To understand an electric bicycle, it is best to test one. While one would think that the tech guys of the Silicon Valley would know all about pedelecs, in fact they are a novelty in the technology mecca. Hence why the E-Bike Expo stopped over in Palo Alto, where we joined them.
We got there by pedelec with Joe Witherspoon from the Motostrano e-bike store as our guide. The route was great, leading through forest and the lower Redwoods, and despite the rain the ride was most enjoyable in our waterproof 66° North trousers and jackets. One of Joe's customers bravely joined us on his Haibike XDuro.
Palo Alto is home to the Stanford University. In fact, the city was fully established by the academy's founder.
Today, Palo Alto not only hosts students but those working for Silicon Valley's internet, IT corporations and other big businesses the likes of Google, Apple, IBM, and Facebook. Palo Alto's close proximity to San Francisco makes it an attractive hub and we were told the city council is considering to define "low income" as below 250,000 dollars a year as house prices start at 1m nowadays.
Obviously, people here ride cars, often a Tesla but still came by to check out the e-bikes.
The Electric Bike Expo unites different pedelec brands in one show. Similar to us, the exhibition tours the USA to offer people living in a Green Lane city test drives with various electric bicycles for free.
For us it was also an opportunity to meet with the public and tell them about the e-bike trip before finally turning towards the wilderness. Susanne held a presentation on stage, where she introduced the Sand to Snow tour and previous Pedelec Adventures. The E-Bike Expo also drew the local press and we appeared in an e-bike feature on Kron4 TV that same day.
Learning of the day:
The first time on an electric bike always makes everybody smile. Actually, the second time also, and the third, and ... The pedelec is a perpetual smile machine.