On almost every ride I am asked questions about my eBike, and it is the seniors who show the most interest. The conversation usually ends with my inquisitors offering reasons why they think an eBike is not for them: there is nowhere safe to ride; eBikes are too expensive; or they have too many ailments for cycling. Let’s take a closer look at each.
Being a recreational cyclist does not mean you must ride on roads. Last year I clocked over 8,000 kilometres, all on cycleways, paths, quiet back streets, around Lakes and dams, in National Parks, and on a variety of bush trails. While Sydney has a patchy cycling infrastructure, there are many hundreds of kilometres of designated cycleways that can inter-connected via regular paths. Here on eBiker Diary there are 75 different rides across Sydney and New South Wales, plus some around Melbourne, Newcastle, Wollongong, and Canberra, and there are more to come. No shortages here.
Electric assisted bikes are now a huge market, and rapid improvements in technology and scale of production means more affordable prices. An entry-level eBike is around the same price as a quality regular bike and the second hand, trade-in, or ‘demo’ market is a great place to start because so many new eBikers upgrade soon after buying their first bike. The helpful specialist retailer Sydney Electric Bikes can show you options at every price point to suit your riding preferences.
Finally, there is the issue of whether riding with senior ailments is worth the effort. I was inspired to write this article because a recent serious groin tear during a racket-ball game revealed osteoarthritis and a dysplastic hip. With medical advice and cortisone, my rehabilitation has accelerated with regular riding. Cycling is not a load-bearing activity because the bike carries your weight, while your muscles do the pedalling at your chosen power-assistance level. Where a non-assisted bike might stress an older body, an eBike can get you back into healthy and comfortable riding.
Some seniors are unsure how to Transport an eBike or want advice on how to set your bike up for a more enjoyable and Softer Ride; these too have ready solutions. eBikes have many health and social benefits: they extend your riding range, iron out hills that previously were hard work, and open up a world to be discovered that is especially beautiful on two-wheels.