The debilitating pain began roughly nine months ago. A pain so excruciating he couldn’t bear to move. Every time he walked, it was like walking straight on the bone with no skin or tissue to cushion the tension — a feeling he will never forget. He was bedridden for nearly a week.
Ernie Becquer is a 52-year-old combat veteran, musician and FLX Bike owner in San Diego, Calif. His military experience has impacted him in many ways.
Before enlisting, he lacked discipline and purpose for his life.
“I was really lacking discipline and going into the service fixed that. It gave me a purpose. It gave me a higher calling,” Becquer says.
After serving eight years as a doc and working with various amphibious assault units in the United States Marine Corps, he suffered an injury resulting in a medical discharge.
“As much as I tried to go to physical therapy and do everything to get back to full shape, I just couldn’t get to the form that my job required so they had to let me go,” Becquer says.
Since then, Becquer has dealt with chronic pain in his back, knees and feet. In August 2019, his health worsened to the point where he couldn’t walk.
“I was literally bedridden. It was horrible,” Becquer says.
With medical guidance, he immobilized his legs and went to physical therapy for months. Becquer mentioned his love for bikes to his doctor but expressed the difficulties he faced riding uphill. That’s when she turned him on to electric bikes.
“She has recommended e-bikes to some of her bicycle-rider veterans that have had similar issues as me, and they’ve had really positive results,” he says.
After researching companies, he thought he narrowed it down. That was until he saw an advertisement for FLX, and everything changed.
“I had narrowed it down to three companies and all of a sudden, Rob pops up on my computer and he’s promoting the Babymaker e-bike campaign…I could tell this guy was living this. I could feel that he was very, very passionate about this. It wasn’t just a sales pitch,” Becquer says.
In January 2020, he came in for a test ride. After testing out the Babymaker prototype, Becquer wanted to buy a bike on the spot which led him to the Gladiator.
“The Gladiator and I were like the perfect pair for each other. I was freaking happy! So, I ended up buying that bike,” he says.
He began riding his Gladiator roughly 100 miles every week. One of his favorite rides is in the Lower Otay Reservoir.
“I lived in San Diego for over 25 years and I didn’t know all these things were out there. Every time I go on a bike ride, I see all these beautiful landscapes…this stuff was in my backyard and I never took the time to see it,” he says.
Becquer is always championing the company because of what they’ve done for him.
“I’m not a young guy, you know I’m 52 years old. I couldn’t walk and all of a sudden, I’m riding a bike and it’s empowering. It filled me with life. Riding that bike, for me, is life-changing,” he says.
Becquer believes the FLX team and culture are what sets them apart.
“FLX stands out because of their culture. It’s cool that the mission is to get people out of cars and get them riding bikes,” he says. “A company can only be as good as its people. If the people working there are awesome, which they are, then the company is going to be awesome. It’s a direct reflection.”
Becquer has seen a drastic change since purchasing his bike.
“My overall wellbeing improved greatly — leaps and bounds — from riding this bike. It’s just really powerful,” he says.
Despite suffering another injury, Becquer is determined to ride again. His no-quit attitude is a testament to the person he is. He hopes his story will inspire veterans and others to overcome any challenge.
As Becquer boldly states, “The only limitations we have on ourselves are the limitations we put on ourselves."
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