Green Spotlight: Bend Electric Bikes

Bend Electric Bikes (BEB) is not your typical bike shop. Located on Hill St. in Bend, BEB sells and specializes in electric bikes (e-bikes). E-bikes allow the rider to both pedal the bike or leverage the power of a battery and motor drive system. Chances are, you’ve driven by BEB’s corner and seen dozens of colorful bikes on display outside! Some of them are also cargo bikes, which allow you to accomplish all of your hauling needs – whether it’s groceries or the kiddos (fur kiddos count, too). The shop offers tours via e-bike and rentals, as well.

I met with Courtney Van Fossan, the store manager and an avid bike commuter. 

Courtney and staff, led by owner Sterling McCord, is super knowledgeable and passionate about helping to get people out of cars and on to bikes. And in addition to selling bikes in the store, BEB staff can also be found out in the community educating others about the benefits of e-bikes. They are all advocates for how an e-bike or cargo bike can make cycling easier and more realistic for your day-to-day life. More than that, they are committed to getting more cars off the road and creating safer, healthier neighborhoods throughout Central Oregon.

In a city that’s quickly growing – and with it, traffic – many people are looking for alternatives to cars for transportation. And for many, the motive to own an e-bike is to leave a smaller impact on the environment. Regardless, e-bikes make sense (and are FUN!) for almost everyone. This includes busy families with children, as there are many options for transporting everyone safely around town. 

However, many people have never before been on an e-bike, or they are intimidated by the unknown features and operation. BEB assured me that they really spend time with each person who shows interest in their bikes. The shop environment is family-friendly, non-threatening and very low-pressure. (You may even be greeted by shop dogs Alice and Sake!) Their focus is on teaching you what’s possible with an e-bike, and taking you for a spin to find out for yourself. Regardless of the perceived barriers of an e-bike, the BEB team is here to educate you on the best solutions and opportunities for your lifestyle. Plus, Courtney pointed out that Bend already has a small “army” of e-bikers and commuters who greatly support and encourage one another.

BEB is so passionate about the benefits of e-bikes, that they’ve even loaned a couple out to various groups and businesses around town, including The City of Bend. Bend City Councilors and staff members are encouraged to use the e-bike for the next year as an alternative to an employee vehicle. Sterling presented the loaner bike at City Council last Wednesday, followed by an orientation with staff later that week, so that everyone was comfortable operating the bike.

In addition, BEB is super involved in the community, especially the cycling and active transportation scene. They’ve partnered with local nonprofit Bend Bikes to collect signatures on a petition for better biking/pedestrian infrastructure. They also collaborate with Commute Options, and are an important piece of Open Streets events. And of course, they support The Environmental Center – most recently, by lending us e-bikes for free LED installations, and providing donations to aid in fundraising events.

BEB is a special shop! But don’t take our word for it – check out Bend Electric Bikes THIS WEEKEND during their annual CARGo event on Saturday, June 3rd. The CARGo Bike Rodeo is for avid cyclists, cargo bike adventurers, or anyone who is cycle-curious. It’s a free, family friendly event with obstacle courses, live music, food and beer. It will be the perfect place to test-ride an e-bike and see what all the fuss is about!

Thanks to Bend Electric Bikes for sharing your story with us. We are inspired by the bikes you offer, and love how active you are in the community! Don’t forget, you can check out other green businesses in our Green Spot Directory. Stay tuned for another write-up!