Pedego electric bike logo on bike (Photos by Paxton Rountree)
Coker Day has opened the Columbia area’s first electric-only bike shop with the hope to make it easier to get around the hilly city.
Pedego Electric Bike Soda City opened in West Columbia at 521 Meeting St., just across the Congaree River from downtown Columbia, on Nov. 2.
Day is from Aiken, South Carolina, where he opened his first Pedego electric bike shop. He decided to open a shop in West Columbia after riding his own electric bike through the city and along the Riverwalk.
Riding the bikes for the first time was a revelation.
“I fell in love with them,” Day said. “I can get around my neighborhood, go up and down hills and it just makes you feel like a kid again.”
He thought Columbia needed these bikes.
Electric bikes are pedal assist. The motor on the bike pushes the bike forward. Pedaling keeps the motor running.
So, unlike an electric scooter, the bikes are a form of exercise.
“It doesn’t require as much effort,” Day said. “You can set the bike where it requires as much or as little effort as you want.”
Day donated two electric bikes to the West Columbia Police Department during his business’ grand opening to contribute to the community.
West Columbia Police Chief Marion Voyce said he was ecstatic to receive the bikes.
“We are trying to partner with our small business owners, our business community, our public citizens we protect,” Voyce said.
Voyce wants his police department to be more approachable and engaged with the community. He said the bikes will help.
The bikes will allow residents to interact better with policemen more easily than when they are in police cars.
“We’re here, we’re with the crowd, we’re with the people,” Voyce said. “People are able to say ‘hey’ and we are able to hear that, see that, a lot more than when they are trying to wave us down as we are going by in a car.”
Pedego prides itself on company service.
“We bend over backwards for our customers,” Day said.
The company offers a five-year warranty on its bikes and provides services for any fixes a customer may need.
Bikes also will be available to rent, for those who only want one for a few hours or a day.
Guests were able to test ride the bikes during the grand opening.
Jack Smith, a real estate agent who attended the opening, said the event made him want to rent one.
“I want to go down to the Riverwalk and just ride this thing, see if I can get it up to 30 miles an hour,” Smith said, laughing.