CAMPING GEAR

E-Bike Empowers Cyclist to Keep His Passion, Aid His Community

Belgian cyclist Clark Aerbeydt, 75, was first inspired to ride by his father. Now, an e-bike assists his ailing knees so he can ‘just enjoy the ride.’ And his friends in the hand-bike community benefit too.

As the Socratic saying goes, “Sound mind, sound body.” In this short by Kona Bicycles, cyclist Clark Aerbeydt is quieting his inner demons — whether that’s racing thoughts, distractions, or stress — by biking.

Kona teased, “Clark has spent his life on two wheels. He’s raced motorcycles, road bikes, and he’s raced his mind into dark places. Like many of us, Clark uses the bike to recenter and find his own personal freedom. Throughout his life, he’s turned to the solace found on two wheels.”

His ride of choice? The brand-new Kona Libre EL e-bike. Yes, it’s electric, but this bike is a sleek, adventurous beast. It’s built on an aluminum frame with a Verso Full Carbon Flat Mount Disc fork, WTB Venture TCS tires, and a WTB Volt saddle.

gravel cycling
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Aerbeydt said, “My choice for an electric gravel bike is very simple: knee problems, a bit harder to ride upwind, and also finding it hard to keep up with my partner. This actually was the best decision I ever made. Now, I’m just enjoying the ride instead of suffering.”

Like its CR/DL sibling, the Libre EL runs a gravel-specific drivetrain and brakes. It’s also got a Shimano motor and internal battery, Formula hubs, stainless steel spokes, and comes in both (1) gravel/urban and (2) MTB/all-mountain configurations. Check out the 2022 Kona Libre EL e-bike here.

cyclist clark aerbeydt
Clark Aerbeydt

The fresh new ride aside, this film is a good watch. It’s eerie, inspiring. Aerbeydt is passionate. He’s found purpose in helping grow the hand-bike community in his town. And he’s here to share that with the world.

He said, “What I also do with great passion is supporting my friends in the hand-bike club. And that kindled a very warm friendship.”

Film by Willem Volker and David Doom; photography by David Doom

Lael Wilcox gravel riding in Alaska alone a road with a oil pipeline up a mountain in the background
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