Bike Life Adventures With Dirty Gertie Vol. 3

Turbo Levo SL
It's been over a month since I purchased my Specialized Turbo Levo SL and I will admit, I have not ridden Dirty Gertie as much as I would like. The year has been atypical with the number of days I've been able to go out for rides. Work is still extremely busy, which is great, but that also poses challenges. Free time is minimal and supper is eaten late at night (anywhere between 9 and 10 p.m.)

All I can say is thank goodness this bike exists because when I do have the time to ride, I can fully enjoy it!

I'm truly hoping that we will be able to ride some trails elsewhere this year because I'd love to take this bike out and ride for hours on end and really put her through the test. My plan at this point, is to get a range extender closer to the fall months so I'll be prepared if we are able to take a long weekend to go mountain biking elsewhere.

During this first whole month of riding the Turbo Levo SL, I can say that I feel confident with the handling of the bike. I haven't felt any need to go away from the tire choice I chose (2.3 Ground Control tires). I have not had any battery nor motor issues, and I'm often riding this bike to work and back on a daily basis, plus taking it on the trails for 10+ mile rides.

What I've been enjoying most about this bike is if I need to take it easy, I can. I also love that I can just ride my ride without worrying about losing my breath or feeling like crap because I pushed myself too hard. Travis and I went for a ride one afternoon, he was on a Levo and I was on my Levo SL. We were still riding how we typically ride (Travis can zoom far ahead!) but the nice thing was I could work on keeping up with him and not feel completely gassed. I might be slower than Travis (considering I was on the SL) but it wasn't a pain to catch back up. Normally after catching back up I'd need to have a breather, but on the Levo SL I was ready to keep going and didn't need a break except to have some sips of water. (Haven't been using a Camelbak.)

Now, as I talk more about my bike I have gotten the tongue in cheek "You're cheating!" comments. Some folks might say it and actually mean it in a negative way, and my response would be to say "You do you and leave me to me."
Specialized Turbo Levo SL
Often, negative comments about pedal-assist bikes are made by folks who haven't ridden one and/or simply do not understand why someone would seek that style of bicycle out. In my opinion, there is or will be, a pedal-assist bicycle out there for everyone at some point. It's more or less figuring out what kind of assist power you want. Technology is changing rapidly and the fact that you can now purchase an E-MTB that is under 50lbs is (in my opinion) absolutely amazing

Now that I have an E-MTB I can fully understand why folks love them and I am seeing first hand how it makes riding so much more enjoyable for me. I think if folks are used to feeling uncomfortable when riding, you develop an acceptance to it to a degree. Until you have the opportunity to experience a ride first hand without suffering, you would have no idea that you could actually ride and feel good.

Every person and every body is different, some folks have respiratory challenges (I do!) and some folks may have physical ailments or challenges. I think as humans, we are sometimes way too prideful on what we can physically accomplish that we will shut out anything new and different that could potentially help us have a more positive experience. 

It seems we are conditioned to believe if we aren't "suffering" then we aren't working "hard." If we aren't working "hard" then there is nothing to brag about to our friends or to receive kudos on. Suffering is something that I decided I needed a break from. I wasn't gaining anything from suffering during my rides. In fact, it was making me burn out during the prime riding season because I was putting so much pressure on myself to try and beat QOM times and/or to try and become stronger and more fit. I'll be honest, I do not train, and I'm not interested in training for anything. 

My fitness is where it's going to be at and I don't like being uncomfortable for extended periods of time to simply try and become stronger, better, or faster. I'm where I'm at and I like where I'm at. I'm confident with how fast I go and this year, I do not have time to try and "become better." Really, all I want to do is to enjoy life and have fun- not suffer during my rides, not worry about speed, QOMs, or anything of the sort. I just want to ride my bike.

Being able to experience mountain biking without my lungs trying to betray me has been a wonderful experience. Being able to ride 17 miles on our local trails without triggering water knee is something I'm grateful for. I feel way more confident with riding extra miles knowing that I have something that will help my body out rather than pushing it past its limits and taking the fun out of it. I truly feel this bike is going to continue to open up doors for me and it will (in the long haul) help me enjoy riding on all of my mountain bikes in the end. So before you tell someone who is riding pedal-assist that they are cheating, maybe ask them if you can try their bike out and see what all of the fuss is about. You don't have to go out and buy a pedal-assist bike, but you can at least open your eyes to how they can be beneficial for those of us who might have limitations that no amount of "training" will "fix." I believe we all have the same right to having a joyful time in the outdoors so long as we do so respectfully and safely.
Specialized Turbo Levo SL
Bonus Material!
Being that I have limited time this year to make videos with my GoPro, I'm sharing links to some YouTube videos that will more light on the bike I'm riding as well as some good "food for thought" viewing on pedal-assist E-MTB bikes in general. Enjoy!

The New Wheel Electric Bikes Turbo Levo SL review