I have a new getaway vehicle. I have an e-bike. My dear hubby is younger than I am. He is in better shape. He can ride 12 miles on his bike. So can I. I just can’t, also, get back home. I have, more than once, crashed on the side of the road and told him to pedal home and get the truck and pick me up later. (Yes, I brought my water and snacks)

But once I got the e-bike I was on a mini Staycation. I return relaxed and happy. When we venture out, we see the sights, have a picnic, take photos, and generally forget about our cares and woes. We can go dawn to dusk (except I don’t rise for dawn, but he can go out and greet the day). Lucky us, there is a fantastic 40-mile paved bike trail about a ¼ mile away. Except for a few road-crossings of busy streets the trail is in the deep woods, through flower strewn meadows and along the ocean (well almost ocean, the Orca clad salt water leading to the Puget Sound).

With an e-bike you still have to pedal but the assist in the motor is like when you learned to ride a bike and a trusted adult gently pushed you to go a wee bit faster (not like your mean-spirited older brother who pushed you into the stickers). These e-bikes are fantastic and with multiple speeds my feeble efforts look Herculean. Up the steep country hill I go, down long winding trails I traverse. Yup, “Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house I go” AKA my house.

There is a gauge telling you how much battery you have left like a gas tank indicator. Tip: When it says half, turn around. Or you can carry a charger with you if there is a place to plug in or carry extra batteries. Another tip is what kind of bike to get. I prefer the e-bikes with the battery on the frame between my legs. I am strongest in my thighs so I can hold up the extra weight when I jump off. E-bikes with batteries over the back tire can be hard to “land” properly. I found the back weight threw me and the bike sideways when I braked. Another tip: Bring band-aides if it’s been a while since you’ve been biking.

The great thing about e-bikes is there are styles that fold up to fit in your car. And the batteries last for several hours. Also, you look totally awesome in your helmet, neon road wear for safety and neon sneakers (Think “Larry Crowne” – Tom Hanks romantic comedy). I feel like I am riding a Harley, but it’s not even quite as cool as a Mo-ped. But at my age I hardly care what anybody thinks of me. I have the breeze in my face, scenery is whizzing by and I am away from that pile of bills on my desk.

Another great thing about e-bikes is lots of folks are getting them. And that makes for camaraderie. There are even e-bike road tours for the hard core. All I know is that I can ride even when my own battery is low. And somehow by the time I return home my bike batter is on zero, but I am recharged to face the day.

Sally Franz and her third husband live on the Olympic Peninsula. She has two daughters, a stepson, and three grandchildren. Sally is the author of several humor books including Scrambled Leggs: A Snarky Tale of Hospital Hooey and The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Menopause

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