Well, now we've gone and done it!
Thanks to the amazing generosity of Electric Bike Technologies and Sun Bikes, VBike is now beginning to build a fleet of bikes and trikes for seniors, folks with special needs, or really anybody that needs something more comfortable and "adaptive" to ride.
And so, in addition to our e-cargobike fleet for families and households, VBike is now rolling out its "Bike Transportation Without Limitations" program - bicycle mobility with virtually no barrier to age, physical condition, or experience level.
On Saturday, Oct 1st, super VBike volunteer Farid Quraishi and VBike director Dave Cohen headed to an event called Bethel Better Block in Bethel, Vermont at the invitation of the AARP. The Vermont chapter of the AARP earlier this year invited organizations throughout the state to apply for a $15,000 grant it was offering to help pay for a “community demonstration project” that would temporarily transform a single block into a festival-like event. Bethel was selected and when we arrived there were temporary, pop-up blue bike lanes that graced Main Street, pop-up stores and activities everywhere, and lots of happy, engaged folks milling about. VBike came with a pop-up selection of fantastic and fun bikes to ride.
The thrilling news for VBike in Bethel is that we debuted our newly acquired electric Liberty Trike donated to us by Electric Bike Technologies. And in addition to our Yuba electric cargo bikes, we also brought our brand new Streamway ultra step-thru bike donated by Sun Bikes with an e-assist system donated by E-BikeKit (which is a division of Electric Bike Technologies). These new bikes were a huge hit for the crowd. Folks that haven't ridden a bike in ages were scratching their heads and wondering about all the fun they have been missing.
Liberty Electric Tricycle Coolness!
The Liberty Trike is something pretty special because it is a US product!This happened through a wonderful collaboration - the tricycle is made by Worksman Cycles in Ozone Park in Queens, NYC, the oldest bike manufacturer in country and the e-assist system is from Electric Bike Technologies in Croydon, PA, just outside of Philadelphia. The Liberty Trike is designed to be pedaled right into a supermarket (yes, it can fit right through the doors!), can turn in place (with a little practice) and even has a reverse function (that's fun!). On the road the Liberty Trike can hit about 12 mph (with the e-assist fully engaged) and features coaster brakes and a front disc brake for really great stopping capability. And with it's handy basket and 350 watt 36 volt e-assist system, this thing can climb almost any hill and you can carry your stuff, to boot.
The Liberty Trike totally impressed the folks in Bethel - just check out the above video.
The other bike new to our fleet, the Streamway from Sun Bikes, is the ultimate in terms of its ease to mount and ride. You literally need only to lift your foot about 5 inches and you're on! The Streamway has 7 speeds, a real nice upright position, and rides like a regular bike
Kelly Stoddard-Poor, associate state director with the AARP, lighting up with the electrified Streamway.
When the Sun Bikes folks heard about VBike's vision of creating a demonstration bike fleet that included the idea of "bike transportation without limitations", they contacted their friends at Electric Bike Technologies (the two had a working relationship unbeknownst to us) and even though EBT already donated the Liberty Trike to VBike, they were now willing to kick in two more of their E-BikeKit systems. So, we ended up customizing the Streamway with the fantastic 500 watt geared kit they provided, making the Streamway into the most powerful assisted comfort bike we could imagine. The thing can climb any hill in Vermont! And BTW, Sun Bikes also donated one of their wonderful trikes to us.
We'll soon be telling you more about the exciting expansion of the VBike adaptive fleet and how for spring 2017 we are looking to bust out with a far greater diversity of electric-assisted cargo bikes and commuter models for Vermonters to experience. We really believe that anyone who wants to ride should be doing it and that's what we are all about and that's what we are showing Vermonters and that's exactly what you will be seeing in the coming spring. Enough said!
And here's your chance to help VBike to make this dream come true by making a financial contribution to the effort that will help to set so many Vermonters free. Donate to VBike now.