Hello, fun! Electric bike store opens in Williamsburg’s Midtown Row – Daily Press
While attending a wedding in California, Amy Oliver and her family decided to rent Pedego Electric Bikes in Tiburon for a day of riding the very hilly and windy Angel Island. She instantly was amazed by the joy and thrill of riding a Pedego Electric Bike.
Upon returning the bikes to the store at the end of the ride, Amy asked if they were looking to add Pedego stores on the East Coast. Within a few weeks, Amy and her husband Kevin returned to California, this time to meet with the founder and CEO of Pedego.
The concept of a brick-and-mortar store, in which potential customers could test ride different models of electric bikes and get local support and service, was a strong factor in the Olivers’ decision to become an authorized Pedego dealer. As a former real estate agent working in Hampton Roads, Amy knew that she had the tools to be successful in introducing people to the benefits and excitement of owning a Pedego Electric Bike.
“There’s more job satisfaction in selling e-bikes than selling real estate,” she said.
Amy opened her first store in Norfolk, about two blocks from the Elizabeth River Trail, in early 2019. Because cruises and vacations were cancelled during the pandemic, e-bike sales were brisk. The Olivers opened their second store at 100 College Row earlier this month.
Amy wanted her next store to be in Williamsburg, because of its demographic for electric bikes: baby-boomers between the ages of 45-70+ who want to get out and enjoy the outdoors and stay active. With its well-developed network of interconnected bicycle and walking trails, Williamsburg has been rated a “bronze-level Bicycle Friendly City” by the League of American Bicyclists.
Pedego Bikes in Norfolk and Williamsburg sell over 20 different models of electric bikes in a wide array of colors. They offer delivery and pick-up and full Pedego bike service and maintenance, as well as Pedego owner group rides and rentals in Norfolk.
Most of the electric bikes that Amy sells are “step through.” Many people prefer the lowered top tube because it’s easier to get onto the bike. The options on the more expensive bikes include shock absorbers, larger batteries, hydraulic brakes, top-of-the-line suspension seat posts, 10-speed gearing and more rider settings for the pedal assist feature.
An e-bike purchased at a brand-specific shop, such as Pedego, will have good customer service and a five-year “no-excuses” warranty. Amy encourages potential customers to test ride the different Pedego models, to ensure the fit of the bike to the individual’s body size, riding style and experience level, and of course, to pickthe perfect color. Pedego believes that if a rider isn’t comfortable on a bike, the bike won’t be ridden.
There are many ways to customize a Pedego bike and to make it unique. Anyone interested in learning about electric bikes is encouraged to visit a Pedego store. Amy and Kevin will take you out on a demo ride and then switch out to another bike model or size. Many customers come to the store a number of times before they buy their bike.
The most joy Amy and Kevin said they get from being a Pedego dealer is when someone, who may not have ridden a bike in 20, 30 or more years, comes back in from a demo ride or rental and tells them that they feel like a kid again, or when they return after a month, or a year or more, and tell how it has changed their lives.
The group rides and destination/excursion rides are popular and always free for Pedego owners. Riders can try Williamsburg, Yorktown, James City County, Capital Trail, Jamestown, Fort Monroe, Virginia Beach Seashore State Park, Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore, the Great Dismal Swamp Trail, the Elizabeth River Trail and many other exciting rides hosted by Pedego Williamsburg and Pedego Norfolk.
Pedego Williamsburg is also proud to support the Williamsburg Bike Co-Op, a non-profit that rehabs old bicycles and re-sells the rehabbed bicycles to help fund their operations. Amy and Kevin are donating spare bike parts to the Co-Op and the proceeds from the 50/50 raffle held during their Pedego Palooza Owners Event.
Old bikes, parts and/or cash can be donated to the Williamsburg Bike Co-Op, located in James-York Plaza on Merrimac Trail.
Jane Elkin is a member of Williamsburg Area Bicyclists, as is Amy Oliver, who also contributed reporting to this story.