Tern Perch—Bike Storage Made Easy

Tern Perch—Bike Storage Made Easy.

Fresh from NYCeWheels and Tern, my new Perch mounts came complete and in perfect condition.

Bikes, bikes, everywhere, what are you to do? Many face this and look for the answer to help. The fixes range from the most simple to the most elegant in form and function. Even with folding bikes, they take up a fair amount of space between rides. I have found that although most of our bikes live in the garage, our folders have taken up residence on the floor in the spare bedroom. One day a post on Facebook set the light off in my head and the problem was solved.

I’ve seen all kinds of bike storage devices on-line. In the garage I have some bikes on simple hooks in the rafters. Some people use a block and tackle with ropes. Fancy wood sculptured pieces can do the trick. Even an old set of handlebars with a saddle attached seem to hang more than one bike the pictures show. A hat rack type stand is seen now and then. My solution is the new Tern Perch.

They are kind of industrial, yet functional. With a natural aluminum finish they offer a stylish touch to match the bikes. They not only support the bikes, but have slots for your bike stuff. One hole is for locking them to the rack, not something I need at the moment, but who knows? There is a spot for a hanger with bike clothes and a slot to hang your helmet too. They mount easily to most any wall and can get our two bikes off the floor with minimal space taken.


You can see here how they catch the seat post for support.

After I ordered mine from NYCeWheels (same place I got our Tern Link P9 folding bikes), I saw at the Tern booth at Interbike that they used them to display almost all their bikes. I was glad mine were on the way and couldn’t wait to put them into action. They arrived with instructions and hardware. I was ready to go. I spent some time planning the install before diving in, always a good idea.

Your mounting options are straight to wood studs on a open wall, on a household wall making sure to hit the studs with the lag bolts, and onto a concrete or brick wall. They come with hardware for each of these, yet because my house has thicker old-school button-board walls, I purchased longer lug bolts. I was lucky to have a open section of wall in the spare bedroom that fit the two bikes perfectly. A little measuring and the such got me on track.

On the upper one I needed to set the height just right so the handlebars would clear the ceiling when tilting the bike to set it in the Perch.

Although not fully necessary, I did want the bikes to sit level and the same. My first checks made me think the level part wasn’t going to happen, but the Perch flexes just a little when the bikes are on so they came out the way I wanted. I used a level and stud finder to mark the holes on the wall for the three mounting bolts. They do have short slots on two of the holes to help with the leveling.

Also, I took some extra time to make sure the heights on the wall were just right, so the top bike wouldn’t hit the ceiling, and the bottom bike wouldn’t hit the upper bike. I would say this one step took the longest, yet I didn’t want to drill holes in the walls that would need to be filled if I missed the sweet spot. Once the Perches were mounted it was time to hang the bikes.


Finished. Wall art and bikes to ride. Perfect.

As you can probably see, you set the seat post into the hanger with the front of the bike slightly higher than the rest. It locks in nicely on the rubber covered mounts. Both bikes fit on the first time, that pre-planning usually pays off. With no need to re-drill, re-mount and fill holes, the job was done. I stood back, admired my bikes in their new location, and smiled.

I would think they would work ok on most bikes, yet they are designed for folding bikes with long seat posts. The seat tube of most bikes would lock in and do the job.
Now our Terns are looking good during the ride and they are wall art between rides. This I like, Turbo Bob.

“The bicycle is a great good. But it can turn nasty if I’m employed.”—Samuel Beckett, Playwright.

You can get these anywhere that offers Tern Folding bikes. I recommend NYCeWheels.



Here is a video of the Tern Booth at the last Interbike. Check out the way they mounted the bikes.


Posted in Bike accessories, General bike stories, My Bikes | Leave a comment

Raleigh E-bike Demo Day at the Bike Warehouse in Chula Vista

Raleigh E-bike Demo Day at the Bike Warehouse Chula Vista.

Spending time with Marty was almost as cool as checking out the new Raleigh E-bikes.

With a new electric bike name on the block, the name is anything but new. Raleigh has been in the bike business for longer than I know. I must admit that my expertise on this brand is slim, as a kid my world revolved around Schwinn bikes. Yet many friends had Raleighs, and through the years I have ridden more than a few. I even have a couple now that came out of the expansive factories they once had in the English countryside.

