Really, every month is Bike Month in Boulder. But technically, June is Bike Month in Colorado. This follows National Bike Month (sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists) in May.
And in case you need another reason to hop on your human-powered two-wheeler, June 27 is Bike to Work Day. Boulder takes this holiday seriously.
On Bike to Work Day, people leave their cars at home and take their bikes to work, pausing by designated restaurants and pit stops along the way that offer treats and incentives to people pedaling.
But what if you live pretty far from work? Or there are huge hills on your way that your quads just can’t conquer. What if it’s windy, or you don’t want to get all sweaty because your office has no shower?
No excuses. Hop on an electric bike instead.
E-bikes, with an electric motor, help you go faster and make it easier. The electric boost can push you up a steep hill or even speed you up to as fast as 20 miles per hour.
They’re still better for the environment than driving a car, and you can still get in some exercise with certain types; electric bikes still have pedals that turn the wheels. The main difference for the most popular type of e-bike is the battery-powered motor, which actually works with your muscles.
There are a variety of different kinds of e-bikes, including those with motors in different locations, pedal assist bikes and also purely electric ones.
Bike Month is a great excuse to try an electric bike. You can convert your regular bike to an electric bike with a simple electric bike conversion kit, or you can rent or buy one at one of Boulder’s bike shops. Here are a few highlights:
Pedego, 2015 13th St., Boulder
Right in time for Bike to Work Day, Pedego Electric Bikes Boulder is holding its grand opening (on June 22) after a remodel. Pedego is the biggest brand of e-bikes in the nation.
E-bike rentals start at $50 for two hours or $100 a day and come with locks and helmets. You can reserve online. The shop also sells new and used e-bikes. Try one out for free and see if you like it.
Small Planet EBikes, 724 Main St., Unit A, Longmont
Small Planet has deep roots in e-bikes’ local history. The owners were involved in bringing electric bikes to the local mainstream, and the city of Boulder has even bought e-bikes from the company. Small Planet also has locations in Denver, as well as Dallas and San Antonio, TX.
Rentals will be available soon; no information is currently available. In the meanwhile, set up a test ride. Maybe you’ll want to buy one yourself.
Boulder Cycle Sport, 4580 N. Broadway, Boulder
You can find e-bikes at many of Boulder’s regular bike shops, including Boulder Cycle Sport. You can buy a bike here or try one out for the day. It’s $100 to rent a Scott E-Spark 720 Medium e-bike for a 24-hour period. Or for a cheaper option, try the Liv Amiti E+ 2 Small e-bike for just $80 per day, and $60 for additional days after that. You can even rent this guy for a week for $435, which brings each day down to about $62. (That’s only a $5 savings, but hey.)
Boulder Cycle Sport has three locations. There’s also a south Boulder branch at 629 Broadway St., Suite K, and a Pro Peloton shop at 2516 Broadway. Hours vary per location (and the Peloton store is closed Sunday and Monday).
Optibike, which started in Boulder, is the oldest manufacture of electric bikes in the nation. Today, it’s sold in more than 30 countries and is considered an industry leader. It offers three different series of e-bikes, which you can buy online.
Fun fact: Since 2013, it’s had a partnership with BCycle, Boulder’s bike share program. Optibike designed a special trailer to help re-balance bike stations, so too many bikes don’t get backlogged in one station. The Optibike Pioneer Allroad e-bike tows this trailer, which can haul up to three BCycles at a time, for environmentally friendly distribution of bikes through the different stations. No trucks necessary.
You can see the Beast (Boulder BCycle Electric Assist Service Trailer) on local streets through Labor Day.
Bicycle Village, 2100 28th St., Boulder
Bicycle Village claims to be the state’s largest electric bike retailer. You can try out the many different kinds of e-bikes here before you buy, although you can’t rent them for a day trip. Bicycle Village has five locations on the Front Range.
Know Your e-bike Rights
E-bikes aren’t allowed everywhere that regular bikes are allowed. Make sure you check the city of Boulder’s map of where you can ride your e-bikes here.
Make sure you maintain proper bike etiquette on the trails, especially during busy seasons. Recommendations include:
- When on a multi-use trail, don’t ride faster than 15 miles per hour
- Keep right, pass on the left, and alert others before you pass
- You must have bike lights at night, and reflective clothing is a good idea.