What a year! ending with a visit with the ELFs

2014 has been a year to remember.  It’s been year 5 for PHEW!, when we sold quite a few bikes. Repaired many more.  Converted a number of old favorites to electric, ranging from Trek hybrids, Montague folders, tricycles, a few cargo bikes, and our favorites: the Breezer Uptown and Downtown bikes.

Looking back, we added a few brands to our lineup.  Jamis Bikes for their comfort bikes; Tern Bicycles for their exceptional folding bikes; Cleary’s lightweight children’s bikes; Haibike and then Felt Electric bikes with the mid-drive Bosch system offering some of the lightest electric-assist bikes. Thanks to all of you for supporting our adventures.

From May through October, we hosted Thrifty Thursdays, when we invited the community to use our space, tools and knowhow (for free) to do more with their bike. We even taught a few neighborhood children to ride a bike, one at a time!

In July, we installed solar panels to power ceiling fans in our showroom, reducing the need for air conditioning.  In September, we joined the thousands in NYC for the People’s Climate March.  In December, we rallied against the Dirty Energy Hub being planned for Philadelphia, sure to bring short term jobs and a lot more carbon emissions to our region.  Asthma, anyone?

And all year long, we purchased clean, wind-powered electricity generated from Pennsylvania wind farms, via Philadelphia’s own Energy Co-op.  Look them up, and check out their EcoChoice100 plan.

I personally am looking forward to shuttering the shop until mid-January.  We hope to slow down, hibernate a little, research some, and have plans to visit an ELF factory.

What’s an ELF? It’s been called a half-bike, half-car.  When we followed one down the road last year, we heard children call out…Car-bicycle! and Bicycle-car!  And that’s what it is: an electric velomobile; a human-powered vehicle enclosed for aerodynamic advantage & protection from weather.

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We’re trying to decide whether the ELFs make sense for our region.  Do let us know if you have an interest in these; it’ll definitely swing our decision about selling and servicing them next year!

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