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Bicycle safety is an important topic. You should feel safe riding your electric bike. A Boston-based company, Loud Bicycle, believes that one of the ways to improve safety is to speak the language of the road. And what they mean is that they want to make your bike honk. Recently, we recorded an interview with Jonathan Lansey, one of the founders of LoudBicycle for The Electric Bike Podcast from EVELO. You can listen to the podcast right here and follow along with the transcript below. Armando Roggio: If you're like many of our listeners, you both ride a bike and drive a car. So, have you ever been on your bike and had a sudden urge to honk? Maybe, someone was about to pull out in front of you or back into the bike lane without looking. Sure, you could ding a bell, but it would simply not do. You wanted to honk. This is The Electric Bike Podcast from EVELO, and I am Armando Roggio. In this episode, we're going to speak with Jonathan Lansey, the founder of the Loud Bicycle horn company. Jonathan, thank you for joining us for this podcast. Jonathan Lansey: Absolutely, glad to be here.

A Car Horn for Your Bike

Armando Roggio: Jonathan, why not start by telling us about your company and how it got started. Jonathan Lansey: Yeah. I bike to work, and I also have driven. And, I have ... There's one point where I really wanted to honk. So, there was a car that was about to cut me off dangerously, and I felt like I had the urge to honk, but I couldn't, obviously, because I was on a bike. But then, I'm kind of an engineer, so I actually went ahead and built one. So, I built a car horn that I can honk just like a car on my bike, just kind of as a one-off to see what would happen. Armando Roggio: Where do you find components to build a car horn for your bicycle? Jonathan Lansey: Oh, AutoZone. Armando Roggio: Okay, that makes sense. Jonathan Lansey: Yeah, so, I took the original car horns came right from AutoZone, and the original battery came from an RC airplane. So, I just kind of hacked it together with some rubber bands and things, Yeah, and it worked really well. Armando Roggio: How did you go from having a custom horn that you made for your own bicycle, to having a product that you now have for sale? Jonathan Lansey: That's a great question. We actually have, we've been funded by lots of people all around the world, who really believed in it before it existed. And, this is, of course, through Kickstarter. So, we ran a Kickstarter campaign with a fairly ugly version of the horn. It was, basically, me, I had my little brother, who I forced to help me out with the 3D modeling. And yeah, we basically, presented the concept. And, 600 people signed on, and that's what got us going. Armando Roggio: So, was that 2014? Jonathan Lansey: The beginning of 2013. Armando Roggio: So now, you're six years into this company. Safe to assume, the loud bicycle horn is not ugly anymore? Jonathan Lansey: That's true. Actually, so, the very first thing we did after the Kickstarter was, joined up with Chris Owens, who's an industrial designer in Austin, Texas. And actually, he worked with us on the campaign, as well. But, he's just a genius, and he turns what was a fairly ugly product that looked a little bit phallic, and turned it into something that just looks really clean and nice, and new. But, we also have a second product, now. So, we have two car horns for bicycles, and the new one, we really learned a lot from the experience designing the first one. And, this one, we worked with Chris as an industrial designer from the very beginning, and so, it really looks beautiful the new mini horn.
The Loud Bicycle car horn for your bike.

Drivers Recognize the Car Horn Sound

Armando Roggio: Why is it helpful, or, why is it a good idea to, essentially, have a car horn on a bicycle? Jonathan Lansey: Yeah, it's actually, it's one of these things that, people just have a really fast reflex when they're responding to the sound of a car horn. So, it's well trained. It's well-practiced. When they hear that sound, they don't even need to think about what's happening. They just react. And also, the auditory reaction times are even faster than visual. So, people just react so fast. And, it only takes a couple of seconds. So, the difference in fatalities, if you're going, let's say, 40 miles an hour to 20 miles an hour, is huge. And, just a few seconds is all you need to make somebody go from almost dead to completely safe. And so, that's why reaction, so, this reaction time is so important, that's why it's so important to have that sound initiate the reaction as fast as you can.

