"Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride."
—John F. Kennedy."
It’s beginning to feel like Christmas and Hannukah combined. I just got my new Sondors electric bike. It was defintely worth the 3 1/2 month wait. Our friends James (Jimi) and Jennifer Hunter, just back from an Alaska cruise offered to be my “assembly team.” Though Jimi used to race bikes back in the day, he would be the first to admit that, Jennifer was the brains behind the operation. She proved to be more mechanically adept than either one of us, and took the lead assembling it. That said, it was Jimi that got me hooked on electric bikes. We covered many a mile navigating the foothills of Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Saratoga as well as the backroads of Napa Valley in the last several months.
Storm Sondors, the creative genius behind his brand says, “Global electric bike sales are projected to increase by about $10 billion over the next 10 years.” His company has sold 20,000 bikes and shipping to customers in faraway places like India, Australia, and New Zealand.
Just as no-one ever conceived that phones would become smart hand-held computers and the internet would become a worldwide phenomenon, who ever dreamed we would one day be riding electric assist bikes to work, to the beach, to the health club, your favorite yoga studio, and even your local Apple Store (see photo).
In there new promotion, Sondors Inc., the makers of my new electric FOLD X bike says, “The choice is yours…a new iPhone or a new Sondors. That’s right, a brand new SONDORS can be yours for less than an iPhone.” Plus you get recreation, exhilaration and transportation without those pesky roaming charges.
But why limit oneself to either an iPhone or an electric bike. Why not have both? So, I upgraded my old razor flip phone to an iPhone 7 Plus for my birthday last month and now have a Sondors Fold X which has a 48 V battery, 500W rear hub motor, a driving range of 50 miles using the straight electric or 60-85 miles using the pedal assist. It also has an LCD screen for 5 levels of electric assist, can be folded in half for easier storage in your garage or to put in the back of your trunk or back seat of your car, has a adjustable handlebar height, and but not least a 7-speed Shimano gear cassette with hand grip shifter. The knobby fat tires can tackle any terrain and what an “adrenaline rush.”
I love Storm’s story as much as his bikes. Born in Latvia, he struggled to make friends as a kid. He felt awkward around his classmates and even his parents felt there was something off about him. While in his 20s he was making wooden models for major toy companies in Chicago and then went out on his own. But success didn’t make him any happier. He eventually sold his company and moved to Malibu. The surfer businessman came up with the idea of a more economical electric bike (pricing his first model at $500) when he saw how expensive they were. He was also diagnosed with Asperger’s Disease as an adult. It was a liberating moment and explained a lot of the angst he suffered as a child. He now interacts more comfortably with strangers and engages his customers more regularly when they want to test drive his e-bike creation and has become an inspiration to many who have his form of autism. And, judging by his sales video clips, he has a charming sense of humor to boot.
Photo Credit (Apple Store in Santa Monica, Ron White, LA Times)