Our first thought when we heard that an electric bike shop opened in Bucktown was, You’d have to be pretty lazy to need help pedaling in a city with no hills.
We were so wrong. After testing two models of Wanderbikes’ “e-bikes”--bicycles that use lithium ion batteries to power you forward--we’re hooked. (Rent one for a half day for $40.)
Here’s the thing: It’s 90 degrees out. If you pedal like a maniac on the way to the patio at Parson’s, you’ll be a mess when you get there. Or maybe your mom’s in town, and while you can’t convince her to do a 20-mile lakefront cruise the old-fashioned way, she’s totally in the saddle for an e-bike.
Also, riding a bike that makes you feel like a superhero is fun.
The owners of Wanderbikes, brothers Brady and Damon Doerschuk, hope the concept will catch on with Chicago commuters as well as it has with cyclists in China and Europe. (At $2,000 to $3,500, buying one is an investment.)
But for now, they’re encouraging rentals and group tours so you can experience what it’s like to pedal just a little bit--and feel like you’re flying.
Wanderbikes, 2350 N. Damen Ave.; 312-659-3045 or wanderbikes.com