Impersonating Automobiles

Armando Roggio: That makes sense. So, you're commuting in Boston. You're riding your bike. You have to use your loud bicycle horn to avert a problem, and now, there is a driver looking around and expecting a car. Jonathan Lansey: Oh, yeah, it's actually hilarious. So, the thing is, it doesn't matter, really, it's sort of like, a hack. You're hacking into their system, and it doesn't matter what they believe, because they do believe that there's a car right there. What matters is how they react. And, they react without fail in a way that keeps the person biking safe. Armando Roggio: Have you ever had a driver get upset with you for impersonating an automobile? Jonathan Lansey: Oh, I've had so many weird reactions. But so far, no one has actually had ... I, personally, have not experienced a bad reaction. But, in the words of one of our backers, I'd rather face an angry driver, than a friendly EMT. But, I could talk about a couple of them, because they're pretty funny. In some cases, let's say, a car, person driving is in a parking spot. And without checking their rearview mirror, maybe they had the windows down, they'd just start pulling out. And then, at this point, I was right next to them with their windows open. Honked the horn, and they just believed that a wizard was standing there. Yeah. Oh, and other times, let's say pulling out of an intersection or something, I'll give a quick, friendly honk. And then, the person driving will give a friendly wave. And, for just a couple of seconds, everything seems totally normal, but then a second later, they're like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, what? What was that?" So, it's just one of those things where people just have this reflexive reaction without thinking about it. And then, later, it dawns on them, wow, I just didn't run over a person biking without even thinking. Armando Roggio: Which is the goal, right? Jonathan Lansey: Exactly, that's the goal.

The Loud Bicycle Company

Armando Roggio: So, the loud bicycle horn sounds like a fun and great product. If someone wanted to buy your product, where would they find it? Jonathan Lansey: So, right now, we're only selling through Loudbicycle.com. Or, you can search for the “loud bicycle horn.” Armando Roggio: You need to put the horn on Amazon or something. Jonathan Lansey: Yeah, we've so far, been really struggling, actually, to make enough horns to keep up with the demand. And so now, but as of this month, we actually, just got back in stock, and we've got a lot of stock. So, we're now going to start working with other partners. Maybe not Amazon initially, but yeah, that's coming soon. But for now, everyone can get it at Loudbicycle.com. And, we actually have two-day shipping included for the U.S.

Bicycle Safety

Armando Roggio: So next, let's talk about bicycle safety. You're a commuter. What do you think is the current state, if you will, of bicycle safety? Are there things a rider can do? Are there things that we can do as a society? Jonathan Lansey: I think the most important thing to do is, to ride your bike. There's a lot of things that you can do, to be perfectly safe on your bike. You know you don't necessarily need a horn. You can just, you don't even need a helmet. There are ways that you can ride defensively and carefully, that yeah, and the more people that ride, then, the safer it's going to be for everyone. Because right now, we're in this weird state where, our infrastructure is ... at least, in America, and numerous places around the world, as well, the infrastructure has been designed and built primarily, for motorized vehicles, like cars and trucks. But, bicycles are becoming a lot more popular now. And so, suddenly, we have this influx where the bicycles are mixing with the people driving. And, that's where it can be dangerous. And so, that's really what the problem is, the infrastructure is not in a state where it can support the uses that the people would like to use it for. And so, I think that the real long term solution is going to be moving to someplace like, or moving our infrastructure to mirror something like Copenhagen. So, we've sold horns to, essentially, every country in Europe. Lots, but not a single one to anywhere in Denmark or Copenhagen. Even though there are more bicycle riders in the city of Copenhagen than the entire United States of America. And the reason is, because people just feel safe there. And so, the horn really is kind of a symptom. The fact that it's popular is a symptom of a poor infrastructure that we have here. And, our vision for the future is actually, to make it so that America has safe infrastructure for people biking, and then, we'll just turn all of our car horn bicycle horns into plowshares. Armando Roggio: So, that was a Biblical reference. Jonathan Lansey: It was, yeah. Armando Roggio: That's pretty awesome. I am not sure that we've had anyone slide a Biblical reference into the podcast before, so I am impressed. Jonathan Lansey: Put that footnote in there. Armando Roggio: I will, I will. It's interesting that your ultimate goal is to have that level of infrastructure because if the U.S. in a sense, became like Copenhagen in terms of bicycle usage, Loud Bicycle would be out of business. Jonathan Lansey: That would be wonderful. You know, I think that would make the world a better place. But for now, there's a real need. So, for example, I personally, I like to bike pretty fast. And, sometimes the people driving, especially when they come from, let's say, outside the city, they're used to people like most, kids riding their bikes on the sidewalk. They don't realize just how fast I'm going. And that means that it can be really dangerous. You know, if a car misjudges the speed, just like if they were to misjudge the speed of another car. Now, the thing is, is that, when you're using the roads, we like to think of the horn as, really, just kind of speaking the language of the people driving. So, it doesn't even need to be aggressive. It's just kind of the language that people use to communicate on the roads.

