The Interbike Electric Bike Media Event—Up Close at the Event with Turbo Bob.
What an exciting two days I had at this event. Interbike made the push to help get E-bikes more in the media spotlight and my invitation to be there was welcome. I was originally planning on representing Momentum Magazine due to my article on E-bikes they published, but the folks at Momentum couldn’t make it. Even though I thought I would be a speaker, the two that did presentations at the sit-down parts of the event were great.
Held at the luxurious Terranea Resort on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in LA, California, Interbike had gone to far lengths to made this event a success. The beautiful landscape and sea view really showed all involved how we do it here in California. We had the perfect area for riding E-bikes with a wide-open space for all the booths, a nice grade on the paved walkway and great accommodations for the meetings, meals and talks.
I drove up early on Tuesday, made a stop at San Diego Electric Bike’s new location in Solana Beach and beat the LA crowds to get to the event site by 3 in the afternoon. That gave me a chance to explore the resort and neighborhood on the IZIP E3 Path I was bringing to exchange for a new eFlow for my next extended Currie Tech test. The grounds are manicured perfectly and the bike/walking paths were many. I also got to talk to some of the workers and executives setting up their displays and bikes that afternoon.
The meet and greet was planned that evening at 6 and I was changed out of my short pants, t-shirt and sandals to make an appearance. I mostly sipped cranberry juice, ate some hors d’oeuvres and relaxed, but did manage to meet some of the people on hand. Don from Pedego got John from Bicycle Dealer Magazine to treat us both to a nice dinner later at one of the on-location restaurants. Thanks for the great meal John.
After a kind of restless night in a local motel, I was on scene early for a hearty breakfast. Next up was a very interesting talk on the history of E-bikes by Bill Moore of EV World.com. He made some great points and kept the group thinking about the future of E-bikes too. During lunch later in the day, our other presentation was given by Bruno Maier from Bikes Belong. It is amazing to hear about all the advances they have helped make to get more bikes on safer roads and bike paths. They still have a long way to go and I am convinced Barbara and I will become more involved in their coalition.
As much as this Interbike event was about the bikes and riding them, what it really came down to is an attempt to educate the general public about E-bikes and the reasons we need them. They did this by inviting as many media outlets as possible. Most were from outside of the bike industry, names such as Oprah Magazine, Men’s Journal, US Weekly and many, many more. I have been spending a lot of my own personal time and energy on this same goal—to get people educated about and on E-bikes (regular bikes too).
The list of sponsors and exhibitors at the Interbike Electric Bike Media Event is long (look below for the full list and a link to each one of their websites). As the two riding portions of the event proceeded I got to meet all of them. I rode just about every E-bike on hand at one point or another. There were some I’ve already ridden and some I have for extended tests right now. Those include the Easy Motion NEO City, the Pedego Trail Tracker and the eFlow E3 Nitro I brought home from the event.
There were also celebrities on hand too. I almost ran over Lisa Rinna’s toes on one of my rides. We exchanged smiles as I narrowly missed her and I noticed she wasn’t flustered as she took to the hilly test track on some of the E-bikes there for riding. The test track was busy with E-bikes and many of them prowled the parking lots as well. So many E-bikes of different brands and descriptions were moving about during each session.
Since my talk at the Pedego Dealer meeting in December, many have been calling me Uncle Bob (inside joke, you had to be there). Now, after my wild ride on the Kranked Kustoms E-converted mountain bike, I think my new nickname will be Daredevil or Maniac. These bikes have a 1200 watt mid-drive set-up that has more power than any E-bike should be given. They are pricey, fast and exciting. I had ridden one in the first part of the day, but had decided I would get one to full-speed before the day was done.
Chris was shooting wheelies on them over and over, but I think he was concerned about showing the crowd the peak of power they enjoy. Getting them to really perform was a matter of quick shifting while backing off the power and the pedals. The Kranked guys had this down, but the many that rode these bikes couldn’t seem to master it. I made a few runs down the hill, caught the shifting like a Ferrari, and hit top-speed twice. They are said to hit 40 mph on the level, so 45-50 might be how fast I took it. And at the bottom of the hill, I was so pleased to find those big hydraulic disc brakes live-up to their reputation.
I am not a big fan of over-powered, fast E-bikes but I have to say it was a thrill and a half to do it. My background with all the turbo cars I have built and raced, my motorcycle racing days, plus my time in the 82nd Airborne seem to follow me through the years. And too, no one was hurt as I put that speed machine through it’s paces.
All craziness aside (I think it was just me), the Interbike event was a big success. The word about their (E-bikes)fun and usefulness (in addition to their money savings and environmental friendliness) will be spread through many publications during the next couple of months. I have heard that Interbike was so pleased, that this will most likely become a yearly event that will draw in bigger numbers every time they host it. I sure want to thank them for the great time.
E-bikes for the masses, Turbo Bob.
“The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind.”—William Saroyan, from his introduction to The Noiseless Tenor.
Three videos I took at the event
Another article about the day I posted on the NYCeWheels site
Interbike—Website & Facebook
Link to Bicycle Retailer and Industry News—Website & Facebook
Currie Technologies—Website & Facebook
Easy Motion—Website & Facebook
Electra—Website & Facebook
EV World—Website & Facebook
LEVA (Light Electric Vehicle Association
Pedego—Website & Facebook
Pete’s Electric Bikes—Website & Facebook
Prodeco Technologies—Website & Facebook
SRAM—Website & Facebook
Serfas—Website & Facebook
BionX—Website & Facebook
Bicycle Dealer Magazine
Sea Otter Classic