By Guest Writer: Ami Chen Mills
Robert Aldana, 53, is a realtor in Scotts Valley who can’t get enough of his new e-bike.
“I love it! You know how people talk about some things as being game-changing or life-changing? Well, this is one of those.”
Aldana, who still has to drive his real estate clients around in an old-fashioned car, uses his Specialized Vado 6.0 Turbo E-Bike every other chance he gets, riding to appraiser meetings, to on-site meetings with clients, and even on simple errands.
“My clients think it’s the coolest thing ever!” Aldana says. “Especially here, where so many people are conscious of their environmental impact.”
For Aldana, one of the biggest benefits of the e-bike is the workout he gets every day. “I get a workout, but I’m not killing myself—and I don’t show up all sweaty to meetings.” The “not-sweaty” feature of the e-bike has been a major boost for its sales, which have been spiking across the country over the last year.
Enjoying the scenery is another added benefit, says Aldana. “And when I’m riding my bike, I’m not chatting on my phone. It’s nice to have a little bit of me time.”
As the founder of the My Scotts Valley Facebook page, Aldana will probably be getting a lot more Scotts Valley residents excited about the benefits of e-biking, especially in Scotts Valley’s hilly terrain. With an e-bike, those hills are easy to conquer.
“It makes a major, major difference on the hills!” Aldana asserts. “And you still have to put the energy in, so it’s a great workout.” The Vado 6.0 comes with three settings on top of regular pedal power. “Manual is a workout because the bike is almost 55 pounds. ‘Eco’ is like riding a regular bike with a little assist. ‘Sport’ is some help, and ‘Turbo’ is definite help. You’re flying!”
Although Scotts Valley doesn’t have quite the same reputation for being a biker’s haven as Santa Cruz does, Aldana claims that there are still a lot of local bikers and that most drivers are bike-friendly. He doesn’t need to seek out side streets to feel safe. “The streets are pretty wide. We have bike lanes all up and down Scotts Valley Drive, so I feel pretty comfortable riding here.”
Aldana’s next quest is to get his daughters on his e-bike. “I think they’d have a lot of fun,” he explains.
Overall, according to this local e-bike enthusiast, buying an e-bike “is one of the best decisions and investments I’ve ever made.”