Electric Bikes

Armando Roggio: I like your point about speed. Obviously, this is the Electric Bike Podcast, so, we focus on electric bikes, which are a great equalizer, hill flattener. It's not hard to be going 20 miles per hour on your electric bike. So, I guess, talk to us a little bit about electric bikes. Jonathan Lansey: I think electric bikes are great. So, the key with bicycles are, you know, they keep the air clean. They keep people healthy. But, with electric bicycles, it allows ... Oh, and it's just a more compact use of the space in a city, so, people driving usually, single occupancy cars, they take up a lot of space. And, an electric bicycle can get you there, sometimes, as fast and as easily, without taking up all the space in a city. And, parking, as well. So, I think electric bicycles are great for those reasons.

Problem Solving

Armando Roggio: Jonathan, you've already mentioned some of your engineering experience. You are also a data scientist. Do you think there's a connection between tech and cycling? Do people interested in technology also tend to have an affinity for alternative transportation? Jonathan Lansey: Well, let's say ... Yeah. So, in tech, you're typically solving, you're optimizing things, solving problems in creative ways. And, cycling, I mean, I'm obviously, I don't know if biased is the right word here, but I have strong opinions about cycling. And for me, it's certainly optimized my commute. It kind of solved the exercise, which is the best thing you can do health-wise. Solved the exercise and the commuting, all in one go. So yes, so for me, cycling is really, the optimal way to get around. And, in technology, you're often looking for optimal solutions, so it's kind of maybe, the kind of person that is working to make things optimal is the kind of person who will come to realize that cycling is the best way to get around. Armando Roggio: It's problem-solving in your work, and then problem-solving in your life, in a sense.

Bicycle Community

Jonathan, as we start to wind down, are there other things you would like to share with the folks listening to the podcast? It can be about anything you'd like. Jonathan Lansey: Sure, in Boston, we have this really fun thing called The Boston Bike Party. And, it's essentially, where bunches of people get out there on their bikes, and we ride really slowly around the city. And, we just have a good time. And, there's a couple of these in different places around the world. And, it's pretty fun, so a just shout out to them. And, if you're in a city, you might want to check out if there's a bike party in your city, and maybe, go ride. Armando Roggio: Do you think events like that one are one of the ways we will get more attraction for cycling? You know, build a community, if you will, around it? Jonathan Lansey: Oh, absolutely. It's weird because in other countries, let's say, the Netherlands, nobody really is a cyclist, and there is no real separate bicycle riding community because that just is the way that everybody is over there. It kind of is the culture of the country. And so, I think it'd be great if ... Or, how do we get to that point? Well, I would imagine that it starts with a cycling community which just grows and grows and grows until eventually, everybody is in it. And then, now it's your default culture. So, I think that with Bike Party, it definitely does draw people in, because they realize how they can see very clearly, the joy that comes from riding a bicycle. And then, want to have that for themselves. Oh, and actually, one other last thing, we have a website called nicecycling.com, and that kind of, it captures the ethos of how we would like to, what our ideal world would look like. And, it was a partnership of Friendly Design Company. And, we actually include a copy of this with every horn. But, it basically, it gives general instructions for how anyone, with the horn, without a horn, anybody can actually, with following these rules, can remain really safe on their bike. So, nobody should be afraid to bike. So, that's nicecycling.com. Armando Roggio: Jonathan, this is a great site. Thank you for sharing that, and thank you for joining us for The Electric Bike Podcast from EVELO. For our listeners, I hope you will check out the EVELO website at evelo.com. You can use the contact form there to send us your suggestions and comments about this podcast. Also be certain to check out The Complete Electric Bike Buyer’s Guide, if you have not already is worth a look. Thank you so much for listening. Have a great rest of your day.
Baby boomers can have fun, improve their fitness, and create or strengthen friendships with bicycling. And riding an electric bike makes getting back into bicycling even easier. Here are five tips to help you get back into riding a bike.

Tip No. 1: Decide to Ride

You’re online reading an article about how to get back into biking, so odds are good you are “thinking about” riding again. Now stop thinking and decide. “Decision is the ultimate power,” according to motivational expert Tony Robbins. “Making a decision puts you in control.” Once you have committed to biking for fun, fitness, and friendship, nothing will stop you.

Tip No. 2: Get the Right Bike

Riding a bike, particularly an e-bike, is going to be a great source of pleasure. It should be easy on joints, flexible in intensity, and a significant benefit to your health and wellbeing. But many of these benefits can go south in a hurry if you don’t have the proper bike, set up in the right way. So take the time to find a bicycle that fits you and the sort of riding you’ve decided to do. If you have knee pain, try moving your seat up. If you have neck or back pain, try a more upright handlebar position. Here are some resources.

