Ecotric Hammer: An E-Bike Experience on the Missisquoi Trail
When I first heard about Dennis Cota, he had been interviewed by a local paper, the Saint Albans Messenger and this piqued my interest. I was compelled by his story and looked forward to hearing and sharing his passion for biking and his experience with his e-bike with our readers. He is also a valued customer of All Around E-Bikes. We’re happy to share his experience with you.
AAEB: “What do you enjoy most about your Ecotric Hammer?”
DC: “Having this e-bike has given me freedom and makes it easier for me to get out to see the scenic views in my area.
I have bad knees and it becomes impossible for me to ride as much as I wanted to.”
AAEB: “How many miles do you ride on average?”
DC: “I ride about 25 miles a day - sometimes up to 45 miles a day.
Just depends on how I feel that day and of course, depending on the heat. I live very close to the Missisquoi Trail in northern Vermont. It’s an old railroad, with lots of amazing scenery, like swamps, wildlife. Has a back road feel, which I really like. I can even ride into Canada on this trail.
AAEB: “How long did you research before making a buying decision?”
DC: “I spent a couple of years researching only e-bikes to see what they had out there.
AAEB: “What were your biggest concerns about buying an electric bike?”
DC: “ My main concern was battery power, I wanted to make sure if I was out on a 20-mile ride or longer that I wouldn’t be stuck somewhere. I needed something that would last for when I was out on longer rides. Also, having peddle assist for my bad knees was really important. Having that help changes the whole experience.
AAEB: “How long have you owned your Ecotric Hammer?
DC: “ I got it from All Around E-Bikes in February or March of this year.”
AAEB: “Did you assemble the bike yourself?”
DC: “Yes, I did, and it was pretty easy. I’m pretty mechanically inclined, so it wasn’t too bad. It came 90% assembled. Helps that I had also assembled my girlfriend’s bike.”
AAEB: “How is riding an electric bike different from riding a traditional bike?”
DC: “It’s a lot heavier - you can feel the difference.
Takes much less effort than a traditional bike, which can be lighter weight. For me, I can ride my Hammer with back, knee, etc. issues. Makes it easier to get out on trails.”
AAEB: “Do you feel comfortable taking on hills with your electric bike?
DC: “Yes, when I have the throttle option on it’s great. Makes is so much easier than riding a traditional bike. Especially if you have bad knees or other physical challenges that have prevented you from riding.
AAEB: “Have you ever gotten stranded?”
DC: “Nope - I always plugin right after getting back from riding. So it’s always charged up.”
AAEB: “Do you feel like you’re getting real exercise or do you feel like riding an e-bike is cheating?”
DC: “Yes, definitely, it’s real exercise. You have the option to “bike” or use the battery. It’s nice to have that option. Especially on long hills - prevents pain to my knee. I can leave for a ride about 8 or 9:30 a.m. and get back before the day is half over. And still, have the energy to continue my day.”
AAEB: “Do you ride on paved trails or off-road?”
DC: “Mostly paved trails. I do some off-road, especially this summer. I ride daily on paved trails. There’s a lot of construction in my area, so it makes for hard riding on regular roads.”
AAEB: “Do you see wildlife while riding your bike?”
DC: “Yes, lots. When I’m on the Missisquoi Trail I see deer, turtles. No bears yet. ducks, geese. Lots of wildlife. It’s pretty great.”
AAEB: “Have you met anyone interesting while on your e-bike?”
DC: “I met an old friend that I used to work with on the Missisquoi Trail and now we ride together every day. We always worked different shifts so we didn’t know each other that well. Now we’re planning a bigger ride for the changing leaves this Fall.”
AAEB: “What extra gear if any do you carry with you on your bike?”
DC: “I carry a small bag for my phone, extra water. Maybe some energy bars.”
AAEB: “Are you a member of a bike club or do you ride solo?”
DC: “No, they’re more in the city. I just meet up with friends.”
AAEB: “What suggestions do you have for someone who has not been on a bike for several years?”
DC: “I would suggest wearing knee pads and a helmet.
Though it’s true that you never forget, an e-bike is very different, especially if it has the assist on all the time. Ride a regular bike before getting on an electric
bike. Go for about an hour or so. Then when you get on the e-bike do it on a secluded trail. Practice is key. Also, if you can handle a larger bike I would definitely recommend the Hammer. It’s a solid bike.