Electric Cycling in Saltair

Ebikes have surged in popularity in the last few years.  They’re great for outdoor activities like exploring nature, your local community,  family time and improving overall fitness.

Electric bikes makes riding convenient, easy and effortless. And this might keep you wondering: “Isn’t the point of riding a bike to get exercise?  Isn’t an ebike cheating?”.

That’s a legitimate question a lot of people have. And the answer is no.  First of all, that  electric motor is there to help you, but you don’t have to use it all the time. The pedal assist makes riding super easy,  you can just pedal or use the motor only. Going uphills is a breeze!

Electric bikes make exercising accessible, whether you are fit or not. In fact, most e-bike riders get more exercise as they ride more often, and for longer distances.

For most people, the difference between an electric bike and a regular bike is riding or not riding. Riding a regular bike is fun, but can be exhausting. Electric bikes are easy, convenient and accessible, so you’ll be more inclined to ride more  and  get the physical benefits as well.

Riding any bike at all gives you so many things. Freedom, stress-reduction, better health, more free time, more enjoyment. And we shouldn’t dismiss other benefits, such as reduced car traffic and a better environment.

No longer do you need to worry that you won’t be strong enough, or have enough endurance to complete a ride. By eliminating the barriers that stop so many people from riding, such as their health, hills or distance, more people will ride.

If concerns like these have kept you off a bike, then an electric bike might be just the thing you need to get back out there.

Check out the following Ebike experiences from our local  Saltair  Ebike owners to help you decide whether an Ebike might be for you.

Local Saltairians and Ebike enthusiasts the “Stegemanns”

“I had biked for most of my life but because of my advanced age, found it increasingly hard to make the hills in this area.  A little over seven years ago my husband and I decided to try e-bikes.  John, who had not done a lot of biking, fell in love with the e-bikes.  We bought two bikes and in six years put more than 22,000 km. on each of them.  We took them “south” where we spent four months of every year and rode them almost every day.

After six years we would have had to purchase new batteries, tires etc. so made the decision to buy new bikes  –  this time from Costco.  We love our new bikes.  They are lighter and are even easier to manage than the more expensive bikes we previously had.

My husband is 82 and I am 79 and it’s now time for us to stay home and ride our bikes here. 
We are thrilled with the wonderful biking trail from Watts Rd. all the
way to Crozier Rd.  We often ride into Chemainus and go for coffee at the Willow Street Cafe or the little bakery on Pine, or supper at Wings.  Some days when we are especially ambitious, we ride from Saltair to Crozier Rd., then come north again all the way to Watts, then back to Saltair.  That is approximately 20 km.   We have also gone all the way to Transfer Beach and back. That means we have to ride on Chemainus Rd. for part of the way and then through parts of Ladysmith. 

The e-bike allows us to work as hard as we want to.  We always peddle, but depending on whether we are on a straight path or going uphill, we’ll turn our bikes to the appropriate number. This allows us to ride almost all hills.

We also ride all around Saltair.   By riding into every cul-de-sac we
can manage approximately 12 km.  while avoiding Chemainus Rd.

Most folks in cars are very cautious and give bikers lots of room.  We
appreciate that so much.

Eight years ago I had a hip replaced.  Biking has kept our muscles from atrophying.  Three years ago I had open heart surgery but was back on my bike within four weeks.

We often say that buying e-bikes was the best investment we have ever made because we have kept in shape and are out there in the fresh air, enjoying ourselves immensely.  Especially now with this Covid 19 happening, our e-bikes have become a life saver because we have not isolated but are able to distance and still be out there in the fresh air.

