Electric ride

Jasper Hudson

Photo by Ashiah Scharaga

Jasper Hudson already knows what he’ll be getting his son, Ryker, when he goes off to college: an electric bike. This is because e-bikes are an efficient and affordable way for people to get around, and they provide a recreational outlet, too, he told the CN&R. Hudson, who has a business degree and has worked in the outdoor retail industry since 2003, just opened Pedego Electric Bikes in downtown’s Garden Walk Mall. The parent company is headquartered in Fountain Valley and was founded in 2008. The Chico location offers models ranging from cruisers and commuters to more expensive road and mountain bikes (plus trikes and tandems) starting at just under $2,000. Hudson owns another Pedego storefront and Jefferson State Adventure Hub in Redding, where he lives with his son, wife Melissa, and their dog, Zip. Find Pedego Electric Bikes on Facebook, and keep an eye out for a grand opening event in July.

Why go for an electric bike?

The average person buying a Pedego [bike] is 65 years old, company-wide. A lot of people are getting Pedegos because they thought that they … couldn’t do anything more, physically. Not that that’s the only people it works for—I’m physically fit enough to ride 30 miles to get to work, [for example], but if I ride in a hot city like this, I’m going to be all sweaty and nasty when I get to work. So with the electric, you can make the bike do most of the work … [and] add miles to your ride on the way home. I try to go for the average Joe … who wants to go have some fun, back to that first love of biking.

How do the bikes work?

It acts just like a normal bike, you just dial up how much assist you want. If you a get a cramp or … can’t ride anymore [for health reasons], they have a throttle [you] can twist and get home. [You plug it in] just like your cellphone. You can get a quick charge in two hours. If you have a full charge, I’ve taken that [mountain bike model] … 60 miles and had juice left.

What do you enjoy about riding an e-bike?

I like all of the different types of biking. The most negative thing that I hear when somebody sees that it’s an electric bike … is, “Oh, that’s cheating.” And I instantly know that person’s never ridden an electric bike. I’ve taken that mountain bike [model] out there into Whiskeytown National [Recreation Area] and done a 60-mile ride and come home dead as I wanted to be. I feel like I just went out and kicked my butt. On a normal, nonmotorized bike, I would have had the same fitness-level experience at 20 miles. I get to see a whole lot more. So, you can get as much of a workout out of it as you want, you can get as little of a workout as you want—but you have the option.