Over the years I have really enjoyed bike riding. But as I’ve aged it seems like I spend more time going uphill than down. It is easy to coast down a hill creating a gentle breeze with the wind in your face. But traveling back home, I call climbing up a hill on a bicycle a “grunt.” Out of breath, tired muscles, and sweating profusely is getting less and less enjoyable as each year passes.
While we were attending a wedding and reception in Laguna Beach and Dana Point in California in mid-June, we decided to rent bikes to ride on the trails near the beaches and the bike lanes near our vacation rental. Initially, we rented regular bikes but after my husband did some research on the trails in the area he noticed LOTS of hills and elevation changes. A quick call to Synaptic Cycles and a few more dollars per day and we were set with E-bikes. They even had a concierge service that included batteries and chargers, a helmet, and free delivery and pick-up at our condo!
If you haven’t had a chance to try one of these, especially as a retiree, I would highly recommend giving this experience a chance. Even if you haven’t ridden in years it all comes back. The phrase, “It’s just like riding a bike” comes to mind. I found that my mind and body didn’t forget and once I adjusted to the way an E-Bike performs I was hooked.
Each of three mornings before our evening wedding-related activities we set off on an adventure. We road the trail to the San Clemente Pier twice, enjoyed the Lantern District, explored Laguna Niguel, and even braved the Pacific Coast Highway (or as the locals say the “PCH”.)
On an E-bike you are still riding and pedaling – it is not a motorcycle or a moped. You’ll definitely feel it the next day. But when you are going up a hill, you can turn a magic lever and get a little “assist.” On our rentals there was a “governor” that limited our speeds, however, these heavy, bulletproof, fat-tired bikes flew up some pretty steep hills. For us, it was a game-changer.
We had such a fun experience we are thinking about buying a pair of E-Bikes to take on road trips and camping. We’ll just wait a bit until the supply chain stabilizes. What was a little surprising was how long we spent riding each day. Instead of being exhausted after a few hills, we spent five to six hours outdoors each day and traveled on average between 20 and 25 miles. We went everywhere!! Secured with a lock on a bike rack, we could take a break to explore and get a beverage or lunch.
We saw so many places we would have never seen riding in a car and navigating traffic. The bike lanes in this area were separated by either wide spaces, medians, or sidewalks. We felt safe, enjoyed the beautiful weather, explored numerous beaches and parks. We even spent time watching the surfers in the Pacific Ocean.
Retirement is providing numerous opportunities to take adventures and try new things. While biking is something we did when we were younger it was exciting to realize that with E-Bikes, even as our bodies age we can still get outside, enjoy nature and fly up those hills!