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"Someday" has arrived for us

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"Someday" has arrived for us

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Old 05-21-18, 05:42 PM
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DougG
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"Someday" has arrived for us

Just as background, I've never approached bicycling primarily as a competitive or achievement-based activity; I just get enjoyment out of exploring the world on two wheels. After all, I spent 35+ years criss-crossing the country on motorcycles.

Anyway, I'm into the 70+ category here and my speed and range are definitely decreasing. My wife is younger but also not as strong a rider as she used to be, so when we occasionally go riding together, our range is about half of what I could do on my own, and shorter than we used to do a few years back when I first retired. We've seen older folks on e-bikes and said that “someday” we'd probably end up on them, but no hurry for now.

So a couple weeks ago we were at a local festival and one of the LBS's was there with some demo e-bikes. I asked my wife if she'd like to try one, but she was reluctant since she hadn't ridden at all this year and “didn't have her biking legs” yet. I said that she ought to give it a go anyway, so she got on one and took off. Well, one lap around the parking lot and she was back with a big “I'm loving this!” smile. And after we went out and sought out a couple of local hills that usually trouble her, she was ready to buy one on the spot! I've never seen her so eager to spend money...

So it looks like we'll be shopping e-bikes and will probably get one for her later this year or certainly by next season. This will really equalize our riding abilities for now, although I can see myself going that route in a few years (not as my only bike, but for riding around the area). It helps that our state legislature passed some bills clarifying some definitions and where these bikes can be used (Class 1 bikes are pedal-assist bikes with a top assisted speed of 20mph and are legal on MUPs etc. unless specifically prohibited).

I'm looking forward to taking some of the weekend trips again that we used to do to ride some of the other rail-trails around the state. And if any of you haven't taken a ride on an e-bike yet, I'd highly recommend it -- it can be a real eye-opener!
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Old 05-21-18, 06:43 PM
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Not for a while, I'm only 67.
Enjoy.
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Old 05-21-18, 07:33 PM
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So nice that you have found a way to keep bikes in your recreational life. Just having the bike itself pitch in to give you a bit of help on the hills, and allowing one party to keep up with the other, is what an ebike is all about.

At 65 I love my ebike for the charity/-regional rides of 20-40 miles or more. For the "around town" 10-15 mile group rides I love my analog road bike. Both have their places and uses. Both allow me to continue to cycle whenever and wherever I am. When I'm by myself doing a long regional ride, I feel a lot safer and more self assured with the ebike, knowing it will get me up to speed at the stop signs fast, get me away from traffic fast, and not be in my way when I just want to pedal along, smelling the roses. It is like having a good friend along for the ride to give me a nice tailwind just when I need it.

Have fun with your continued cycling enjoyment together! I know your wife is going to love going cycling with you all the time now!

PS - Mine is a Class 2. 250w front hub, throttle only, governed to 20mph. Also legal on all the MUT. Mine is now several years old and I still love it. I like not having anything between my crank and me so that all my pedaling is my own power. But I tend to ride alone. I can see the huge benefit of having a pedal assist when one is always riding with someone else. The result is much smoother and more seamless in matching each other's power and speed.

