The value of cycling comes the hard way around for most of us. Our cubicles become our world. However, I am lucky to be involved in the cycling industry. Being associated with the joyful art of cycling has been a pleasure and an honor. My diverse and intensive experience in the electrical engineering and bicycle industry enabled me to explore the evolution, benefits, and delight of cycling. The more I researched combining the two passions, the more significant it had on my life, both personally and professionally. Today, I understand how health is our greatest asset and how being active and in shape makes a big difference in every life stage. As I started cycling, I found myself more in sync with my health and nature. I became cosmically connected, happier, lighter, and healthier. So, it is not the professional obligation that motivates me to write this book; it goes beyond that. It is about realizing that unique cycling experience for all ages through the electric assist technology's extraordinary dawn.
Through this book, I genuinely want to pass on the wisdom I received from our customers and well-wishers so more and more people can be inspired to improve their quality of life, irrespective of age. Especially those worn out by the exertions, stepping into their 40s, 50, or 60s and beyond, I want to tell them this is your time. If you are all set to push the pedals, it is the way!
If you are someone with depriving health, struggling through old age, hop on to that recumbent trike, or call it the "happiness machine." I guarantee that it will give you the time of your life, energizing your mind, body, and soul. It is a true calling for all those who believe they are done with cycling and a good sweat. They have earned respect, loved, and achieved their goals. Hard work and a decade of struggle with bad knees, backs, and shoulders biking upright have tired them out. They feel that their body is slowly giving away now. They think that it is time to surrender cycling. To all those kind old souls, I want you to know that your spirit's rebirth is still pending. The exhilarating experience of recumbent trikes will restart your life, giving you a purpose to become nothing but happy and healthy.
Therefore, I request you to hold on tight; your journey to the road has just begun. We have countless inspirational stories that will encourage you to the spectacular transformation from a retired person to a happy human who has defied age by riding the third wheel!
The Amazing Art of Cycling - Why Ride?
Do you remember your first cycling experience as a child? Mine was delightful for sure. Well, I fell for the first time, but there was something that made me go back to it. I still remember my first cycle was a borrowed one from my grandfather. It was an adult cycle. I could not cycle it sitting on top of it. I had to pedal through the frame in a uniquely Indian style. Some other kids and I in the neighborhood would cycle around for hours until our legs would give way.
I remember my grandfather did all his chores cycling. He used to go to his little shop on that cycle. He used to get his raw materials cycling. I also remember, at one time, going with him for hours on a bicycle. I was little, and he sat me down on the front bar of the cycle.
I do not remember who taught me cycling. My grandfather was too busy most of the time. My childhood was spent flying kites, playing marbles, and cycling.
For the longest time, as a teenager and well into the college, the fastest way to get around was to either run or cycle. However, Cycles in India were considerably primary. They were made from steel and mainly had necessary pad brakes and a single-speed chain sprocket. Anything better did not exist. Cycling was not considered a hobby or a sport but merely a necessity of transportation.
I believe most of us remember our cycling experiences quite clearly. It brings back that feeling of excitement and puts a smile on our faces. It makes me understand why people want to ride? What is so special about cycling makes it pleasant and soulfully refreshing, unlike most physically exerting exercises. It somehow makes you feel alive. To me, the experience of cycling is close to flying. You tear away the wind to make your way.
The magic does not last only in childhood. Innumerable studies have proved that adults who continue to cycle are happier and more content with life. Then there are several health benefits, as well. The University of Glasgow conducted in-depth research in 2017 about cycling in adults. It concluded, "commuters who cycle to work have a 41% lower risk of dying from all causes than people who drive or take public transport." The study further states that a cyclist is 46% less likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases. The research also explains how cycling lowers the risk of cancer by 40%. Other benefits of cycling include regulated blood pressure, lower risk of diabetes, cholesterol levels, a more robust immune system, and better body composition.
Ironically, this is not the biggest concern for so many people who have crossed their 50s. As one of my uncles says, "I spent thirty years eating broccoli to live longer, and now that I'm still alive, you want me to exercise to digest that 30 years' worth of broccoli?"
Funny it may be, but as we reach the older stages of our life, we are more interested in living rather than prolonging life. However, cycling enables people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s to not only improve their health but enhance their endorphin levels. Alright, enough of the biological terms. It merely gives you a chance to be a carefree and happy child! What can be better than that, though?
Cycling is a great catalyst to reduce the symptoms of depression. Our improved health makes us more open and able to experience the joys of life. Moreover, it provides you with a purpose. When we start believing that everything we wanted to do in life is done, intellectual laziness settles within us. It dulls our body down, and we start losing our strength to be active. Cycling gives a new meaning to life, as it connects you with the community. You get to meet new people and explore the road. You go to places you had never gone before and unlock a new happier version of you when you assume there is nothing more to live. It is one of the most original forms of self-care. However, the world of cycling is diverse. It has now evolved in terms of comfort, functionality, and optimization.
