We all remember the playful thrill of bike riding as a child. And most of us rode steadily through our college years. By that age, however, the bicycle was more a means of transportation and less for play. That was certainly the case for me. And, as I grew older, the bicycle became a symbol of exercise. My fun was lost.
As an aging baby boomer, somehow, bicycling fell off my radar. I had a ten-speed hanging upside down from the ceiling of the garage for fifteen years. I finally sold it, flat tires and all, in a garage sale, circa 2016. It was a really great bike; but while I needed the exercise—and still do—I simply lost the desire to get out and ride.
“Perhaps it’s the traffic,” I thought, trying to rationalize my lost aspiration. After all, I spent my high school years pedaling through the beautiful countryside of rural Pennsylvania. That was play and exercise! My meandering road trips lasted for hours and featured rolling hills, green farmlands, and expansive cornfields. Nothing at all like trying to navigate the chaotic disorder—and obvious danger—of Coast Highway through Laguna Beach.
I finally resolved that there is just not enough time for biking. Most of us would agree that even getting to the gym is a challenge these days.
I recently considered getting a new bike to take me to the gym. But then again, I countered, perhaps visiting the gym was the first step needed—even before bicycling. After all, sound fitness is needed to counter the inevitable headwinds and hills our Laguna Niguel topography presents.
It seems, nowadays, anyone I know who rides bikes is all-in. Especially those my age. These cycling enthusiasts own expensive, lightweight, carbon-framed road bikes—with all the technical shoes and clothes to match. They carry GPS computers, super-insulated water bottles, and even turn-signaling gloves. My cycling friends are seriously dedicated, and I have tremendous respect for every one of them.
I have similar admiration for the mountain bike crowd. They, too, are dedicated to their sport, spending all of their free time on the San Juan Trail—that is, when not traveling to Moab or Tahoe for their grander off-road fix.
In my previous life, I was a career snow skier. And what attracted me to skiing was the same thing that attracts us all to bicycling. Sliding, rolling, surfing, or skating across the face of the earth—be it on snow, water, dirt, or asphalt—is a sensation like no other. It’s an unbridled feeling of freedom. The only thing that could top it, I suspect, is skydiving. But we’ll pass on that one.
Back to the fundamental question: How can a busy, middle-aged husband and father smoothly transition back into fitness? Answer: Danny Val at Pedego Electric Bikes on Coast Highway in Dana Point.
I had the pleasure of tagging along with locals, Monica Huston and Jason Fairbanks, who were enjoying an afternoon ride around beautiful Dana Point Harbor on a couple of Danny's bikes. I was excited to get out on a bicycle again—even if just for some fresh air and sunshine.
Within 30 seconds, childhood was back! It was like hearing an old song. But the adult in me immediately understood the grown-up benefits. I could make that ride to down to the harbor and climb the big hill home, no problem. In fact, in “PedalAssist” mode, the bike shares the load as much or as little as you want. This was my biggest revelation. I had always thought, with electric bikes, you had a binary choice: either pedal or throttle. The fact that this feature gives five different levels of gentle assistance as you pedal makes a huge difference in the fun factor! I finally see a transitional path to fitness.
Pedego e-bikes can go up to fifty miles on a charge; and that brings added confidence. Not only am I certain to make it back up Golden Lantern with ease, but I can now ride longer, farther, and faster than I would on any regular pedal bike. Also, it’s much easier to ride with friends and family—regardless of what they're riding.
Finally, from a holistic standpoint, there is something very special about being outdoors and riding a bicycle—even if pedaling is not your thing. In order to go straight while driving a car, you have to constantly steer the wheel. Think about it. Riding a bicycle is the same, but you’re even more physically involved through steering, leaning, balancing, and pedaling. In a spiritual sense, the activity awakens awareness, fuels life energy, and synchronizes mind, body, and soul. That’s one reason studies show e-biking improves mental performance, keeps seniors young, and even alleviates symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Other direct health benefits include weight loss, stress reduction, and better sleep. It’s a fantastic way to lower blood pressure; and, according to the National Healthcare Provider Solutions, riding just 20 miles per week may reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by 50 percent!
After experiencing a Pedego electric bike, I will definitely buy one. It’s the perfect tool on anyone’s road back to fitness. Now I can ride my bike to the gym—and enjoy every minute of it!
Call Danny Val (949) 481-2044 or visit PedegoElectricBikes.com