Breaking the ‘cycle’
Fun ways to get around town
Posted: January 25, 2013
Designed for jaunts around the neighborhood, adult trikes are also making appearances in retirement communities as a form of exercise. (Photo by Aimee George / DN-R, Features)
Unicycles have moved out of the circus tent and into the world of all-terrain adventures, with models for kids of all ages. (Photo by Aimee George / DN-R, Features)
Operating under the slogan “Enjoy the ride,” owner of Mole Hill Bikes, Gerald Knicely, seeks to provide comfort and family fitness first. Instead of steering customers toward what’s trendy, Knicely says at the shop, they strive to first learn the rider’s needs.
Frequency of rides, who you’ll be riding with, budget and distances traveled are the primary factors considered when helping customers pick the right bike.
Here are a few of the more unusual spoke-spinning options found in the Knicelys’ Dayton shop.
Price Range: $100-300
Not just for clowns, the unicycles hanging from Mole Hill’s ceiling span from tot-sized to rugged models fit for an all-terrain adventurer. Knicely’s 14-year-old son even takes his out onto the mountain paths.
“It’s a skill thing,” he says. “Unicycles build skill, build determination ... You’re not going to just jump on a unicycle and go.”
Price Range: $400-600
Trikes, with their three-wheeling design and smaller gear sets, are best suited for those looking for stability over speed. They’re made for jaunts around neighborhoods or retirement communities with flat, even terrain, not long-distance riding in traffic.
“The adult trike is more to get out of the house and get some form of exercise,” says Knicely.
Price Range: $1,200-2000
Not to be confused with scooters, electric-hybrid bikes offer assistance over long distances and hilly terrain, using lithium ion batteries.
“They open the door for someone who just wants to get outside, but doesn’t want to deal with the hills,” Knicely says. Electric-assist technology virtually “flattens out” inclines, he continues — lifting the front wheel and putting pressure on a pedal, as the wheel starts spinning.
Because it still requires some pedaling, the hybrid offers “some exercise, but it’s a controlled exercise,” he says.
The battery-powered packs make riding to work and back, or alongside a more experienced cyclist, less daunting — more than 45 to 50 miles.
While the thousand-plus dollar investment may be a stumbling block, Knicely says some customers see the electric-assist as a fresher-air alternative to a stationary exercise bike.