Sure, for someone with a knee problem or weak muscles, the thought of cycling over the two wheels can be daunting. But there is a whole different class of cycling available for all kinds of riders. The cycling world truly expanded when E-bikes entered the picture, and it certainly broadened our perspective of cycling and its benefits.
The Evolution of E-bikes
The electric bikes' phenomenon dated to 1895 when Ogden Bolton Jr. patented incorporating a hub motor in traditional cycles. Hosea W Libbey further worked upon the idea, who finally created the first electric bicycle controller model after two years. Jesse D Tucker induced a motor with internal gearing, providing riders with the luxury to freewheel. By then, the e-bicycle became a popular option for cycling. E-bikes enabled people to enjoy the pedaling journey, along with the ease and speed that an electric motor provides.
Although the idea is roughly the same, e-bikes today serve a more powerful and diverse set of purposes. We have come a long way in terms of design and functionality. There are incredibly advanced versions available in the market, which offer speed, convenience, and a better experience.
Some main differences between a regular bike and e-bikes are:
Direct-Drive Motors: The direct drive motor is an electric motor in the center of a bicycle's rear or front wheel. It has no gears. It is brushless. Some of these motors have controllers embedded inside the motor, others outside. Some of them have several torque and speed sensors embedded in them. They are also noiseless and can provide an extraordinary riding experience on the trails. They can be relatively compact and provide automatic assistance based on the terrain or the terrain's slope.
The Electric Mid-Drive Motors: An electric mid-drive motor makes the bike ride effortless, but only in the right way. These motors perform well, providing significant torque and multiply the bike's strength as it drives the crank and not the wheel. It improves the performance of the existing gears, as well. As these motors are placed close to the center of gravity, it makes the bike lighter to ride - dividing the weight smartly. It ultimately helps in handling the bike. They are not noise-free compared to the direct drives and can cause several maintenance issues over their lifetime.
Electric Batteries: Electric batteries increase the cycling range and provide a perfect ride. It also enables riding the bike for the older rider, who cannot exert much force. You can ride the e-bikes longer, as a standard electric bike battery can make you go up to 100+ miles.
The Bike's Drivetrain: Another vital part of the e-bike models is the bike's drivetrain, which empowers the wheels and turns speed and torque via gears. You can go up the inclined surfaces.
The Throttle: The throttle is what allows you to control the force and speed of the motor. To experience the motor buzz, twist it with your hand.
These motor-induced cycles are here for quite a long time, but they are revolutionary to this day. E-bikes have become popular in so many parts of the world, including China, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States.
The cycling industry has flourished due to e-bikes. People are becoming more and more interested in what I call "pedal-assist," empowered by the battery. But it is not just about the everyday commute in urban areas. The advantages of e-bikes have trespassed the everyday commute problems.
E-bikes have become the ultimate source of "pedal boost" in the adult segmentation. The electric machines integrated into the model provide improved stability, speed, and safety for people of all ages. It is the perfect solution to boost your pedaling while reducing the risks of any harm. More importantly, e-bikes are the more favored choice for elderly generations. However, one can have a more enhanced experience by going one step ahead and riding recumbent trikes.
The Enormous World of Trike Riders
A big question can be 'why the recumbent trikes?". For those of you who are unaware of the glorious world of trikes, behold, you are about to be amazed. The evolution of the cycling industry through e-bikes gave the market an edge. But when it comes to the flourished world of trikes - the encounter is more about personal joy, revelation, and the unique, lively hood associated with it.
People who have crossed their fifty and have adapted or switched to trikes attest that it was one of their best decisions. Since cycling is so therapeutic and yet a force requiring sport, trikes make it possible for baby boomers to enjoy the road's ultimate pleasure. It is not only the wanderlust that attracts so many cyclists, but the feeling of belonging somewhere is also a motivation.
The recumbent trike not just adds convenience to your ride; it adds safety and comfort.
"I told my wife it was either trike it or parked it," said Mr. Howard, 74, wearing a cowboy hat and a bright yellow safety shirt. "And she said, 'Trike it.'
While there are people considering triking recently, there is a whole community biking all their lives. This generation of bikers was born in the 1960s to 1970's – the powerful and dynamic generation of baby boomers. Riding takes strength, but there are joys in the world for which there is no excuse not to experience. The desire to ride dominates the reflex that weakens over time, and that is how we get the coolest community of trikers!
