Jennifer Polle

Pam, Barbara, and Dan at EcoMotive have been fantastic to do business with! They worked with me until I figured out exactly what I wanted and helped to tweak my new Pedego cruiser to my own specifications. I’m very happy with my new purchase and thrilled to have a local electric bike company to work with, right here in Santa Fe.

Jeff Nailen – Santa Fe Way

What a BLAST!

If you’re looking for a way to combine your health & fitness with bettering the health of our planet I strongly recommend an electric bike from Eco Motive.

The Prodeco Outlaw model I got is a BLAST! It’s so fun. I now use it as my primary means of transportation around Santa Fe. My commute to Santa Fe Spa to train clients is now only 10 minutes door-to-door versus 15 minutes when I drove. Best of all, I arrive energized and invigorated.

I’m saving $150/month that I used to spend on car insurance and gas.

By getting more exercise I’m getting lighter in weight while leaving a lighter carbon foot-print. I’m no longer contributing to traffic congestion, dependence on fossil fuels, air pollution, or climate change. It feels great.

Join me in the electric bike revolution that’s sweeping the planet. Pam Sawyer and Dan are pioneering the e-bike revolution here in Santa Fe with Eco Motive, the first locally-owned electric bike shop. They carry the two leading American brands, Pedego and Prodeco, as well as parts, service, and accessories. Best of all, they’re wonderful to work with and their enthusiasm for e-bikes is contagious!

Santa Fe has the second cleanest air in the world and the second thinnest population in America. Let’s keep the City Different clean and thin by commuting different. E-bikes are the Santa Fe way to get around.

Jeff Nailen
Santa Fe Way

Eco Motive Biker and Animal Lover in Action!

When Rachel needed to feed her horses at the barn, she would strap on a pair of boots and hike nearly two miles up the canyon roads on her ranch property in New Mexico. Riding a bike didn’t seem like it was an option because the incline is just too steep, and Rachel’s manpower could not compete. On days when she didn’t feel like Hercules, she drove her truck in lieu of exercise.

As soon as Rachel heard of Eco Motive Bikes, she knew she had found the solution to her problem.

Rachel purchased the Stride R because the step-through provided a much easier way to mount and dismount the bike. She’s a big fan of the sturdiness of the bike and its ability to maneuver so well on the dirt roads. “Not only is it an excellent bike because of the electric motor, but it’s a great bike in general with the smooth gear shifts and the great brakes.”

Rachel no longer has to forgo exercise and waste gas just to feed her animals. And not only is she getting exercise, but “the very best thing is how much my dogs love to go with me”!


The Case for Electric Bicycles

Repost from the

Andrew Gondzur of St. Louis, Missouri, used to ride his bike about four times a year—until last month, when he found himself choosing his bike instead of his car to run errands at least three times a week. What changed? Andrew installed a kit that added a rechargeable electric motor to his old bike. He still usually pedals his bike, but with a twist of the handlebar, he can get a bit of motorized help.

“I can go farther and faster than I would if I were just pedaling,” he says, which is why Andrew now takes his bike, not his car, to the post office, the library, his children’s schools, and the grocery store. “Why take 5,000 pounds of car and burn expensive gas to get one thing you forgot at the supermarket? Now I leave my car at home.”

If, like most Americans, you find yourself hopping in your car to drive down the street and around the corner, consider one alternative: “zooming” your way there instead on a quiet and speedy pedal assisted electric bike. Though you may balk at regularly biking more than a mile or two, summer is the perfect time to consider a bike with a little electric “oomph”—a green alternative to driving that doesn’t require you to travel entirely on your own foot or pedal power.

Consumers looking to leave the car at home—or forego a second car—can now find a new generation of “person-assisted” electrified conventional bikes and recumbant bikes (where the rider reclines while pedaling). These vehicles offer a transportation solution that’s far preferable to going by car: they save gas money, run quietly, reduce pollution and global warming emissions—and riding them is fun.

Is it Right for You?

Curious if an electric bike might be a good solution for you? Try taking a transportation audit, noting over a single week how many times you jump into your car to go only a few miles roundtrip. If you’re like most Americans, 40 percent of all car trips are less than two miles away, according to the League of American Bicyclists, and many of these trips may be bikeable.

Hopping into the car for these short trips to work, the playground, and the supermarket may not seem like a decision with a big impact, but all of those car miles add up. Cars emit the heat-trapping greenhouse gases that cause climate change, as well as pollutants such as nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide, and ground-level ozone, which contribute to acid rain, smog, and health problems. In fact, short trips by car can actually be more polluting per mile than long trips, because pollution is highest in the first few minutes of driving, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. Cutting a four mile trip out of your schedule each weekday can reduce your global warming pollution by more than 1,200 pounds a year, estimates Environmental Defense.

