Red Deer, Alberta, Canada — Cycle Source owner Alysia Doram rents and sells Motorino brand electric bikes at Bower Ponds.
She points out that many people mistake the two-wheel technology for motor bikes.
“A lot of people who come down here don’t know anything about them. They back away. It’s not a motor bike. It just assists you enough to keep the momentum going so you still have to pedal to keep going. It’s safe. It won’t go out of control.”
Doram said the fastest the bike will go is about 32 km/h at full pedal, in top gear and full electric power.
“You can go a lot faster on a mountain bike than you can with these.”
People must use a motorcycle helmet, but there is no licence or insurance required. Cycle Source’s insurance prevents anyone under 16 from renting them. (In Alberta, the legal age to ride them is 12.)
In Europe and China, electric bikes are replacing vehicles with 80 million sold. In Canada, only about 1,000 are on the roads, mostly in British Columbia.
They give people who have trouble with an ordinary bike due to asthma, arthritis or knee injuries an option. Because of the increased cost for parking, vehicle insurance and gasoline, electric bikes are a good way for people to save money during the summer.
Cycle Source also rents regular bikes. It is open Thursday and Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. or call 403-896-3213.