How An E-Bike Is Getting Me Outside More

// Thank you for your support of Petit Elefant sponsors!  This post is brought to you in partnership with eSpokes Electric Bikes, the largest electric bike retailer in Utah. As always, all opinions are my own. //

Are you an outside kind of person?  I love being outside as much as the next girl, maybe even more.  I’ve lived in the Wasatch mountain range in Utah my whole life, camping and fishing, biking and hiking in the mountains and desert the better part of 40 years.  Outside is a great place to be, especially in Utah.  Truly, if you haven’t ever visited Utah, make it happen ASAP-like.  I’m super lucky to live in a truly gorgeous, versatile state with everything from world class skiing, to climbing in the red rock canyons of Zion, and biking and camping in Moab.  It’s an astonishingly beautiful (and fun!) place to be.

electric bikes

I used to spend a great deal of time outside.  My family was an outdoorsy bunch; we camped for two weeks every summer, all tents and Dutch oven stoves over fires, hammocks in the trees, hiking during the day with my siblings.  My mom made a special granola once a year – just for family camping trips – and as a result, my memories of being active and outdoors are happy ones.  In fact, I didn’t even stay in a hotel until I was 15 (!!!), on a weekend trip with a friend and her dad.  Can you believe that?

ebike

Being active is in my DNA.  I used to speed around my neighborhood, visiting friends on a borrowed bicycle late into my teen years.  I used my sister’s flowered 1970’s banana-seat bike whenever it was available, pedaling around from one neighbor’s house to another looking for friends to come out and play. It was a pretty glorious, safe time to grow up.

How An Electric Bike Is Getting Me Outside More

I’ll be honest, I kind of thought those days were completely gone for me.  I was diagnosed with lupus in my early 20’s, and my level of activity over the last 20 years has been totally dependent on sick I am at the moment, how much I hurt from day-today, and it seems to be creeping higher every year.

Sadly, I’ve become really inactive.

panniers

If I go on a walk, the odds of me running out of energy 3/4 of the way home are huge.  I’ve become an indoors kind of girl, and I don’t love it.

electric-bike

So it’s kind of funny that when a few months ago I met one of the owners of eSpokes, it kind of changed my life.  For real.

I was really skeptical at first, hearing about electric bikes, but I became a quick convert once I put my feet on those speedy pedals.  One of the owners, Meagan, told me all about electric bikes and their many benefits, (owners of electric bikes ride them TWICE as often as regular bike owners!) but it wasn’t until I tried one myself that I understood what she was talking about.

eSpokes electric bikes

I don’t know how to explain an electric bike, unless you’ve ridden one.  I had known about e-bikes peripherally, the way you now about your grandmother’s Thursday-night bingo group, but didn’t pay much attention to them or anyone riding them in a conscious way.

zuma bike

Megan convinced me to try one out, and I can’t even properly explain the glee I felt the first time I zoomed around my neighborhood.  I felt like a witch on an electric broom, clicking my heels and flying off into the sky.  But even more fun than that.

I borrowed an Izip Zuma electric bike from eSpokes, and within a week I was a complete believer. An electric bike obsessive.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to part with it.  Because here’s the thing: every day around lunchtime, I took the bike out for an afternoon ride.  I rode only a few miles, but they were miles I wasn’t riding or walking before, and I was delighted to be outside in the sun with the wind blowing on my face.  I just don’t get that very often.

electric bike gears

Here’s how an electric bike works: it’s a regular bike, a beach cruiser or mountain bike, with an electric motor.  So if you want to ride it as an electric bike, you choose the setting you want, low, medium or high, and set off on your ride.  You can change the speed while you bike, or turn it off altogether.

electric-bikes

I often ride with it on low, sometimes medium, when I’m climbing a steep hill.  But more often than not, I ride with the electricity completely off until I run out of steam.  I ride like a normal person as long as I’m able, and then when I (inevitably) can’t go any farther, I turn on the bike for an assist on the way home.

Sometime if I’m feeling like Speedy Gonzales, I twist back the throttle and zooooooooooooom up all the hills and dales I can find on the way home.

throttle

The best part is that I feel like I’m out among the living again.  A “normal” person just out for a bike ride.  I ride it to the library, to pick up my son from school, to my favorite local antique store, up the canyon on a ride with my husband, and around the neighborhood on an afternoon ride.

I ride it a lot.  And that’s the whole point. I wasn’t riding before, and I am now.  The research behind electric bikes backs that up.  People who don’t ride bikes normally are riding often, and people who rode before are riding twice as much.  Because electric bikes are F-U-N.  Delightful.  Exciting.  Speedy.  If I just want to zoom somewhere using the throttle I can do it at twenty miles per hour.  The battery lasts 35 miles, and mine lasts a lot longer than that by using the electricity only intermittently.

Guys, that’s just amazing.   This is the future, and electric bikes are the thing you never knew you always needed, except better.

zuma electric bikes

If you’re interested in taking an electric bike out for a test ride (and I HIGHLY recommend it), visit the eSpokes store in Daybreak, Utah, and tell them Allison sent you if you do.

// Thank you for your support of Petit Elefant sponsors!  This post is brought to you in partnership with eSpokes Electric Bikes, the largest electric bike retailer in Utah. As always, all opinions are my own. //

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Allison

Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

3 Comments

  1. Maria Garcia :

    Great review. Because we need alternatives for city-short distance transportation.This is a great one.

    Maria
    http://skincareof.com/