Bikes lined a parking lot in downtown Longmont, consuming space with rubber tires and aluminum frames. But at the center was more than the peddling of age-old transportation techniques. The heart of the event was something both heartfelt and forward-thinking.
Despite operating in Longmont since 2009, Small Planet eBikes has officially switched owners. On May 11th, the new owner, Amy Wilkins, held a ribbon cutting with the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce. On May 13th, the owner and staff held a celebratory event at the shop at 724 Main St.
From a raffle for an e-bike to test riding opportunities, the event allowed the Small Planet staff, both new and existing, to connect to the community and show the technology they are excited about providing. At the helm was the new owner, overflowing with enthusiasm and smiles.
“I never really had a big cycling background,” Wilkins noted when taking over the business from Tom Wilson. While she may not have been a fan of biking in general, the store's point has driven her interest and progressive nature to new heights. “I believe in the mission. Tom’s mission was about the environment. I stand by that. But, what I’m really drawn to is the way that the bikes help people.”
Though e-bikes aren’t a new concept, the ever-changing technology has grown into an affordable and efficient replacement for transportation. Ultimately, e-bikes use an electric motor to help assist in pedaling, with some options including a full throttle. This has allowed former bikers to maintain their commuter ways, something Wilkins adores.
“I’ve seen it help former bikers continue to ride. They might not be able to use a normal bike as effectively. Now, they can use an e-bike to continue riding and keep up with their kids,” Wilkins said. “People can use them to buy groceries and take their kids to school. The way they can lower the need for cars and pollution is really special.”
Wilkins, a Longmont denizen for almost 20 years, explained that she wants both the store and the product to help build the already-established community. The shop is already in the works with environmental and transportation groups in the city.
“They can be a transportation solution,” Wilkins said. “There’s a lot of congestion and car accidents in Longmont. It’s a problem… Because the bikes give people the ability to travel
farther and see more of Longmont, it can have both transportation and recreational contribution to the city.”
And through the nature of e-bike design, everyone can do it. Everyone can establish both exercise and efficient transportation due to the assistance abilities of the tech.
Regarding the new direction of the store, Wilkins stated that the mission and commitment to Longmont stay the same. She, and her staff of welcoming experts, are creating a store that’s accessible and inviting.
“We want to create a place where anyone can come learn,” Wilkins said. “E-biking is for everyone, so our store is, too.”