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Irvine Married Couple Finds a Way to E-Bike Back to Love

October 6, 2016 – Roy M. Wallack – Orange Coast Magazine

e-biking-back-to-loveFor 20 years, Tony Barcenas was a “computer potato.”

“Day in, day out, he sat at his computer, got up to eat and go to work, then sat back at his computer,” says his wife, Patty, who gave him his moniker. “I couldn’t get him to do anything with me, even just go for a walk.”

The 6-foot-3-inch engineer’s weight had ballooned to 335 pounds and his walk became a waddle. His outdoors-loving spouse of 37 years took their three boys camping, went without him to hike and socialize every day, and dragged him to marriage counseling five times. Even as his wife threatened divorce, the quiet, 62-year old Irvine engineer sat. “He was immobile—and our marriage was dead,” says Patty, 59.

Until about two years ago. That’s when Patty started commuting to work 14 miles round trip on an electric-assist bike.

Patty’s doctor told her she had dangerously high cholesterol and triglyceride numbers. She wanted to get more exercise and heard about pedal assist bicycles. She thought that maybe if she rode crosstown from their north Irvine home to her management job at Concordia University, it would help. Calm and laid-back, Tony never felt any urgency to lose weight. Though his fitness level was poor, he didn’t have major health problems. But about the time Patty started insisting she needed an e-bike commute to address her health problems, Tony got a stern warning from his doctor: At age 60, his luck and good health would not last much longer.

“She said I had to get moving. I agreed, but I thought, ‘What the hell am I going to do?’ ” Tony recalls. “I went into research mode. With an e-bike, you can get as much or as little help as you need. Maybe it was a good solution.

“Still, I don’t rush into things. I’m an engineer, an incrementalist, a deliberate decision maker. So I put on my lab coat. And I didn’t tell (Patty) this, but she was my test experiment.”

When his unwitting lab rat had an ecstatic reaction to e-biking, bombarding him with photos and stories after returning buoyantly from rides to work, he deemed the experiment a success. They won a free bike for him by writing tear-stained sweepstakes letters to Pedego, although Tony says he would’ve bought one of the bikes anyway, which run about $2,500.

E-bikes, already huge in Europe, are growing fast in America. The boost they give riders as they pedal helps them power sweat-free over hills and through headwinds—“ the two things everyone hates about cycling,” says Bob Bibee, owner of the Pedego bike shop in Irvine where the Barcenases bought Patty’s bike. It’s why middle-aged couples and commuters, the main e-bike markets, love them, Bibee says.

Tony was scared on Day One of his new life. He hadn’t been on a bike in 25 years. He happily accepted an offer of six weeks leave from his company, Fluor Corp., just to learn how to ride his bike. “I knew I needed to build up,” he says.

In early January 2015, he rode tentatively with Patty as she commuted to work on Irvine’s network of bike paths. He struggled to work the gears and was utterly exhausted by the stress of this new physical activity. But when he arrived home, he was stunned by what he’d seen and done.

“The change of scenery you get on a bike is amazing,” he raves. “Always something new—the tunnels under the roads, the bridges, the way you engage with humanity, see the workmen fixing the roads.”

He picked up Patty that evening and was awestruck over what he’d accomplished: 25 miles. Granted, a part of that was with help from the motor. But he, a guy who had trouble walking, did the rest. The motor does not work without pedaling.

A big moment for Tony came that weekend at Quail Hill, which sits at the base of a 300-foot knoll that climbs from the 405 Freeway exit into Shady Canyon. Even on Level 4, the maximum electric assist, a steep grade like the Shady Canyon bike path requires strenuous effort, all the more to propel a 330-pound guy. Patty insisted they do it; Tony, who had charted the route on Google maps, insisted on “chickening out” and going to Starbucks at the shopping center.

“I’m an incrementalist, remember?” he told her. “Step by step, no big leaps. Don’t accelerate the pace of the experiment. We are not going up Shady Canyon!” “Like hell!” she said, blasting full-speed up the hill.

“I hauled ass so he couldn’t stop,” Patty says. “I knew he had to chase me.” And he did.