Tip No. 3: Find a Riding Companion

“Now if you think about being on a traditional bicycle, you’re like ‘hey honey, let’s go for a bike ride,’” said EVELO’s Bill Cummings. “Naturally, one person is stronger and faster than the other and typically it turns into this situation where somebody is three blocks ahead going ‘ah, hurry up.’ The other person is behind going ‘I feel bad and would you slow down.’ Then they finally meet up and then there’s maybe a little bit of conflict and that romanticized view of a bike ride together suddenly turns into a conversation and nobody’s having any fun. “That changes on an electric bike. You could choose, one person could use the motor less, one person can use the motor more and suddenly you’re rolling down the beach together going look at the beautiful sunset. It really is transformational and it becomes that idealistic view of a bike ride together that we all think of when you head out.”
One of the joys of bicycling is the opportunity to ride with friends and family.
Bill was speaking specifically about riding as a couple, but some of the same things apply for riding with friends or family members. For example, imagine trying to ride with an 11-year-old grandson. He is likely to want to ride fast and tackle some serious hills. Electric bikes balance out the differences in riding ability and let you really enjoy riding with friends and family. In turn, riding with friends and family will help to motivate you as you get back into bicycling again. Your goal then is to find a riding companion. This might be your spouse or partner. A relative could be a great riding partner. You could recruit a friend from work. Or maybe join a local bicycling club.

Tip No. 4: Find a Good Place to Ride

Bicycling in heavy traffic in the United States is, frankly, not terribly safe. The U.S. sometimes lacks good bicycle infrastructure, and while this is changing significantly, you want to be mindful when you plan your rides. This is especially true when you’re just getting back into bicycling.

Tip No 5: Track Your Progress

Few things feel as good as success. So as you get back into riding, track and monitor your progress. The aim is not to start out as a great distance cyclist, but rather to get just a little better every week. The good news is that there are plenty of apps available to help you. Here are a few to consider.
Bicycling with friends and family is one of the real joys of cycling generally and one of the significant benefits of riding an electric bike specifically. There is a real sense in which recreational bicycling is a social endeavor. It is an opportunity to get outside, get exercise, and spend time with folks you care about. For example, imagine its Springtime and your grandchildren have come over for the weekend. Rather than staying in the house while the kids play video games, you can get out, ride to the park or bike a nearby trail. Also, you can use bicycling as a way to meet new people. You could look on MeetUp or a similar site to find local cycling groups in your area. You might sign up for a ride and be introduced to many interesting and active folks. It is a great way to make friends. What follows are five tips for riding your conventional or electric bicycle in a group.

No. 1: Learn from Other Riders

There is a significant difference between riding with family members, say your kids or grandkids, and cycling with a group from MeetUp or similar. Your family members are far more likely to be forgiving, but could, frankly, be less safe. While a group of adult riders may expect you to follow cycling etiquette to a least a minimal degree. With this in mind, it can be a good idea for relatively less experienced group riders to spend some extra time at the back of the group, watching how other riders behave and asking questions. For example, it is very common for relatively large groups of cyclists to ride two-by-two, keeping your front wheels and handlebars in line with the rider directly next to you. In a large group of riders, you also want to stay about three-or-four feet behind the bike in front of you to allow room for braking. As you’re riding or, perhaps, before the ride starts, explain to your companions that your new to group rides and ask for advice. Relatively smaller groups of riders may go single file in high traffic areas and bunch up when the trail or road is clear. Even in these much more casual group rides, it is a good idea to watch and learn.

No. 2: Be Smooth and Predictable

When you’re riding a conventional bicycle or an electric bike in a group, you want to be as smooth and predictable as possible. So do your best to avoid sudden movements, don’t overreact to hazards like parked cars or potholes, and keep up with the group, smoothly matching everyone’s collective pace. Electric bikes can be a huge help when it comes to keeping up with a group. “For many people, electric bikes make it possible to spend more time having fun with friends and family members, allowing them to join in on recreational bike rides. If you’re new to cycling or struggle to keep up, an electric bike may be the key to getting out more often to enjoy leisure rides with those you love,” explained the authors of “The Complete Electric Bike Buyer’s Guide.” “The assistance provided by the electric motor enables ebike riders to go further than they might otherwise be able to. The amount of effort required to cover 10 miles on a conventional bike, for example, can carry riders closer to 20 miles when combined with the power generated by an ebike motor,” the buyer’s guide continued. In this way, electric bikes make it possible for anyone to safely and easily take part in fun, group rides.

