Cool Gear

Wheels of Delight – eBiking Nantucket

We’re on Nantucket for 5 days with a flotilla of other boaters.

Our Flotilla in the Fog…

Although the virus is still around us, there hasn’t been a single new case on the island for a month.

Tourists leaving the ferry…

As we’ve observed everywhere we travel, people have a serious pent up desire to socialize again and our little dock inside The Nantucket Boat Basin is no exception.

We’ve been enjoying cocktail parties with friends and a lot of great dining – outdoors of course!

David, Nicole, Monette, and Doc Ruel

This also means we’ve been consuming more than we should and we need a fun way to burn off those extra calories!

The Virtues of eBiking

My daughter and her husband live in San Elijo Hills near San Diego. As the name implies, it’s a very hilly area. A few years back they bought a couple of very nice Townie eBikes so they could get around. One day I borrowed one and became immediately addicted.

Since then, I’ve bought two and gotten to the point where my days just aren’t complete until I’ve put in 15-35 miles.

Although it looks like regular biking, it’s totally different. To me, it’s more like alpine skiing where a machine (the ski lift) takes you up and gravity helps you down. In the meantime you’re getting hours and hours of low impact exercise surrounded by beautiful scenery.

I can tell you from my fitness tracker that it’s takes about an hour and a half of low assistance pedaling on an eBike to equal one hour of exercise on a regular bike.

But due to my arthritic knees, an hour is about all I can do before I’m forced to stop in pain. On my eBike I can ride for hours and ultimately get more exercise along the way.

I’m happy to report that eBike rental shops are opening up in many of the seaside ports we visit and as of today, there are even a couple here on Nantucket.

Wheels of Delight

After a little google research, I settled on Wheels of Delight to rent our eBikes from. I like that they rent by the hour and that they give prospective customers a lot of information about the actual bikes they rent on their website.

While I tend to splurge for the best bike I can afford when I buy, I go for the least expensive bike for the job when I rent.

In the case of Wheels of Delight, we chose the Raleigh Venture for $25/hour.

It turned out to be an excellent eBike with a powerful engine and pretty much the same drivetrain as my kids $3,000 Townies.

Both of my eBikes have throttles so they can be driven like an electric moped at 30 MPH or more. It’s a great feature, but it can be dangerous for the rookie eBiker.

The Raleigh Venture does not have this feature and I think that makes them safer and easier for newbies to master.

Before I get into the details of this bike shop, let me point out that google, yelp, and pretty much everyone else will direct you to the wrong address – 4 South Beach Street. They’re actually located on 4 South Beach Street EXTENSION.

It’s literally a hole in the wall and you have to be careful to avoid standing in the path of cars passing by inches away.

We received excellent service from the sole employee, a young man named Aayush…

Not only did Aayush provide great service, but he was obviously very proud of Wheels of Delight and told me they opened in part to provide an alternative to mopeds that most islanders hate and which result in hundreds of tourist injuries every year.

eBiking Nantucket

Last year Mrs. Horne and I rented regular bikes and rode around downtown. It was nice, but a little challenging. The old streets on Nantucket are narrow and it seemed like a car was passing us every minute or two.

The Raleigh’s we rented traveled at 20-25 MPH with a little moderate peddling which meant we could travel as fast as most cars, which also meant no one was pushing us over so they could pass.

We headed north and ended up at The Cliffside Beach Club and Hotel…

This is a great little spot located well out of town…

We talked about coming back for lunch today, but concluded that the logistics didn’t work.

Nantucket Bike Paths

Shortly after we left Cliffside, we discovered a wonderful little bike path that ran through the countryside and forest…

The Raleigh’s didn’t have an odometer, so I’m not sure how long these scenic paths were, but I’d say we spent over an hour on them at 13-15 miles an hour, so they’re pretty long.

Back Again Today!

We typically rent Jeep’s and head out to Great Point Lighthouse on the day before Father’s Day. Unfortunately, all the jeeps on the island are rented out, so we’re going back to Wheels of Delight and renting again.

My original thinking was to just reverse the route we took yesterday, but after a little research, I discovered that there are great bike paths all over Nantucket.

Nantucket Bike Paths

I got this map from The Nantucket Regional Transportation Authority website.

I’m not done researching yet, but I suspect we’ll be heading East around the big loop.

If you’re on Nantucket, looking for a little adventure and needing to burn some extra calories, give Wheels of Delight a try. It’s definitely on my Top 5 list of “ Things to do on Nantucket.”

POSTSCRIPT

We did rent again today and made the fabulous 20 mile run out to Sankaty Lighthouse…

I met Tobias the owner when we got back and he told me that all their bikes were charged from solar panels on the roof.

“You literally rode all morning on sunshine…” He said.

Quite cool!

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