As part of the Accell Group, Raleigh has been revitalized, much like their sister company Currie Technologies. The European influence is noticeable, a lot like the Currie Tech influence on the new Raleigh line of E-bikes. At Interbike I shot a video of their booth and my commentary was much to the point on the similarities. As I spent some time with these bikes this weekend I could see it better, yet I could also see they are breaking out on their own too.


The Raleigh Venture. My new favorite E-bike for the year? We will see.

With a last minute notification on Facebook I learned the new Raleigh west coast sales rep and his new van would be doing a demo day fairly nearby to me. I jumbled my schedule just enough to get by for a couple hours of intro on these just released E-bikes. And I met Marty, a long time bike enthusiast and competitor. Marty’s van had three Raleigh E-bikes, some Haibikes and a Lapierre too. He was on hand mostly to demo the Raleighs, but I talked him into getting out one of each of the bikes for some videos.

Part of the day’s fun was getting to know Marty. With some great stories of bike days past and updates on how Raleigh has moved into the E-bike world, it made for some interesting conversation. And to my joy, I got to reverse what seems to be a growing trend. It seemed he was set to demo the bikes through the lunch hour and past. As normally in a situation like this I get treated to a tasty lunch, today I had the pleasure to turn the tables and treat Marty. As we ate the stories continued to flow.

Well, onto the bikes. Even though for now they have Currie Tech drive systems, I have heard and read some talk that they have a new advanced system of their own in the works. All Marty could do is acknowledge this is true, yet any real information was not spilling from his lips. Many trust me with info like this (and I have yet to leak any inside scoop), but it was our first meeting so Marty chose to stay silent. We will all see soon enough what they come up with for their bikes.


Raleigh Tekoa. Mid-drive with style.

There are many bikes in the Raleigh playbook, for now I saw 3 of them. The Tekoa and the Detour are pretty much re-branded IZIP E-bikes, but with cool colors. Still, the Detour mimics my favorite bike for the year so there is much to like here. What really caught my eye was the Venture. I love the styling and the ride. It is a smooth moving upright E-bike that many should be able to take a liking to. I did a riding video on this one (check the link below).

The Raleigh Venture made my day worthwhile. It was good to see and ride something fresh. I hope to be able to do a full melt-down test during the up-coming year on this E-bike. Also it will be interesting to see what else Raleigh offers as they get fully geared up for the American E-bike market. Plus trying out the yet to be shown new drive system has me excited.


Here is the Raleigh Detour low-frame.

So I did a couple videos on the Haibikes too. Haibikes all use the Bosch mid-drive that has gotten so much press. I am still on the fence when it comes to mid-drive E-bikes for the masses. I have written much on them and am waiting for some refinements to make them more palatable. A medium power set-up on a NuVinci Harmony drivetrain has been my favorite so far.

I also checked out one of the Lapierre E-bikes. Attention to detail and some cool specs help this bike show the way. It too has the Bosch mid-drive. From my on-line search there is much to like with this company that offers a large line of bikes, now with E-bikes on the list.


I normally avoid shots like these. Yet if you see Marty rolling into town with his new rig, I would suggest getting a closer look.

As you might know, I have some close ties to Accell Group here in the states. I do expect to be spending enough time with many of their bikes for full reviews and insight. It was nice to get a little closer this weekend, and hanging with Marty made it so much better. Check all the videos I posted from the day.

Go Raleigh, Turbo Bob.

“It would not be at all strange if history came to the conclusion that the perfection of the bicycle was the greatest incident of the nineteenth century’”—Author Unknown.

Raleigh on the web and Facebook



Videos I took that day and one from Interbike



Posted in E-bike general interest, E-bike test reviews | 1 Comment

Index of Articles—March 2014 to September 2104

Index of Articles—March 2014 to September 2014.

