What an e-bike Brings to New Family Adventures
The moment I looked over and saw the bike in the corner, I knew it wasn’t your regular, run-of-the-mill bicycle. Surrounded by shipping boxes and bubble-wrapped bike parts, the Easy Motion Neo Cross bike sat quietly in the corner of the photo studio waiting to be noticed.
When the guys at EBA said I could take the e-bike outside for a test spin, like most people who have spent years pedaling a traditional bike, I was skeptical at first. Still, I was eager to discover just what an e-bike was all about. It’s always nice when something different comes rolling through the doors, and the Neo Cross was just that—different. A quick skim through the owner’s manual and I was ready for a spin in the parking lot. With the first turn of the cranks, the pedal-assist mode kicked in, and off I went. I giggled like a teenage girl sitting through an episode of “Good Luck Charlie.”
Almost immediately the pedal assist made me think of one person—my wife. I recalled how years ago we used to ride together every weekend, but in the years since, motherhood has occupied most of her free time. Understandably, cycling has taken a back seat to raising our two daughters.
A NEW AGE
However, with the kids growing ever more independent, in recent months the wife and I have actually been talking about rekindling the old weekend flame and heading back out for a ride. When I brought the Easy Motion bike home, like myself, she was a little skeptical at first. After I explained the simplicity of the bike—and that it wasn’t a motorcycle—she proved eager to give it try.
For our first ride, I decided to take her out on my favorite local bike-path loop, which I normally ride on my pedal bike with my daughters. “How far would that be?” she asked, presuming that I would offer up a short, single-digit distance.
“At most it’s about 15 miles,” I replied. Her jaw dropped with a sort of not-a-chance suddenness that was a signal to me that I would need to act fast. “Trust me, riding this bike isn’t like riding a regular bike. I promise you that you’ll enjoy it.” Luckily, our daughters were happy to chime in, and they assured her that the bike path had nothing in common with the mountain bike rides that most of the boys in our neighborhood frequently came home all scraped up from.
After a helmet check and some quick how-to reminders about braking and gear selection, we headed for the bike path. I made sure to keep the bike in the non-assist mode at first just so that she could get reacquainted with the pedaling motion and so that when we turned the motor on, she would be able to appreciate the difference. And boy did she notice the difference. Her immediate response was no different than mine, with an instant smile appearing on her face. “Now this is fun!” she exclaimed.
Even though it’s on the climbs where an electric bike really shines the brightest, I decided it best if our ride only consisted of mild-rolling terrain with no hard efforts required. While I knew the Easy Motion would—and could—make all the difference, I figured it was best to play it safe. I didn’t want to punish her on our first ride out. During the ride, there were times where she’d scoot out in front of me (on my non-electric bike) and take the lead. That part she seemed to enjoy the most.
Having the opportunity to once again see my wife back on a bike and having a good time was well worth the price of getting dropped. Once we got back to the house, she said, “I now have a new friend. Can we go out and ride again tomorrow?” Peeling her hands off the bars after the ride was no easy task.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
What we both realized was that no matter your fitness level or body size, you can enjoy the adventure and health benefit an e-bike has to offer. When my wife wasn’t using the bike, my two daughters managed to take a liking to the Neo Cross as well. And like their mom, they, too, realized that if you haven’t ridden a bike in a long time or want to start incorporating cycling more regularly into your daily routine, this dual-purpose style of transportation is very rewarding.
Don’t forget, cycling puts very little impact on your joints, which makes it easy on the body. And since cycling is not a weight-bearing exercise, even if you experience pain when walking, you can still ride a bike. In fact, most people find that they are able to cycle comfortably when they’re well into their 70s and 80s. If you can walk a mile, chances are you could easily ride a bike five miles or more. E-bikes are an especially great way to increase your activity if you’re out of shape, because it allows you to go further than you could on a traditional bike. Just remember that you should still turn the pedals.
As for my wife, she said we should seriously consider getting an e-bike. Now, if only I could convince my daughters that an e-bike would make the perfect “first car”!