During the last week I’ve been preparing for some travel into AARP’s Mountain Region. As the Regional VP for this great area I’m always excited about being able to get on the ground in some amazing places. As I head into Montana and Wyoming over the the next few weeks I’ll be a road warrior. If flying to multiple remote locations through multiple airports with many-a-delay has any correlation to increasing patience I look forward to becoming Ghandi soon. Seriously though we have some great events coming up – events that will have a strong impact on our communities. Our National President, Rob Romasco, will be leading our Wyoming leg of the trip (Hope he likes Buffalo!)
Each AARP state office and the activities that they focus on can be as unique as the states themselves, with some commonalities of course. All the states in my region (WY, MT, TX, NM, AZ, ID, CO) focus on economic issues, health issues and how we continue to make life better for all of society in local communities.
Health issues are a primary concern for me as a person living with muscle issues and staying physically active is so important. One of the things we’ll be doing in Wyoming is a Gray Matters event that focuses on staying mentally sharp. A big component of this is staying physically healthy – it not only keeps the body strong but helps keep the mind strong too.
One of the more exciting innovations I have been looking at is the improvements that have been made in what I call electric assist bicycles. I also see they are called e-bikes, which is kind of cool. As I mentioned last week, having lost some leg power I am able to spend a good amount of time on stationary bikes. But the ability to enjoy the outdoors has been lost. I used to be able to ride up “Terminator Hill,” as we called it (a HUGE hill outside of Lake Geneva, WI) with my back wheels spinning, but today even the smallest of hills or riding into the wind is a challenge.
E-bikes offer some amazing possibilities that might get me back in the saddle. As I studied this further I saw that e-bikes range from motors that provide a small assistance, when needed, to powerful, more moped-like motors. That means that each person can assess their needs and decide on how much assistance they require.
I can already picture myself pedaling on flat ground and coming onto a small rolling hill and being able to continue pedaling with a little boost from the motor. The real benefit is that I will do more physical activity and stay in better shape. Let’s face it, sitting on a stationary bike, whether you are reading or watching TV, can get a little boring. As I look at these beautiful summer days I just want to be out there hitting the bike trails.
I want to investigate e-bikes – has anyone out there tried one of these? What type should I test ride? Do they really work? Feel free to leave comments below or you can tweet me @ralphyaniz