Apr. 18—Clear skies, mild temperatures and "e-bike" enthusiasm were welcome ingredients in Saturday's scene at The Village at Woodside, with dozens of Pedego Electric Bikes representatives and other users on hand to log some mileage and promote the company's local outreach.
"It turned out great," said Aiken store owner Coker Day, who went into business in April 2019, setting up shop a few blocks off Silver Bluff Road, to offer bicycles that allow riders to decide on what mixture of muscle power and electrical assistance to use.
A tour bus and the company's chief executive officer, Don DiConstanzo, were part of the scene, as was Cynthia Newcomb, the company's director of business development.
"They're going around to 80 locations across the country. They have about 140 shops, so they're doing grand openings, and also, this is a customer appreciation event," Day said, acknowledging that the past year, in the grip of COVID-19, did not allow for such events.
"It turned out great," he added, referring to the afternoon's relatively bicycle-friendly weather, defying an earlier forecast. "It was supposed to be 68 degrees and raining, at the beginning of the week."
The company, based in southern California, offers 18 different models of bikes — "all shapes and sizes," DiConstanzo noted, as he prepared for a ride around the Woodside area, followed by a party in the parking lot, with a live band as part of the gathering.
The base-model Pedego, he said, is $1,695, and at the top of the line is a mountain bike with full suspension, at $5,500. The bikes are designed in the U.S. and made in Vietnam, and the estimated range of battery life runs from 15 miles to 68 miles, depending on the battery type and such factors as terrain, weather, speed, the rider's weight and — the primary factor — how much pedaling the rider does.
Taking pictures at Saturday's event was Allen Riddick, with the Aiken County Historical Society. He mentioned his own Pedego connection, as the leader of historic tours around the community. The starting point, he said, is downtown, in the festival section of Newberry Street.
"It's about 10 to 11 miles, with 20 stops," he said, "and we just talk about some aspect of Aiken at each stop, and we do it every Saturday and also on Thursdays. It's just a good way to see the town, especially for people that are not familiar with Aiken."
Store hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and test rides are free. Details are at (803) 226-9007.