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"Maybe I'm different"

At 83 1/2, McGraw resident Ken Roundy sees no reason to quit bicycling-he's done it all his life.

The steel frame Western Flyer he rides has served him well for 28 years, most recently as a converted electrical bike which takes him over hills much easier than pedal power alone would.

Pictured here with his electric hybrid bicycle, Ken Roundy stands outside the McGraw Community Building where he attends senior center activities twice weekly. The license plate, "George", is a nickname his wife had given him years ago.

Roundy uses his bike to go around town or to his weekly senior center activities.

Roundy was having lunch at the McGraw Community Center last Tuesday when he took a break to talk about his bicycle.

About two years ago, Roundy bought an electric kit from Palmer Industries in Endicott, outfitting his bicycle with a new front wheel which has a motor in its hub, and an electric battery which sits in the basket on the back of the bike.

The conversion to an electric hybrid bicycle entailed a new wheel, which has a motor in it. The pack under the bar contains wiring.

Roundy starts the bike as you would a motorcycle, with a push of a button then he can rotate a lever on his handlebar forward to accelerate. He pedals backwards to brake and he can also choose to ride it just as a pedal bike without electric power.

The bike starts like a motorcycle, with a red starter button and a throttle on the handlebar.

Roundy takes good care of his bike and electrical kit, charging it after every ride, or about every 3 or four miles, and he stores it inside in the winter to save the battery life. He does his own maintenance on the bicycle itself and he's hoping that by taking good care of the battery it will last the full six or seven years.

The bike has been "all over" with him, says Roundy. He used it in Texas and for 14 years in Florida, when he and his wife used to spend winters there.

He enjoys the activity of bicycling-that and gardening keep him fit- and he likes that on a bike he can notice more things.

"You see things, because you're going slower, you wouldn't be able to in a vehicle," he said.

Roundy and his bike.

Roundy sometimes will bike around town with his daughter, who rides a non-electric bicycle. But he hasn't yet found any of his peers who are willing to choose a bicycle over a car.

"Maybe I'm different," he said.


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