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As an Angeleno, I'll admit some of the stereotypes are true. Yes, I prefer non-dairy milk. Yes, I get chilly when it drops below 68 degrees. And yes, I spent entirely too much time in my car.
At least until recently. Though I'm surrounded by an embarrassment of natural riches here in Southern California, with the beach, the desert and the mountains all within a stone's throw, I'd too often seen those vistas from behind my driver's side window. So I set my mind on looking into a bike -- and not just any old bike. An e-bike.
Because though I might have fantasies of winning the Tour de France one day, here in reality I need to travel long distances with the same comfort, safety and ease my car affords me. Electric bicycles were clearly the way to go: the pedal-assisted motor makes any terrain a breeze, not to mention the help it gives keeping up with traffic.
That helped narrow down the field immensely -- now all I needed to find was a model that was as stylish as it was functional. A search that led me immediately to Bluejay Bikes.
IT'S LIKE RIDING A BIKE…
You probably remember what it felt like to ride a bike for the first time: that sense of joy, of total adventure. Founder Jen Cohen Bogan sure does. It's something she hadn't experienced in decades until she tried her hand at riding an e-bike. The powerful motor made biking feel as easy and spontaneous as it did in her training wheel days -- a far cry from huffing and puffing on a road bike across town.
Thus began her mission to design the perfect e-bike, one that had the carefree ease of a beach cruiser but could fire up some real torque when needed. She delivered in spades with Bluejay's flagship Premiere Edition ($3,295), with its classic, nostalgic look, right down to the wicker basket. Though it might look lightweight (and rides dreamily, thanks to a comfy saddle and ergonomic handlebars), it's got a powerful 350-watt motor and a long-lasting battery -- enough to power up to 75 miles of riding.
For the real cycling enthusiasts Bluejay can do you one better. Their Sport model ($3,995) is leaner and meaner, with a 500-watt motor that makes it legal to ride on almost any roadway. The lightweight frame supports riders of all heights and weights, and the 10-speed Shimano gear hub delivers a smooth, assured ride up even the steepest hills. Perfect for putting those all-road tires to good use.
So with all that in mind, I had a dilemma to resolve. Indulge my laid-back man about town side or leap at the chance to unleash my inner roadster? The beauty of Bluejay is that either bike can do both. It comes down to personal preference. I opted for the Bluejay Sport, which boasts a clean road-bike aesthetic that packs a serious punch. Topping out at 28 mph, the Bluejay Sport makes riding a bike incredibly fun and convenient.
I’m not usually one with a need for speed – I tend to be measured and conservative when it comes to all things dare-devil. I leave the rush-chasing to my wife, who craves fast cars, roller coasters, and other thrill seeking adventures. But when it comes to bikes and cruising around cities, I have a long history of taking risks and enjoying the urban trek environment. In fact, some of my fondest memories of my time living in New York City were cruising Manhattan on a Citibike.
In the five years since I moved back to LA from New York, I’d missed my biking adventures. That’s what I loved most about my Bluejay Sport experience once it arrived: I was able to add back in a sense of spontaneity and adventure I had been missing since my stint on the east coast. Add in the convenience the robust motoring system provides to a city like LA with a range of topography (read: hills!), and you’ll likely never want to ride another bike around town again.
The streamlined design of Bluejay’s line of bikes is also hard to beat, particularly in the e-bike space. I’ve been impressed with the riding experience – everything from the ride’s comfort to the battery range. And when a friend and I made it from the east side of LA to Santa Monica Beach (and back) in only a handful of hours, it was apparent how powerful an unlock the Bluejay Sport bike would be for my lifestyle. We’re currently a one-car household and I trust we’ll stay that way awhile longer with our e-bikes now an essential piece of our commuting strategy.
If it wasn't clear already, I'm a die-hard convert. My Bluejay gets me wherever I need to go: from popping down to the store to climbing my way up the canyons. The cardio fanatic in me loves turning off the motor for some extra effort until my inner sightseer cranks that motor assist back on just to enjoy the view. That flexibility alone is worth rave reviews, and to find it in such a gorgeous package is truly the cherry on a damn good sundae.
FIVE MORE REASONS TO LOVE BLUEJAY BIKES
- Bluejay has also curated a fab lineup of accessories to enhance your e-bike experience, offering everything from phone mounts to panniers.
- They're as confident in their product as it gets, from the 2-year warranty to the 30-day return policy.
- Baby on board! Parents will be stoked to learn that the Bluejay's rear rack can support us to 55 lbs and is compatible with the Thule Yepp Maxi Child Seat.
- Put your personal spin on things by choosing your color: the Premiere Edition is available in nine different shades.
- Compared to our gas-guzzling cars, e-bikes do wonders for reducing your carbon footprint -- in fact, they're considered zero-emission vehicles.
Hit the road in sustainable style at bluejaybikes.com!