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BEACON Senior News

Why Colorado Springs seniors are turning to e-bikes

May 29, 2024 04:06PM ● By Libby Kinder

Jeanette Martin gets ready to tackle local hills on her Trek e-bike—power optional—in preparation for a future e-biking excursion in Oregon. Photo by James Harris Photography

Look around on any of Colorado Springs’ many sunny days, and you’ll see—e-bikes are everywhere! Local seniors explore, exercise and get from here to there in fun and facile fashion—even in the most rugged parts of the city.

“I always say this is my mental health hill,” said Jeanette Martin, 64, gesturing to a steep incline. 

She’s on to something. Getting outdoors and e-biking increases feel-good endorphins. 

Martin bought her e-bike during the pandemic in 2021.

“I live where there are a lot of hills,” she said of her Old Farm neighborhood, “and my e-bike helps me get home when I’m tired at the end of a ride.” 

Her e-bike runs for eight hours before it needs recharging.

“E-bikes are a great choice for older folks looking to get out and not worry about getting up some hills,” echoed Paul Sparrow, 70. He and wife Sheri, 64, purchased their e-bikes in 2022. 

Jeanette Martin conquers her "mental health hill" with ease on her e-bike, enjoying a sunlit ride with Pikes Peak in the backdrop. Photo by James Harris Photography


An e-bike has a plug-in battery that powers a small electric motor, allowing riders to control the boost they need for tackling uneven terrain and hills. . 

Cherre Torok, 79, lives near Garden of the Gods and recently purchased her first e-bike.

“My e-bike is fast and makes me feel free!” she exclaimed. “It’s so fun to explore new trails and places with my e-biking friends. Sharing a beer with friends after the ride is the best!” 

Although e-bikes have existed since the 1890s, they rose in popularity a century later. Technological advancements have made them user-friendly and fun!

“E-bikes make you feel like a kid again!” Ron Kinder, 75, enthused.

The magic is in the pedal assist. With the click of a button, riders control how much power the motor generates, putting oomph into the pedaling. It’s that simple. 

Other features may include gears, cruise control and the ability to crank up the motor to greater speeds.

There are a multitude of e-bike and even three-wheeled e-trike brands to choose from, with features ranging from simple to high-tech. Some seniors find mounting and dismounting difficult, so seek a model with a lower step-over height and sufficient clearance for easy sliding on and off. Adjustable seat and handlebar heights offer comfort, while a lower wheelbase keeps you stable.   


With gas prices rising, e-bikes can save you money and offer a greener, cleaner mode of travel by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

E-bikers Ron Kinder and Kathy and Jim Davis approach a rock railroad tunnel along the Mickelson Trail in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Intrigued but unsure? Consider renting an e-bike before buying one. The Pikes Peak Region has multiple rental opportunities along popular trails. 

E-Bike Sales and Rental at 906 Manitou Ave, offers rentals for $69 for two hours and $115 for four hours. They provide training and transport riders to Garden of the Gods for practice.

“[Renting] is a good way for seniors to figure out if they can balance on a bike and safely get on and off,” said store co-owner Sam Cobble. “It gives you an extended period of time to troubleshoot your ability to feel confident and safe before making a big purchase.” 

Prices for e-bikes vary widely, from Walmart models under $600 to elite models costing $20,000 or more. However, Cobble reported that many consumers choose e-bikes costing $1,500-$2,000. Some businesses, such as Biketricity at 718 Farragut Ave., will convert an existing bicycle to an e-bike.

Old Town Bike Shop at 426 S. Tejon St. is one of the retailers that offers a $450 Colorado tax credit on qualifying e-bike purchases, effective since April 1. Visit for details. 

To get started, seek the assistance of an experienced e-biker and practice on a flat surface to experiment with your bike’s features. 

A variety of accessories and gadgets are available for safety, comfort and convenience:

Helmets are a must. Some have built-in speakers and microphones allowing riders to communicate via Bluetooth technology without yelling or looking backward.

Don’t neglect the basics: a warning bell, rearview mirror, biking gloves, water bottle, reflective vest or clothing, and panniers for toting your stuff.

It’s wise to carry a small lithium battery-operated pump and a mini-sized bike tool set with a tire repair kit. 

Prevent theft with an alarm and lock. 

Cyclists, including Cindy Weaver and Jeanette Martin, take a break on the trail in northeast Germany on a Bike and Barge group tour of regular and e-bikers.


It’s a snap to take a 15- to 20-mile ride when traveling or camping. Martin and her husband Jerry, 65, have biked trails from Breckenridge to Glenwood Springs and other Colorado locales.

“We always have our bikes on a trip,” Martin said, so they can explore off the beaten track. Being on a bike immerses you in the sights, sounds, and smells in a way that zipping by in a car can’t match. 

In Tucson, AZ, the paved 131-mile Huckelberry Loop encircles the city. You can ride through fields of colorful desert wildflowers, past historic sites and neighborhoods and stop at some of the best culinary spots in town. 

The Mickelson Trail in the Black Hills of South Dakota offers 109 miles of mostly crushed limestone trails that pass by fragrant pine forests, buffalo herds, the Crazy Horse Memorial and old railroad bridges and rock tunnels. Martin and her husband biked the Mickelson two years ago, with hotel stops along the way.

In Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Towpath Trail follows the historic 1800s route of the Ohio and Erie Canals by quaint villages, old farmsteads and creeks and ponds with native plants and wildlife. 

The Rails to Trails Conservancy is continually adding and connecting trails across America, creating safe ways to explore. 

Cindy Weaver, 57, spent her honeymoon on a Bike and Barge tour in Germany in June 2022. 

“E-bikes made it easy to do miles and miles a day,” said Weaver, who anticipates buying her own e-bike soon. “What was really cool about the e-bikes was we could keep up with the seasoned cyclists who were riding regular bikes. It was the trip of a lifetime!” 

Cobble said most e-bike purchasers in Colorado Springs are over 55. He lists the advantages: building community, getting outside, being with friends and exercising. It’s low impact, protecting your joints. It improves cardiovascular health, strengthens leg muscles (which prevents falls) and helps with weight management. 

For Torok, the fountain of youth has two wheels and a motor. 

“Don’t stop riding when you get old,” she advised, “because you get old when you stop riding!” 


Colorado Springs has a dream network of bike trails to explore, with paved and hard-packed trails offering miles of riding adventures. Easy-to-follow bike trail maps are offered online and through websites like Some tour companies and local bike/e-bike businesses offer guided tours with stops to discuss the history, geography and geology of the Pikes Peak Region. 

Class 1 e-bikes are permitted on 15 urban trails, with maps available at

  • Cottonwood Creek Trail
  • Homestead Trail
  • Midland Trail
  • Pikes Peak Greenway
  • Rock Island Trail
  • Sand Creek Trail
  • Shooks Run Trail
  • Sinton Trail
  • Stetson Trail
  • Templeton Gap Trail
  • Woodmen Trail
  • Foothills Trail
  • Skyline Trail
  • Rockrimmon Trail
  • Mesa Valley Trail

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