Today we want to tell you the story of one of our customers, who, over just her short time as an Aventon customer, has inspired and touched the hearts of many of our staff. Her name is Jen and she lives on the Texas Gulf Coast.
Jen was living a normal life, she was working as a nurse, had -and still has- a loving husband and an amazing daughter, but in 2005 it all changed. In 2005 is when Jen was diagnosed with a rare but life-threatening disease called pulmonary hypertension (PH).
PH affects blood pressure in the lungs, meaning that the heart needs to work much harder to ensure an adequate supply of oxygen to the body. The consequences of PH -of which there are varying levels of severity- for Jen means that she needs to use an oxygen tank almost 24/7, properly manage her diet, can’t use hot tubs at high temps or saunas, or go hiking at high altitudes. Doctors recommend people who struggle with PH to keep up their exercising but with PH this can be a challenge, especially because many of those with PH need to carry oxygen when they do so. But this has never stopped Jen!
Jen’s husband is an avid cyclist who has ridden the Texas MS150 and plans on pushing himself even further, but he’s always had a dream to share some of his cycling time with the love of his life. One time they went to a park in their local area and Jen sat relaxing and reading on the grass whilst her husband went off for a cycle on the trails. When he returned he told her of all the beautiful things he’d seen and oh how much he wished, he wished, that she could see them too. Little did he know that his dreams and prayers were being heard.
A few years back Jen and her husband had taken a ride on a pair of ebikes on the beach, both excited at the prospect that she may be able to return to the saddle. That ebike was a Rad ebike and in Jen’s own words it was “too heavy and clunky” not what suited her needs at all. Disappointedly her and her husband walked away from the experience thinking that biking might be an activity that was just too far out of reach for them to enjoy together with Jen’s condition.
A year or two later one of Jen’s friends insisted that she needed to try an ebike again and that she should get one with pedal assist. With their curiosity resurrected her and her husband went out on the internet to learn more about what this friend had said. In their searches they found Aventon online and interested in one of the ebikes. They then decided to give it a test ride at a local bike shop called Bike Lane, in Woodland just outside Houston.
After her research and a good chat with the folks at Bike Lane, Jen selected the Pace 500 ebike. But she didn’t want the regular Pace 500, she wanted the Pace 500 Step-Through as it is much easier for her to get on the bike vs a traditional frame where she would have to swing her leg over the bike. After a chat with Aventon customer services it was confirmed that this ebike was the one for her. The store, luckily, had just one left in the “ohhh so pretty blue” color which Jen was to fall in love with! (well, blue is her favorite color!)
Herb, the owner of Bike Lane, put the bike together for her at no extra charge, explained all the controls to her and took her to the quiet parking lot out back so that could gingerly give it a go, with a warning from both her husband and Herb to be careful.
Within minutes Jen was using the throttle and pedal assist functions and was out of sight at the other end of the parking lot!! Jen told some of the staff at Aventon that she “never thought she’d ride a bike again” and that her ebike gives her “freedom. Just like a child I had that freedom again!”
Upon getting it home she immediately went out for a cycle with her husband and they rode 4 miles on their first trip! They upped it to 5 the next trip and her longest ride so far has been for 9 miles!! Not bad for someone who never thought they’d ever be able to back on a bike again. Just look at how ecstatic they both are on their first ride together!
A few weeks later her husband got his wishes answered and took her to all the spots on the trails that he’d told her about in the park where they’d been all those years ago.
Jen has just survived an unwanted Christmas brush with COVID, and can’t wait to finish recovering and “jump out of my seat to ride my ebike”. But not so fast. COVID was another death sentence for Jen and she spent a few weeks lying in a hospital bed in the ICU as her kidneys had completely shut down, given little to no chance of survival. She needed a miracle.
She had tremendous support from many sending her prayers and positive vibes. Including her husband who would call her and sometimes would even ring the bell on her ebike for her to hear and the desire to get back on her ebike kept her fighting. Jen fought hard and after a few weeks of being admitted, her feet touched the floor again and she was able to leave the hospital. That was in early December, and she believes she’s not too far away from feeling the wind in her hair again and riding her ebike.
Her diagnosis in 2005 was considered a death sentence with doctors giving her 3-5 years of life left. 16 years later and she’s still going strong! Over the years she’s picked up other things related to her PH and the medication she takes to prevent heart failure. But none of this has stopped Jen’s commitment to living a life that is as fulfilling as possible!
We’re proud that Aventon made it possible for Jen and so many others alike to have experiences which they’d only dreamed of having again! Jen told us that her ebike “helps me in more ways than one” and that we should continue doing what we’re doing and putting smiles on peoples faces.
If you are inspired by our account of Jen’s story and want to hear it from her point of view, then checkout her personal account of her ebike experience in her column piece: Let’s Take a Ride: Pushing My Boundaries; on Pulmonary Hypertension News, where she is a regular contributor, inspiring others to PHight along with her.
Furthermore, if you or anyone you know is affected by a condition similar to Jen’s then please feel free to reach out to us here at Aventon so we can help match you to an ebike that can get you back out on the trails and give you that childlike freedom again!