press release for weeklies
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - press release for weeklies
For Immediate Release
The eBike Store Electrifies Local Cycling
Speedy, sustainable and popular overseas, a new breed of bike is quietly rolling onto
Portland streets, and a local shop now specializes in it.
PORTLAND, Ore. — As Portland’s bicycling infrastructure widens, so too does the
array of options for people who choose to pedal. With The eBike Store, local entrepreneur
Wakefield Gregg has brought the bike-impassioned city a new category of two-wheeler to
grapple with: the electric bicycle.
June 27 will mark the grand opening of The eBike Store, at 201 N. Alberta Ave., which
stocks e-bikes and accessories exclusively. Ever since the store opened last month, customers are
moving the cycles from the sales floor to the city’s streets.
E-bikes are already wildly popular in Europe and China. Despite Portland’s passion for
bikes, or perhaps precisely because of it, the addition of e-bikes to the city’s cycling
infrastructure has generated friction between cycling purists and, perhaps, realists. Some
enthusiasts don’t consider them to be “true” bikes, and criticize the introduction of a motorized,
faster two-wheel vehicle into bike lanes, streets and bridges. At the same time, others in the
cycling community welcome the latest variation on the “one less car” ideal, and even Bicycling
magazine recently asked, “Is it finally time to stop hating on e-bikes?”
“They’re not for everybody,” said Gregg, who owns an electric bike himself. “But I am
overwhelmed by the positive response from the bike community. Even hardcore cyclists
understand that e-bikes may be the only way to get some folks out of their cars.”
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Some bicycle retailers have created space on their sales floor for e-bikes, but not until
now has a local store specifically dedicated to them emerged. Gregg expects to see Portland
sustain the emerging category, and with The eBike Store, he’s doing all he can to demystify the
Occupying part of the Humboldt Gardens mixed-use complex, The eBike Store is housed
in a structure that has received a Gold certification in the LEED green building rating system.
Inside the 750-square-foot store is a customer lounge area and an espresso machine. Reclaimed
materials include bike braking cables that suspend the track lighting; slat wall panels from a
defunct big-box store; and a 125-year-old slab of Douglas fir salvaged from a Seaside barn.
A new product such as an e-bike tends to do best in a specialty shop, rather than sharing
space with bikes at a conventional shop, where staff may not be trained in or respectful of the
differences in the product. Gregg envisions the store he founded as a place where people can
check out the electric bicycle for themselves and decide whether it might work for them.
Mountain bikes too established their identity through boutique-style shops and gradually
accelerated in popularity from there. “I want to build a space in the customer’s mind where they
can evaluate whether an electric bike will fit their lifestyle,” Gregg said.
At first glance, an e-bike looks like any other human-powered cycle. It has working
pedals and a conventional multi-speed drivetrain. The key difference is in a rechargeable battery,
which provides extra wattage that can be especially useful when confronted with the metro area’s
terrain: Being able to ride comfortably up hills is often cited as a reason for wanting an electric
bike. Having that boost during a strenuous stretch could constitute the tipping point for people
who are on the fence about getting out of their car.
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There are other advantages. An e-bike makes economic sense during a time of lower
incomes and unpredictable oil prices. Industry analysts, store owners and bicycle manufacturers
agree with the obvious: During tight economic times, bicycle use soars. It makes environmental
sense, too: Buy green electricity from the power company, and you’ve got a highly sustainable
personal mobility solution.
Through human and electric power, an e-bike can transport its rider between 10 and 80
miles per charge at a speed of about 20 miles per hour. The cost to charge an e-bike’s battery
usually is less than 5 cents.
The eBike Store stocks electric bikes from eZee, Currie Technologies and Schwinn, and
Gregg anticipates that e-bikes from Giant and Torker will arrive in June. Models he has sold
range from a $600 Currie Trailz seven-speed mountain bike, which travels 8 to 13 miles per 5.5-
hour charge, to the $3,000 Schwinn Tailwind, which charges in less than 30 minutes with a
Electric Bikes and the Law
Oregon law defines an electric bike as a bicycle rather than a motor vehicle. In addition,
the main laws that apply to electric bikes in Oregon is that they are legal in bike lanes but illegal
on sidewalks, their motor be incapable of propelling the bike faster than 20 mph, and that riders
be at least 16 years old.
The grand opening is Saturday, June 27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at The eBike Store, 201
N. Alberta Ave. at N. Vancouver Ave.
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About the eBike Store
Founded on the belief that the world is looking for economical, environmentally friendly
transportation, The eBike Store seeks to harness the explosive worldwide growth in the electric
bicycle market as it unfolds in the United States. More information is available at
For more information:
Hon Walker, Bulletproof Communication, 503-358-0247,
Wakefield Gregg, The eBike Store, 503-360-1432, firstname.lastname@example.org
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