kit
  6. Know Your Route: Familiarize yourself with the tour route and the locations of any rest stops or points of interest.
  7. Stretch & Warm-up: Consider taking a few minutes before you venture off to warm-up and stretch especially your, legs, arms and back.

During the Ride:

  1. Follow the suggested route: Stick to the suggested plan. If you do decide to venture out on your own, check with a local to ensure that your planned route is the best and a safe route.
  2. Observe Traffic Rules: Obey all local traffic laws and signals. Ride on the correct side of the road and always communicate your intentions by using hand signals when turning.
  3. Ride at a Comfortable Pace: Don’t push yourself too hard. Use the electric assist to help you maintain a comfortable and sustainable pace. Also moderate your speed and level of pedal assistance to optimize your battery usage by only using a higher level of pedal assistance when needed otherwise you will use battery power unnecessarily.
  4. Stay Aware:
    • Keep an eye on the road ahead and be mindful of any obstacles or changes in terrain and especially on narrow or unpaved pathways.
    • Watch out for vehicles, pedestrians, animals, and other cyclists. On any island, it is not unusual for farmers to use the local roads to move livestock from one field to another. Also note that livestock on roads tend to leave behind remnants of their crossing (i.e. cow paddies) that can become a safety hazard and can be unpleasant you go over them get covered with the spray.
    • Although rare, on occasion livestock can escape and wander the roads on their own. As a result, always be attentive and do not use excessive speeds so that you can react quickly, if needed.
    • We encourage you to NOT USE earbuds or headphones so that you can be aware of your surroundings from a safety perspective but so that you can also to enjoy the diverse sounds of nature that will otherwise be missed.
  5. Use Lights and Reflectors: Make sure your e-Bike lights are always on but especially if you’re riding in low light conditions. Also, wear reflective gear such as the reflective vest that has been provided.
  6. Keep a Safe Distance: Maintain a safe distance from other cyclists and vehicles to avoid collisions and to ensure that you have adequate to react and to stop should a sudden need arise.
  7. Take the Time to Stop & Enjoy: You can make your ride extra special by making unplanned stops to admire some of the sites along your route. For example, the caves at “Portinhos” in Urzelina, the large grotto across from the O MANEZINHO Art Restaurant or the numerous “miradouros” (lookouts) along the coast. Perhaps you plan ahead or stop in at a mini-mercado to pick up some food and drinks for a picnic lunch at one of the many picturesque sites.
  8. Additional Safety Reminders:
    • Take extra caution and reduce your speed on wet roads and pathways.
    • During descents always moderate and manage your speed so that you are always in control. Using the brakes in a controlled manner will ensure that they do not overheat versus applying continuous and excess pressure.
    • Keep your two hands on the handlebars to maintain your balance and ready to use the brakes, if needed.
    • On dirt roads or when going downhill, use the back brakes (on the right side) more than the front brakes for greater stability.
    • On dirt roads: watch for loose rocks, look for packed dirt (versus soft sand, pebbles), watch for gulleys across or along the paths created by water erosion during heavy rainstorms
    • On downhill dirt roads, keep your speed below 15 km per hour otherwise it can be dangerous.
    • If you are e-Biking with a partner, communicate upcoming turns & stops or approaching vehicles or possible danger to avoid unexpected last-minute turns due to miscommunication.

Environmental and Cultural Respect:

  1. Stay on Designated Roads / Paths: Stick to suggested routes, trails and paths to protect the environment and avoid getting lost.
  2. Respect Nature: Don’t disturb wildlife or damage plants. Carry out any trash you bring with you.
  3. Cultural Sensitivity: Respect the local culture and traditions. Be polite to residents and other visitors. A “bom dia” (good day), “boa tarde” (good afternoon), a smile and a wave are always welcomed and more often than not reciprocated.

Emergency Preparedness:

  1. Carry Identification & Some Currency: Bring a form of ID and any necessary medical information. Also, consider bringing some form of payment should you which to purchase a drink, snack or in the unlikely event that you require a taxi ride.
  2. First Aid Kit: Have a basic first aid kit on hand for minor injuries.
  3. Know Emergency Contacts: Be aware of local emergency numbers (112 for ambulance or rescue) and have a way like a cellphone with data or voice service to contact emergency services, if needed.

Post-Ride Tips:

  1. Cool Down: Take time to stretch and cool down after your ride to prevent muscle soreness.
  2. Recharge Your Bike: Ensure your eBike’s battery is recharged for the next ride.
  3. Review and Share: Reflect on your experience and share any feedback with us at [email protected]. Sharing your experience can help improve future tours.