E-bikes are having a moment. They’re perfect for a sweat-free commute or tackling hilly terrain, and it’s not just seasoned cyclists or urban adventurers who are picking them up: They’re popular among older riders, too. For proof, look no further than Oscar-winning actor Gene Hackman, who purchased a brand new Trek e-bike just a month or so shy of his 89th birthday, Bicycling reports.
Hackman bought his set of wheels from The Broken Spoke, a bike shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lives. According to Owen Conley, a mechanic at the store, the actor picked out a Trek DualSport+, which retails for $3600 and features a 500Wh battery and a Bosch motor that can crank out sustained speeds of up to 20 m.p.h. The shop’s owner Mike Chapman says that Hackman, who starred in films like The French Connection, Hoosiers, and The Royal Tenenbaums, has been a loyal customer.
“Gene has bought a few bikes from us over the last five years,” he told Bicycling, adding that Hackman was looking for a bike with some extra oomph to help him power through the hilly terrain around Santa Fe.
But even with that additional juice, riding an e-bike is no free ride: You still have to pedal, and the motor kicks in as you move to give you extra power. Nowadays, e-bikes come in all shapes and sizes, from sleek road beasts to tricked-out cargo haulers, to fit the needs of serious cyclists, parents looking to cart around their kids, and, apparently, retired actors bombing around the desert.