While attending a wedding in California, Amy Oliver and her family decided to rent Pedego e-bikes in Tiburon for a day of riding the very hilly and windy Angel Island. She was instantly amazed by the joy and thrill of riding a Pedego e-bike.
After returning the bikes to the store at the end of the ride, Amy asked if they were considering adding Pedego stores on the East Coast. A few weeks later, Amy and her husband Kevin returned to California, this time to meet the founder and CEO of Pedego.
The concept of a physical store, where potential customers could test drive different e-bike models and get local support and service, was a big factor in the Olivers’ decision to become an authorized Pedego dealer. As a former realtor working in Hampton Roads, Amy knew she had the tools to successfully introduce people to the benefits and excitement of owning a Pedego e-bike.
“There is more job satisfaction in selling e-bikes than in selling real estate,” she said.
Amy opened her first store in Norfolk, about two blocks from the Elizabeth River Trail, in early 2019. Because cruises and vacations were canceled during the pandemic, e-bike sales have been buoyant. The Olivers opened their second store at 100 College Row earlier this month.
Amy wanted her next store to be in Williamsburg, due to its demographics for e-bikes: baby boomers ages 45-70+ who want to get out and enjoy the outdoors and stay active. With its well-developed network of interconnected bike paths and walking paths, Williamsburg has been rated a Bronze Level Bike Friendly City by the League of American Cyclists.
Pedego Bikes in Norfolk and Williamsburg sell over 20 different models of e-bikes in a wide range of colors. They offer delivery and collection and full service and maintenance of Pedego bikes, as well as rides and Pedego owner group rentals in Norfolk.
Most of the e-bikes Amy sells are step-by-step. Many people prefer the lowered top tube because it’s easier to get on the bike. Options on more expensive bikes include shocks, larger batteries, hydraulic brakes, premium suspension seatposts, 10-speed drivetrain and more rider settings for the pedal assist feature .
An e-bike purchased from a brand-specific store, such as Pedego, will have good customer service and a five-year “no excuses” warranty. Amy encourages potential customers to try out the different Pedego models, to make sure the bike fits the individual’s height, riding style and experience level, and of course, to choose the perfect color. . Pedego believes that if a rider is not comfortable on a bike, the bike will not be used.
There are many ways to customize a Pedego bike and make it unique. Anyone interested in learning more about e-bikes is encouraged to visit a Pedego store. Amy and Kevin will take you for a demo ride and then move on to another model or size bike. Many customers come to the store several times before buying their bike.
The greatest joy Amy and Kevin said they have as a Pedego dealer is when someone, who may not have ridden a bike in 20, 30 or more years, comes back from a demonstration or a rental and telling them how it feels like a kid again, or when they come back after a month, a year or more and talk about how it has changed their lives.
Group rides and destination/excursion rides are popular and always free for Pedego owners. Cyclists can try Williamsburg, Yorktown, James City County, Capital Trail, Jamestown, Fort Monroe, Virginia Beach Seashore State Park, Cape Charles on the East Coast, the Great Dismal Swamp Trail, the Elizabeth River Trail and many more exciting rides organized by Pedego Williamsburg and Pedego Norfolk.
Pedego Williamsburg is also proud to support the Williamsburg Bike Co-op, a nonprofit that refurbishes old bikes and resells the refurbished bikes to help fund their operations. Amy and Kevin are donating spare bike parts to the co-op and proceeds from the 50/50 raffle held at their Pedego Palooza Owners event.
Old bikes, parts and/or money can be donated to the Williamsburg Bike Co-Op, located at James-York Plaza on Merrimac Trail.
Jane Elkin is a member of Williamsburg Area Bicyclists, as is Amy Oliver, who also helped report this story.