The reason you can find wonderful European Bikes at Seattle E-Bike is because, since I started the store 6 years ago, I have flown each year to Eurobike, in Freiderichshavn Germany. It is, by a factor of three, the largest bike and E-Bike show in the world.
In 2012, there were probably 10 E-Bike Brands at Eurobike taking up 2 percent of the show. This year, year 6 for me, there were at least 100 E-bike brands, the models taking up 15 percent or so of the space at the show, at least half of much more space as non assisted bikes. (Over half the space is highly specialized, like rows of booths just offering pedals.)
I always follow my Eurobike visit with visits to major European cities
This year Stockholm, and Gdansk. Previous years Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Paris, Brussels, Brugge, Munich, Zurich, and various cities in France and Italy. Every year, I see that the Urban Core of the Norther European cities are becoming increasingly dominated by bicycles. In Amsterdam, more people own at least one bicycle (many own 4 or 5). More own bikes instead of owning a car. The Dutch are the leaders, in boat building and bike usage.
Now, now more than 40 percent of Dutch bicycle sales are electric bikes
Here in Stockholm I rented a bike (non electric) because one look at the density and size of central Stockholm told me that it was the best way to travel. Riding around all day confirmed it. I must have seen 100,000 bikes, and between the bike paths and their general presence everywhere, they are respected by motorists and I felt safe even with an oh so slow, 20 inch heavy, 3 speed rental. But boy, did I wish I had an E-Bike. There is a reason E-Bike's are taking over Eurobike.
Seattle is ahead of most of the U.S. in bike use, but hopelessly behind Northern Europe.
Given the our ethos....green is good, its great to be outdoors, a little drizzle won't hurt you, and working your body is a virtue.... there can be only one reason bikes are not more prevalent in our traffic choked city.
Our hills! Yes, our hills!
Kansas is mountainous compared to the Netherlands. The highest spot a Dutch person has to reach is 18 feet above sea level. Stockholm has grades, but not grades we would find noticeable. London, Berlin, Brugge, Brussels, are all extremely flat.
If you want to comfortably and frequently, ride up Cherry Street, or Queen Anne Ave, or Stone Way, or climb over Beacon to Rainier, or make the run out on Madison to the Lake, or 35th West in West Seattle, which has 33 times as much vertical that the entire country of the Netherlands, you have your work cut our for you.
Two must have links with great information for commuters
Gravity being immutable, you have two choices, if you want to really enjoy riding in Seattle, you can either work out hard an hour a day until you are 40, 2 hours a day until you are 60, and then three hours a day after that. Or.....you can flatten our hills through the miracle of lithium powered electrical assist. Still riding as hard as you wish, but going where you want, as far as you want and at speeds 50% to 200% faster, depending on the terrain.
Let's face facts, if we are going to get more of our aging butts back on bikes, and take back the City, you need an E-Bike.
Unless you are the athlete referenced above, you owe it to yourself and our City to find something that will get your butt back on a bike. Everyday, everywhere. Leave the car at home, maybe even sell it. Better it is parked at home than crawling at 2 mph downtown.
At Seattle E-Bike, we believe we have the most different bikes, and the best bikes
We can find the right one for you. Call 206-344-8000 right now an make an appointment for a FREE test ride. As eloquent as I like to think I am, I cannot explain the joy and liberation that you feel in the first 5 minutes of your ride. Better than the day your parents took the training wheels off.
Stay tuned, when I get back from Europe, we will be introducing a device that will make E-Bikes even more useful than they already are!
Ride safe, but Ride.
Brian Nordwall, Founder, Seattle E-Bike.