March 2014

1.   LightMeUp Safety Lights—Low-Buck Fun with Benefits

2.   e-Joe EPIK SE and EPIK Lite—Paired Convenience

3.   Virtue Encore 5M & 5F—Touring with a Time Machine

April 2014

1.   Electric Bikes in Santa Barbara—A Look at this Town’s Options

2.   IZIP E3 Path+—Like It? I Love It!

3.   Introduction to Electric Bicycles—May 15th, 2014—San Diego

4.   Waiting for the Bus

5.   So Cal Rivera E-bike Tour with San Diego Fly Rides

May 2014

1.   Index of Articles—September 2013 to March 2014

2.   Pedego Interceptor—Better Then Ever for 2014

3.   This Week—May 15th—“Introduction to Electric Bicycles”

4.   IZIP E3 Dash—A Burst of Excitement for your Ride

5.   Introduction to Electric Bicycles, Spring 2014—Another Big Success

June 2014

1.   FlyKly Smart Wheel—First Ride and Impressions, June 2014

2.   Tern / BionX Folding E-bike—The Perfect Combo

July 2014

1.   IZIP E3 Peak—Missed Connection

2.   Let It Ride Electric Bike Tours of Bend, Oregon—The Only Way to Ride

3.   EG Electric Bikes—Easy Riding for Easy Money

4.   Thule T2 Bicycle Rack—Major Up-grade for My Bike Needs

5.   IZIP E3 Metro—All New for 2014

August 2014

1.   ORP Smart Horn—Lights, Sound, Action

2.   Prodecotech Oasis Step-through—Beach Cruising American Style

3.   IZIP E3 Twn:exp—Modern Looks and Performance

4.   Brompton Pedal Over-fold Fix and BromFoot 2—Worth the Time and Money

September 2014

1.   Introduction to Electric Bicycles—Fall 2014

2.   Electric Bikes in Portland and Bend, Oregon

3.   Interbike 2014 in Videos


Posted in Indexes of articles | Leave a comment

A2B Ferber—Silent Comfort

A2B Ferber—Silent Comfort.

The A2B Ferber and a sunny day at the bay. A hard to beat duo.

This new E-bike shares the convenience of electric-assist with the comfort of an up-right easy to ride bicycle. Offered by a company with a long string of popular bikes under their belt, you would expect (and get), something that can propel you with a smile. It comes fully equipped, ready for the bike paths and roadways. Painted in a pleasing shade of white, many will relish the looks and ride it delivers.

With a silent 350 watt motor out back, it will tame the hills and shorten the longest roads. There are other reasons to get an E-bike, yet these two are amongst the most important. In the economy mode they claim a very long 60 mile range per charge, and even with the short amount of time I had in the saddle, I wouldn’t doubt it. The power comes smooth and easy, something most any rider will appreciate over and over again.


Fenders and almost all the goodies you should ever need.

A stout aluminum frame and well picked components help keep the weight under 50 lbs. With a step-through chassis, the easy climb aboard will add to the comfort you receive. The rack mounted lithium battery comes with an extra railing, making it easy to secure the cargo carried. The fenders, chain guard and kickstand are all factory mounted to limit any additional goodies you need to get rolling.

I was especially impressed with the lighting system the Ferber has. Although the rear light doesn’t blink (European regs don’t allow that), it is bright and comes on with a push of a button. You can always add an extra if having one that blinks is on your agenda. It is the headlight that really makes the grade in this system. Brighter than most standard lights, the modern focusing of this unit is the key. Much like the headlamps on all motor vehicles, it has a flat beam on the top so as to not affect oncoming riders and traffic.


The fork smooths the ride and the light points the way.

The saddle is something that isn’t for racing or beach cruising. It has the right dimensions and firmness for those long rides with no complaints. The front fork helps to smooth out the rough roads too. Add in those 26” near-balloon tires and you can feel the kind of ride that most E-bikers desire. Firm handling without the abrupt bumpiness is part of the reason I enjoyed the A2B Ferber.

The way control systems work and respond are a big part of E-bikes and my reporting on them. A little extra text here is needed to explain what I found on this E-bike. The way this Ferber works for the most part will make many riders happy. It is a full-pedelec, meaning there is no throttle and the motor assist is controlled only by your pedaling. With its torque-sensed control, it makes for a pleasing riding experience.

