The global bicycle industry is expected to reach an estimated $65 billion dollars by 2019. Increasing demand for low-cost transportation and preferred fitness trends are behind the jump in the market in both mechanical and electrical bikes.This battery powered phenomena, more common in China and Europe has found it's way to our area.
It's a typical Friday afternoon in Grand Rivers, Kentucky but if you stop and look around you'll see something on the road that's not so typical -- electric bikes. Laurie and Les McWilliams have been enjoying them for over a year.
"I love these bikes I'm finally able to keep up with my husband," says Laurie.
Like a typical bike, these electric bikes require pedaling, however, you get a boost of speed with the integrated electric motor and a little twist of the throttle.
Last year Americans purchased about 100,000 electric bicycles, which is a fraction of overall bicycle sales, but experts say it's growing. Mainly found in coastal and urban areas, these bikes have found their way to West Kentucky.
Les and Laurie sell them at their shop 'SoCooL.' Les says our area is perfect for these pedals with power.
"It's excellent, it's excellent. With the trails we have here. The Grand Rivers area and down through the Trace. Even Paducah, they're all excellent places to ride," says Les.
High gas prices, environmental awareness and fitness are all behind the rise in interest and sales. The bikes can reach 20-25 miles per hour. A fully charged bike will take you about 30 miles in pedal assist mode. It take about 4 hours to recharge the bikes.