The bike is mine. I'm like a teenager with his first driver’s license, looking for any excuse to take his ride for a spin. In his autobiography, rock ’n’ roller Keith Richards talks about buying his first prized guitar, then curling up next to it on his bed for the night. If only I could get my bike under the covers.
The fun of riding has come back into my life. Pure joy. A few months ago, I was thinking about moving to another town, one with fewer hills so I could ride my bike more often. With my e-bike, the hills have flattened. So the few grand invested in the e-bike has saved me a whole lot more. I don't have to sell my home and move.
It doesn't roll - it glides.
Many people think an e-bike is an electric bicycle. It's not. The Bosch system is brilliant. It won't do the work alone but requires you to pedal. Technology + your effort = magic! The rider soon learns to coordinate shifting gears with moving between the four power levels of assistance. The system forms a perfect partnership among the energy your legs put out, the efficiency of the selected gear, and the bonus energy supplied by the small electric motor. This amazing technology is built into a Felt bicycle frame so elegant that the dealer hands you a tiny bottle of touch-up paint to take with you. The bike has all Shimano parts. It doesn't roll—it glides.
Some traditional bicyclists apparently sneer at e-bikes, inferring that diminishing pain while enhancing fun is cheating. When I asked a friend if he's tried an e-bike, he scoffed, "I'm not that old yet."
I'm sure that when the first automobile came on the scene, the guys in the horse-and-buggies sneered too. Traditional skiers sneered at the first ski lifts, then, decades later, at snowboarders. Surfers sneered at the first boards with leashes. I used to have a Segway. A lot of folks sneered at that. If I was able to talk them into trying it, their sneer turned into a broad smile of joy and amazement — a lot like when they take their first ride on an e-bike.
Sneer all you want. The thing is, I get to ride 2,400 miles from Santa Monica to Chicago with my wonderful son. My legs won't scream to remind me that I'm not 25 anymore, or 35, or 55. And I'll have enough energy at the end of my day to laugh out loud, knowing that Christopher Columbus was wrong. The world is flat.
May 15, 2016. With my son, Quincy on the Santa Monica Pier, leaving on our 2,400 ride up Route 66.