“When we crested the hill and looked down into Shady Canyon, it was like Nirvana,” Tony says. “It was a breakthrough, way ahead of schedule. I was amazed. I didn’t have to call 911. I didn’t die.”

Pedego Electric Bikes Opens Five Stores in Florida, Denver, Oregon and California

Prominent electric bicycle company celebrates a strong holiday season

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 9, 2015 — Industry leader Pedego® Electric Bikes has recently claimed even more U.S. territory with the opening of five new stores in time for the holidays. The Irvine-based company, maker of Pedego Comfort Cruisers, City Commuters, Ridge Riders and a host of other popular electric bike models, recently zoomed into Delray Beach, Fla.; Southlands (Denver), Colo.; Bend, Ore.; Portland, Ore.; and Redding, Calif.  These five new stores bump Pedego-branded stores up to more than 75.  Pedego electric bikes are sold in more than 800 stores in 40 countries.

The five new stores are:

With each new store, a region has cheered their arrival as communities across the country vie for a Pedego dealership in their own towns. “Communities love us,” said Pedego CEO and co-founder Don DiCostanzo. “They see Pedego Electric Bikes as an opportunity for locals and visitors to enjoy a healthy activity, escape their cars, lessen traffic, build relationships with family and friends, and just plain have fun enjoying the scenery.” The five new locations are just the most recent example of Pedego’s success. Pedego is now the leading electric bike company, dominating the industry with its small-business model of Pedego-branded stores, creating entrepreneurs in towns across the United States.

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Three of the shops — Pedego Delray, Pedego Southlands and Pedego Portland — followed the typical pattern of starting up as Pedego-branded stores. However, two of the locations revamped their existing bicycle stores to include Pedego stores:  Pedego Bend, in association with Let It Ride, in Bend, Oregon; and Pedego Redding, in association with Cyclopedia, in Redding, Calif.

In addition to selling Pedego electric bikes, most Pedego stores also offer rentals and group rides.  For more information and to find a Pedego store near you, visit www.pedegoelectricbikes.com.  For information on opening your own Pedego store, visit http://www.pedegoelectricbikes.com/own-a-store/.

About Pedego

Pedego® Electric Bikes, the world’s premier electric bicycle brand, transforms people’s lives with fun and an abundance of delightful moments. Pedego’s stylish, colorful bikes boast the latest in electric bicycle technology and deliver a green alternative for transportation, exercise and recreation. Riders sail up hills and breeze through headwinds! Pedego “pedal or not” models include the Comfort Cruiser, City Commuter and Trail Tracker. Hailing from Orange County, Calif., Pedego is the fastest growing electric bicycle company in the world. Pedego electric bikes are sold in more than 800 stores in 40 countries. For more information, please visit http://www.pedegoelectricbikes.com/.

 

 

 

Electric Bikes Help People Cycle Their Way to Health & Fitness, Burning up to 500 Calories per Hour

Electric Cycling Is Exercise Disguised as Fun

IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 14, 2015 — Riding electric bikes helps people cycle their way to health and fitness by burning up to 500 calories per hour while reducing stress, boosting immunity and reducing the risk of disease.  Electric cycling delivers the same benefits as non-electric cycling — as long as riders pedal. With electric bikes, riders can go longer and farther, improving their overall health, fitness and endurance.

ba“Riding an electric bike was my first form of exercise,” said Rhonda Martin, 43, who lost more than 270 pounds in part by riding her Pedego electric bike. In two and a half years, Martin went from hardly being able to move to being an active, award-winning triathlete. Today, she rides her electric bike for exercise on her 38-mile round-trip commute to work. Martin is an inspiration to more than 33,000 people via her Facebook page titled “Living Instead of Existing.”