What this means is the bike senses how hard you are pushing the pedals and responds with the correct motor-assist. I call this intelligent assist and when programmed right it is quite nice. The Ferber offers a smooth and seamless feel as you ride. Other than your choice of three sensitivity levels, the bike does all the thinking for you. This makes for E-bike bliss.


350 watts of quiet power in a gleaming silver.

Many might choose to have a throttle so they can over-ride the automatic control when desired. You should hold a hand brake when mounting the Ferber and when stopped. A2B teaches this and recommends it. In each brake lever is a switch that locks out the motor power when the brake is used. This safety feature is included on most every E-bike made, but is extra important on a system like the one on the Ferber and other A2B E-bikes (other brands too).


I didn’t mention the great display unit in the text. Here it is.

Because of the lack of a motor power lock-out when stopped, pressure on the pedals will allow the motor to come to life. There is a good and bad side to this feature. With some instruction and time on the bike it becomes second nature to hold the brake when stopped and shouldn’t be an issue. Also note there is a walking feature that will bring the bike to a slow speed when held (it is for pushing the bike up hills when dismounted). Anyway, on any E-bike you should become familiar with each and every control and learn to master them. (I have written much on torque-assist control systems, check this site for more info on them).

Like so many E-bikes, riding the A2B Ferber was big fun. The miles melt quickly and every hill in the distance brings a thrill instead of a scowl. The riding position is something I like and allows long rides without fatigue. I took it on a lengthy night ride and that was particularly satisfying. Besides the quiet and solitude, the road was well lit with the Ferber’s brightness. Riding at night is a big thrill on any bike.


Great tires, lightweight fenders and powerful hydraulic disc brakes are seen in this shot.

A smooth ride was always felt, and the great handling was a welcome addition for me. The easily controlled hydraulic disc brakes made quick work of any stop, just as the electric-assist made of getting started again. As with any decent E-bike, you sometimes keep riding once your destination is reached. Cruising at a steady 16-18 mph is my favorite, but this E-bike has another 4 or so you can use with firm pedaling.

Riding without the assist was also pleasant. The shifter is right at hand with many gears to choose from. The light riding weight and lack of excess drag from the motor makes just tooling along under your own power easy and fun. I put more than a few miles on the bike like this (assist disabled), yet using the assist is where the real excitement rolls with any E-bike. Like I said before, this type of up-right bike is what I fancy and makes me feel the most comfortable.


Yes, that’s me—with the fun riding A2B Ferber of course.

If you do want something more sporty with the same basic specs, then check out their new Galvani. It comes in a standard and low-frame model. With larger 28” tires, it rolls even easier. I rode one at the demo day that A2B had at Hollywood Electrics just recently. I do say that for me the Ferber was preferred, you may feel different. That is why a cool company like A2B has a big line-up, so you can find the E-bike that matches your riding style and personality.

Power-up A2B, Turbo Bob.

“All bicycles weigh 50 pounds. A 30 pound bike needs a 20 pound lock. A 40 pound bike needs a 10 pound lock. A 50 pound bike doesn’t need a lock.”—Bicycle Law.
(Note—get a lock anyway. Turbo).

A2B on the web and Facebook.



Check out my video of the A2B Ferber

And this one of the A2B Galvani if you like


Posted in E-bike test reviews | Leave a comment

GenZe Electric Bikes—Simple Sophistication

GenZe Electric Bikes—Simple Sophistication.

The perfect setting for a cool ride on the GenZe e102

While the bike lane un-folds in front of me, I continue to get caught-up in a moment of solitude. Feeling almost as I am the vehicle, it’s just me and the world on the move. The reality of the bike being part of the equation is present, but not pressing. With each smooth pedal stroke, seamless electric-assist lightens the load of my physical and mental state. Such is the way of E-bikes and this GenZe e102 seems to master the experience.


To say I am impressed by this new bike would be an easy understatement. The complexity of its inner workings are masked by the simple look and ease of the ride. Like many other E-bikes it has adjustable control parameters, yet unlike those, it really just needs a rider with a smile to keep the movement flowing. Once I found the setting I liked, the bike did the rest with a quiet comfortable demeanor.

As you can see the GenZe e101 is set-up just a little more sporty for those who like it that way.

