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DESERT EXPOSURE

MAY 2018 • 25

CYCLES OF LIFE • FR. GABRIEL ROCHELLE

Joys and Gifts

Electric bicycle can be great choice

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eaders may recall that I reviewed a number of electric bikes a few months ago in this column. Since that time a strange thing has happened: the bike I bought for my wife, which we affectionately call Big Blue, has been used a great deal, but by me primarily. Let me explain: I have not robbed Susan of the use of this bike, much less ridden it when she should or could be doing so. Shortly after we bought the bike, she suffered a broken arm at work and had to quit riding. The break was unusual, painful, and the arm required quite a bit of physical rehab work to bring it back to full usage again. Rather soon after the unfortunate accident, I became a volunteer at the state prison facility in our area. It is located fourteen and a half miles from our home, and most of that fourteen and a half miles is uphill. Since it would not do to show up in lycra and bright colored shoes and all the rest of the road bike trappings, I began to ride Big Blue for my volunteer days. I have now logged 1,300 miles on this electric bike and I’ve got a lot more to share than when I wrote the initial column months ago. So now that the stories are over, here’s the scoop on electric cycling:

First, this is a true game changer. I’ve mentioned to other cyclists with and without electric bikes that the minute the companies figure out how to achieve two hundred fifty miles on a single battery charge, people will be jumping on these bikes and riding them cross-country. Electric bikes are game-changers on several levels. They enable older riders to keep riding when they might otherwise hang the bike up in the garage and call it a day. This is not cheating, as some might claim. What you get is a boost, not a free ride. In order for these machines to remain free of state vehicle licensing, they must be under constant pedal power even with the electric assist. That’s the law. But this enables older folks to keep those legs pumping and, with them, that heart muscle that can keep you going into genuine old age – and to do it all without excess strain. The electric bike is, furthermore, a leveler: for people confronted with rather formidable hills, as many of us are in New Mexico, the gearing and the levels of electric assist enable smooth, confident riding regardless of terrain. Many of these bikes come equipped with Bosch motors mounted in the crank for smoother transfer of energy than in hub

mounts. They also come with three to eight speed internal gear systems. This allows a wide range of options in hill climbing as well as flat riding. As I mentioned to a friend the first day I rode a lot of hills on that bike and sustained 17 miles an hour uphill, I felt like Chris Vroome! The electric bike will allow you to cruise close to 20 miles an hour on the flat. This makes you more competitive with the auto and truck traffic you experience in a city like Las Cruces. I definitely feel safer with the electric assist pushing me beyond what I might normally ride in the city. If it is not obvious from my previous notes, the electric bike allows you to have fun again, especially if you have been feeling down and out because of age. Check them out at your local dealer, who can give you more information on specs, price, and fit.

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CARNEY FOY, CPA

Fr. Gabriel Rochelle is pastor of St Anthony of the Desert Orthodox Mission, Las Cruces, an avid cyclist and secretary for Velo Cruces, our local advocacy committee. The church web site is http://stanthonylc.org.

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HORSES

continued from page 24 horse had been handled up to this point. If he/she is a real cutie and clearly had been cuddled and fawned over by every human, and thinks invading space, treats, playful nips, leaning into pressure or walking away are acceptable behaviors, then understand these behaviors are now learned and imbedded, and are dangerous in a mature horse. There are few things you do with horses that are more fun and rewarding than bringing along a young horse and seeing what it can become. Very few people get a chance to do it. I’m happy in this case someone asked for advice before they took on the challenge – and decided they were not prepared to give a young horse what it would need to become a great horse. Scott Thomson lives in Silver City and teaches natural horsemanship and foundation training. You can contact him at hsthomson@msn.com of 575388-1830.

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Desert Exposure - May 2018  
Desert Exposure - May 2018