Have you ever made plans for a great afternoon with friends and been surprised by something that made it the best it could possibly be. Maybe a good friend dropped in that you haven’t seen in a long time or maybe the weather was forecast to be bad but it turned out to be absolutely perfect. On Sunday Oct 18, 2015, I got to experience one of those absolutely pleasant surprises.
I had made arrangements for a Sunday afternoon ride in Siloam Springs with my very special friend Ben Jones, the owner of Dogwood Junction Bike and Trike shop. When I called him up to confirm final arrangements, Ben said he had a special surprise he wanted me to try out on our ride. I was excited.
When Ben says he wants me to try something new I am always happy to oblige. He said with a smile he had installed a Bionx Power Assist on a Terratrike Sportster the night before and he wanted me to use it on our ride. He also said we were going to do the whole Dogwood Springs Trail – some 14 miles. I cringed just a bit. I am 60 years. I know that is the new “40” but these muscles aren’t what they used to be for sure. There are good days, ok days and I don’t want to ride days because of my body limitations. Ben smiled again. He said this Bionx will do just great for you! After a brief demonstration we set off.
The weather was outstanding – a clear fall day. We started out from Ben’s store near Highway 412. We picked up the trail near the old high school. We rode around John Brown University. We rode through historic downtown Siloam Springs. We rode through all the parks. We rode the whole 14 miles. We even had an opportunity to play around a little with the Bionx at the new high school. I clocked myself at 25 miles per hour. It was wonderful! I was able to keep ahead of the boys. I wasn’t covered in sweat. My muscles didn’t ache … unbelievable!
The Bionx Power Assist looks like a fat cargo rack over the rear wheel. The rear wheel looks like a normal 26 inch bicycle wheel with a fat hub. There is also a really cool looking high tech touch screen control panel that attaches to one of the handle bars. What it does is multiply your pedaling power. Boy does it! At one point I was going 25 miles per hour with very little effort. Hills? What hills? The Bionx made mole hills out of mountains. I tried all levels of assist. I really liked the versatility of the power assist. Ben showed me the “negative” setting that charges the battery as you pedal. This will give you a real work out! Needless to say I didn’t do that very long. Best just to plug the battery up to the charger at the shop. Ben says this will give you about 65 miles of assist at full power (the setting I like most for up hill). This afternoon I was truly a “Bionx Woman”.
Many cyclist may say that this is “cheating” but I strongly disagree. If you want the help it is there for you and when you don’t … you do not have to use it. It is perfect for those long rides when you are sore and tired or for those times when you are riding with stronger, more advanced riders and just want to stay up with the group. If you ever get a chance to try out a Bionx Power Assist you will love it! It will definitely make a significant difference in your cycling experience.