Health benefits of electric cycling include:

  • Reduce Stress — Cycling reduces stress and promotes relaxation. In fact, studies have shown that regular exercise helps alleviate mild depression and anxiety.
  • Boost Your Immunity — Regular cycling boosts a body’s defenses by up to 50 percent. You’re not just cycling; you’re riding away from germs.
  • Reduce Risk of Disease — Cycling can help reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol and can even help fight cancer, diabetes and heart disease. In fact, studies indicate that riding 20 miles per week may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 50 percent.
  • Lift Your Studies show that regular exercise helps lift your mood and alleviate mild depression and anxiety. Riding an electric bike helps release endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria.
  • Look and Feel 10 Years Younger — Studies have shown that regular cyclists enjoy the general health of someone approximately 10 years younger.
  • Lose Weight and Get Fit — Cycling can burn 500 calories per hour, helping cyclists lose or control their weight while improving their fitness.
  • Move Ahead of the Pack — Commuting by electric bicycle is one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine because it doubles as transportation while still allowing you to arrive at work fresh and not sweaty — plus, it’s green. And fun!

“Some say you’re cheating when you ride an electric bike,” said Don DiCostanzo, CEO of Pedego Electric Bikes.  “But you’re getting exercise and riding longer and farther than you ever could on a non-electric bike, so who are you cheating?  Not yourself!”

About Pedego

Pedego® Electric Bikes, the world’s premier electric bicycle brand, transforms people’s lives with fun and an abundance of delightful moments. Pedego’s stylish, colorful bikes boast the latest in electric bicycle technology and deliver a green alternative for transportation, exercise and recreation. Riders sail up hills and breeze through headwinds! Pedego “pedal or not” models include the Comfort Cruiser, City Commuter and Trail Tracker. Hailing from Orange County, Calif., Pedego is the fastest growing electric bicycle company in the world. Pedego electric bikes are sold in more than 800 stores in 40 countries. For more information, please visit http://www.pedegoelectricbikes.com/.

 

 

inc5000

Pedego Electric Bikes Ranks Number 1,836 on the 2015 Inc. 5000 Annual List of America’s Fastest-growing Private Companies

Pedego Electric Bikes Ranks Number 1,836 on the 2015 Inc. 5000 Annual List of America’s Fastest-growing Private Companies in Recognition of its Exponential Sales Growth

NEW YORK, Aug. 18, 2015Pedego® Electric Bikes is pleased to announced that it has been ranked Number 1,836 on Inc. magazine’s 33rd annual Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Pedego Electric Bikes grew 217 percent over the three-year period of 2011–2014.  Companies including Yelp, Pandora, Timberland, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, LinkedIn, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 5000.

“Pedego Electric Bikes is the fastest growing electric bike company in the world,” said Don DiCostanzo, co-founder and CEO of Pedego Electric Bikes.  “We attribute our company’s amazing growth to the design excellence and unmatched quality of our bicycles, exceptional customer service and unparalleled brand loyalty among our thousands of customers and the 800 stores in 40 countries that sell Pedego Electric Bikes.”

The 2015 Inc. 5000, unveiled online at Inc.com and with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc. (available on newsstands August 18 to September 22), is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year growth of 490 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue is $205 billion, generating 647,000 jobs over the past three years. Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

“The story of this year’s Inc. 5000 is the story of great leadership. In an incredibly competitive business landscape, it takes something extraordinary to take your company to the top,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “The average company on the Inc. 5000 grew nearly six-fold since 2012. Business owners don’t achieve that kind of success by accident.”

The annual Inc. 5000 event honoring all the companies on the list will be held from October 21 through 23, 2015 in Orlando.

About Pedego

Pedego Electric Bikes, the world’s premier electric bicycle brand, transforms people’s lives with fun and an abundance of delightful moments. Pedego’s stylish, colorful bikes boast the latest in electric bicycle technology and deliver a green alternative for transportation, exercise and recreation. Riders sail up hills and breeze through headwinds! Pedego “pedal or not” models include the Comfort Cruiser, City Commuter and Trail Tracker. Hailing from Orange County, Calif., Pedego is the fastest growing electric bicycle company in the world. Pedego electric bikes are sold in more than 800 stores in 40 countries. For more information, please visit http://www.pedegoelectricbikes.com/.

About Inc. Media:

Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders.  For more information, visit www.inc.com.

The Inc. 500|5000 is a list of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation. Started in 1982, this prestigious list of the nation’s most successful private companies has become the hallmark of entrepreneurial success.