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Old 05-21-18, 07:58 PM
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On our Sunday recover ride yesterday, the topic of e-bikes came up. (We're 45-55, many either former or current amateur racers & a mechanic) The topic of e-bikes came up and were discussed very positively. One told the story was told of a 70 yr old who's ridden with his son for decades, but was no longer able to handle the big climbs. An E-bike allowed him to continue with the sport he loved, and to spend time with his son. Nothing wrong with that at all! Enjoy
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Old 05-21-18, 08:25 PM
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There were several "E" bikes at the Tour de Palm Springs, doing the 26 mile leg.
Talked to a couple of them , they really liked being able to keep up & even pass many riders.
Took me a minute to catch on how this lady was beating me off the line at red lights, but she
& her husband were Iowa farmers & having a blast in SoCal for a month riding them.
He uses his on his farm a lot.
I rode one at the LBS, cool , but not ready .......yet..........
Keep having fun
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Old 05-21-18, 10:06 PM
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I saw This over on bikeradar today. I'm trying to get my gf into cycling, but she's not really the sporty type...yet. I was thinking that maybe if she had a road bike with this kind of booster on it, she'd be more interested because, while she would love all the riding around and seeing things on two wheels, the exercise part leaves her cold.
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Old 05-22-18, 09:33 AM
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I saw a gorgeous e-bike at the LBS this weekend, and I described it to my wife. Someday isn't here for us, but I'm imagining a scenario like yours. I'm 57 and a strong rider with good endurance. I ride 3,000 miles a year. My wife is about to turn 67, and she's never been a strong rider, and she only rides a few hundred miles a year. We have a tandem which is a bit of an equalizer, but getting her an e-bike may be even better. The one I saw has a crank motor rather than a hub motor. This evens out the weight between the wheels, and it has an ordinary rear wheel. The rear wheel is not extra heavy, and it's easy to remove and re-install on the bike.
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Old 05-22-18, 07:09 PM
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DougG, at what age did you give up motorcycles? Or was it an event or condition? Been thinking about it for the past few years, but every time I go for a scoot, it puts the thought out of my mind until the next close call. My reaction times are slower than 10 years ago, and I am becoming very relaxed on the thing, and possibly a danger to myself.
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Old 05-22-18, 07:19 PM
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Pedal on Doug!! I wish you and your wife hundreds of miles and smiles! Buy the ebike sooner than later!
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Old 05-22-18, 08:01 PM
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I'm 73. I got to the "arrival platform" at the train station a few years ago but I'm not getting off the train yet. I got my new bike a few weeks ago to help me escape.
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Old 05-22-18, 09:03 PM
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I got my wife started biking with an e-bike, now she's moved to a lightweight mixte. Both of us thoroughly enjoyed that e-bike, would not hesitate to jump on one if the occasion presented itself. I am very impressed with the way the technology has progressed. Even if you do a fast group ride one day, it's fun to jump on a e-bike the next. Keeps things fresh.
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Old 05-23-18, 09:55 AM
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It's a shame some are opposed to e-bikes on some kind of weird moral grounds. I don't crave one yet, but I think they're great for some people. They're rather elegant. And I love how quiet they are.
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Old 05-23-18, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
DougG, at what age did you give up motorcycles? Or was it an event or condition? Been thinking about it for the past few years, but every time I go for a scoot, it puts the thought out of my mind until the next close call. My reaction times are slower than 10 years ago, and I am becoming very relaxed on the thing, and possibly a danger to myself.
I was in my late 50s and rode mostly doing "sport touring" on BMWs. I was always a very defensive rider and never had a seriously close call. That's basically what I could see coming. I remember one time when I was cruising on a two-lane road and a car suddenly passed me. It was an entirely safe pass, but what shook me up is that I hadn't seen him coming up behind me! It's called situational awareness, and I could see that I was losing my edge. It was getting more crowded out on the highways as well, and this was even before smartphones and the current epidemic of distracted driving.

I might have gone on another few years except that I was not particularly happy with my current bike and it was also time to get a new car. So I combined my bike and car budgets and bought a BMW 325i that I could do the same kind of touring in and have a similar but different type of driving experience. Afterward my wife told me that it was one of the happiest days of her life when I gave up the motorcycles. I knew that she worried about me all the time when I was out, but she had never said anything to discourage me at the time. Now I practice the same defensive riding practices when I'm on the road on a bicycle, but I think a large part of this is being selective about where and when I ride out there.

By the way, some of my old riding group has carried on, still riding crotch-rockets in the twisties. I knew this would eventually happen, but one of them last summer crashed and totaled his (uninsured!) Ducati and just about totaled his arm and shoulder. It's not clear if he'll be able to get back on a bike again, but it could have been a whole lot worse!
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Old 05-23-18, 02:48 PM
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Well I'm happy for Doug that there is so much support on this forum for his decision. However, I'm one of those 60 year olds who rides on "weird moral grounds" who sees nothing but trouble when the current BICYCLE infrastructure is overrun by folks both young and old on motorbikes. I didn't get a motor bike for my son to help him keep up with me and I won't get one so that I can now keep up with him. I ride at my wife's pace when I ride with my wife. Maybe I should stay over on C&V where a bike is a bicycle as it seems that I am no longer 50+.
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Old 05-23-18, 03:11 PM
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Yes we do have to deal with people who ride their e-bikes irresponsibly, but I can't oppose anyone using them well.
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