My wife and I both got a chance to ride the up-right GenZe e102 quite a bit. The squared-off handle bars put me in a nostalgic mood, as they are so similar to the ones on our old English 3-speeds. Even though it was the smallest frame bike they offer, I still felt comfortable and at ease. The perfect saddle matched the ride and kept the smiles coming. I also spent some time on their sport E-bike, the e101 with equal satisfaction.

A slow moving trend for E-bike makers to add multiple frame sizes is well covered by GenZe. The e102 has two on the roster, while the sport e101 comes in three. The one size fits all mentality isn’t shared by this fast moving E-bike company. There are many other aspects of these bikes that show modern forward thinking that I feel is needed.

A trend they don’t follow is all that un-needed E-bike appearance craziness. The GenZe e101 and e102 look like regular bikes, but have just enough cool flair to set themselves away from the pack. The internal battery tucks into a slightly enlarged frame that still says everyday bicycle. The flow of the frame work is modern yet classic. Looks don’t come first to function, but match well with the way I like an E-bike to perform and present itself.


Both bikes share almost all the basic components and controls. This 250 watt geared hub motor feels much more like the 350 watt ones you might be accustomed to.

Many might thumb a nose at the 250 watt rated motor (just by the number alone). Be assured that there is plenty of power for all but the steepest of hills you might encounter. That power comes smooth and quietly with a control system that stands easily against E-bikes double and triple of the price point they ask. Easy use of the display and control panel fit in with this statement, as another impressive feature of interest.


A sweet control panel and an easy to reach button unit work all the electrical controls. This is the e102 with the sweep-back bars and the up-right seating position.

The torque-assist control of the motor is nice. It gives the right amount of motor power when you want it with no waste or jerkiness. With five levels of sensitivity you can tailor the juice to your riding needs at any given time. It has a setting for just pedaling too, with the use of the half hand throttle whenever you need to manually add some assist. Control systems are big on my reasons to like or dislike E-bikes, and you would be hard pressed to find one better. And to my liking, in pedelec mode the motor will not ramp up until the bike is moving forward just slightly.

I do like to see a added throttle over-ride (so the hand throttle can be used in any mode). I talked to the GenZe tech guy at length about this and he is hot on making it available for a safe and secure riding experience. With a E-bike like this with advanced electronics, it would be a quick program up-date to any bike already on the road if they do decide to offer that ability in the future.

Tucked and locked into the frame, the lithium battery is what powers the electric-assist motor.

A decent sized lithium battery hinges and locks into the frame. Charging can be done in the bike or away from it. The fit and finish in this department matched what I found from front-to-rear of the bike. There is just nothing that stands out as an add-on or extra. One well rounded package is just another plus factor that draws me toward liking the GenZe E-bike line-up. That and looks aside, it just plain rides nice.

Of course quick and strong disc brakes cover both ends of the GenZe E-bikes. Solid but light aluminum frames are nicely finished in a sharp shade of silver. The rather basic 7-speed drivetrain works well and allows this lightweight E-bike an easy ride when not using the power-assist. The tire choice is my favorite, with easy rolling and smooth riding 26” fairly large cross section rubber hitting the roadway. Fenders and a full chain guard aren’t on-board, but the center-mount kickstand almost makes up for that.

Part of the cool riding excitement comes from the 46 Lbs. overall weight. It is a fun and maneuverable machine with a frame geometry that was well thought out. The sport e101 was a little more designed for darting around and the up-right e102 was just my style for easy cruising. Every time I took to the saddle of these E-bikes from GenZe I felt like someone in the design department was riding the high wave that day. If we go back to the title of this post, I stick by my guns. They seem so simple, yet the level of sophistication is brought to life with each pedal stroke and mile covered.

GenZe is a product of a major company that already have mastered their first chosen product line. As they have moved to E-bikes (and E-scooters too) they have brought much to the table with mindful and quality bikes. Like most tests I can’t tell the future on long term life, but judging from what I have experienced with these two bikes and the people behind them, I have a good feeling. I know riding these E-bikes was a good feeling and wake-up call that other E-bike companies might have to up their game some.


While I quite often add a photo of me with the bike, today Steve is doing the duties.

