TRAILGRAMS – “Touching the Electric Fence” Responses


Great column on the e-bike, “Touching the Electric Fence.” It was timely, as I very recently rode my first e-bike. I was on my local trail and happened to run into an 80-year-old biker on an e-bike. Being that I had never seen an e-bike in the flesh before, I was immediately inquisitive about his ride. Rather than tell me about it, he said,“Hop on and take it for a spin.” After a brief demonstration of its computer-con- trolled capabilities and the engagement of the pedal assist, I was cruising down the trail. It was immediately apparent why all the talk about e-bikes is growing louder. This bike was an absolute blast to ride!
The pedal assist was not overbearing and seemed to engage at just the right moment. After reluctantly returning the bike to its owner, I sat and chatted with him for a good 30 minutes about his journey to e-biking. I left inspired and confident that I, too, will be able to ride bikes into my 80s.

John Glasmann Escondido, California


Thank you for creating this forum. I own an e-bike. I have had it now for about two months. About nine months ago I had to stop riding. I noticed that no matter what I did to condition myself, I was getting nowhere. My resting heart rate was in the low 90s. My wife and I are doctors, and we had an inkling of what was happening due to some other troubles the past couple of years. I went to see a specialist, and she confirmed that I had something called pulmonary artery hypertension. Don’t look it up; it will just scare you. Basically, if my heart rate gets too high, the oxygen delivery to my heart goes way down, much more than physiologic. The outcome could be a heart attack. So, I had to quit. Mountain biking is a big part of my marital relationship. My wife is a very good rider. We ride with a bunch of friends (mostly our age) and go on weekend outings. We had to quit riding together. She quit going on outings because she did not want to go without me. The e-bike fixed all of that! I still monitor my heart rate while riding. I still use supplemental oxygen too. But, I can control how high my heart rate gets and keep the oxygen levels from dropping to serious lows.

Richard N. Castillo Somewhere in New Mexico

Specialized Turbo Levo


I rode the Specialized Turbo Levo and instantly fell in love. I like exploring forest service roads, and I think they would be great for that. Don’t get me wrong; I love the workout I get from pedaling, but these e-bikes are a blast to ride. Another good application is trail maintenance. In our group, we have one guy who is pulling the bike trailer with a power saw and tools we need to clear the trails after a storm. I have a completely open mind about e-bikes and am dying to add one to my stable. Just to show I’m like you and enjoy anything on two wheels, I own a Cannondale Scalpel, a Rocky Mountain Blizzard fat bike, a Specialized FSR6 Fattie (27.5+) and a Cannondale Badboy hybrid. Each type of bike is designed for different things. I love the personalities of all of them. I love variety. Give me more; I want one of each. Thanks for the column.

Kevin Reece Ellijay, Georgia

“Trailgrams” tip of the month:

Don’t knock the electric bike thing until you’ve tried it. Either that, or just stop sending us e-mails threatening physical harm when we talk about them. Oh, and if you do have to write hate mail, at least leave the profanity out of it. We won’t publish a letter that’s full of F-bombs.


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