Electric bikes allow us to enjoy life

Why am I riding a class 1 electric mountain bike? A few weeks ago I was at a party when a young man asked me why I was riding an e-bike.

I know I’m not supposed to answer a question with a question, but I couldn’t help it on this occasion. I replied: Why do you use wide, flexible and short powder skis on a powder day? Short answer. It makes powder skiing more fun, easier on the muscles and can last all day.

I told him that was why I rode my first-class e-bike. I can ride further, it’s easier on my old legs and it’s fun. Class 1 e-bikes are not free. You have to pedal. What most people see for e-bikes are Class 2 (essentially a motorcycle) and Class 3, which looks like a Class 1 but has a top speed of 28 mph. Classes 2 and 3 are great commuter bikes.

My class one electric mountain bike has a 500 watt electric motor, which equals half a horse. Climbing a steep mountain is just slightly faster than my regular old mountain bike. I ride mountain bike trails maybe 3 mph faster. I get to the top maybe 10% faster. It’s super quiet (I can’t even hear it). My e-bike doesn’t damage a trail any more than a regular mountain bike.

Why do tennis players use coarse-headed racquets? Why do golfers use big head drivers? Riding in my class on an e-MTB is like swimming in the pool with flippers. Riding my e-bike makes my legs look 40 years old. Nearly 70 years old and over 20 surgeries in five years, two metal knees and two hips, I can now still walk my favorite trails. I played way too hard in my youth, and now I’m paying for that lifestyle. What I see young athletes in our valley doing to their bodies today, they will thank me as they get older.

Ian Long

Snow Ground Village

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