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Why E-bikes?

By: Summer Poletti

A fair question that I get asked a lot is "why did (or how did) you get into e-bikes?" Like most people my age, I grew up riding bikes with friends and other kids in the neighborhood, as well as with my family. We had a tradition of biking to and from the donut shop every Sunday. Eventually, my dad started riding a converted bike that he got at a garage sale - a beach cruiser with a very loud gas motor. I thought it was the dorkiest thing I had ever seen and I often asked him to stop being lazy and just ride the bike. I mean what self-respecting teenager isn't embarrassed by their parents? I enjoyed the rides though - my go-to donut was the one with the lemon filling. At that time, a contractor in his late 30s, I can now understand why he wanted to have fun on the weekend and not work so hard to get those donuts.

As an adult, my husband and I continued the traditions with our oldest child. Once he learned how to ride without training wheels and became a bit more mobile, we went to the local Schwinn dealer, and we all got beautiful new bikes. I got a black and red 5-speed cruiser. Living in north Orange, the hills were already beginning to make cycling less enjoyable. Maybe my dad was onto something? We'd ride around just for fun, go visit my sister, go to Dairy Queen.

Fast forward to when we moved to upper Yucaipa - off Oak Glen Rd passed the Stater Bros with the apple sign in front. Every year, I would have my bike tuned up with the intention of riding. But no matter how you look at Oak Glen Rd, it's not fun cycling. The nearest anything is miles away, and the journey is uphill the whole return trip - a pretty steep one at that.

So I turned to trail running. There are so many great trails out here! Years later, when injuries forced me to swap out running for hiking, I missed the exhilaration. The views are beautiful, but there's only so far you can go while hiking, and I missed the feeling of flying. There's something about the wind on your face!

I had heard about electric bikes and had seen some at the beach. Instant thoughts of my dad on that severely uncool converted bike were not helped by the images of tourists on clunky, noisy rented bikes. And then someone told me about a brand of e-bikes that wasn't ugly. I went to test ride a Pedego and was impressed. The bikes are good-looking - they kind of remind me of those Schwinns. And they were not noisy. I was embarrassed at how wobbly I was after years of not ever riding my bike. But I hadn't forgotten how to ride!

And then I did more research - Pedego is a well-respected brand that is dedicated to great customer service. They have one of the best warranties in the business, and they distribute through locally-owned dealerships. I was involved in a work-related situation that was quickly becoming untenable and was looking for a next adventure. The rest, as they say, is history.

When we got our bikes shipped, my son and I rode bikes at the park the first chance we got... and these ones had motors! It was much more fun than I had imagined when I first went on the test ride that hooked me.

Not only am I able to ride a bike again, but I get to have fun on a bike! We lead group rides in the area with other fun-loving individuals. Always a different path around the community. We see 10+ miles of beautiful scenery instead of the 1-2 that you can see on a hike. And nothing hurts when I'm done. Not my bad foot, ankle, knee, other knee, back, or shoulder. I've met new people along the way, and my shop has helped others like me to get back on a bike and have fun again - or others for whom the hills are getting hard, and they don't want to give up cycling. It's a rewarding journey that I'm happy to share with others in the community.

When was the last time you had fun on a bike? Come to the shop and try a Pedego e-bike; you might be surprised by how much fun you'll have.

1570 Barton Rd., Redlands, CA 92373


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