If I had my pick, you would see me choosing the larger frame up-right e102 for some big fun around town. You might be more of the sport bike type yourself. As GenZe works up their own retail locations, and gets invited to more existing E-bike shops, you should have a better opportunity to see for yourself if you like them as much as I do.

E-power can be so good for you, don’t wait, Turbo Bob.

“Bicycling is the nearest approximation I know to the flight of birds.”—Louis J. Helle.

You can find GenZe Bikes on the web and Facebook.



For videos of both the GenZe e101 and e102—click here.


Posted in E-bike test reviews | Leave a comment

Serfas Thunderbolt Bike Lights—Bringing Safety and Smiles into the Darkness

Serfas Thunderbolt Bike Lights—Bringing Safety and Smiles into the Darkness.

On this eFlow electric bike there is no seat post to mount lights on. The Thunderbolts didn’t care.

You may already be asking yourself what kind of nut gets all smiley and happy about a bike light. If you are, then hang in there for the details. If you understand where I’m coming from, then you will be even more pleased to learn more about these lights from Serfas. Thunderbolts come in many colors and you have your choice of a front or rear light. The pair I just got add even more to the table.

It was about a year and a half ago when I got my first Thunderbolts. The added safety and convenience they offered did make me happy (smiley too). They mounted easily on an E-bike where other lights wouldn’t. Way bright, quick to recharge and water-resistant, These lights work for me in ways I hadn’t experienced before. We have many bike lights and I find these to be amongst the best of them.


The new Thunderbolt lights can be seen from so many angles. Very nice.

These new ones I just got have a translucent body that allow the light to be seen from more angles. It only makes sense and tells me the designers at Serfas have their thinking caps on tight. The solid build and great features of the Thunderbolts are still there, with a lot of good reasons to strap a pair (or more ) on your bike.

The first thing that got me with these is their mounting versatility. That has been a big draw-back on many of the lights we have. Most are designed to go on a seat post, with different sized mounts included. On several of our bikes (and ones I test) the light can’t be seen when on the post because of racks or other items behind them. And when the seat post is set real low there is no room for a light mounting. These solve that problem easily. They can strap on most anywhere.


This front Thunderbolt is on the steerer tube of my wife’s new IZIP E3 Path+. It really lights up the night.

The front ones (white lens) have longer straps that allow a wider mounting range. You can put them on the handlebars, front fork or even on the steerer tube. This last choice has worked our great on my wife’s new E-bike. It is out of the way and in a great spot for everyone around her to see it. You may know that we both use flashing lights front and rear in the daytime for extra safety. The steerer tube mounting is perfect for that. And at night it gives a wide un-focused beam that is acceptable.

By recharging through a USB port, you never need to replace any batteries. This is a plus from not only a cost standpoint, but one of sustainability. The Thunderbolts have a charge indicator light to let you know when they are topped off and they use a standard cord (of course one is included with each light). They take 3-6 hours for each charge depending on a couple factors.

They stay lit for close to 10 hours on the lowest flashing setting (what we normally use as they are just so bright). In the highest setting you get just 1 ½ hours of light. That high setting is mostly used by us in the front mounted headlight at night. As far using them as your only headlight, if you are a fast rider you will need a quality focused headlight to compliment the Thunderbolt (Serfas offers those too). If you are just a mellow speed cruiser, the Thunderbolt will do fine as an only headlight.

When it comes to taillights these are great on the low flashing mode. This is where these lights keep me smiling. I just can’t say enough about the ease they have in moving them from bike-to-bike. The brightness is exceptional and they have worked flawlessly. I too like the way the switch works (see the next paragraph).


Very bright, rock solid and easy to mount, these lights get me kind of giddy.

There are four power levels the Thunderbolt can operate at. Two levels of steady on and 2 of flashing on. They are so bright they recommend not looking directly into the light. In the highest setting they claim it can be seen from a mile away. The power switch is simple to use as you toggle from off, to full bright, to low bright, to full bright flashing, to low bright flashing and then off again. The kicker here is no matter what mode you are in, if you hold the button for a little bit it goes right to off. No more toggling to find the off position, genius at work.

