Exhilarating! For a couple of hours, I was a child again forgetting that it's been 20 years since I rode a bike, due to cancer, Lupus, and chronic illness. I found that sweet spot that makes you never want to leave. I was flying!
After being 'forbidden' by my husband and children to get a motorcycle or scooter in my new hometown of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, I stumbled upon a store that rents and sells electric bikes. Pedego of Myrtle Beach. The shop's wonderfully knowledgeable, friendly and patient owner, Aaron, guided me through the process of trial and error as I visited the store a few times and, finally, a 12-mile ride yesterday through Market Commons, Myrtle Beach State Park, and nature trails I didn't know existed.
I was pedaling and I was exercising and I was using the throttle when my legs got tired - zooming up to 20 miles per hour with the wind rushing through my hair and the glee rising in my heart. We six newbies, on rented bikes, became fast friends as we caught up time and again with each other and our two guides. Up and down, across and through we went calling "Hellos" and "Good mornings" to passerby and residents while ringing our little bells to let people know we were coming.
It was joyful. It was exactly what I was looking for - a reconnect to my soul and spirit from before traumatic illness; a pathway to yet another 'new normal' as I regain opportunity to physically do more in a warmer climate and on flatter topography. Those of us with chronic ailments mourn every time we lose an ability or activity we loved. Riding the Pedego electric bike yesterday may have been simply a joy-ride for some but, for me, it was a very long-awaited triumph. And the fact that it will help contain or correct my various diseases and rely less on medication is huge. HUGE!
I can't say enough about the bike and the shop that have literally handed me back a piece of my life that I thought was lost forever. In fact, according to owner, Aaron, most Pedego enthusiasts are those 55 or older who have some sort of medical issue including but not limited to knee, back or joint problems, excess weight, pulmonary restrictions, and, even, depression. This is not just a bike, it's a lifestyle as Pedego owners gather every week in Aaron's shop to talk, share, learn, and ride.
As I laughed and pumped my fist and shouted out "woo hoo" on my ride, I was so pleased to find the bike able and stable on uneven, rocky, sandy or pocked ground. I soared through the ride and, while I am a bit tired today, my joints hurt less and I slept more soundly. I can't wait until next time!