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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Pedal power: Electric bike store opens on Near Southside

Pedego Fort Worth

129 W. Leuda St., Suite A

Fort Worth 76104

682-305-8304

pedegoelectricbikes.com/dealers/fort-worth/

When giving advice, Vicki Peden says, “Find something out there and throw your heart into it and see what happens.”

And she did.

Peden and her husband, Neal, recently opened a store in the Near Southside that combines their Cowtown Cycle Party business with the first Pedego electric bike store in Texas. The store itself is just “a little different” and was built around a shipping container. It was designed by the architecture firm 97W.

Touted in a news release as having 500-watt motors and state-of-the-art lithium ion batteries, the Pedego bikes will put the wind in your hair while going uphill. The bikes also have both pedal assist and a throttle to make biking easier. Rentals, self-guided tours and guided tours of Fort Worth on the Pedego bikes are also offered through the Fort Worth store located at 129 W. Leuda St. Prices for the bikes start at $2,295. Bike rentals are $20 per hour.

After taking a quick test drive around downtown Fort Worth, Vicki Peden sat down with The Fort Worth Business Press and talked about opening the new store.

What motivates you?

It’s just fun. It’s the people that you meet. We had a couple that picked up their bikes on Saturday. They bought the new Pedegos. They’ve retired, they’re going to Colorado. It’s just meeting new people and seeing how much fun they can have with these bikes. There was a guy that was so sweet. He used to ride motorcycles but as he got older his balance wasn’t that great and he got a Pedego and he’s out there. He’s in the fresh air exercising and it’s rewarding. It’s really rewarding to help people have a good lifestyle and get out there.

How much input did you have in the building design?

We wanted something that looked a little different that was neat and cool because this part of town is just exploding with wonderful great new things. We had a lot of input and the city was receptive to it. We’re just real happy to be here.

What was the turning point to make you want to get a rental fleet?

After I first rode them. There’s nothing like this in Fort Worth. We’ve got the B-Cycles, which are great, but to get to the Stockyards and have a barbecue lunch and come back and spend three hours, you want an electric bike. It’s just a different offering and we’re best friends with the people at the B-Cycles. They help us, we help them and it’s just a different offering.

What is the Fort Worth business community like?

I love Fort Worth. We actually lived in southern Dallas County when we started and I had to move to Fort Worth. This place, they embrace new ideas, innovated things and Fort Worth is the coolest place ever. I don’t want to talk down Dallas. I grew up in Dallas, but I don’t see the stuff in Dallas, the business community, as offering all of the great stuff that you can do in Fort Worth. The cycles there’s so many places to go, so many cool things to do and it’s all right here. This is the place.

What makes a family business so special?

You trust each other, you look out for each other and all of our employees are [like] family, too. We’ve got five drivers for the Cycle Party and once this gets going more we will have more employees here, too, but it’s a family business. I don’t know. You know you’ll always have a job, for one thing, but it’s just really special because you know you can count on each other, you’re growing it together and you’re proud of it together.

What is it like working for yourself?

You get up out of bed every morning. You get up and you go. You know what has to be done and you do it. There’s motivation. I mean, you don’t call in sick. You’ve got the family to help and it works out really well. I think everybody should work for themselves.

What would you tell someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

Find something that’s different, something that’s not already there and just go for it and see if the community likes it, if the people like it and if they do you’ll be great. But try to find something that’s different and not already been done. Try to find a new niche, offer something new, something different.

Do you have a mentor?

All the people at the Pedego company are mentors to us and it’s been really cool because the guy that opened the very first store in Huntington Beach, California, came out and visited and stayed a couple of days with us and he’s my hero. It’s just that he’s been doing it for five years, which is not a long time, but with us just starting he knows things … and I can call him anytime and he’s got an answer for everything. He’s my big mentor for this.

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