How an E-Bike Gave New Life
Brad Pederson, age 58, had a life changing event eight years ago while skiing. After an absolute miracle survival story, Brad has continued his day-to-day life. His Shimano STEPS e-bike has allowed him to cover more ground and enjoy his huge backyard in Park City, UT.
On December 25th, 2009, it was the start of a typical day for Kathy and Brad Pederson. They were currently spending the month of December in Park City, UT, where they had recently purchased a second home. This is the time of year where they relax, forget about work and enjoy all of the outdoor activities that Park City has to offer. On this particular day, the Pederson’s were skiing at Deer Valley Resort.
The conditions were ideal, with a high of 35 degrees and a bluebird day. It was approaching lunch and the Pederson’s were headed up for one last run before meeting some friends. It was 11:45 AM and they had just got to the top of the mountain. Brad mentioned to Kathy multiple times on the chairlift that he was feeling a little off. At this very moment, Brad fell face first on the snow. Brad was not breathing. Kathy immediately administered CPR while yelling for Flight for Life. After two minutes of CPR, the ski patrol took over and prepared for Brad’s departure. It took the flight team under 10 minutes to arrive, where they would fly Brad to Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City. Kathy still was not sure what Brad’s condition was but was probably heart failure according to the ski patrol.
When Brad arrived at the hospital, he underwent a 36 hour, open heart surgery. He had torn his aorta and was given a 1% chance of survival. From the time he was airlifted to the hospital, to his massive surgery, Brad was pronounced dead on eight separate occasions and had over ten strokes. Yet miraculously, he lived. Over the next year of extensive rehabilitation, Brad had to relearn to walk, read and speak. People who worked with Brad in his recovery process say he was one of the biggest miracles to this day. A year after his accident he was able to walk, speak and return to work. Today he still struggles with speech impairments and some motor deficits due to his strokes.
The years before his accident, Brad had a passion for the outdoors, especially mountain biking. Park City has a massive network of trails for riders of all skill levels. Due to the high consequences of mountain biking, Brad needed to find a new alternative after his accident and began taking his mountain bike around the local bike paths. His rides varied between 5-8 miles on average.
The summer of 2017, Brad decided to purchase a STEP’s Class 1 e-bike, the Trek Lift. Though previously hesitant due to the motor and fear of not receiving the proper exercise, he wanted to give it a chance before he completely shut down the idea. He realized very quickly that his 5-8 mile rides were now becoming 15-20 miles, with many hills mixed in. He was putting in the same effort as his regular bike but was able to double or even triple his riding distances, seeing more of the city he loves.
“The e-bike has changed my life in so many ways. With the number of bike lanes and bike paths in Park City, it’s almost crazy not to own one. Now instead of driving to the store, I hop on my e-bike. When the weather is nice, you can count on me to ride my bike!” Brad said. Park City recently put in one of the country’s first ever electric bike share programs. They have multiple docs throughout the town and travel up to 15 mph. The e-bike scene is like no other in Park City.
It has been almost 10 years since Brad’s accident. To this day, he has made a miracle recovery; from having to relearn day-to-day traits, to now being able to ride his bike 15 plus miles. His STEP’s powered Trek Lift has allowed him to maintain a healthy lifestyle, continue to be outside, and cover more ground. Brad has put over 400 miles on his e-bike and looks to double that number in the future.
Learn more about Brad's STEPS powered Trek Lift here!
Pictures and Blog courtesy of Shimano STEPS