And as gas prices continue to rise, the cost of short trips by car is steep—just fueling a round-trip commute to a job five miles away every weekday for a year can cost $300 or more just for fuel, not including parking fees and any additional fuel used for after-work errands and weekend driving.

How They Work

Motorized bikes, sometimes called “power- assisted vehicles,” “human-electric hybrids,” or “pedelecs” (for “pedal electric” cycles) combine the driver’s pedaling with a motorized assist from a rechargeable electric battery, which can be plugged into any standard outlet. This is in contrast to mopeds or motorcycles, which run on gas and have combustion engines like those in cars, and also in contrast to other types of electric bikes and scooters that run entirely on electricity without any pedal power from the rider.

These vehicles often look just like conventional bikes, and some are even converted from conventional bikes. The motor is sometimes attached to the frame, or in some cases hidden away discretely within the frame.

With some pedaled e-bikes, the rider turns the electric assistance on or off using a toggle or a twist of the handlebar, and can choose an entirely electric ride, an entirely pedaled ride, or a ride combining electric with pedal power.

With a “pedelec,” on the other hand, the rider just gets on, pedals, and switches gears when needed, as if riding a standard non-electric bike. A computerized sensor combines force from the battery seamlessly with the rider’s own pedal power, and gives the biggest “push” when the rider needs it most: usually in kicking off initially and in surmounting hills. At higher speeds, when the rider’s own pedaling has the bike cruising at a fast and steady pace, the battery-powered motor’s contribution can drop out almost to zero. With most human-electric hybrid cycles, you can also choose to ride the bicycles as a regular non-electric bike for extra exercise.

For all types, the motor and battery itself can add a little bit of weight to the bike, around 20 pounds—roughly comparable to adding a couple of textbooks to your backpack.

Electric bikes can go anywhere from 20–50 miles between charges. They are generally classified by law as “low-speed electric bicycles,” because they tend to go about 20–25 miles an hour. They don’t require a license plate or vehicle insurance in most states, but check the rules for where you live. And because they’re electric rather than combustion-powered, a trip on these motorized bikes is quiet—quiet enough to hear the birds singing on the way to wherever you’re going.

Drivers of these vehicles value the motorized boost that helps them more easily pedal up daunting hills, get home with groceries or other heavy loads, pedal a small child to school in a child seat or wheeled trailer, and commute to work in dress clothes without breaking a sweat. And for short trips, riding an electric bike can be faster than driving a car, especially because you won’t get stuck in traffic or can head for the bike rack by the door rather than driving around seeking parking. And drivers of motorized bikes still get exercise from pedaling, albeit with a little electric help—so these bikes offer more exercise than driving that’s a little less strenuous than pedaling a conventional bike.

Greener Than a Second Car

Compared to taking a car or some other gas-powered vehicle, these human-powered vehicles with electric assist travel completely clean, with no carbon dioxide emissions or other pollutants.

Even when you factor in the pollution that might have been used to generate the energy to charge your vehicle, electric bikes are only one-tenth as polluting as driving a car the same distance, according to

Many users of motorized bikes also find that they save a bundle on gas and parking—offsetting the cost of the vehicle over time. And in some families, an electric bike can make it unnecessary to purchase a second car and the associated insurance, easily a $10-20,000 savings.

Hauling Stuff on Your Bike

Sometimes the “luggage problem” of getting heavy things home by bike can be so daunting that would-be riders choose cars instead. Having the capacity for an electric assist from a motorized bicycle can help to address that problem. In addition to side baskets or saddle bags, you can also find bike attachments designed to haul the extra-heavy weight of furniture, instruments, and even construction supplies—like the “Sports Utility Bike” accessories from XtraCycle.

Other Considerations

The scooters and bikes available today vary in quality, warns Chip Gribben at ScooterWerks, an electric bike and scooter repair shop in Laurel, Maryland. He encourages customers to purchase electric bikes at retail stores that will service them. If you buy online, choose a company that guarantees it will provide spare parts if the bike needs repairs.

Also, customers who shop with both people and the planet in mind may have trouble learning much about how some of these bikes were manufactured, says Tish Kashani, the screening manager for Green America’s Green Business Network™. “I hope in time that more and more manufacturers of ‘green bikes’ will provide their customers with information about where the products are made and under what conditions,” she says. “Then these vehicles will truly be a win-win-win—for the pocketbook, for people, and for the planet.”

