More people pedaling past the pump amid soaring gas prices

Pain at the pump has many considering different ways of getting around town. As the Russian-Ukraine war continues, there’s no telling how high the prices at the pump will soar or when it will end. AAA lists Texas’ gas price average at $3.93.

“We saw this exact same thing happen when the bubble popped in 2008 and 2009 and when gas prices were over $4,” Marty Schlesinger said. Schlesinger is the co-owner of Small Planet E-bike located in the King William District.

Although a bike shop, Schlesinger’s business is dedicated to transportation bicycling. Since the pandemic began, he said more customers have come in to look for more affordable means of transportation.

“Electric assist (bikes have) really changed the way a lot of folks look at bicycles,” Schlesinger said. “When we really got busy, it actually helped us quadruple business in the last year. It’s been amazing.”

Small Planet E-bike had the best year in sales in 2021 however, Schlesinger said this month is proving to be even stronger.

“(Only) two weeks into the month, and we’re already on track to surpass what we made last (March).”

According to Schlesinger, this time around it is due to high gas prices.

“I think this just is going to help usher (e-bikes) in, and have a lot more folks focus on alternate forms of getting around, especially for shorter transportation.”

E-bikes, in comparison to traditional bikes, can go for extended rides, reach higher speeds to keep up with traffic on the roads and the boost of the battery allows for riders to haul heavier items without having to break out a sweat.

Overall, experts agree e-bikes are strong and quick enough to replace a car trip for errands or a short commute to work.

Schlesinger said there’s a variety of electric modes of transportation to choose from at a good price range.

“There (are) one wheels, there’s the Super73 (E-bike), electric skateboards, whatever you’re into, there is now a way to get around (with) more affordably than ever,” Schlesinger said. “(At Small Planet E-bike they start) at $1,300 and our most expensive on the floor from that brand (Aventon) is $2000. There’s longevity in these things. If you really do take care of them, it’s pretty impressive.”

In the last few days, Schlesinger’s team has already sold nearly 10 e-bikes and expect the demand for e-bikes to continue.