All of my Thunderbolt lights have worked perfect with each use. I did find one little thing that allowed me to experience the speed and quality of the Serfas service and warrantee department though. I will point this out so you don’t have to do the same. I don’t know that they will replace every lost strap, but they did for me. This was just one more factor that puts Serfas on my best bike parts company list.


Here you can see the smaller holed end is designed to stay on the light’s body so you don’t loose the straps.

If you look at this photo you will see how one end of the strap is designed to stay on the light. The other end is the one you release for the install and removal. If you don’t keep the small holed end on the light you might lose the strap like we did. Try to avoid that.

Thunderbolt, a cool name and great light, Turbo Bob.

“One of the most important days of my life was when I learned to ride a bicycle.”—Michael Palin.

Serfas on the web and Facebook



Here is the video I did a ways back on Serfas Bike accessories.


Posted in Bike accessories | 1 Comment

Introduction To Electric Bicycles, Fall 2014—A Full House Soaks Up the E-bike Spirit

Introduction To Electric Bicycles, Fall 2014—A Full House Soaks Up the E-bike Spirit.

As the group assembled, dinner was eaten, and they got a chance to see the bikes up close and meet the exhibitors.

Since the day I envisioned this event, my goal has been to fill every seat with people wanting to learn more about E-bikes. Not only did every seat in the SDG&E Energy Innovation Center meeting room (170 of them) get filled, but the saddle of each E-bike on hand got plenty of use too. This 5th edition (three years worth, every spring and fall) was the best ever, including a big surprise. If you missed it, let me fill you in on some of the excitement.


Nowhere can I find mention of a evening like this one. I keep the event sales and pressure free, and the center lets me host it at a zero cost to everyone. This easy going night includes a meet and greet with the local E-bike shop’s personal, some bike accessory companies and many electric bike makers. A full hot catered meal is followed by an hour of me presenting E-bikes, the reasons they can be a great asset to people’s life’s and a discussion of their features. After that all the E-bikes are wheeled into the large parking lot and ridden till we can’t ride any more.

With many E-bikes front and center, I did my best to be entertaining and informative.

A big part of my passion to get people on bicycles is devoted to electric-assist bikes. I have talked many times about how great they are and this evening was no different. Much of what I do concerns getting people to know they (E-bikes) exist and the way to choose the best one for their needs. My event has this covered well and the turn-out proves it strongly. I did wish I had more time to cover all the details, but much of the evening revolves around getting them outside and ridden.


Even though it is a free event, let’s not overlook the time and effort it takes just to come. Many came from out of town, and even out of state. Whether they were guests or exhibitors, the desire to be part of the show is what brings them here. Also seen was a great show of generosity, as the door prize table was overflowing. There were a couple of those that wouldn’t even fit on the table, more an that in a minute. And true to the theme, there was no cost or obligation for the chance to win one of the great items.

The level of interest of everyone there was intoxicating.

Even though once I show up for the evening it flows smooth and easy for me, the lead time is hectic. I am able to set a date and reserve the meeting room about two months prior to the event. It is then I can start notifying the shops and E-bike companies so they can get it on their schedule. With a month to go I am presented a shareable flyer and the fun really begins. Messages to the media for calendar placement is next. And mix in bunches of emails and messages to so many people and sources it is hard to believe.

The bikes were the draw, I was the facilitator.

I was lucky once again to do TV and radio bits to help promote it. I was hoping for some actual TV coverage, yet like in the past they weren’t present. No matter, as the room was filled and that’s the important thing. I have, and will again, tell people to try and do an event like this in their own area. It isn’t easy, the biggest obstacle might be finding a venue as generous as the one I have found. SDG&E is dedicated to helping people learn how to save energy, help the environment and enjoy life. They even sent out email blasts to their own customers to help get the word out about the evening.

This shot gives you idea of the room size and all the people who came to get an E-bike education.

Here are the numbers—170 attending (approx 140 E-bike interested guests)—25 shops and companies (a couple that weren’t in attendance but fully supporting this event)—40 E-bikes for everyone to ride (of many makes and types). This is the first time I emphasized pre-registration and it turned out to be a good thing. To my knowledge no one was turned away, but I do expect that soon. The online registration was closed a day or two before the event, but some of those people came anyway and were able to be a big part of the evening. If you want to come to future E-bike seminars I host, make sure to register early.


