Especially if you HATE Exercising.
What is something everyone thinks about when the summer months come around? How can I get that beach body? How can I get more exercise without feeling like I am exercising? How can I enjoy the beach minus the beach burn? The questions are non-stop. Here, you will find great tips and tricks to enjoy a sunny nice day for a bike ride and with any luck, all your questions answered. Or at least, most of them.
Last weekend my friend from Arizona travelled for a girl’s weekend getaway. Since I already live here, she was the only one actually getting away, but when you are sending off your youngest son to college and the empty nester syndrome is starting to feel real, what else is there to do but get away and clear your head.
What is an Electronic Bike?
For her getaway we decided that only a few things can be done in 48 hours, but we tried to fit everything we could in. Great places for dinner. Sightseeing walks on the piers, rest and relaxing catch-up time and some time for fun. We rented E-bikes, also known as Electronic bikes. What are electronic bikes? Paul Norman, from bikeradar.com says,
“An electric bike, or E-bike, is a bicycle equipped with an electric bike motor to assist you when you’re pedaling. The motor will get its power from a rechargeable battery mounted on the bike.”
We didn’t bother doing much research before we tracked down 3-4 bike shops offering hourly beach rentals. In hindsight, we should have, it would have been great to know the bicycling laws even though we had planned to stay on the strand for the entire ride, there are spots where you might come in contact with cars, like we did.
It was a Saturday morning right after breakfast, we thought we would beat the beach crowd. It was also the sunniest day in weeks in Los Angeles and everyone wanted to enjoy it. We first looked for nearby bike shops and then compared pricing. We visited a bike shop on Hermosa Beach Pier and they had no e-bikes, but handed us a pricing sheet. $15 an hour did not seem high and well worth the fun.
Where Do You Find Electronic Bikes?
There were two other shops which pulled up quickly when we googled E-bike available for beach rides. Trust me when I say, you have options. Many shops came up, but after visiting several websites, we decided on Trick E-Bikes. They had pricing for 2 hours, 4-hours and all day.
You can find the right shop for you that offers deals if you rent for longer or shorter periods. We liked Clint at Trick E-Bikes because he was very knowledgeable with the E-bikes. He was patient with clients who were in a hurry to get going and ride. Clint held onto his great personality even though he had a line out the door by the time we left. They had only been open for 20 minutes.
Make sure you get a thorough tour of your bike. My friend rides her bicycle all the time in Arizona with her two teen boys. I haven't ridden a bike since the summer before I had several surgeries and a blood clot as a complication. My rehabilitation took months until I could walk longer than 20 minutes without being winded. Still, I was confident I could ride a bike for at least a few hours.
Once you secure your bike rental and know everything you need to know about the bike. Where is the motor located? Where is the lock? In case you want to stop for lunch halfway to your destination or on the way back as we did. Where is the speed? What is too fast? Level five was fast to me at 15 miles an hour. When people are walking and jogging the strand, once the bike path has faded, it becomes too fast to control.
Can you just press go and not pedal at all? Yes. Did we? There is an option for non-peddlers. My friend wanted as much exercise as she could get. My legs held up for about an hour, after that I needed help. We started to use the motor, if we had used it sooner we might have made the trek from Hermosa Beach to Santa Monica Beach Pier, our original destination.
Where Can I Park My E-bike?
Our bikes had a lock attached. On the beach there are bike racks here and there, so you have to seek them out. We stopped at a strip mall in Marina Del Rey when I realized I could not make it another 45-minutes to Santa Monica. They had several bike racks, but we locked them together and sat in the sun. We soaked up the afternoon rays with a Starbucks refresher before heading back to find breakfast for lunch.
Depending on the city you live in, you may find bike racks easy or hard to find. If you get a bike like our rental, then it comes with a sturdy link chain for you to lock the bikes together anywhere you leave it. We never let them out of our sights as $1400 dollars retail is a hefty price to pay for a bike you can’t claim as your own.
Check your city or beach for bike friendly routes. I knew about the strand from my old running days. This is where knowing your local bike laws comes in as well. The AB-1713 Bicycle Safety Stop law treats stop signs as yields for bicyclists, due to child safety laws this law applies to adults 18 and over, only.
What Can You Do and See in 4-Hours?
My friend does not get to the beach often. We wanted to see the piers and admire the beautiful homes and beaches during our ride. The beach was an easy choice. Traffic in Los Angeles is hectic and only die-hard bicyclists ride the roads. We wanted to enjoy the sights from a pair of wheels attached to anything but a car.
Once we picked up the bikes, we headed down the busy strand to Hermosa Beach Pier, then straight to Manhattan Beach Pier. We didn’t need to get off and take pictures since we did photos the night she arrived. From there we headed to Dockweiler beach and onto Marina Del Rey.
On the way back, we stopped at Bruce’s Beach in front of the Lifeguard station on the strand where walkers and bicyclists' paths are separated. This is where we discovered carrying an E-bike is harder than it looks. But we made it up a small set of stairs before seeing the que that told the story of the Bruce’s and the loss of their beachfront property in 1924.
We had lunch at the famous Uncle Ben’s and saw the Manhattan Beach glass library the Light Gate showcasing various light effects beaming off the sun.
We learned for ourselves that the bikes can go up hills if you put your motor on the highest level. So much fun! There was no option to bring our own food and picnic by the beach as we did not have baskets or a water bottle holder on the bikes.
This took us longer than 4 hours and Clint was nice enough to grant us another 30 minutes which meant we did not have to rush lunch or our resting breaks. You can see a great deal of sunny southern California by renting an electronic bike.
I am sure you can have the same exciting experience with a regular bike. With a small price difference between the two, the choice was obvious and though I plan to buy a regular bike for exercise, e-biking is on the radar for fun adventures my legs can’t do on a normal ten-speed. So, what are you doing this weekend? Go on, don’t be shy. Go see the world, one bike ride at a time.