IZIP Store, Santa Monica—Great Place, Great Day.
My bike blog continues to take us to some of the most fun places. This weekend was just one more example. You may know that in addition to all the other bikes I ride and test, Currie Technologies has offered me extended rides on every E-bike they offer. Right now I am knee-deep in my E3 Ultra excitement. They had also invited us to share in the grand opening of their new IZIP Store.
Well, the grand opening was on a weeknight and many miles north of our home-base so we couldn’t go. But, as luck would have it, they were having a Labor Day sale and BBQ over the holiday weekend. I had just been asked by BML to ship the demo Ferei headlights (story on those coming soon) I’ve been testing up to Ethan (who runs the show at the IZIP Store) so he could try them out. The timing was perfect and instead of packing them off, I delivered them in person.
The IZIP Store there is not brand new, but bigger and better than ever. They had been enjoying a nice storefront at Venice beach, but moved to this awesome new location just a short distance away. With more room and a nicer shop, they have really made it their own. The décor and lay-out is fantastic. With E-bikes everywhere, they even have them as wall decorations. Every model in their line is on display, and plenty of demo and rental bikes are available.
We arrived as the BBQ was heating up. Plenty of customers were on hand, but we still managed to talk to the whole crew there. Mike and Eric are well versed in the IZIP line and Rudy cranks the wrenches in the back. Before long they had a pair of rental E3 Metros ready for us to enjoy our afternoon on. With racks front and rear for our gear, my bike even had a great rear pack that held my camera perfectly. With food offered, we said thanks anyway got ready to head out towards the beach.
A quick run-down on the controls of the Metro was not really needed but accepted. Barbara and I have been riding our eZips for the longest time and she rides all the test bikes I am offered. We are both familiar with the way they work and the such. The controls on the E3 Metro are easy to operate and understand so we were gone in a flash. We headed north up the Santa Monica boardwalk and our adventure began.
After passing the mile long street market area we got to the pier and amusement park. Lots of bikes and people were out enjoying the perfect holiday weather. We rode on, but before long decided to turn back and do lunch at one of the beachfront food stands. Not expecting the best food, we were surprised by how great the fish tacos were. A big fillet of fresh fish cooked to perfection made those tacos shine. We sat and watched the crowds for a while before heading back south with Marina del Rey as our next destination.
The bike path along the sand is wide and marked for travel in both directions. In most areas the walkers have their own path, but in some areas it is shared. We saw bikes of every description. We followed a rider on a tall bike for a little while. Those are something else, some day I’ll have to give one a try. The two E3 Metros were easy to ride in the fairly heavy traffic on the path. Before long we were back at the street market. If you have never been to this scene in Santa Monica, you need to put it on your list of things to do. What a wild place it is.
We had to ride a quiet street to get to Marina del Rey. I had spent most of my life near enough to visit this beautiful place, but this was my first time at the marina. With many waterways mooring boats of all types, there is so much to see. The two E-bikes were the perfect way to get around as much of this area is gated or off limits to cars. We worked into all kinds of cool spots to experience it all in full. From wood sailboats to massive yachts and everything in between, you have to see it all to believe it. A few times we just sat and watched as the people and ships moved about.
We ended up talking to a older couple who were admiring our E-bikes. They miss riding their bikes due to a recent move that put them in a area where riding was a little uncomfortable for them. After discussing the bikes for a bit, we managed to get them both to take a short ride on the two Metros. After maybe 80 years of life and bike riding, the two of them had their first ride on an E-bike. I think I was as thrilled as they were.
Soon, we were headed back north towards Santa Monica again. We decided to walk our bikes through the street market to get a closer look and maybe do some retail therapy. Last time we were here, we got a piece of the coolest bike art made from formed colored wire. Nothing really caught our eye this day, but the variety of hand-made art and the mix of people was interesting to see. That was a long walk through the market and we were glad to saddle-up the two E-bikes again as we made to the end.
Up past the pier one more time and then we decided to head back to the IZIP Store. We had been on the bikes for four hours and both battery charge indicators were still reading close to full. I think we could have made another four hours but the store closed at 7 and we needed to get back. They still had customers coming and going there, as with such a great product and being in a busy area, you know they draw the crowds. Even still, we spent the larger part of an hour there getting to know the super crew better and checking out all the goodies they have to offer. I could tell that this is one bike shop that won’t have any trouble keeping everyone happy.
So thanks to Ethan and the crew for extending a welcoming hand and making our day extra nice.
Check out the IZIP Store when you are in town, Turbo Bob.
“I am a lot more committed to encouraging the love of cycling and the self-reliance of being able to improve your own bike than I am to that vitality-robbing suggestion that you must lay out big bucks in order to ’keep up’ with other riders.”—Leonard Zinn, Mountain Bike Performance Handbook.
The IZIP Store on the web and Facebook
Currie Technologies on the web and Facebook
Ferei lights—BML on Facebook
I did a few videos of the store and our day. You can find the first one at this link and then look around on my You-Tube channel for the rest