No. 3: Pay Attention to Your Environment

Riding in a group can make you less aware of the road around you. Sometimes you will get lost in great conversation and other times you might become too focused on the wheel in front of you. As you ride, pay attention to your surroundings. You want to be able to see and avoid potential hazards and you want to recognize and, perhaps, anticipate when your companions will move and brake.

No. 4: Take Your Turn at the Front, If it is that Sort of Group

Seasoned cyclists often ride in groups because it can be faster and easier. Bicycles moving together in a pack benefit from drafting and reduced wind resistance. In fact, on a conventional bicycle riding at the front of a group can be relatively more work than riding at the back. For this reason, groups of cyclists will often take turns riding at the front. Here is an example. Imagine you are riding with a group of recreational cyclists who are pretty serious about taking turns at the front. The group is riding two-by-two. You take the front position, which is in the first row on the left-hand side (like the driver’s side of a car in North America). You might stay at this front position for about five minutes. Then the group will rotate. The rider to your immediate right and the entire right column will fall back. You would shift to the right (think passenger side of a car), and the rider who had been directly behind you would move up to the front position. Every five minutes the group would rotate again. Be very careful at the front when you ride an electric bike. You don’t want to increase the pace just because you have a motor helping you out. Rather, pay attention to the group's average speed when you are in the middle or the back of the column and maintain that pace if you ride up front. With some groups of riders, this sort of rotation will be common, while other groups won’t care in the least. Just be ready to take a turn at the front, if that is what your cycling group expects.

No. 5: Communicate about Traffic and Hazards

When you are at the front of the group, you will have a somewhat better view of the road and the surroundings than riders in the middle of the pack. So it is your job to communicate with the group about upcoming turns, parked cars, and slippery spots. You can do this with your voice and with hand signals. For example, putting your left hand on the left side of your lower back could indicate a hazard ahead on the left.

Group Riding Resources

Riding your electric bike or conventional bicycle in a group can be a fun way to connect with people, get outside, and exercise. It is a truly rewarding experience. In addition to the five tips listed here, we wanted to provide several other group riding resources. If you have suggestions or recommendations of your own, please check out and post on the Electric Bike Group on Facebook, the EVELO Facebook Page, or EVELO’s Twitter profile.
Not only is bicycling super fun, it’s generally very safe and easy on your body as well. It’s low impact and highly aerobic, meaning it gets your heart rate up without wearing down your body. Unlike sports such as running or basketball, you’re in no danger of colliding with another person, and your legs never have to bang into the ground. Instead, they’re moving in stress-free, low impact circles. But even the safest activities have the occasional risk, especially if you’re not adhering to proper form. One complaint we’ve heard from some of our bicycling friends is that after a long ride, their knees hurt. Unfortunately, there are a few mistakes that some riders make that ends up hurting their knees – but if you follow these six easy tips, you can knock out knee pain for good!

Keep Your Knees Straight

As you pedal, make sure you do so in perfect circles, keeping your knees straight. Any movement or wobbling to the side – either inwards or outwards – increases stress on your cartilage and knee cap as they rub together, and can lead to serious discomfort. So keep your pedaling as straight and circular as possible. 1005_knee_alignment_2(2)

Keep Your Speed Up

It’s important to keep up a decent speed as you ride, so you can maintain a fluid motion as you pump your knees and legs. Experts say that pedaling under 60 RPM (revolutions per minute) can be dangerous, and actually recommend you try to stay above 80 RPM. The trick to maintaining this speed is to make sure you are in the proper gear (so as not to be going faster than is comfortable for you.) Or if you’re finding it hard to keep pedaling at a proper speed, consider the mechanical assistance of an electric bike.

Watch Your “Float”

This advice applies to riders who use clip-in pedals, but it can make all the difference: make sure the “float” of your foot position matches the natural angle of your feet and ankles. Angling your legs too sharply radiates tension through your entire legs, and can sharply increase pressure on your knees. For the best results, keep your float under 4.5 degrees.

Move Yourself Back

Here’s another thing that you might not think impacts your knees, but absolutely does: the position of your feet, and the position of your “seat.” If you’re riding too close to your handlebars, it changes the angles your knees have to be at, and that can lead to some serious ouchies. So sit your butt further back, keep your feet planted properly on the pedals, and watch the pain glide away.

