Popularity and Possibilities of E-Bikes
In the past five to 10 years, bike shops have seen a uptick in e-bike sales. With all the potential benefits, it's no wonder everyone wants to take one for a spin. For Bert's Bikes, about half of their customers are e-bike customers.
So having exploded in popularity over the last few years, especially with covid and people wanting to be outside more. And it really opens the door for people who normally wouldn't have wanted to ride a bike or couldn't have. And now they have a little bit of extra help and they can actually go farther," Service Manager of Bert's Bikes Jackie Raver said.
The e-bikes' speed ranges from 20 to 28 miles-an-hour, Raver says it's also opened doors for commuters, as the pedal assist helps make the ride easier.
"You know, we've got a lot of hills around here that are hard to get up. So, you know, if you're down there on the peninsula and you want to make your way all the way back up that hill and not push your bike, a motorized bike will get you there," Raver said.
Now, it looks like Erie police are jumping in on the trend. For officers, e-bikes can be a better solution than a patrol car and quicker than a typical bike.
"There's a lot of pedestrian foot traffic and a bicycle is able to navigate that a little bit quicker than a patrol car, which can be blocked by crowds so it's an integral part of our, you know, crowd containment and successful execution of our downtown events," Patrolman Maxwell Brozell said.
Brozell also said, on a bike, it's easier to engage and build better relationships with people.
"It's great to be able to get to know everybody down in that region, to develop those relationships with those businesses, to develop relationships with some of the unhoused and that risk people down there to talk with them, to know what's going on in their area, versus when you're in a radio car, you're bouncing. Call it a call," Brozell said.