The owners of E-Bikes Santa Barbara believe that their city's lush parks, breezy boardwalks, and scenic streets are best seen by bike—and that it's even better if said bike is powered. A fleet of rental, late-1990s-model Lee Iacocca e-bikes
speed along with throttle-activated 36-volt lithium-battery-powered electric motors, or let riders propel themselves by pedal. Bikes are equipped with padded seats and storage bags, and can travel up to 27 miles on a single charge. Meanwhile, a selection of bikes to accommodate all riders are available for rent, providing yet another way to explore the town.
Open seven days a week, Ventura Bike Depot is a full service bike shop, renting the majority of their inventory to suit the peddling aspirations of their wheel-less clientele. Today's Groupon allows customers choose any one of the hybrid, beach cruiser, front suspension mountain, and kids bikes from the fleet of man-powered velocipedes valued at $24 or less. If desired or required, customers are welcome to upgrade to a tandems, quadricycles, or other premium peddle-powerhouses for an additional fee. Regardless of how you ride, Ventura Bike Depot will throw in all necessary helmets, locks, seat belts, and leg bands. Likewise, the staffers will happily fill water bottles with mineral-rich Kangen water for free, saving thirsty travelers from the woes of waiting for rain or preying for proximate killer whale shows.
A San Fernando Valley staple since 1964, Cycle World has locations in Chatsworth and Northridge to keep bicyclists riding smoothly and safely with helpful services as well as equipment and accessories from top brands. Riders of all experience levels can peruse bicycle models by manufacturers such as Specialized, Cannondale, and Cervélo. The shop also maintains a busy schedule of events geared toward enthusiasts, hosting both road and mountain rides on several days each week.
A full-service bike shop embracing road, mountain, and casual riders alike, Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery suits every whim and riding style, from its mechanics performing basic repairs or complete system overhauls to its supply of custom-built frames and wheels. Two-wheeled mounts from brands such as Trek, Jamis, and Knolly wag their handlebars from racks along the wall, and the shop rewards new adopters with a slew of perks, from free tune-ups for a year to unlimited cups of coffee for owners and hot WD-40 for bikes. In addition, 5% of all pre-tax profits help benefit organizations dedicated to preserving California’s natural gems and cycling havens, such as the Santa Monica Mountains Fund and the Mountains Restoration Trust.
When Brian McInerney reflects on the humble beginnings of Wheel Fun Rentals, Inc., he points to his childhood passion for bikes. "As far back as I can remember, I had a real love affair with bicycles," he recalls. During a trip to Italy in 1987, Brian's affinity for cycling blossomed into a full-fledged obsession when he spotted locals' transporter of choice, the surrey. Inspired, he began importing the Italian four-wheelers to a rental business in the U.S. that eventually expanded into Wheel Fun Rentals, now a nationwide web of shops that also loans out bikes, electric cars and mopeds, and man-powered watercraft. Adventuresome athletes can also compete in activities such as surrey scavenger hunts and blindfold obstacle courses navigated via shouted instructions from a seeing teammate or exceptionally long rounds of trial and error.