Consider Kinesio Tape

For those with extra sensitive knees, we recommend looking into kinesio, or elastic therapeutic, tape. It clings to your muscles and joints, keeping your knees in proper alignment. Unlike traditional athletic tape, it mimics your skin, allowing for a much greater degree of movement, and is clinically shown to reduce pain. wrap-it-up

Don’t Push Too Hard

This one comes down to your mentality: don’t push yourself too hard! Some people, when feeling a little pain in a body part, think they can just “push through the pain.” That might work for something like a headache, but when it comes to your knees, it’s not worth the risk. Something that may just be a minor ache today could flare up into a serious tear or worse, should you keep riding on it. So if you’re feeling a serious ouch, take a day or two off from riding, or consider switching your ebike to all-electric mode.   Do you have any favorite tips or advice for dealing with pain when you bike? Let us know your preferred methods in the comments below!
At EVELO, we’re big believers in the old adage that “age is just a number.” You can see it in our bikes and the people who love them; we’ve taken people who were 60 through 80 and had felt unhappy just sitting at home, and turned them into fun loving electric bikers, who can now cruise around town whenever they want, with or without their kids & grandkids. So, it bring us great pleasure to see another organization that’s adopted this same mentality. In Europe, Spain is building playgrounds and parks specially made for retirees and golden-agers. Check out the video below! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tziIhuTB1M You might be thinking - what’s so special about playgrounds for seniors? Well, beyond the general fact that they’re FUN, they offer a number of great benefits. First off, they encourage mobility; this keeps you more flexible and nimble, and is good for not just your joints but your heart as well. Second, by getting seniors out and about, it helps them make friends, stave off depression, and build stronger social bonds with their families and their community as a whole. Case in point, “...once you stop moving, things go badly. If you exercise you feel better,” says retiree Manuel Francisco Martin. “When you go up a couple of steps you don’t get out of breath. When you walk for 10 minutes you feel calm and relaxed.” spainsenior2 Not only are these playgrounds heart-smart, they’re smart from a fiscal perspective too. With 40 to 45 percent of Spain’s population soon to be retirees, (according to PRI) it behooves the state to keep that population healthy. Instead of dealing with huge medical bills down the line, this program instead lets them spend far more modestly on playgrounds that not only look good, but do good as well. Now that’s a win win! No playground near you? Well make your own fun, by hopping on the latest and greatest EVELO electric bike.
In many ways, an ideal place for retirement will have the amenities and benefits of a well-managed city that anyone, and not just retirees, would enjoy. We wanted to find the best cities in the US for active retirement, so in our criteria we put an emphasis on cities tailored to staying active. Many of the categories we analyzed aggregate a wider set of data, giving a more holistic view in that category. For example, the Health Score looks at access to health care, patient satisfaction, as well as taking into account resident behaviors like smoking. See below for our ranking criteria: 
  • Walk Score - Taking a stroll is a great way to get your heart rate up and to run quick errands. It’s definitely easier in some cities than others. This score gauges how pedestrian-friendly a city is based on distance to nearby places. Data from www.walkscore.com.
  • Bike Score - When the weather permits, bicycling is a great alternative to driving. This score measures the biking infrastructure for a city, including factors such as trails, hills, presence of bike lanes, road connectivity, and distance to nearby locations. Data from www.walkscore.com.
  • Average Temperature - It’s much more appealing to go outside to exercise when the weather is nice, even if you’re just heading to the gym. This ranking favors mild weather over extreme hot and cold temperatures. Data from www.usclimatedata.com.
  • Acres of Parks (per capita) - Having parks nearby provides lots of options to stay active and enjoy the weather. This is calculated per capita, since crowded parks can limit your ability to use them.
  • Environment - Having clean air and water are important factors when choosing a place to live comfortably. This score is also affected by the city’s actions and policies to promote energy efficiency. Data from livabilityindex.aarp.org.
  • Health Score - A city with a higher health score has better prevention, provides better healthcare, and makes getting care more accessible. Data from livabilityindex.aarp.org.
We analyzed 100 of America’s biggest cities and scored them with six different criteria. Those scores were added up and cities were ranked from highest scoring to lowest. Many of these top-ranking cities would likely make a fine place for an active retirement, but we looked a bit deeper in order to rank the top 10 cities on our list:

1. Irvine, CA

irvine A neighborhood view from one of Irvine’s many lush, green parks. Photo by Maziar Hooshmand.
This city tops our list as the best city for an active retirement in America. Irvine is a master-planned city in Southern California, developed by The Irvine Company, with distinct villages that each have their own services and amenities. This city ranks 6 for bike score out of the 100 cities we looked at. Irvine has provided an impressive 301 miles of on-street bike lanes, and an additional 54 miles of off-street bike paths for cyclists to enjoy. Needless to say, there are very many active cyclists here. It’s impressive that this city also ranked 13th in park acres, with 19 community parks and over 40 neighborhood parks and facilities.

