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Let’s try an E-bike

Paul Fogal, founder of Pocono Whitewater in Jim Thorpe in 1975, said he was skeptical about E-bikes at first.

“I knew they were used for transportation in the big cities, but I wasn’t sure if they would be a good fit for recreational use,” Fogal said. “But I tested one and was pleasantly surprised.”

“I got a decent work out, and I covered more ground,” he added.

E-bikes are available for rental through Pocono Biking, an offshoot of Pocono Whitewater.

You can rent one by the hour ($25) or by the day ($60). So far, there are six E-bikes available for rental. If there’s a demand, they plan to increase the fleet.

An E-bike has a battery pack, but other than that they are a lot like “regular” bikes.

They are geared like regular bikes. You can coast.

Contrary to what you might envision, riding an E-bike is still exercise, in fact, a lot of exercise. Even when using one of the four modes of “pedal assist” you are still pedaling.

“E-bikes are becoming more and more popular in the biking world,” Fogal said. “As the population gets older, using an E-bike makes it easier for them to get out and ride.”

“They are very popular as a part of group rentals,” he added. “Maybe there are one or two people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to keep up with the group, but the E-bike gives them just the help they need.”

Pocono Whitewater has guided more than one million paddlers down the Lehigh River. Will E-bike rides be as popular as rafting trips?

“I could see there would be a demand for them,” Fogal said. “For some people, it might be that they want to try out the newest trend, but for others, it might make the ride a little easier and more enjoyable.

For more information, go to www.PoconoBiking.com.

If you’re thinking of purchasing an E-bike, you can try one at Pocono Biking, then head to a bike shop in Tamaqua. Richard Stianche, DnA Bikes LLC, 115 W. Broad Street, is carrying E-bikes for sale. Currently they carry models from Specialized and Sun.

“We obtained a few demo models and we’ve had a lot of opportunity to get out and really see what they are all about,” Stianche said.

“The more people that find out about these E-bikes, the more that will use them.”

Someday the quarantines will end and we'll be back to enjoying our beautiful outdoors. Here a group of riders pedal a bike trail near Jim Thorpe. PHOTO COURTESY OF POCONOBIKING.COM