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New business helps clients enjoy the outdoors at their own pace

Audrey Barriault, her husband Justin and their sidekick "Charlie" are excited to announce the opening of their new business, Lakes Region Ebikes, through which adults of all ages and athletic abilities can now get out and explore the great outdoors any time of the year. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
October 13, 2021
SANBORNTON – A new business has arrived to help people take in the beauty of the Lakes Region while enjoying fresh air and getting exercise at a level they are physically most comfortable with at the same time.

Lakes Region Ebikes came about when Audrey Barriault and her husband Justin were brainstorming ways she could change her career path to a direction where she would be happiest. After a career of working in the sale of library books, she decided that her next step would be somewhere outside of the office scene. Audrey also has a knack for creativity and Justin said, "I wanted her to be creative and use her skills."

It turns out that the Barriaults also love nothing more than a great adventure, whether it be hiking, snowmobiling, riding their ATV or any other recreational opportunities afforded in New Hampshire and beyond.

Justin began thinking about those adventures then came up with the idea of encouraging more to bicycle, Ebikes in particular where people of all ages could challenge themselves to pedaling as much as possible or simply let the bike help them up the next steep hill.

Audrey said that her Ebikes can even get her up the long, steep slope on Burleigh Hill Road in Sanbornton better than any typical pedal bike.

"It's so much easier to ride up that hill on an Ebike," she said.

But their new focus is not on paved roadways in the area. It's about heading out on trails where there is so much more to enjoy.

The couple have explored all the local biking trails, including the WOW Trail through Laconia, the Winnipesaukee River Trail from Tilton to Franklin, and the Northern Rail Trail, running along Rte. 4 from Franklin to Lebanon.

"I really love that trail. The WOW trail is paved and makes for a really pretty, easy ride and there's so much history and sights to see on the Winni trail, too. Personally, I prefer the gravel trails," Audrey said.

That's the best part of Lakes Region Ebikes though- people can chose their own adventure. Justin said their idea is to introduce people to the beauty of the wildlife, plants, vistas and waterways of Central New Hampshire. He and his wife began their venture by exploring each of those three major trails then sat down and compiled an itinerary for each. Included are points of interest, historic notes, and even places just off the trails to shop or enjoy a good meal. The couple also looks to establish a partnership with each of those nonprofit trail organizations.

"We really hope our Ebike business will add to the community," said Justin.

Audrey said that the bikes are all new Surface 604 electric bicycles in two adult sizes, with fat tires that can handle all types of riding surfaces, including snow. Each is equipped with hand brakes along with a control lever for adjusting the level of pedaling. Level One provides more of a workout for the rider, pedaling mostly on their own, then progresses gradually up to Level Five where the electric components take on most of the forward movement with little pedaling required.

Justin said he has problems with his knees but recently traveled 19 miles with ease on the Ebike.

"I couldn't pedal that far on my own right now," he said. "That's what's great about an Ebike. It can do a lot of that work for you. People can get out and go farther on one, and that opens up a lot of places and sights they might not otherwise get to see."

Their bikes are also equipped with light-sensor headlights on the front and brake lights on the rear for safety. There are two racks, one on the back for the cooler they provide for lunch and cold drinks, and one on the front to strap on extra clothing, photography equipment or whatever else they want to bring on their adventure. There is also a cell phone charging port below the seat as well as a bell on the handlebars to alert other cyclists of your approach.

Perhaps the greatest advantage to renting from Lakes Region Ebikes is that they will transport the equipment to the local trail of your choice, be it the paved WOW trail along the lake and river in Laconia, the historic riverside trail from Tilton to Franklin, the lengthy Northern Rail Trail or any other location they may want to explore.

"We're flexible," Audrey said.

Once at the trail entrance, she will go over the mechanisms of the cycles, provide her customers with one of her laminated maps then wish them all a great adventure. And when the trip is done, she'll be there to pick the bikes back up again.

Lakes Region Ebikes is open seven days/week, 365 days a year. They currently offer rentals for one, two and four hour trips, starting at $35 then gently rising in price from there. Before and after work rentals are also available for people who might want to get in a morning workout or enjoy a relaxing ride after a busy day. Riders must be at least 18-years-old to rent the bikes, but those ages 14-18 may do so with an accompanying parent or guardian.

As this new recreational opportunity kicks off in time for fall foliage viewing, Audrey said she will continue to grow the company, including special riding events for those interested in a group outing.

To stay in touch with their latest news and updates, Lakes Region Ebikes can be found on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or at their Web site, www.lakesregionebikes.com. To schedule a rental please call 603-630-8960 for reservations.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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