Introduction to Electric Bicycles, Spring 2014—Another Big Success.
Starting my third year with this local event, it just keeps getting bigger and better. So many people are discovering E-bikes can make their life’s more fun and satisfying, and much of what I do is geared in this direction. This seminar brings together most all the local E-bike dealers and companies, with the folks that want to learn more, in a no-cost, no sales, no pressure setting. I truly believe there is nothing like this anywhere, although I continually promote others to emulate it.
There are many reasons this works, one being the venue. Our local power co, SDG&E, built this Energy Innovation Center for many purposes. With a large conference room and parking, lot it lends perfectly for my vision of E-bike education. They generously offer the space for this event twice a year. In addition to that they had the evening catered so most got a full meal before the show began. Plus they help me get the word out a head of time, something I spend much effort on myself.
Another part are the E-bike dealers and companies. They realize that in this relatively new industry, that any sale by another shop is a rolling advertisement for them. If you have ever ridden an E-bike or own one, then you know that getting stopped for questions about it is an everyday occurrence. The more they are seen on the roads and bikeways, the more people gain interest in getting one for themselves. Direct competition between shops isn’t an issue, (yet).
So having all the different makes and models available for side-by-side comparisons and test rides makes sense for all the shops and companies. This is a big part of what my event offers, in addition for the potential customers to meet the dealers to learn more about their shops and the E-bikes they offer. And it gives all the dealers and companies a chance to meet each other in a fun and calm atmosphere. Although no sales are allowed (my rules), many people found the bike they want and new retail shop deals were arranged during the evening too.
The amount of time I spend getting the event on calendars of the local media (TV, radio, printed media and social media) is mind-boggling. I do have to say that the TV and radio spots are pretty fun though. As the evening begins I have no slides, power points or the such, just a basic idea of the way things will go, a whole lot of cool E-bikes (35 this time) and my enthusiasm to get the word out. This time we spent the first ½ hour as a meet and greet and a chance to see the bikes up-close.
As I start the presentation I thank the Innovation Center and folks who run it. Then I introduce the assembled crowd to all the dealers and companies who are there and give a little insight to their businesses. I do a short educational session talk on the what and why of E-bikes is followed by a discussion of the control systems and their differences. During this time I take short breaks to distribute the free raffle prizes to the lucky many who had the winning numbers. This helps to keep everyone interested and really pumps-up the attendees These prizes brought by the shops and E-bike companies included E-bike rentals, bike check-overs, headlights and other cool bike items.
Of course I do a question and answer sessions as we go, making sure to cover the bases of all the people there. The turn-out had a count of 125 people on-hand, and from what I saw and heard, they all really enjoyed the event. A special treat was the presence of a PBS film crew that are doing a documentary on E-bikes. They filmed the goings-ons and did an up-close interview with me too. It will be a full hour piece and should hit the airwaves soon—keep an eye out for it.
The final (and best?) part of the night comes when we roll all the bikes outside and ride until we can’t ride anymore. Although this part always concerns the venue director, it goes very smoothly. It is a big lot and I direct everyone to ride in a clock-wise direction, to be careful and all that. This is the part I like the best, as many there got their first E-bike saddle time this night. Comparing the bikes, and the way they ride and feel is king. At any other time you would have to travel to many different shops to get this experience and chance, and it still wouldn’t match this.
There were many who planned on coming (attendees, local shops, and E-bike company reps) that couldn’t make it for different reasons. The main one was our terrible local wildfires that broke-out that week. Even with this looming, the large crowd put thoughts of that aside for one evening and fully immersed themselves in the info and the bikes. The fires are now out and the E-bike roll on in the memories of all that came.
The other bad deal was the scheduling of the Charged-Up E-bike Media event back east. When I set my date there was no conflict, as I was planning on traveling to New Jersey for the full experience there. I did Interbike’s first one last year here on the west coat and offered up a full report on the action. At some point they changed the date so they could integrate it with the outdoor event and their date changed to the same as my event. Not to worry as mine was more fruitful for the local E-bike scene. Make sure to watch the two videos I took of the event to really get a feel for all the transpired (links at the bottom of this post). Thanks to all that came and participated.
I do this twice a year, with the results growing in fun and knowledge for all interested. Keep an eye open for the next one, most likely in October. See you there, Turbo Bob.
“Bicycling is the nearest approximation I know to the flight of birds.”—Louis J. Helle Jr.
Here are two videos of the evening that I recommend you watch.
Thanks to these shops and companies that were part of the show
In alphabetical order.
CorbinFiber Electric Motor Cycles
Currie Technologies—The IZIP Store & The Road Show
Electric Bike Central
Electra Bicycle Company
LightMeUp Safety Lights
Motiv Electric Bicycles
Pedego Solana Beach
San Diego Fly Rides
San Diego Electric Bike
San Diego County Bicycle Coalition
A special thanks goes to Rhonda for braving the crowd to tell her story of how E-bikes helped to make a incredible change in her life.
And two friends that brought their own bikes to show