Story by Jessica Toren, Photography by John Paul Henry.
    Residents of Grand Rivers are accustomed to seeing golf carts, scooters and bicycles make their way through the town's hilly streets and sidewalks. This year, they may be surprised to see something new, Electric Bikes by E-motion cruising the streets.
    Laurie McWilliams, owner of So Cool in Grand Rivers, sells the bikes.
    "You can't really appreciate it until you ride it. It's good for your health. It keeps you outside and gets you riding. They are very popular in Europe and Florida and they're just fun," McWilliams said.
    The bikes look like a standard bicycle with a small motor and disc brakes. Because of the battery and brakes, the bikes weigh an average of 40 pounds and have a range of up to 20 miles on a single charge. The battery can plug into any outlet and takes an average of four hours to charge.
    The bikes provide assistance to the rider in one of two ways: Power on Demand or Pedal Assist. In Power on Demand mode, the rider can manually use the motor to provide assistance. "This is often used when hills are too steep, the rider can turn the throttle and get as much 'oomph' as they need." McWilliams said.
    In Pedal Assist mode, the battery kicks in automatically when the rider may be struggling. "You can set Pedal Assist to High, Standard, or Low depending on how much help you think you need from the battery. You can ride as hard as you want to," McWilliams said. The battery life will vary depending on which settings the rider chooses.
    Terry West of Marina Village has owned his E-bike since August. In the first four months of owning his bike, he racked up nearly 1,000 miles.
    "I love riding bikes and used to ride in college. I don't care for walking. I needed Pedal Assist on the hills in Grand Rivers and Land Between the Lakes. I tried it and really enjoyed it," West said.
    "I'm 63 and it got me back into riding bikes. It's better than going to the gym and riding a stationary bike. I like to hear the birds chirping while I ride," West said. West averages between 8 and 15 miles three times a week on his bike and recently purchased a bike for his wife, Sally, so they can ride together.
    "I don't have to stand-up going uphill. I know I need to exercise and this is something I really enjoy. I'll probably ride 6-8 miles tonight," West said.
    West often bikes around the lakes area and frequently visits Lighthouse Landing and Canal Campground.
    "I like to bike around Grand Rivers and take 453 to 62 and go to Kentucky Dam to ride the bike trail. There is also a scenic five mile trail in Land Between the Lakes," West said.
    Now that warmer weather has arrived, West looks forward to spending even more time biking around the scenic lake area. "I have my biking gloves and lights on my bike. Since it has warmed up, I'll be biking a lot more. It has given me a lot more energy," West said.
    If you are interested in an E-bike, So Cool has display bikes you can take for a quick ride.
    "When I stop, people will ask me about it. I tell them it's fun to ride and if you ever have a chance, you should try it," West said.
emotion bikes
Valerie takes a ride on an electric bicyle.

Re-printed from the magazine: "Lakes homes edition POSH" July/August 2014" www.posh-mag.com, a Paducah Sun publication.
SoCooL Store   1804 JH O'bryan Avenue    Grand Rivers, KY 42045    270.362.9151    socool@mchsi.com   2014