EDWARDSVILLE - When Leslie and Dave Archer of Pedego Edwardsville travelled to Seal Beach, CA., to take a break from the rough midwestern winter in their RV, they never knew the trip they took would change their lives forever.
One morning, the couple ventured into town to grab some groceries.
“As I left the building, a little store caught my eye,” Archer said, as the store had a sign that red “electric bikes.” Intrigued, Archer headed toward the storefront.
“The owner, Brian, came out of the store and greeted us right away, and correctly assuming we were tourists, asked where we were from,” Archer said.
After proudly exclaiming “Edwardsville, Illinois,” Brian rattled off the correct postal code for the town of “62025!”
Shocked, the couple asked how the owner could have possibly known where they were from. In one of the most interesting coincidences, Brian used to be a mail carrier for the city, and lived in nearby Granite City.
After talking for a bit, Brian set Leslie and Dave on two Pedego Electric Bikes.
“We rode for a little longer than what’s normally considered a ‘test drive,’” Archer explained, “But by then, we were hooked.”
“The next day, we came back and purchased two Pedego bikes and decided we wanted to bring this idea out to the midwest,” Archer said.
“After sitting down with the owners of Pedego Electric Bikes in Irvine, CA., for lunch, we made an agreement to start a business selling the bikes,” Archer said.
It has been almost one year since the Archer family opened up shop at 503 St. Louis St. in Edwardsville, and business is booming.
“The bikes are available for rent at a rate of $15 an hour or $50 a day,” Archer said, “but once you get on the bikes, you’re hooked. All of the bikes in the shop are available for purchase and customization and could be taken out of the store that day.”
Leslie and Dave's son, Archie, helps them at the shop and does a lot of the mechanic work.
Something the owners of Pedego Electric Bikes of Edwardsville are proud of is the quality of their products in the store.
“Some call us an ‘electric bike boutique,’” Archer said, “which is kind of true; our bikes are high-end, but I’m sure they could be passed down from generation to generation.”
The bikes run on a lithium-ion battery, which can be charged within four hours after being completely drained. However, one does not have to completely drain the battery to charge it. The batteries have the ability to be “topped off” after each trip to ensure maximum capacity.
Of course, the battery-powered motor is just a supplement to assist the actual pedaling process. The motor helps propel the user up steep surfaces and inclines as well as helps the user not overexert themselves. Pedalling the electric bicycles extends battery life, but if one wishes to simply cruise on the bike, the electric motor allows for that. The battery size, as well as the weight of the rider, also determines the potential battery life.
Although the prices of the bikes are a bit higher than conventional bikes, it is truly an investment that could benefit one’s life and health. The owners of Pedego Edwardsville are a testament that getting moving helps one’s health on the right track.
“I’ve always been a fit guy,” Archer said, “But over the past year, I’ve lost about 30 pounds just from riding my bike everywhere, and I look pretty good for 70 years old!”
Pedego Edwardsville is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays. Sunday rentals and demonstrations can be arranged. For more information regarding Pedego Edwardsville, please visit their website at http://www.pedegoedwardsville.com.
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To contact Madelaine Gerard, contact [email protected] or call 618-465-9850 at ext. 235.