PEDEGO ELECTRIC BIKES
Pedego Puts People First HISTORY
Pedego was founded in 2008 by Don DiCostanzo and Terry Sherry, two long-time business partners and lifelong friends who were best men at each other’s weddings. Don lived on top of a giant hill that took all the fun out of riding to the beach, so he went online and bought an electric bike. He loved it so much that he bought another, and another, and another… Before long, he wound up with seven different electric bikes in his garage! His friends loved them too, and some of them wanted their own, so he opened up a shop in Newport Beach that quickly became the largest electric bicycle retailer in the United States.
Soon, Don found himself frustrated and disappointed with the poor quality and boring style of all the electric bikes on the market. He dreamt of creating his own brand of electric bikes that would live up to his high standards and appeal to more people. But he knew he couldn’t do it alone, and that’s where Terry comes in. Terry has warm childhood memories of fixing up old bikes with his dad. He remembers going to swap meets to search for broken-down, neglected bikes to bring back to life. He learned to strip them down to the bare frame and completely rebuild them from scratch to be as good as new.
Between Don’s innovative vision and Terry’s technical expertise, Pedego Electric Bikes was born. The colourful, fun bikes were instant crowd-pleasers, and their world-class customer service earned them a special place in the hearts of customers everywhere. Today, Pedego is the number one brand of electric bikes in America (according to Navigant Research), and that’s only the beginning. Every day, we’re adding more stores, more products, and most importantly, more delighted customers!
Pedego Electric Bikes in Canada
“Canada is the perfect country for electric bicycles.”
So thought Pedego Canada owner Mike Clyde when he launched his business in January 2010. He had moved here from his native New Zealand, gotten married, and settled in the beautiful, but hilly, community of Nelson, British Columbia. Mike’s daughter started riding in a Chariot behind a Pedego and now she rides as a passenger on the Stretch Cargo Bike.
“I live at the top of a 150-meter hill,” he says. “For me to pop into town is no big deal but it’s a slog to get back up to my house. If it weren’t for my electric bike, I’d be using my car a lot more often.”
In this Q&A with Mike, we learn what his first experience was with an electric bike, what the best part of his job is, and why he decided to become the sole distributor of Pedego Electric Bikes in Canada.
When was the first time you were on an electric bike?
“My first ride on an electric bike was about 15 years ago with my brother, who’s been involved in the industry for as long as I can remember. He had just put together this contraption that was totally amped up and not entirely legal and we went to the local park. The first thing I did was give it full throttle and there was a spray of grass out the back and I did a little wheel stand – I was completely impressed!”
RIDING ELECTRIC BIKES IN CANADA
Sounds like fun!
“Thankfully that was a one-off and the bikes I’ve since ridden have been excellent and safe. But I have to admit at the time I wasn’t completely sold on the idea of electric bikes. I was like, “Yeah, great idea but it’s not for me. I like to pedal.” It wasn’t until years later that I came to understand they’re not meant to replace your current bike journeys – they’re meant to get you out of your car and create a whole lot of new bike memories!”
How do electric bikes fit into your daily experience now?
“It’s my primary means of transportation around town. It’s so easy to hop on my electric bike and go to the bank or the grocery store and then use the assisted pedal feature to cruise back up the steep hill to my house. Otherwise, I’d be using my car. The same goes for my daughter who can’t wait to ride her own Pedego ebike home.”
Do you ride other bikes?
“I own a full-suspension mountain bike that I ride on the single-track trails behind my house at least three times a week. My electric bike will never replace the fun I experience from that activity. Instead, it adds fun in other areas of my life. It’s interesting because most of the naysayers I encounter are cyclists and their biggest misconception is that the electric bike is competing with their current bike journeys, whether it’s mountain biking or road riding. But the fact is electric bikes create new bike experiences. If they’re going to compete with anything, it’s the couch or your car.”
THE FUTURE OF ELECTRIC BIKES
What have your friends said when they’ve tried one of your e-bikes?
“I have a good friend who has seen our company grow over the last five years but had never been on an electric bike before. A little while ago I loaned one to her for a few weeks and she said, “I can’t believe I haven’t had this in my life before!” Until you actually go for a spin on an electric bicycle it’s hard to understand how many new bike journeys you’re missing out on, whether it’s cruising effortlessly up a hill or against a headwind, or just having fun zooming around a park or your neighborhood.”
What do you see for the future of the electric bike industry?
“It’s a different cycling culture in Canada than, say, Europe or Asia because we view the bike as a toy as opposed to a vehicle. But that’s changing and with developments such as electric cargo bikes, tandems, and tricycles, people are going to realize just how versatile, handy, and above all fun, electric bikes are.
Our goal at Pedego Canada is to develop and nurture a network of awesome locally-owned Pedego Stores across Canada. We love working with the dealers and watching their businesses grow as the industry gains momentum. The Covid-19 pandemic has been an interesting time of supply challenges in the bike industry and we are proud to have been able to supply bikes at a record number across Canada since 2020.”
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