Great news for Bike Auckland members! In a long-anticipated development, we’re partnering with local bike shops and others to bring you special discounts and exclusive opportunities as membership benefits when you become a Bike Auckland supporter.
We’ll be introducing you to our new partners one by one, so you can get to know who’s backing bike advocacy in your city. First up is…
THE ELECTRIC BIKE TEAM
Who and what is the Electric Bike Team?
The friendly face of the Electric Bike Team (formerly the Electric Bicycle Hub) is longtime bicycle advocate Maurice Wells. Maurice and family arrived in Auckland in 2015, when his partner got a job at the university. Although he’d founded two bike shops in Sydney – Glowworm Bicycles specializing in e-bikes, and Omafiets Dutch Bicycles for urban bikes – opening one in Auckland wasn’t the first thing on his list.
Then the pink path happened, and it just made sense. EBT is located on East St, right next to the Canada St entrance to Lightpath, which makes it the perfect spot for test rides. ‘All day long, we have a view of bikes coming on and off the pink path,’ says Maurice. ‘It’s pretty great. And it’s very important to us that people can experience riding a bike in the conditions they deserve.’
Maurice’s growing crew includes Emilio and Alex – ‘We met at Tumeke Cycle Space, and have similar interests bicycle-wise’. EBT is a family business in more ways than one: you’ll often bump into family members in the shop, including Maurice’s sons Oskar and Teo, and Emilio’s daughter Francisca, who are fast becoming poster children for the power of electric cargo bikes.
What kind of bikes does the Electric Bicycle Team sell and service – and who to?
Almost exclusively electric bikes, says Maurice. First-time e-bike buyers are increasingly common, and they’re often family members of someone who already has one. ‘Once an e-bike arrives in a household it gets used by whoever can get their hands on it. They didn’t bank on buying 4 e-bikes, but that’s what happens!’
Often, students come in with their parents to buy an e-bike in the same circumstances they might have bought a first car. ‘For students, if you’re paying $30-50/week for buses anyway, an e-bike becomes a real alternative investment.’
EBT also sells Vivente touring bikes (‘the survivors of the acoustic age’) and Brompton folding bikes (including an electrified version), plus a wide range of accessories. ‘We’re often told we have things people couldn’t find anywhere else, although we like to think it’s the most normal stuff in the world. All the things you’d need if biking was an everyday part of your life: all shapes and sizes and styles of pannier bags, baskets, locks, rain gear, seat covers, baby and child seats.’
Which brings us to cargo bikes. ‘Cargo bikes still turn heads in Auckland: they’re a small but important category, and are often an indicator of a city that has good-but-not-quite-excellent infrastructure for cycling. People want to take their kids along, but the streets and routes still aren’t quite bike-friendly enough for, say, your 6-year-old to just ride beside you. An electric cargo bike is the perfect match – you can do a daycare drop-off, proceed to work, and then pick up groceries on the way home.’
Why is the Electric Bike Team happy to partner with Bike Auckland?
It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement, says Maurice: it makes sense to support the community that supports bike shops. ‘We thrive on the bike infrastructure. When more bike lanes open, our business goes up, as does other business nearby. Bike Auckland is doing the advocacy work that our industry probably should be doing more of. Everyone gets value out of a new bike lane, so if we can encourage more people to join up and get involved with Bike Auckland, that’s an easy one for us.’
And it’s not just about bikes, he points out. ‘I’d love it if at some point in the near future, we don’t just assume that everyone drives everywhere in Auckland. That assumption affects everything, like whether events and businesses provide info on public transport alongside parking tips, for example.’
In the end, it’s about having great options. ‘If your city’s not bikeable it’s probably not walkable; if it hasn’t got good public transport, it’s probably not walkable. In other cities, if there’s ten people in the room, they definitely didn’t all drive. I’m keen to see Auckland get there too.’
29 East St, Eden Terrace (just off K Rd; directions here)
09 368 5899 or 0800 100 467 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Facebook page
Hours Mon-Fri 10am to 5pm (call the landline phone if you’d like to come after 5pm to check as we’re often here late), and Sat 10am to 4pm
Offer for Bike Auckland members
- Free Bike Auckland membership with every electric bicycle purchase (for yourself or a friend)