Electric bicycles emerge as a hot trend in the U.S.

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After a brutal horseback riding accident, Joseph Marino Jr. felt like his freedom was gone. His days of giving horseback tours seemed over.

Following his third and final surgery in the spring of 2016 — a year after the incident — Marino knew he had to change something in his life.

“I used to whip around corners on horseback with the wind in my face,” said 27-year-old Marino, who lives in Torrance, California. “It hurt not to have that anymore; not to feel myself riding anything.”

With horses out of the question, Marino opted for an electric bicycle. He sold his truck, and began riding a Faraday ebike to work and school.

He is among the growing number of U.S. riders who are gravitating to electric bikes for convenience, health benefits and their fun factor. Although ebikes first appeared in the 90s, cheaper options and longer-lasting batteries are breathing new life into the concept.

“You honestly feel like you’re floating,” said Marino, who found pedaling easy for his recovering leg. “I felt like I was riding horses again. Instead of trails, I was road biking in and out of traffic.”

To ride an ebike, a user pedals or triggers the throttle for the electric motor, providing power to the wheels. Some ebikes can go as fast as 28 mph. The speed is dependent on how hard someone pedals or pulls the throttle.

Marino said his legs are now stronger than before his injury due to riding more than 4,000 miles on his ebike. He plans to return to work on horseback this summer.

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