Pedego WatchComment below by December 22 for a chance to win one of 10 Pedego watches ($100 value)!

Remember how liberating it felt to just get on your bike and ride off to new adventures when you were a kid?

Thanks to electric bikes, boomers are discovering it’s still possible to experience that freedom and joy at this stage of their lives. E-bike sales are growing at a rate of 20% annually and are expected to climb even higher as people realize their many benefits and spread the word.

I rode an electric bike from Pedego, the industry’s leader, when I was visiting Long Beach earlier this year. Their sales are more than double that industry average, and it’s no wonder. I was amazed that, although it had been more than three decades since I had ridden, it really was, well, like riding a bike! 

Actually, it was even better because I could pedal when I wanted to and let the bike take over when I didn’t.

Here are five reasons you should put a Pedego on the top of your holiday wish list – or buy one yourself to start the new year off right.

1. It’s great exercise.

If you don’t believe it, ask Rhonda Martin, who lost almost 300 pounds riding her electric bike. The 43-year-old credits the Pedego with getting her started on her triumphant weight loss journey. “Exercise was a challenge, and the electric bike made all the difference in helping me live rather than just exist,” she says. Martin now participates in triathlons and half-marathons, and is training for her first Iron Man.

2. It keeps you active and healthy.

By riding her electric bike, 56-year-old Suzanne Burke has been able to control her high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes. According to her, “90 days on the e-bike did far more than months of dieting and pedaling a standard bike. My doctor even called to congratulate me on losing 25 pounds and achieving remarkable test results.” Many boomers are turning to electric bikes to commute to work because they can save gas money, be “green” and arrive at the office without being sweaty and exhausted.

3. It’s social.

E-bikers regularly gather for rides and events at the 800 Pedego stores around the world but the electric bike also gives riders the opportunity to ride with even the most skilled standard riders. For example, at the age of 57, Cathy Rogers became the first woman to ride an electric bike across the country. She rode almost 3000 miles in the Big Ride Across America, where she got to meet people of all ages and athletic abilities. She calls the bike “the great equalizer” which empowered her to feel capable and confident. 

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4. It will energize your marriage.

One of the reasons Don DiCostanzo and Terry Sherry founded Pedego to begin with was because Terry and his wife were no longer enjoying their weekend bike rides due to the hills in their neighborhood. The electric bikes solved this problem and made their rides together something to look forward to at the end of the week. Cathy Rogers agrees that the electric bike made it possible for her to do the Big Ride Across America with her husband and brought them closer together as they bonded over this shared once-in-a-lifetime experience.

5. It’s fun! 

I can attest to this just from my one ride along the beach. I would never have thought I’d be back on a bike at the age of 55, and the feeling of being able to ride for miles, taking in the beautiful ocean view with the wind in my hair and no worries about becoming too tired to turn around and ride home was not just exhilarating – it was electric.

Pedego WatchComment below by December 22 for a chance to win one of 10 Pedego watches ($100 value)!

Lois Alter Mark blogs at Midlife at the Oasis and is a regular contributor to Huffington Post. She is the reigning champion of Blogger Idol and was recently named Humor Writer of the Month by Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop. Lois won BlogHer Voices of the Year Awards in 2012 and 2013, and writes regularly on pop culture and travel. Because of her blog, Oprah Winfrey selected her as an Ultimate Viewer and took her to Australia on the trip of a lifetime. A member of the San Diego Film Critics Society, she was the Flicks for Kids editor at NickJr.com and a contributing writer for Entertainment Weekly for more than a decade. Transplanted New Yorkers, Lois and her husband of 32 years now live in San Diego, where they have turned into weather wimps and complain about the pizza. Their grown kids are, of course, both on the East Coast. You can follow Lois on Facebook or Twitter.