Electric Bike Riders Make History on the Great Allegheny Passage

June 7, 2018

Seal Beach Pedego store takes 18 electric cyclists, mostly in their 60’s and 70’s, on the adventure of a lifetime

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., June 7, 2018 — On June 18, 18 electric cyclists will embark on a 350-mile ride over 10 days on the Great Allegheny Passage. Known by cyclists as the “GAP” Trail, this bike path runs between Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., covering historic sites, including Harper’s Ferry. The riders, most of whom are 60 to 75 years old, are confident about riding long hours for 10 days because they have the support of their electric bikes from Pedego® Electric Bikes, the Number 1 electric bike brand in the United States. Pedego bikes go up to 60 miles in distance on a single charge at speeds up to 20 miles per hour and enable riders to zoom up hills and through headwinds. The ride is hosted by the Pedego Greater Long Beach (GLB) store, based in Seal Beach, Calif.

In response to the requests of their local Pedego Owners Group (POG) members for a long-distance group ride, Beth Black, 61, and Brian Ballard, 55, the co-owners of Pedego GLB, contacted Dennis Bueker, 73, to organize the ride. A retired teacher and co-founder of the Ride Across California (RAC), Bueker is a Pedego owner himself and has biked most of the nation’s famous Rail Trails, including the GAP Trail, with his team, including his wife, Gwen, 72. They will lead the ride on Pedego electric bikes.

“Our store’s community of Pedego riders is passionate about having fun on their electric bikes,” said Black. “They’ve enjoyed riding around Southern California together and are seeking even greater adventures. Once we announced the GAP trip, it was immediately sold out!”

Members of the “Wild POGs” congregate at Pedego Greater Long Beach before a 50-mile practice ride.

The GAP ride will be the first recorded long-distance Pedego group ride for the national Pedego Owners Group, which has chapters based out of Pedego’s nearly 100 branded stores across the country. Jean Nolan, one of the riders, dubbed their group the “Wild POGs” in a nod to the “Wild Hogs” movie in which a group of friends rode across country on their motorcycles.

In preparation for the long days of riding, the Wild POGs have gone on several 20- to 50-mile practice rides, forming a strong bond of friendship and camaraderie. “We have a wonderful time whenever we ride together,” Nolan said. “We’re very excited to have the adventure of a lifetime riding the GAP Trail.”

Led by Bueker, the GAP Trail riders include Black and Ballard, the Pedego GLB store co-owners, as well as the Wild POGs group:

  • Joan Kinnon of Cypress is celebrating her 75th birthday on the trip. “We’re proving that age doesn’t matter,” she said. Kinnon has no plans to slow down, saying, “Not when I can twist a throttle and zoom!”
  • Paula Yonke, 66, of Huntington Beach, is riding with her daughter, Noelle Yonke, 38, of Huntington Beach, who initially introduced her mom to electric bikes with the goal of spending time together.
  • Robert and Janet Bill, 61 and 58, respectively, of Lomita, are going for the experience of a lifetime. “We’ve never done anything like this before,” said Janet. “It’s very exciting.”
  • Bob and Jean Nolan, 63 and 61, respectively, of Fountain Valley, purchased their Pedego bikes this year upon moving to Southern California. “Through riding Pedego bikes, we’ve developed a group of devoted friends,” Jean said.
  • John and Jo Ann Bramble, 72 and 69, respectively, of Downey, are athletes who recently began riding electric bikes so they can ride longer, farther and faster.
  • Chris and Dana Glidden, 67 and 59, respectively, of Buena Park, enjoy taking long-distance rides around Southern California yet yearned for adventure with new scenery. “The GAP ride is our first long-distance ride in a new location,” Chris said.
  • Doug and Freda Otto, 69 and 70, respectively, of Long Beach, are a busy couple who enjoy the time they spend together on the bikes. “With electric bikes, we can ride together, even if one of us is a stronger cyclist,” Freda said.
  • Laura Maydahl and Alice Kuchinskas, both 62, of San Juan Capistrano, are eager to head for Pittsburgh. “You can go places and see more sites by electric bike than you can from a car, by foot or regular pedal bike,” Laura said.

On June 18, the riders will fly to Pittsburgh and enjoy a kick-off dinner party at a local restaurant. The next morning, the group will start at the trailhead in Pittsburgh for a ride that will take them through numerous scenic and historic sites. The Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Towpath will take them through historic towns, such as Harper’s Ferry, eventually reaching Alexandria, Va., where local Pedego Alexandria store owner Todd Ketch will host a dinner party to celebrate their accomplishment, including special guest Pedego Electric Bikes CEO and co-founder Don DiCostanzo.

“Pedego electric bikes were designed for fun and adventure,” said DiCostanzo. “I look forward to greeting the Wild POGs when they arrive at Pedego Alexandria, completing their 350-mile ride!”

The group is already gearing up for their next trip, planned for August, to ride the Katy Trail from St. Louis to Kansas City. The public is invited to attend a meeting at Pedego GLB on Saturday, June 9, at 10 a.m. to see a video of this trail and make reservations.

About Pedego® Greater Long Beach

Pedego Greater Long Beach is Southern California’s most famous outlet for Pedego Electric Bikes — featured in a national Time Warner TV commercial. At Pedego GLB, customers can choose from renting a Pedego electric bike for local rides or purchasing to enjoy all the benefits of ownership. The official home of the Wild POGs, one of America’s most active chapters of the Pedego Owners Group. Organized group rides at distant locations are available for Pedego owners, such as awesome destinations like the Great Allegheny Passage and the Katy Trail. Locally, join Pedego GLB each weekend on our Sunday FUNday group ride for owners and renters. Located in the Pavilions shopping center, at the corner of Main Street and PCH, you’ll find Pedego GLB at 1065 Pacific Coast Highway, Seal Beach, Calif. Call (562) 296-5782 to arrange a free test ride or reserve a rental. Visit BeGreaterBikes.com or email info@PedegoGLB.com for more information. Follow us on Facebook for the latest news, pictures and stories.

About Pedego® Electric Bikes

Pedego®  Electric Bikes is the Number 1 electric bike brand in the United States, according to Navigant Research. Sold at more than 130 Pedego-branded stores and hundreds of independent electric bike dealers worldwide, Pedego electric bikes have 250- to 500-watt motors that empower riders to conquer hills and breeze through headwinds, cruising distances up to 60 miles on a single battery charge. The twist-and-go throttle gives riders instant manual control over their speeds while Pedal Assist automatically adds power to their pedaling. Available in hundreds of color combinations, Pedego’s high-quality, innovative “pedal or not” models include cruisers, tandems, commuters, fat-tire bikes, mountain bikes, cargo bikes and a convenient electric folding bike. Pedego electric bikes deliver fun, exercise and a green alternative for transportation — transforming lives with fun and delight.  Free test rides are available at every Pedego store. Founded in 2008, Orange County, Calif.-based Pedego inspires riders to say, “Hello, Fun!”


Teri Sawyer, T&Co.

Sandra Eckardt, T&Co.