Newport police get souped-up, electric patrol bikes – by Nicole Shine, OC Register

BY NICOLE SHINE / STAFF WRITER, OC Register

Published: April 3, 2014 Updated: April 4, 2014 8:52 a.m.

P1-300x225NEWPORT BEACH – By design, this officer’s bicycle has super powers and a serious purpose.

“It’s almost like it’s bionic,” Newport Beach police Officer John Mika said Thursday morning, wheeling around a new electric patrol bike.

Last week, officers began patrols on two customized, $4,000 Pedego bicycles. The patrol bikes are likely the first in the county, officials said.

With a push of a button, Newport Beach’s new electric bikes can reach speeds of 25 mph. They are outfitted with neat gadgets, such as a switch that tightens the shock absorbers to amp up the speed. It’s powered by a lithium ion battery – the same power inside a Tesla – that lasts through a 10-hour police shift, or longer.

P3-300x225Beyond the gee-whiz features, it still pedals like a regular bike.

Mika said the bike is a natural fit for beach patrols in a town where the population doubles in the summer.

The bike can whiz along the boardwalk and pier, places a police car or motorcycle can’t reach. And its speed means a faster response to police calls up and down the Balboa Peninsula.

The new bikes complement unconventional patrol methods already in place in the city, such as horse-mounted officers. New modes of transportation, such as electric bikes and Segways, are appearing more and more in law enforcement, authorities said.

“You can’t use a hammer for everything, Mika said. “You’ve got to have a lot of different tools.”

Another advantage to the bike: silence. That helps police combat thefts from cars and property crimes, the city’s chief law enforcement problems, Lt. Damon Psaros said.

“It’s stealthy,” Psaros said. “You can’t hear them coming.”

P1-300x225Psaros said the force had considered electric bikes for some time. The battery technology wasn’t there until now.

“It’s much lighter and more reliable,” he said. The bikes, which can travel 30 miles continually on one charge, are recharged by plugging into a standard outlet.

Psaros said they bought the bikes after about three months of testing with the Pedego Corona del Mar dealership. The bikes are outfitted with special all-terrain tires, wider handlebars, and a special suspension system, among other features.

Pedego dealership owner Joe Carter said the police bikes were a first for his company. Ordinarily, he said, his customers are enthusiasts and commuters.

Now, he sees opportunities in campus security, even Disneyland.

“It’s a young industry,” he said. “Its uses are just evolving.”

Contact the writer: nshine@ocregister.com or Twitter:@nicolekshine

Pedego’s Participation at Google’s Earth Day Celebration

Pedego Electric Bikes just participated in Google’s 2 wheeled vehicle demo event. In celebration of Earth Day, Google invited a handful of big-name electric vehicle manufacturers to the Googleplex to promote alternative transportation. With over 20,000 employees at their Mountain View, CA campus, Google is hoping to alleviate some heavy morning traffic by encouraging those living within a reasonable distance to bike to work.

Pedego gave free test rides throughout the day to hundreds of Googlers, showcasing our entire line of electric bikes. As we had anticipated, the City Commuter was the crowd favorite due to its magnificent form and function design elements.  The Pedego Trail Tracker was also a favorite with a line of people waiting to take it for a ride on the designated track.

 

 

The Perfect Bike for Individuals with Breathing Disorders such as COPD

Never in my life did I ever dream of spending $2,000 for a bike and then not only buying one buying one but two, one for my wife and one for myself. We love them and have never regretted our Pedego purchase. It is just, as you might say, what the doctor ordered. We both love riding, not racing style but leisurely through neighborhoods. About eight years ago, we purchased our first set of regular bikes together and then about four years ago our second set. On the weekends during the spring and summer months, we would load our bikes on the back of the car, drive to a new neighborhood and ride for an hour or so. Though we love to ride it was often difficult to enjoy.  My wife has COPD and gets winded very easily. Riding into the slightest wind, or up the smallest incline was impossible without often stopping to take a break.

Then one Saturday, I was driving along and passed by this electric bike store. I went in, asked questions and before I knew what was happening, I was test riding a Pedego Comfort Cruiser. I thought that this would be ideal for my wife. I wanted to purchase one for her and surprise her with it, but at that price, the surprise was out of question. My thought was that I could get her one and then I could continue riding my regular bike. My wife worked that day so when she got home, I took her to the store, this part was a surprise. We each took a Pedego out for a test ride. It was during the test ride that I concluded that one bike would not do. Though I am in fairly good shape, there was no way I would be able to keep up with her. When we got back to the store, we talked for a few minutes and ended up purchasing both.

We have only had these bikes for a little less than a year but have ridden all over the city. We even revisited Back Bay State Park which is a very tough 18 mile round trip over gravel, dirt, and sad. It is beautiful scenery but my wife hesitated in making the trip since we did it several years earlier and realized it wasn’t much fun due to her breathing disorder. She, we, thoroughly enjoyed the ride. It was not a difficult ride and we were both able to enjoy the view. We have even put our bikes on the back of our car and driven 7 hours to ride on a 35 mile round trip on a bike path along side old railroad tracks. We intend to do this at least once a year. We also rode on the 40 mile bike trip throughout Virginia Beach. You are probably wondering how we rode 40 miles with a battery that has a charge for 20 to 25 miles. I use the battery as little as possible, only when I really need it to get up a hill or against a stronger wind. This way, I preserve my battery and when my wife’s gets to about ¼ charge, we switch batteries. We probably could have gotten 45 to 50 miles this way. My next purchase will be two more batteries so we can carry a spare with us, which will double our riding distance.

This is a perfect bike for those with COPD that want to get our and ride but cannot. What a great slogan, “The perfect bike for those with COPD.” We have found, and sure others will as well, that even through these bikes are expensive, they are ideal for those that want to get outside and once again enjoy a bike ride but cannot due to some sort of breathing disorder. We would have purchased these year ago had we realized that there were such bikes that she could ride without worrying if the wind was going to kick up or if the bike path had a small include. With this bike it opens up a whole new world of activities one can do. It also doesn’t hurt getting many compliments from both kids and adults on how cool our electric bikes look.

Start building your perfect Pedego electric bike!

Pedego Trail Tracker Release

Pedego Trail Tracker Electric Bike

Available colors:

      • Neon
      • Red
      • Matte black
      • Camo
      • Black w/lime green rims
Motor: 600 Watt Geared Hub Motor
Battery: 48 V 10Ah Lithium in a Removable Pack
Speed: 20 MPH using motor power only
Retails: $2,975

Check out the links below for more info!

Ben Coxworth – GizMag Review
Turbo Bob’s – Turbo Bob’s Bicycle Blog
Edwin Kee - Ubergizmo
Amelia Hunter – Teqno Logical
Susan Carpenter - OC Register 

Photo Source: Pedego Coronado

Photo Source: Pedego Coronado

Photo Source: Pedego Coronado

Photo Source: Pedego Corona Del Mar

 Photo Source: Pedego Corona Del Mar

Photo Source: Pedego Coronado

Photo Source: Pedego Coronado

Photo Source: Pedego Coronado