Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.
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W H O K N E W ? Electric Ride Adaptive, Motorized Bikes Increase Access to Cycling By Jodi Werner Greenwald M otorists commuting from Bal- lantyne to Uptown might notice Francisco Montero, 51, making the commute — on his bike. Mind you, it's not any normal street bike. Montero rides a Felt BruHaul Cargo E-bike, or electric bike. "It's super stable and safe, and the front- wind fairing keeps me warm and dry when it rains," Montero says. As long as it's 25 degrees or warmer outside, Montero — a master bicycle techni- cian, fitter and coach who has worked at area bike shops and is co-owner of Charlotte Cycles in Midtown — bikes the 15 miles from his home near Kingsley View to Bike Gallery on Park Road, where he currently lends his skills. Montero says he has committed himself to making the approximately 40-minute ride as many days a week as possible and has al- ready commuted 200 miles on his bike since purchasing it in October 2016 — even haul- ing his 6-foot Christmas tree home on it. In "turbo" speed, Montero's bike can go as fast as 28 mph, and he occupies the traffic lane on the road. He says he hasn't had any issues with traffic or motorists. With the electric assist, you don't feel the hills, he says. "Once you get used to it, you're flying." Montero's bike has a Bosch 350-watt electric pedal assist motor that can run up to 60 miles on one charge. He says most commuters take their e-bikes on rides up to 10 miles each way. With specialty pedals, arm controls, seat backs and other modifications, e-bikes help increase riders' stability and safety while removing limitations. Therefore, they appeal not only to commuters but also to seniors and anyone rehabilitating an injury or want- ing to travel farther with less effort. Cruisin' in Sun City Nancy from Sun City (she prefers going by her first name only) rides her Day 6 Patriot 750 Crank Forward bike back and forth from her home to the clubhouse. She also takes it to the library, grocery store, doctor's office and drug store. In the first six months of owning the bike, she too has already logged 200 miles. "It's been totally awesome because I have the help I need getting up the hills, but I still get the exercise," she says. Nancy has arthritis and bursitis and broke her back last year. "I couldn't really ride lean- ing over. There was too much pressure on my shoulders," she says. Her new bike is upright with a 16-inch seat and a seat back. "The handlebars come up and are fully adjustable, so I don't have to bend over." Easy Cycling Nancy from Sun City has found her adaptive e-bike helps her get around despite physical challenges. Photo courtesy of Nancy from Sun City BALLANTYNE SPRING 2017 89 Who Knew?