30 31 www.htcinc.net | Spring 2017 Spring 2017 | www.htcinc.net The commute-changing purchase was Aaron’s first interaction with a newfound love; after dealing with Pedego’s customer service representatives, he was completely enamored. Delighted by the company’s obvious commitment to excellent customer service and ecstatic about the way his new bike functioned, Aaron contemplated taking his relationship with Pedego even further. He got his chance a few months later when, by happy coincidence, a customer-service representative he’d spoken with and her father — a part owner of Pedego — emailed Aaron saying they had booked a trip to London, wondering if he had any restaurant recommendations. Aaron took the opportunity to meet with the pair in person and discuss the possibility of becoming a Pedego bike dealer. Fast-forward a few months, and Aaron was scouting locations for his store opening. Numerous cities were considered, but as soon as Aaron found The Market Common in Myrtle Beach, he knew he needn’t look any further. In April of 2015, he officially opened his doors. A Perfect Fit Not only is the Pedego bike a sensible purchase for commuters, it’s also ideal for people who frequent the Lowcountry. Myrtle Beach — and especially The Market Common — is one of the most walkable and bikeable areas in the state. It’s also chock-full of folks looking to retire from their careers, enjoy nicer weather and embrace an active lifestyle. Aaron’s face lights up when he speaks about the people he gets to meet through his job — a testament to his genuine love for his work. But then again, a job that leaves you truly fulfilled feels less like work and more like a passion. For Aaron, that passion is ignited when he helps people achieve happy, healthy lifestyles. “It’s a great thing, staying fit and having fun while doing it,” he says. “And the best part is that you can do it together. I see couples all the time rediscovering how fun it can be to spend an afternoon riding around together. I don’t consider myself a bike salesman. I honestly feel like I help people achieve a better lifestyle for themselves.” But the bikes are in no way limited to more seasoned adults — anyone age 14 or older can use an electric bike. Aaron even offers tandem bikes so that younger children can enjoy the ride, as well as ride-behind carriages that are the perfect fit for small kids and even dogs! His shop is strewn with high-end accessories, locks and helmets, yet it maintains a quaint, cool vibe — the kind of place you’d hope to find in a beach town like Myrtle Beach. The Pedego bug seems to be spreading on the Grand Strand — both locals and tourists keep Aaron busy with bike rentals and purchases. Pedego also offers several bike tours every week, usually lasting about an hour and a half each. Using their own electric bikes or renting them from Aaron, the group members depart from the shop and ride throughout The Market Common district, Myrtle Beach State Park and Warbird Park — and everyone is still smiling by the end. “It’s very common for someone to come in and buy a bike, then a couple weeks later come back and buy one for their spouse because they love it so much,” he says. No matter the rider’s age, everyone hops off after his or her first test ride talking about the same word: fun. “In a lot of our materials we use the phrase, ‘You’ll feel like a kid again’ — and that’s not us just making it up,” Aaron says, “that’s straight from the customers’ mouths.” Riding High Named by Navigant Research as the No. 1 electric bike company in the United States, Pedego hangs its hat on its products functioning just like a regular bike, only better. Typically outfitted with seven gears, hand brakes, metal chains and a standard aluminum frame, the bikes might be mistaken for tricked-out beach cruisers at first glance. They stand out, though, with subtle enhancements like their 500-watt rear hub motor and pedal assistance, which kicks in only as much as you want it to, up to 20 mph. Their replaceable batteries last an astounding 60 miles per charge and have a life expectancy of up to five years — typically about 20,000 miles. Perhaps the coolest feature is that the bike’s controls are completely customizable to what works for you. You can get where you’re going faster, and you can ride for longer periods of time because you won’t be fatigued. Some critics would say that motorized bikes are, in some way, cheating. Aaron believes that if you are out in the fresh air, riding a bike and moving your legs, you’re ahead of the game. “My dad will be 81 years old soon, and he’s ridden bikes his whole life,” says Aaron. “He had a surgery recently, and I bought him a Pedego bike for his 80th birthday — and now as he recovers more from surgery, he rides it all the time.” For Aaron, his new business is satisfying on a lot of levels, and he is glad to have partnered with a local cooperative to help make it all happen. “The guy who came and installed the HTC equipment was absolutely the nicest guy,” recalls Aaron. “I’ve had zero minutes of downtime with my point-of-sale system, which means I’ve never had to delay a sale. There’ve been no issues with my internet going out, which is important to me because I offer my customers free Wi-Fi while they’re here.” As it turns out, they use it often. “I use a pretty high-end cable package because, during football season — and actually recently during the Final Four — my customers like to hang out in my shop and watch the game.” Whether to rent for a day, buy for your family or just to watch a ballgame with friends, Pedego Electric Bikes of Myrtle Beach is a place where fun begins. Reading about electric bikes is one thing, but riding one for yourself is even better. Visit Aaron at 3080 DeVille Street in The Market Common to take a test spin for yourself, learn more at www.pedegomb.com, or call 843-602-6941. Open daily. Hours vary — see website for details.