Pedego Myrtle Beach offers electric bikes as way to tour the Grand Strand area

The Pedego shop (843-602-6941 or www.pedegomb.com) already has begun its third year in business since opening at 3080 DeVille St., three doors from the Grand 14 Cinema, near a garage with free parking. Rentals of a beach cruiser outfitted with clickers for seven gears, and a battery pack over the rear wheel, start at $20 for an hour, or $75 for eight. Safety stays in focus, so bring your own helmet, or borrow one for free on site.

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An hourlong rental on a later Friday afternoon making the rounds across the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base earlier this month brought a ton of sights and sounds on which passers-by in a car might miss out too easily. Remember, though, that bicyclists need to follow rules of the road, such as stopping at signals at stop signs, and using hand signals to indicate turns.

After Aaron Maynard, the store owner, guided the ease of getting on the bike – by swinging the free leg way over the seat, like hopping on the saddle on a horse – a leisurely spin along roads across the old air base, and on the wide sidewalks on Farrow Parkway afforded so many reasons to stop, with disc brakes on both wheels. My memo pad tucked in the pack in front of the handlebars could have written itself for a few pages.

Although the terrain in the area, including Myrtle Beach State Park nearby, is pretty much flat – except for a slight incline on Farrow heading northeastward by Coventry Boulevard – having the option for a motorized push with the turn of the right throttle might help individuals who feel fatigued in a spot or at the end of the ride. Farrow alone goes about 3.6 miles from end to end between Kings Highway and U.S. 17.

Take a pause to peer at all the history preserved at Warbird✔ Park, on the easternmost end of Farrow, which includes several of the more than 160 historical markers the city of Myrtle Beach has posted across parts of the old air base, each packed with tidbits. Anyone who walks by the aircraft viewing area along Myrtle Beach International Airport can rest on any of three benches, and peruse six signs, which highlight such things as former turkey farms on the airfield, where birds were unfazed by the aircraft traffic, and Boston (now Atlanta) Braves farm clubs using tracts for spring training.

The many birds seen and heard elsewhere on this trek included a loggerhead shrike perched atop a street sign near Warbird Park, robins, wrens, cardinals, towhees, killdeer, and red-winged blackbirds trumpeting. Bike lanes run the length of both sides of Howard Parkway, going north from the parking lot by Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and Airpark Drive, an area at various times of year where Eastern meadowlarks sing such lovely melodies from deep in the the grassy expanse lining the airport’s west side.

For some electric push, open the throttle, for a maximum speed of 15-20 mph swiftly, then enjoy the coast afterward for a distance. Returning to the shop will bring a relaxed and energized feeling from a journey, which Maynard said local residents and vacationers have each shared as families. He also said an excursion on an electric bikes provide a multitude of feelings for folks who have not taken a two-wheeler out in years.

“It kind of makes you feel like a kid again,” he said, leading into the bikes’ electric option as a value for individuals who cope with knee or hip issues, but want to get out for this free-wheelin’ form of recreation.

A retired U.S. Air Force colonel who first used an electric bike when stationed in London, Maynard said through providing such rentals, and sales of retro-look models with all kinds of colors – down to the fenders – to get people riding, he likes helping customers “change their lives for the better,” especially in a climate that affords this pleasure year round, giving a well-paced workout on one’s mind, breathing, core, and arms and legs.

“It’s a nice cumulative effect,” he said, citing other benefits such as meeting friends, also through group rides he coordinates, such as to the state park, with its own world of wildlife and ocean vistas.

 

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