My husband and I live in Malibu, where we enjoy local hiking, riding our horses, and surfing, but we haven’t been to Santa Barbara in ages, even though it’s only an hour away. So when Larry suggested driving up for the day, I wasn’t exactly sure what we’d do. When the kids were little, we always went to the zoo, but now that they are out of the house, we thought we would just wander around town. We started with a gorgeous run along the beach, and then continued up State Street where we found some great shops. Lunch was a hard decision, but we had heard good things about Bucatini Italian Restaurant on the corner of State and Haley and were most pleased by the choices and reasonable prices. We talked about hiking up to the Botanical Gardens, but after our long run we were a bit tired, so when we saw Pedego, an electric bike store right next to Bucatini, Larry said, “Let’s check it out.” It’s a really cool family-operated store where owners Bob and Veda Kaplan make you feel like neighbors. Their handsome son, Reed, was charming when he started asking me questions like “Have you ever ridden a motorcycle before?” I asked him if I looked like the motorcycle-riding type. (My husband actually had a bike when I first met him, and it was the first thing to go once we were married because there was no way I was going to get on a motorcycle) Undeterred, Reed made me feel very comfortable that this was something even I could do as he competently chose bikes for Larry and me and gave us simple instructions on how to proceed. We hopped on, took off, and frankly didn’t want to return. Fun! Easy! After a day of running and walking, this was great! Laughing out loud, with the wind blowing through my hair and “Born to be Wild” blasting through my brain, we cruised up the gentle hill to the Santa Barbara Mission, then over to the Botanical Gardens and finally headed to the El Encanto Hotel to check out their recent multimillion-dollar facelift. (Fabulous; next time we’ll spend the night.) After enjoying lemonade and breathtaking views from this spectacular hotel, we reluctantly returned our bikes – and yes, we are thinking of actually purchasing a couple to ride around Malibu. (Or maybe I’ll take a second-look at that Harley Larry keeps talking about.)


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