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Bicycling [publisher's letter]

Publisher Tracy Patterson with her dog sitting in the desert resting up from a hike

Tracy Patterson

Like many of you, I learned to ride a bicycle when I was young. However, that was back in the day when nobody seemed to worry if the bike fit the child, and I ended up with a monster ride. It was so big that in the beginning I couldn’t reach the seat and the pedals at the same time, but I didn’t care, I loved my bike and rode it tirelessly every summer for years.

When I became an adult, I left bicycling behind, but always had the thought that one day I might return to this fun activity. I did go through a brief period of bike riding when my husband and I first started dating—he was (and still is) an avid road cyclist, and we thought it was something we could do together. So I bought a bike and all the accessories, including a helmet, of course.

Although it’s true that you never forget how to ride a bike, the thing I had forgotten was that one does not simply jump on a bike and go for a long ride. After my first outing, I got off my bike and promptly sank to the ground with rubber legs!

Something that became very obvious was that bicycling wasn’t an activity I could do once in a while; it would take commitment, especially if I were going to keep up with my husband! And I had another big hobby—horses—so my cycling days dwindled to nothing.

Now that I live in Arizona, a great place to bike ride almost year round, the thought pops into my head now and again that it would be nice to do some cycling. The article on page 13 really got me thinking. “Hmmm, if I had an electric bike, it would be more conducive to my casual, intermittent style of riding. I could pedal when I want to and have the benefits of that, and let the electricity do the work when I’m out of steam!”

I’m going to need to do more research on this, but I really think these electric bikes could be the answer for the casual cyclist, like me. Get some exercise, have a mode of transportation, be kind to the environment—it’s a pretty sweet deal all around.