We can heartily recommend purchasing an e-bike if you have knee or hip problems.  You will get a good workout without putting extra strain on knees and hips.  Remember, your weight is primarily on your seat but you are using and moving all parts of your body including your arms and torso.  It is easier on the body to ride a bike than to walk.  I hope to be able to ride my e-bike until I am no longer able to walk”. Submitted by Christa Stegemann

Local Saltair Gal & ECyclist “Debbie Neil”

1)  I was returning to cycling for fun after a long break and I liked the idea of an e-bike because of the battery assist for hill climbing.  My son who is only 32 years old recently purchased an e-bike for the hills of Kamloops so e-bike span the needs of all ages and stages!

2)  I like the power option provided by an e-bike and still have my traditional bicycle to ride if the mood hits me.

3)  Cycling the streets of Saltair is fun.  The Great Trail (Trans Canada Trail) is great for cycling but gaining access to it via Chemainus road can be daunting as it is narrow and very busy with car traffic.  We certainly could use bike lanes.

4)  I think it is both safer and more fun to cycle with a friend.  It is a great way to spend time with friends while social distancing.  Great way to feel connected to the community of Saltair.

5)  I would cycle to Chemainus and beyond on the Great Trail.

6)  I think an e-bike is a health boasting device as it gets you out and moving, good both physically and mentally.

7)  An e-bike is great for anyone any level but especially if you are compromised physically. 

  Submitted by Debbie Neil

“There are a few reasons  I transitioned to an ebike from a traditional peddle bike. Mostly I was tired of lugging my groceries up Oak st in Chemainus from the old 49th I needed help to manipulate the hill on my old ten speed.
Peddle assist and the throttle are very beneficial and now I can lug all the groceries I need without breaking a sweat.
I love riding my bike around Saltair especially down Nebel and Olsen road along Diana park area,overlooking the cornfield.
I ride the CVT at least twice a week to Chemainus and or Ladysmith as we don’t have any transit service here in Saltair,all year round ,rain or shine.  Without my ebike I probably would have to move.
I do feel I still get a workout, I like to peddle and conserve my battery.  Even when riding an ebike I still feel I am getting exercise!”  Submitted by Helen A.
“I want to put in a word about purchasing an e-bike. There are very nice people in the Nanaimo and Duncan bike shops, and they are definitely becoming more knowledgeable about e-bikes.
It really is important to spend some time road testing various bikes because it can be an expensive purchase and you need to be sure you find an e-bike that fits you. They are also much heavier than a regular bike, so look at a “push” feature to use when you are dismounted to climb a hill or have a bike breakdown. Also, if you have problems with arthritis in knees or hips, remember that you will probably have to step through the frame to mount your bike rather than push off and swing your leg over like we did when we were younger.
I have also talked to a number of people who have bought an e-bilke with a motor mounted on the rear axle. If you are remounting an e-bike and the power assist is on high or the gear ration in low, the bike can take off like a rocket! I think a motor mounted on the pedal ‘crankshaft’ is much safer, 
My wife and I purchased the best bike we could afford, and after two years of riding, we are really glad we did! We are also very pleased that we chose to buy locally from Kelly Demoline and Citrus Cycles. Kelly sells only e-bikes and is extremely knowledgeable. He has also provided us with excellent after sales service and is especially sensitive to the needs of seniors.  See you on the CVT!   Submitted Ed Nicholson. 
In Closing:
Saltair is specifically fortunate to have access to the Cowichan Valley Trail system which allows for a safe scenic ride away from the vehicle traffic of  Chemainus Road.  The Cowichan Valley Trail allows cyclists to access communities like Ladysmith and Chemainus for sightseeing and  local shopping.
Saltair ECyclists can also meander slowly through our quiet neighbourhoods via South Oyster School Rd, Olsen Rd, Wilcox, Clifcoe Rd and Stocking Creek Park.
 Always be mindful of sharing the trails with pedestrians, pets and horses, slow down and ring your bell when passing by.
If you would like information on choosing an Ebike:  Click here
There is also a local Ebike shop in Ladysmith Citrus Cycles:  Click this to go to Citrus Cycles
“Its hard NOT to smile when riding an electric bike!”
 Sunny Saltair Admin.

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