E-Bikes Are Officially Here in New York
A bike so easy to ride, even an Orange can do it! Syracuse officially launched the first line of e-bikes in New York, and I have to tell you, they're pretty darn cool.
I took the trip to Syracuse for the launch event, which featured a live band, food trucks, and, of course, the Gotcha electric bikes. My first impression was how cute they are: seafoam green and black. They even have a cup holder and a phone holder so you can use a GPS!
I joined the crowd in completing the steps to actually ride the bike, which, in total, took less than five minutes. I downloaded the Gotcha app, got a quick safety briefing on bike hand signals and learned more about the bikes themselves. Gotcha workers said that there are 35 hubs to rent and return the bikes across Syracuse, and that while 100 bikes launched yesterday, there will be 200 in circulation very soon.
I should preface what happened next with this: I haven't ridden a bike since I was 11. That's a solid ten years and despite what people say, I'm not positive the skills just come right back to you. I headed toward an available bike, sat down, flipped up the kickstand, and fell into crippling fear of falling over. I put down the kickstand and, with a lot of shame, asked a Gotcha team member if he could take a picture of me pretending to ride the bike. He laughed and said he could take a picture of me actually riding the bike.
Although I was a wimp and didn't ride the bikes, there were plenty of people that did take advantage of the rides and had a blast. Autumn Frodelius hadn't ridden a bike in four years, but said that because of the Gotcha bikes, she'll ride them in the summer.
"For the 12 weeks that we have warm weather, I will be riding the bike," Frodelius said.
Frodelius heard about the new electric bikes from her friend, Cole Oppedisano. He took a Gotcha bike for a spin and had some advice for riders who plan on taking them on the streets of Syracuse.
"Be very careful around pedestrians because when the bike kicks in, you do get a boost," Oppedisano said. "So just be cautious. Wear a helmet."
Oppedisano and Frodelius are both excited about the new bikes, and so is Mayor Ben Walsh. The City of Syracuse - Office of the Mayor released a statement Monday in support of the launch event, and Mayor Walsh was even there to try out the bikes for himself!