Most all of the exhibitors on hand (and even a few that weren’t) helped fill up the door prize table. Right from the beginning I knew having door prizes would energize the crowd, and help break up the possible monotony of my talk. Over a dozen free E-bike rentals, many bike accessories and sets of wheel safety lights were awarded to the guests. Although there isn’t room to mention each gift and giver, there are a few that I will point out. ABUS locks sent me a package for the table that included 4 of their awesome bike locks. Kayman bikes in conjunction with Revolights brought two sets of their tech heavy wheel lights for the table too. Look below for a full list of the shops and companies with links to their websites and Facebook pages. Give them each a ’like’ if you can.

With a look of dis-belief, this winner of a Kayman Type R E-bike couldn’t have been happier.

The big surprise of the night (to me even) was the 2 Kayman E-bikes that got awarded to 2 very lucky guests. They came to learn about E-bikes and wound up going home with one of their own. What a treat is was for me to be part of that thrill. I am sure you will learning more about E-bikes from Kayman, as this company is primed and ready for the moves it takes to get their name known. I can’t guarantee future guests at my seminar will have this same chance, but I do mention to each shop and company attending that binging nice bike oriented gifts can’t hurt.

My friend Rhonda has a fantastic and inspirational life story. I was proud to have her be able present it to the group

One other part of the inside activities was my ability to have Rhonda Martin speak about her E-bike journey. To bring you up to speed here, E-bikes played a major role in her loss of half her body weight. Although it was more of a mental decision that brought her to this personal victory and health level, E-bikes figured in strong. Her talk at my last seminar was a important goal for overcoming speaking to a large group. Now as the new ambassador for Pedego Electric Bikes, she is on her way to completing many more speaking engagements and life goals. 12,000 + fans already ’like’ her FB page “Living Instead of Existing”. I suggest you do the same. We also heard the history of E-bikes from long-time E-bike dealer and adventurer Ken Kalb.

Thanks to my friend Hemdan for this outdoor riding picture. Check the video for a better look at the riding excitement.

After all this food, info and gifts, we moved all the bikes outside for some massive riding. E-bikes of all colors and types were filling the parking lot. The bike lights and wheel lights flashed in every direction (really only one as I made sure everyone rode in a clockwise direction in the lot). This part of the evening is what I figure most came for. The smiles and laughter stood out even in the noisy large crowd, dimly lit by the over head free-standing solar panel’s lights.


Some already have E-bikes and yearn to learn and experience more. Most got their first time in the saddle this night to get a feel for what an E-bike is all about. These are the ones that keep my desire for hosting this event alive. Moments thinking about all the work and toil of putting this event together are squelched at this point of each event. My frail ego gets pumped to exploding levels from all the excitement, and with each person that goes out of their way to personally thank me.   I do this as a passion, a personal mission to get people on bikes. That is thanks alone every time another person decides to saddle up. Helping to make this happen is priceless.

I do have to give massive amounts of credit to my lovely wife (who commutes on her E-bike everyday), for all the help and support she offers to make this event come to life. And thanks to all that came—what a rush, Turbo Bob.


“I had a friend whose family had dinner together. The mother would tuck you in at night and make breakfast in the morning. They even had a spare bike for a friend. It just seemed so amazing to me.”—Moon Unit Zappa.

Videos of the event

Links to all the exhibitors—in alphabetical order

A2B Electric Bikes



ABUS Bike Locks









Cycle Quest



Currie Technologies Road Show






Electric Bike Central






Electric Bike Company


El Camino Bike Shop



e-Joe Electric Bikes



GenZe E-Bikes



Kayman Bikes



Lectric Cycles






LightMeUp Safety Lights



Lights Living Instead of Existing


Motiv Electric Bikes






Nori Lights



Pedego Electric Bikes



Pedego Carlsbad






San Diego Electric Bike



San Diego Fly Rides



SDG&E Energy Innovation Center






Torcano Industries






The Ultimate DIY E-bike Guide





Posted in Bike accessories, E-bike general interest | 1 Comment