For the Future

Electric bikes hold out the prospect of helping get cars off the road and reducing emissions, pollution, and gas use. In addition to the financial and environmental benefits, electric bike owners are quick to add that riding these vehicles is fun—and they get “thumbs up” and other encouragement from neighbors as they go by.

Andrew Gondzur says his children don’t miss carpool—they’re thrilled to be taken to school in a rolling trailer on the back of his motorized bike. “They love it,” he says. “They sit back there and yell, ‘faster! faster!’”

Joelle Novey

The 10 best things about biking in Santa Fe

by Tom Sharpe

1. Santa Fe’s climate
It’s almost a shame to celebrate Bike to Work week in mid-May when the weather is at its best. Santa Fe’s climate is great for bicycling year-round.

I recall a story about a bicycle commuter in Minneapolis, Minn., where wintertime weather means layers of high-tech fibers. None of that needed here. Regular clothes will suffice every month of the year. With long underwear, a ski mask, mittens and a wool sweater under a nylon jacket, you will be comfortable on the coldest night of the year. Ice, snow and freezing rain will put a damper on your riding no more than two or three weeks out of the year.2. Plowing bike paths.
After heavy snows, city park crews clear bike paths with snow plows mounted on all-terrain vehicles. With New Mexico’s intense winter sun, this means trails should be ridable days after snows.3. The city bus system.
Most city buses have a rack that holds two bicycles. A few buses, mostly those on the busiest route, No. 2, have three-bike racks. During Bike to Work Week, the racks are often full. But the rest of the year, this rarely happens.Using the bus/bike combination, I can make it from one side of town to another in about the same time it takes in a car — often less, considering the time it takes to park a car. Riding the bus, where Spanish is spoken as often as English, gives you a different perspective on Santa Fe.

4. The Arroyo Chamiso Trail underpass at Rodeo Road.
Used to be, when southbound cyclists reached Rodeo Road, between Sam’s Club and the Arroyo de los Chamisos, they were forced to come to the sidewalk, cross busy Rodeo Road and get back on the bike trail again. But about a year ago, the city completed a trail underpass using a box culvert. Now you can simply dip under Rodeo Road and continue south along the arroyo toward the Santa Fe Place mall.

5. The cut-through from the Rail Trail to Santa Rosa Drive.
A semi-secret shortcut known to experienced local cyclists, this cut-through leads to the Kaune or Casa Linda neighborhood. It also serves as a connection between the Rail Trail and the Acequia Trail. City planners are looking into widening this narrow passage. Until then, you may need to walk your bike through it.

6. The evolving Acequia Madre Trail. (Previously mentioned in item No. 1 on the 10-worst list.)
Even though this trail remains in three pieces, the eventual connections will open a new shady route through the near-west-side neighborhoods.

7. The new section of trail connecting Pen Road with the corner of Cerrillos/St. Francis, behind Brewer Chevron. (Also previously mentioned in item No. 1 on the 10-worst list.)
Originally to be paved with asphalt, it ended up as concrete to prevent prairie dogs from undermining it.

8. The new Rail Trail crossing at Alarid Street.
Previously, when you crossed Cerrillos/St. Francis coming into town, you rode along the sidewalk to Alarid Street, dismounted and carried your bike across the roadway and over the curb to reach the Rail Trail through the Railyard Park. Recently, a new trail has been built parallel to the Acequia Madre so that it crosses Alarid Street at a new curb cut, then turns sharply right to cross the railroad tracks perpendicularly to reach the Railyard Park.

9. Proposed regional bike trail extensions.
The Rail Trail has been paved south of Interstate 25, and there are plans on the drawing boards to continue the paving all the way to Eldorado with a cutoff to Santa Fe Community College. Someday, you will be able to ride all the way to the Amtrak station and Lamy.

Other drawing-board plans call for extending the Arroyo Chamiso Trail south to El Rancho de las Golondrinas and to make the Old Las Vegas Highway safe for bicycles all the way to Romeroville, following the path of the old Route 66.

Land contouring is just getting started along the Santa Fe River between Camino Alire and Frenchy’s Field Park. Within a year, a new bike trail will be completed here. As I understand it, the original plan for the Santa Fe River Park called for extending it past La Cienega. How about a bike path there?

10. The Closson Street entrance to the River Trail.
I wasn’t sure whether to put this on the best or worst list. At the north end of Closson Street, a ramp leading to a footbridge across the Santa Fe River to the River Trail looks like an M.C. Escher optical illusion.

There are 10 90-degree turns in this ramp to allow for a slope gentle enough to meet wheelchair specifications of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s almost impossible to maneuver a bicycle through, but it’s funky enough to make you smile.