2. Honolulu, HI

honolulu Rows of colorful surfboards near sunset on Waikiki Beach. Photo by Prayitno.
Hugging Oahu’s South shore, Hawaii’s capital is a very appealing place for retirement. This city has wonderful weather year round, an average temperature of 77.6F and an endless supply of breathtaking sights to enjoy outdoors. Honolulu definitely earned this number two spot since it ranked very high for almost all categories except bike score. Although not part of our original ranking criteria, a lack of bike infrastructure is easily made up for with its beach access.

3. Oakland, CA

oakland Wide paths and green views in downtown Oakland. Photo by Patrick Nouhailler.
While it’s often overlooked by its more popular neighbor (which also made the top 10), Oakland ranks number three with the rankings to show for it. If you’re retiring on a fixed income, lower living costs here paired with a 7th ranking for health score is also very appealing. Oakland ranks 22nd in bike score, and for good reason too. Cyclists have many options for routes here, since the city has it all with flat streets, hills, and a wide variety of scenery in between. And when you want to go for a stroll, Redwood Regional Park’s view and empty paths are unbeatable.

4. Fremont, CA

fremont The humbling view of Silicon Valley from Mission Peak’s summit is worth the trek! Photo by Travis Wise.
One of Alameda County’s southernmost cities is Fremont, a typical suburban community and one of the best places to retire and stay active. This city ranked 4th in park acres per capita, and it’s easy to stay active outdoors with over 25,000 acres of parks within the city. In fact, 99.5% of people in this city live within half a mile of a park or within 1 mile of a recreational facility. The great view above is a hiker’s and biker’s prize for reaching the top of Mission Peak Regional Preserve, a public park just east of Fremont.

5. New Orleans, LA

new-orleans A cyclist enjoying the bike lane on St. Claude Avenue in New Orleans. Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano.
The magical city of New Orleans lays claim to the number five spot, beating out the vast majority of other cities on our list for environment and park acres ranking. The city’s Parks and Pathways program works to maintain over 2,000 acres of its public green space, including its historic landmark, Jackson Square.

6. St. Petersburg, FL

st-petersburg Paddlers competing in a dragon boat race in St. Petersburg, FL. Photo by Walter.
This place isn’t called “The Sunshine City” for nothing! St. Petersburg ranked 4th in average temperature and holds the Guinness World Record for most consecutive days of sunshine--768 days! This city used to have a reputation for having a high population of retirees. While its residents are now more diverse in age range, St. Petersburg is still a great city for retirement.

7. San Francisco, CA

san-francisco One of the more extreme hills in Russian Hill, San Francisco. Photo by Håkan Dahlström.
The City By The Bay is huge in bike culture, and the fourth Californian city on our list. San Francisco stands out from the crowd by ranking 2nd in walk and bike scores. This city of approximately 47 square miles boasts 263 miles of bike lanes, multi-use paths, and signed bike routes. To top it off, San Francisco took 1st place out of all 100 cities in health score.

8. Seattle, WA

seattle The Space Needle near sunset in Seattle. Photo by Tiffany Von Arnim.
If you prefer to stay active and boat, hike, or bike by the coast, the Seattle lifestyle will not let you down. Seattle ranked well in every category we analyzed except average temperature and parks. It’s a little colder here throughout the year than others on our top 10 with an average temperature of 52F. However, if you prefer colder weather, you can enjoy the absence of income tax on your paychecks.

9. Madison, WI

madison An active community on State Street in Madison, WI. Photo by Richard Hurd.
This college town is often lauded for its accommodation for bicyclists, which falls in line with its 3rd place bike score rank among all 100 cities in the study. Madison has developed a large network of bike paths and lanes within the city in addition to its 200 miles of biking and hiking trails. Madison sports an abundance of health resources including 11 accredited hospitals, and claimed the 9th spot for health score.

10. Plano, TX

plano Playing catch at Russell Creek Park in Plano, TX. Photo by Nan Palmero.
With no single rankings that stand out in our study, Plano pulls into the top ten of our list with solid rankings across the board. This city ranks 23 for average temperature with mild winters for those who don’t like it super cold. This city has invested heavily into its parks, has a very low crime rate and has a great vibe that has attracted many empty-nesters. Active-Retirement-Cities
Retirees and senior citizens can face a number of unique challenges, such as staying fit, retaining mobility, connecting with their grandkids, and more. Fitness fads come and go, old injuries flare up, and families move, presenting unique issues that seem to change every week. But with any challenge comes a tremendous opportunity, and fortunately that’s exactly the case here. Smart seniors have a solution that lets them stay healthy and mobile, have fun with their friends and family, and most importantly - get in shape! So what’s the best way to stay strong as you enter your golden years? Electric bicycles! Let’s break down the challenges seniors face one by one, and see how an ebike is the perfect way to stay active no matter what your age.

