Image credits: Carrboro Commons and Cycle9
Back in my early days of writing for TreeHugger, there used to be a lot of controversy each time we posted on electric bikes. Jacob's article about Schwinn's line of electric bikes, for example, drew angry responses from some who claimed that adding batteries and motors to the eco-perfect bicycle was a step backwards, while others argued that anything that makes cycling more attractive, more accessible, and more competitive with cars can only be a good thing. Things have come along way since then, with elegant electric bikes like the GoCycle garnering mainstream interest as a viable commuter option, and DIY electric assist options like the Stokemonkey gaining traction too. Now a new retail store has cropped up in my community, selling and servicing a full range of electric bikes that they hope will entice people out of their cars. But electric assist is just one of the technologies they promote for broadening the appeal of the humble bicycle. Cycle9, located in downtown Carrboro, NC, is a full-service bike shop and online retailer selling everything from electric bikes to electric-assist conversion kits to cargo bikes, Sport's Utility Bikes (see Dominic's enthusiasm for the Xtracycle SUB conversion to learn just how revolutionary this innovation might be), and they even sell some run-of-the-mill pedal bikes for the rest of us too.
Electric-Assist Cargo Bike Offers Real Alternative to Car
Not that I have anything against regular bike shops - which usually provide excellent service - but it is nice to see a retailer that is dedicated to selling "practical biking gear" for the "everyday commuter". Not much lycra in sight here. And for those who still argue that electric bikes won't draw people out of cars, check out co-owner Elise's blog post about her latest ride - an electric-assist cargo bike that she uses to transport 3 kids over a 5 to 7 mile commute. Not bad...