A common misconception when it comes to electric bikes is that ebikes are for lazy people. It's something we've heard all across the U.S during big events, small local events, at our Big Cat stores and all over the internet. It's ok though, we understand why so many people would think just that. After all, Bicycles, aside from being a great mode of transportation, offer many health benefits.
Primarily providing an increase in cardiovascular fitness. Furthermore, riders can see a great reduction in stress levels, reduced body fat, increase in strength, joint mobility, and improved posture. The idea of having an electric motor to assist you should be enough to raise red flags and tell you that you will not benefit at all when it comes to your health because "you're not doing anything".
It's true, E-bikes give riders the option to simply twist a throttle and ride for miles without having to pedal at all. But, that's not the case for all of our riders. That is simply an option that you'll have so that you can use it whenever you WANT it, or more importantly whenever you NEED it!
To overcome this misconception of laziness and electric bicycles, it's important to understand why some people would NEED the assistance of an electric motor in the first place. To give a better example we will introduce a rider who has shared his story with us within the last couple of months. This rider was selected at random from a group of over 30 Big Cat owners who submitted their feedback to our team.
Alfredo H. from San Francisco, CA
Alfredo H. is a 52-year-old male from San Francisco, California. He was Diagnosed with Diabetes in early 2015. Since he was diagnosed he made his health his #1 priority and promised his family he would change his lifestyle and build better eating habits as well as becoming more physically active. "I wanted to be able to play with my grandkids, but it become more and more difficult for me".
"As I started my journey to a better lifestyle i struggled alot. I did not have energy, i didn't have motivation at times. I feel like I was never going to get better". Alfredo tried new things such as dance classes, tennis, and even kickboxing. However, he wasn't happy with these new activities because he did not find them interesting after a while.
For Christmas of 2015, Alfredo received a large package at his doorsteps. It was a gift from his daughter and son in law. Alfredo received a Long Beach Cruiser, White in color with black wheels and whitewall tires. He loved it! But he immediately went against it once he found out it was electric. "Whats the point?" Alfredo asked his daughter "i need a regular bike, not this thing". "Just go for a ride on it pop, you'll love it, I promise," said Lidia, Alfredo's daughter.
"The bike sat in my garage for 2 weeks before i even ride it. I told my wife i would rather go to the gym than to ride that thing. I felt bad because my daughter and son in law spend money on it. I lied to them and told them I was using it. I did not see the need for it, not if it wasnt going to give me exercise".
That was until Ricardo, Alfredo's son in law stopped by one day to drop off a few things and noticed the battery was still in its packaging, in the same spot he left it from when he had assembled it. Ricardo unboxed the battery, placed it on the bike and called Alfredo to watch how the bike works. After a few minutes of a quick walkthrough, Alfredo agreed to take it around the block for a spin. "I went to the end of the street and on level 1, it felt nice so I made a turn and went to the next corner but this time i went up to level 9 on the assist. The bike took off! next thing i know im doing 17mph. It was scary, but fun. so as i am going back to my house I did not stop, I passed my son in law and keep going, I wanted to go 2 more blocks".
At one point he reached, what he described as a "very steep hill". He stopped and said to himself that he's too old to make it up that kind of hill and that he would probably have a heart attack if he tried. He remembered his son in law explaining some of the different ways he can benefit from the bike and going uphill was one of them. After a small debate with himself, Alfredo decided to give the hill a try.
"At first the climb was slow because I was on the lowest gear I had to pedal a lot but I was moving, i was climbing and then i made it to the top. That's when i realized how great this bike really was".
Fast forward to 2018 Alfredo has expressed his love for ebikes, claiming that he has joined a small ebike community on Facebook and regularly rides with a few members of the group a few times a month. He has lost over 35lbs since he started riding electric bikes, is more physically active and has maintained healthy eating habits.
"This ebike has helped me by helping me enjoy something that i can do while getting an exercise, I can go uphill with no problem, i can ride my bike for 20 miles with no problem, biking is good for everyone, im glad that ebikes are around because not everyone can ride a regular bike for very long, it makes you tired, its hard sometimes. But my Big Cat bike makes it easier!"
Circling back to the original question, “are electric bicycles for lazy people?” Well we certainly think not, neither does Mr. Alfredo. Ebikes present an opportunity for various types of riders who are seeking assistance because of a medical condition, an injury that impedes their ability to ride a regular bicycle or because they want to get in shape and need that extra push to keep them active for longer periods.
Of course there's also the opportunity for leisure, some people just want to have fun, sit back and relax while cruising at 20mph on a warm summer day. So what do you think?