Bike sales have skyrocketed since March, and enthusiasts are loving e-bikes.
The demand for electric bikes has risen more than 80 percent since March, and local bike aficionado Luke Nesler is hooked. In fact, Nesler has four in his garage and recently created a six-person racing team that will race electric bikes on the national stage this year. So, we asked the expert to tell us more about the newest craze in sporting goods.
Q: What is an electric bike?
Luke Nesler: It is not a motorcycle and doesn’t have a throttle. These are class 1 pedal-assist bicycles. You have to pedal them to get the battery-powered motor engaged. The assistance helps you go faster if you’re in really great shape. If you’re not in great shape, it allows you to go out and climb hills and do things you would love to do without completely destroying your body. It also allows you to keep up with faster cyclists. I love going out and riding my regular bike and having my 70-year-old dad with me on his e-bike. We can ride all day together.
Q: How long does the battery last?
LN: The battery is usually in the frame of the bicycle and most are 500 or 700 watt. I’ve seen people ride 8 hours before on a single charge because you have different modes on the bike that use different amounts of battery power. A realistic 3-to-4-hour ride is totally manageable from one charge.
Q: Can you get a workout on an electric bike?
LN: One of the biggest misconceptions is that you don’t get a workout on an electric bike. If you’re looking to get a workout, you absolutely will. My heart rate definitely responds when I’m riding one of my electric bikes.
Q: Give us three places in the area to ride an electric bike.
LN: For a beginner rider, White Park is a great option. It has plenty of trails and is a great local spot. Be sure you’re mindful of hikers, and expect that you’ll be going a little faster than you would on a regular bike. Big Bear Lake in Preston County is also a really fun option. You have to have a membership to get in there, but I think it’s only $30 a year. The Deckers Creek Trail is another great option and probably one of my favorites and my family’s favorite.
Q: Where can I get an e-bike in Morgantown?