The legion of trikers chooses the three-wheeler over the usual e-bikes because trikes, as Mr. Howard put it, are "super steady, safer, and easy to ride." The comforting attributes have made the trikes earned names like the "Equal Parts," "Easy Rider," and "Easy Chair."
The phenomenon of triking has gained popularity as baby boomers continue to expand into well-managed communities and groups.
Mr. Stirewalt is 63 and is a part of the National East Coast Trike-In. Every year on labor day, hundreds of trike owners participate in the rally on Mount Airy, N.C. So, many triking enthusiasts share their exhilarating experiences of triking. These trikers lead an extraordinary life, exploring the roads and growing as a community. They comfortably travel to longer distances as the advanced tricycle models offer advantages and comforts, such as padding. Every year, such groups are expanding as more and more people realize the thrill of triking.
Mr. Ross has a severe knee problem and is 71; says almost 250 new members join them every month from all over the world. The activities are held in about 45 states, and nobody withdraws. These well-developed biker gangs have respect. "We have a pact with all the gangs," he said. "We don't interfere with them, and they don't interfere with us."
It's rare to witness the level of enthusiasm and commitment in adults of this age. But the strong ties among them bounded by the passion for trikes is merely precious. Modern innovation and design have enabled these trikers to personalize their bikes as per their preferences. The positivity and profound energy not only motivate you but inspire others around you. It develops a spectacular sense of love and a shared purpose.
Miryam Liberman was in health care for almost 30 years. She served in Westlake Village, where she treated countless patients. Before she retired at the age of 65, she initiated a simple change in her life. Every day, Miryam would cycle her way to the office, situated 12 miles away from her home. As she continued her routine, her health improved by leap and bounds. She started to advise her patients in the old ages to do the same, too.
Gradually, a subtle but positive change took place as Miryam and a few of her patients made triking a part of their lives. Miryam shared the experience in her like this.
"It wasn't just the bike in getting to work. It was the bike in going shopping, in meeting up with friends, in going to the movies," Liberman says. "And I started to see things I'd never seen before in my community; I could smell the flowers because there was no closed window of an air-conditioned car. It opens you up to your community, your body, to other friends, to continue to learn."
The factor that plays a significant role in our happiness is how connected we feel to our surroundings. Often, the old individuals feel alone and tired of life because they think they do not have anywhere to go or anyone they could associate with. Triking is something that brings hundreds and thousands of people together.
As the Pahrump Trikers said, "You don't have to feel like a third wheel when traveling around with us."
Pahrump Trikers is a riding organized, super fun, scenic excursions for the trikers. Their way of bringing the community together, and it certainly works. Even if one does not have a trick, they can hitch along with another rider.
At first, one may not notice it, but triking keeps the bond strong among many relations for so many people.
Debbie Heminger, triking enthusiasts, tells how her late husband introduced her to this extraordinary life. She could not trike for an extended period as she got married the second time in 2010 and resumed triking with her friend Sara Mendez. Her husband loves that she has started to trike again.
Humans pose a greater need to share their journey to give and receive inspiration. Our energies increase when a mutual purpose and desire is shared among a community. The realm of trikers is growing every day with a similar level of enthusiasm and zeal. There are incredible stories of endurance, strength, and glory of people who conquered the world on their trikes; who defied their age as they found their spirit flourishing with the joy of cycling. It is a phenomenon that amazes our souls. Even those who believe their potential is limited due to old age or health problems can now attempt to trike. Thanks to modern-day engineering, we no longer have tackled the issues that could restrain their balance and motion range.
Studies suggest that cycling can alleviate diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's and improve overall health. As the trikes' phenomenon gains popularity, the elderly are becoming more aware of their body needs and better health.
There's increased interest already in many countries. As per a recent study, the ratio of Americans aged 60 to 79, who started cycling, increased by 320%. This overwhelming accession is also because of the improved tricycles available in the market as elderlies no longer must curve their back or hold their posture straight.
However, the physical endurance of the body can be increased if we succeed in healing our spirits. Fortunately, triking can help you do both.
Samuel Ullman once said, "You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear, as young as your hope, as old as your despair."
By default, we are alive, but the greatest among us live their lives to the fullest. It is important to remember that a person is not as old as his existence, but only as old as the years he was brave enough to live. This book will tell you how trikes can increase the quality of your life span as it has done so for so many people. It does not matter how many years one has spent struggling with the hesitation to start something. As long as we live, we can always start now. Even if you currently have not arrived yet, it will soon be when we further explore how cycling transformed people's retirement phase into the best adventure of their lives. You will quickly realize that you can be one of them. All you will need is to find the hidden desire to leave behind your pain and fears of aging. Triking will take you places where you have never been before; it will diminish your body's weaknesses and make your spirit grow for good.