Staying in Shape

There’s no way of sugar coating this hard truth: as you get older, exercising becomes trickier. Bones creek, old injuries flare up, and certain ailments like high blood pressure can make certain activities dangerous. After all, there’s a reason you don’t see many 50 year olds playing football! There are two things a senior should look for in an exercise regimen: that it’s aerobic, and that it’s low impact. Aerobic, or cardio, means that the routine gets your heart pumping faster, which increases the the calories you burn and muscle you build, while help staving off heart disease. Low impact means that the exercise is easy on your body, as in you’re not hitting your knees against tough pavement or getting pummelled by opposing players. This means we can rule out activities like weightlifting, as that doesn’t get your heart rate up. Running, basketball, or hockey can also be perilous, as the impact could potentially damage fraile bodies. A classic example of a sport that is cardio and low impact would be swimming: it gets your heart way up, and since you’re just gliding through water, there’s almost no impact to injure you. But, most people don’t have access to pools that often. Do you know what EVERYONE does has access to? Roads, streets and trails! That’s why bicycling is the perfect activity for seniors. It gets your heart rate up, and since your legs and just gliding in perfect circles, there’s very little “impact” to hurt your body. That’s why organizations like the AARP recommend bicycling to their members. And if bicycling is good, electric biking is even better. For starters, it lets inexperienced riders quickly get comfortable, as they don’t have to worry about going to slow, or getting overly out of breath. It also lets any rider dramatically expand their range, as they can now complement their leg muscles with the smooth boost of electric power, whenever they want. And if you go on a lovely ride and decide you don’t want to pedal on your way back, just let the batteries do all the work for you! ballerina-bicycle-fitness-man-old-health-forest-trees-park-tree-exercise-dance-dancing-race-1542502

Increased Mobility

If there’s one thing you can say about Americans of any age, it’s that they love their mobility: the freedom to travel, unfettered access to our country’s beautiful cities and natural wonders — it’s all a part of the American dream! But some seniors find that as they age, getting around can be trickier. Maybe they’re not as comfortable driving their car at all times. Maybe the high cost of gasoline has got you worried about your pocketbook. Maybe you’re environmentally conscious and don’t like the idea of burning fuel to run simple errands around town. Alternatively, maybe you love to travel, and are looking for a mode of transport that will complement your RVing or road trips. Or perhaps you’ve just been eyeing the beautiful riding trails that are more and more popular all across the country. With an electric bike, all this mobility will be yours again. Riding a bike gets you across distances about 3 to 4 times as fast as walking. And when you add in some electric boost, you could be going up 20 miles per hour. That’s faster than those cars sitting in traffic! What about range? Well, select EVELOs can go up to 60 miles on one charge. That’s more than enough to tackle most any beautiful trail or ride to the market and back again, with plenty of room to spare. With an electric bike, the only limitation is your imagination! woman-with-bicycle-1436155

Family Fun

Have you been looking to reconnect with your family and friends? Or maybe there are community members and events you’d like to better engage with. With an electric bike, you can do any of those things. There are few things that bring people together quite like riding a bike. The serenity of nature surrounds you, the smell of leaves is complemented by a rush of endorphins as you and your loved ones head down your chosen path. But without a little electrical assistance, some seniors find their grandkids will race way ahead of them, or get testy waiting for grandma and grandpa to catch up. With an electric bike, you’ll be the one kicking THEIR butts! Joking aside, an ebike will more than let you keep up with the kiddos, and allow you to set the course and choose the adventure as you head down the bike path. But bike rides aren’t just for families. We’ve seen more than our fair share of friendships rekindled with a shared love of biking. Whether it’s to a beautiful destination or events around town, getting somewhere on bike really brings friends, both old and new, together. No matter where you live, there are sure to be great bike events for you to participate in. And that really is the best part of it; once you’re on your bike you’ll be having fun, being mobile, and staying in shape — all at once!

Guaranteed Good Times

So what are you waiting for? Nowadays there are countless different electric bicycles out there, all ready for riders of different skills and sizes. Plus, some brands, such as EVELO, even offer trial periods that ensure you’ll love your bicycle and are happy with your purchase. The sooner you can get yourself on an ebike, the sooner you can be having fun, losing weight, gaining muscle, and staying fit. With an electric bicycle - you’ll feel like a kid again! A healthy, happy, and fit kid, to be specific. So, we hope to see you out there on your ebike sometime soon. Happy riding, Team EVELO