Among the casual cycling crowd in Salt Lake City, there’s a lot of talk about “the flat.” Our city, ringed with mountains, has a lot of hills that make an enjoyable cruise to the farmers market a challenge. “Living on the flat” is one reason bike-minded folks are shopping for homes in Liberty Wells and why more than one “hard-core” bike commuter we’ve known suddenly starts shopping for a Subaru when they move in with their girlfriend who lives above 1100 East.

pedal-assist e-bikes
Climb Capitol Hill? No problem.

The folks at GREENbike, (yes, the one you have to pedal and doesn’t muck up our sidewalks like those garbage scooters) knows that Salt Lake is a hilly place. When the non-profit rolled out its tidy station system around the valley, it did so with a mind to “the flat” easily biked portions of the valley. Now, however, the non-profit has added 50 pedal-assist e-bikes to its system to help us get off “the flat.”

GREENbike’s new e-bikes are pedal assist, which means the electric assist motor will only engage when riders pedal. The more “pedal power” the rider puts out, the more electric assistance the bike will provide, with up to 250 percent assistance. Basically, you still have to pedal and stuff but you won’t show up for your Tinder date at The Pie sweating like you have a glandular problem.

The new pedal-assist e-bikes started popping up amid the classic Trek-built GREENbikes at stations around “the flat” last week. They cost the same to use: $7 for a 24-Hour Access Pass or $75 for an annual pass.

To find a GREENbike station give the new pedal-assist e-bikes (or a classic) a try download the Bcycle app or visit GREENbikeslc.org.

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