The couch calls to you as you settle into your familiar routine of your phone by your side, computer on your lap, big screen in front of you. While this routine is comfortable and easy to fall into, it doesn’t have to be the fate of every moment of your free time. Now is the perfect time to ditch your digital experience, hop on a bike and get outside. Lucky for you, the right e-bike has the potential to make your weekends more about real-time and less about screen time.
The thought of getting outdoors, living a healthier lifestyle, and being part of the larger community is nice, but it's hard enough to convince yourself to get out and exercise, let alone ride a bike! However, the pedal-assist system gives an e-bike the ability to smooth the transition into rides, getting you out the door and on a bike with greater ease than a standard bike. This technology helps break down the ever-present barrier between you and the lifestyle you desire to live, but just haven’t been able to get the ball - or wheels - rolling.
Don’t think that this technology means that an e-bike’s only purpose is to make riding easier. The truth is quite the contrary since it can easily be used as a tool to push your physical limits, build fitness and get your favorite loop in when time is of the essence. If you only have an hour of precious potential ride time in your daily schedule, leave your old bikes on the garage hooks and roll out with your e-bike. You’ll be able to cover more ground, find new roads or trails, and ditch the process of choosing which scenic sections you have to cut out to make it back in time. You’ll get your workout but will get to see more while still making sure you are back in time for dinner.
Health Benefits of Riding an E-Bike
The American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity say that to improve overall cardiovascular health, one only needs to perform 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise. That is less than half an hour of brisk riding a day! However, when imagining peak fitness, visions of hammering up steep mountains or tucked in a fast-moving pack of cyclists come to mind. The thought of investing the time and energy required to perform such feats and achieve that level of fitness is overwhelming and cause most to give up before they even begin. The friction-less riding experience offered by the pedal-assist system of an e-bike is unparalleled. Which means you’ll be out of the neighborhood and a few miles down your local trail before realizing that the exercise has even begun. You’ll be having so much fun on your e-bike that the time to hit Heart Association's minimum guidelines will fly by.
Fitness Gains Through an E-Bike
Even if you aren’t necessarily looking to lighten your training load, an e-bike is still a useful tool in your cycling quiver. While the pedal-assist system has the ability to massively decrease the effort required to ride, it can always be used to push you harder, providing the same workout you would get with your standard bike, but with more speed and enjoyment. You’ll have the ability to cover more roads and trails in one workout, along with the upside of having a major insurance policy in the case of a flat tire or slight detour. If you find yourself a bit behind schedule or further away from home than you anticipated. Just crank up the pedal-assist to make sure you get home in time.
Even if you consider fit enough to keep up under your own power, an e-bike can still be a useful tool in your quiver, since everyone, including the fittest riders, need recovery days. These recovery days are incredibly underrated, and the vast majority of well-planned training periods are undone by riding too hard during a recovery effort. The pedal-assist options offered by an e-bike are the perfect tool to make sure you aren’t pushing too hard and overdoing it on your next easy day. You’ll be feeling better than ever if and when you line up to race, or just meet up with your friends for that long weekend ride.
Sense of Community
A major cornerstone of cycling culture is the enhanced sense of community you gain by getting out, riding with and befriending people with varying experiences and backgrounds. However, riding with people of differing fitness levels and abilities has been a struggle ever since people began to ride bicycles together. An e-bike has the potential to be the great equalizer in these situations and solve a problem that has plagued groups of cyclists for over a century. If you are feeling fatigued and are struggling to keep up, simply increase your pedal-assist power and enjoy a burst of speed that gives the chance to catch your breath while closing the gap. Cohesion and moral in the group will be better than ever when you and your riding companions have this option.
If you still aren’t quite sold on this whole e-bike thing, swing into your local dealer and ask to try one out. They are a fantastic option for anyone from an experienced cyclist to someone who is looking for an entry-point into the cycling world. A carefully selected e-bike will allow you to ride at comfortable level, and the ability to adjust your assist levels will leave you in total control of your physical exertion.
The reasons to ditch the digital and get out to enjoy the experiences of the natural world go on and on. With a pedal-assist e-bike, you’ll be able to get out and transform your life into one that is more focused on health and fitness. Get yourself out of the screen prison you’ve been living in and let an e-bike re-introduce you the best version of yourself.
Interested in test riding an e-bike with Shimano STEPS? Click here to find a dealer near you: https://www.shimano-steps.com/e-bikes/north-america/en/dealer-locator