Electric bikes allow everyone to enjoy biking

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COLUMBIA - An electric bike expert says e-bikes work for everyone because "you get to pick your level of exercise." 

GetAbout Columbia invited people to ride some e-bikes at a seminar at the ARC Tuesday.

E-bikes are designed to make bike riding easier, with built-in motors that activate either by pedal-assist or throttle-control.

They allow people with physical limitations to ride and get exercise. 

E-bike expert Ted Curtiss said, "Some people, as they get older, don't have the strength they use to. Some people getting into an excercise program and want to build up strength. Some people have hills they're dealing with and an e-bike is great for hills. 

People have lots of fun with the bikes.

"People that get an e-bike ride more, ride further, ride different routes," Curtis said.

E-bike riders don't get the same level of exercise as with a traditional bike. Curtis compared it to taking a power walk, saying a ride is "less effort with more time on a bike."  

Sharon Batek said she wanted to get an electric bike after trying them out twice.

"I'm always the last in the group on bike rides. I want to get it so I can keep up," she said.

Batek said the e-bike offers more freedom. 

"You can go up some hills, or you can keep up with younger family members, you can go out to the winery. So I don't want it for commuting, its more for recreation," she said.

E-bikes can be bought online or at local stores for an average cost of around $2,000-$3,000. They can be priced as high as $5,000.