As a golfer who has competed at a professional level, Bryan Newman has played countless rounds on hundreds of courses.
The 34-year-old will always remember his first visit to the exclusive Los Angeles Country Club a couple years ago. And, it has nothing to do with what happened on the pristine greens and fairways.
In the parking lot of the historic club after his round, Newman was encouraged by one of his playing partners to give his Pedego electric bike a test ride. Less-than-enthusiastic, Newman obliged and quickly became a fan.
“It totally opened my eyes,” Newman said, recalling his initial ride.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF PEDEGO ELECTRIC BIKES LA QUINTA
Bryan Newman liked that the Pedego electric bike gave him control of whether to pedal or not.
Battery-powered at the flip of a switch, the 55-pound bike can reach a top speed of 20 mph and travel 20 to 40 miles per charge.
“It just made so much more sense,” said Newman, stressing that he is not a cycling enthusiast. “I can get all the exercise I want if I choose to pedal. I don’t have to get the exercise if I choose not to pedal. I can still go out and have a leisurely ride.”
Upon returning the bike to its owner, Newman was told that Irvine-based Pedego, which was founded in 2008, did not have representation in the Coachella Valley. The Cathedral City High School graduate was floored.
“I just said, ‘Wow. You guys will do really well when you start to sell these out in the desert,’ ” Newman said. “You have all of the resorts to draw from. All of the snowbirds. All of the private golf communities. Just so many options.
“After about a two-hour conversation of me telling him how great these would be in the desert, he just kind of dropped it on me and said, ‘Why don’t you do it?’ I realized that he was baiting me for two hours.”
The interior of the Pedego store in Old Town La Quinta.
Fast forward and Newman is not regretting the decision to become the owner of Pedego Electric Bikes in Old Town La Quinta. The store celebrated its one-year anniversary in mid-March and doesn’t appear to be applying the brakes any time soon.
The bikes range in cost from $2,295 to $3,995, but Pedego Electric Bikes of La Quinta offers rentals, guided tours, accessories and full service.
“We figured it out the other day. There’s 480 different configurations of how you can build one of these bikes,” said Newman, referring to tires, batteries, colors and components. “We do some custom work here, too.”
The rapidly growing Pedego chain has 70 dealers nationwide with 100 projected by the end of the year. “We’re hoping to have one of those 100 be our second store in Palm Springs,” said Newman, who plans on starting the process in August or September.
Tours are posted on the website, on social media outlets, and also promoted in the store. An Idyllwild ride is being planned. Riders are encouraged to call the store at 760-972-4017.
“Sometimes we’ll do themed rides – like a breakfast ride in the morning,” Newman said. “People can either bring their own Pedego or rent one of ours.”
Customers can rent by the hour ($14 to $25) or day ($50 to $100). Five-day rentals are also available.
“When we first opened, my first impression was that we would absolutely slay it with rentals, which we have,” Newman said. “I had no idea that the community would embrace becoming owners of these so fast. Anyone who rents one of these, regardless if they’re in the market or not, after they ride it they start to really realize that this may be a good option for themselves to own.”