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Off the Beaten Path – Pedego, Take Me Away!

Off the Beaten Path – Pedego, Take Me Away!
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By Lisa Haas

I went less than a block and a half and I wanted it. I wanted it bad. There was no question that what I wanted more than anything else in the world was the Pedego electric bike I was riding.

I’ve been riding a bike for fun since I was a kid – going on expeditions down a dirt path along side the ditch that ran for miles in the Colorado suburb of my childhood – and then sneaking away to the 7-11 for a Slurpee on a hot summer day. And for a collective 30+ years in my adult life, I’ve used my bike a great deal for commuting, first while I was in graduate school in Missoula, Montana and most recently from my apartment in Brooklyn to jobs in Manhattan.

The first bike I bought with my very own money was a Bridgestone mountain bike. I loved that bike. It was my full time companion and relocated with me to several different states. After it was hit by a car for the third time (each time, incidentally, it was chained to a bicycle rack on a sidewalk and was the casualty of a car accident), it was finally totaled. I donated it’s remains to Recycle a Bicycle and a 14-year-old kid who volunteered there stood solemnly next to me as I sobbed uncontrollably over the loss of my long-term relationship.

As much as a loved that bike, I found that as I was aging into my forties, it was becoming harder and harder to carrying it up and down the stairs to my apartment.

So, I saved my money for the next love of my life, a Raleigh Road bike. This bike is as light as a feather and rides as smooth as a hot knife through butter. My Raleigh Road bike is SO COOL it even had a cameo appearance in a scene where it clocked 30 MPH down 5th Avenue in Manhattan’s East Village in the 2011 Sundance indie film “Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same”!

But I must admit, in the last few years I have had thoughts going through my head – thoughts of electric assisted bicycles. Perhaps that would make a great retirement gift to myself someday? So when I was presented with an opportunity to test-ride a Pedego electric bike, I called my friend Heather Weisse to join me on this unique adventure!

1 Ready to Ride

Ready to Ride


On an early Saturday morning this spring, we grabbed our helmets and went to GREENPATH: An Electric Bike Company in Brooklyn. We were greeted by owner Damon Victor and couldn’t have received a nicer and more informative introduction to the world of electric bikes. If you don’t already know, electric assisted bikes carry a rechargeable battery. You can peddle the bike completely manually, you can have the battery kick in and help you while you’re peddling, or for fun, you can simply not peddle and let the battery do all the work while you effortlessly breeze down the street. Damon carries only top quality bikes – the motors are the best – and he will patiently and thoroughly consult with you to find out what would be the best fit for you. Do you want front wheel drive? Are you looking for the Ferrari or Toyota Prius of electric bikes? Do you need it to fold? Do you want a cruiser or a mountain bike.

2 Damon Victor of GREENPATH

Damon Victor of GREENPATH

Before Damon let us loose, he gave us a quick lesson prior to taking our Pedegos for a test joy-ride. I was surprised the hand gears were quite easy to use, and though I’ve never driven a motorcycle, it was a breeze to manually speed up or slow down the bike using the twist & go throttle. And, if you don’t even want to use the throttle, turning on the pedal assist provides a helping hand to make the peddling easy-breezy – and yet you can still get a workout!

3 The Pedegos

The Pedegos

So off we went, Heather and I, howling all the way to Prospect Park. And I’m not kidding, we were giggling and laughing and shrieking, “Can you BELIEVE this shit?” Once inside the park I was suddenly struck with a strange kind of guilt – I felt guilty I was having this much fun – because no one knew I was being invisibly “assisted” on my bike. Technology has advanced so far that most electric bikes look like plain old bicycles. You’d really have to look up close and hard to see that it has a geared motor on the rear wheel.

When biking around the loop in Prospect Park, you have to go up the East Drive hill – a long and steep incline. And unless you’re at least semi-athletic, it’s a hill you want to avoid. But not us! We just quietly chortled as we peddled along in the slow lane all the way to the top.

Alas, we ultimately had to return the Pedegos to GREENPATH, but dang, where do I sign up?! Pedego’s price range is roughly $2,000 – $4,000 depending on your specifications – and they have over 10 inventive/serviceable/fun models to choose from. If you don’t have the cash, putting it on a credit card (or taking a personal loan from your bank) would be well worth it. Why?

  • Obviously it’s a great way to reduce your environmental footprint.
  • You can use it for daily commuting – just do the math and you’ll see how much you would save in gas and/or public transit. Plus, you can show up at work WAY less sweaty than if you were riding a regular bicycle.
  • It’s a great way to exercise: Cycling can burn 500 calories per hour, reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol and can even help fight cancer, diabetes and heart disease. In fact, studies indicate that riding 20 miles per week may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 50 percent. And, it helps alleviate mild depression and anxiety.
  • Not only is Pedego one of the best electric bikes on the market, Damon pointed out they have superior customer service, including a live person who answers their 1-800 number. (I sneakily called them to check it out for myself and was indeed greeted by a live person who was incredibly helpful.)

I could go on and on about all the standard environmental and health related reasons to own a Pedego, but what I want to point out is for those who need a little assistance exercising or being more active, the Pedego is especially useful for when you have stopped to gaze at a lake or are waiting for a traffic light to change. When it’s time to move it really helps you get rolling from a dead stop – which is especially useful when you’re on an incline. Also, if you find yourself avoiding bike riding due to barriers such as hills or bridges, you’ll be intimidated no more and make it to the top with a smile on your face.

And it’s FUN. It’s like, CRAZY FUN, with exercise a happenstance by product.

But wait! It’s not over till it’s over…

After we said our farewells to Damon we went to Fletchers for a Brooklyn BBQ lunch and chowed down on homemade pulled pork, mac & cheese, cole slaw and market pickles.



And for our encore treat we went next door to Four & Twenty Blackbirds for pie! (We had a slice of Salted Carmel Apple and Black Bottom Oat.)

5 Heather Pie

Heather eating pie

Lisa eating pie

Lisa eating pie


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