Pedego Carlsbad is the local bicycle shop in Carlsbad Village and looking forward to celebrating their two-year anniversary serving the community this spring. Located conveniently on Carlsbad Village Drive near the Coastal Highway, 355 Carlsbad Village Drive, they sell and service both traditional bicycles and electric assistance bicycles. Denise Buckingham chose the Village because “it is a quaint place, with a small town vibe. I don’t run into any grumpy people. All the business owners are nice, and of course, we live in Carlsbad.” Denise has seen a large increase to Pedego Carlsbad’s business with the infrastructure improvements in the Village, especially with the increased bike lanes and bike racks.
As a Carlsbad resident, she has seen more and more people choosing to ride bicycles. Three-quarters of her employees ride their bicycles to work, a higher percentage than the year before, as employees see the feasibility and economic benefits to riding in Carlsbad, instead of driving and parking a car.
When asked what could be done to increase walking and biking in the Village, Denise responded, “One of the things we could do to increase it is better maps. People always ask me for maps. It would be great to have a handout with a map and information about biking- where to bike and how to get there. Educate people, to be more aware of biking safely, and biking routes with fewer cars. A lot of residents are unaware of bicycle laws and where is best to ride. With all these bike racks, biking is easy (in the Village).”
They found their customers come from a diverse crowd with an increased demographic coming from a thirties plus crowd, looking for to be active but don’t want to go to the gym. Electric assistance bicycles help riders get over the various hills in Carlsbad. “We promote biking, we do bike tours and I feel we are helping a lot of people.” Recently a couple rented a pair of bicycles and returned engaged!
Pedego Carlsbad has partnered with Linda’s Yogurt, who provides sandwiches for the Couple's Romantic Ride package that Pedego Carlsbad offers. Additionally, they participate with Carlsbad Causes for Community, non-profit of local businesses and Carlsbad residents who collaborate to raise money for various community causes by organizing and implementing events and projects that serve the community. Denise likes that her business is able to serve her community and help promote a healthy lifestyle. She is also looking to increase business partnerships to help grow the connections with other businesses.
Finally, when asked about getting more people riding in the Village, Denise said if she were new to biking she would look for safe places to ride. The San Luis Rey River Trail in Oceanside offers a safe, open space to build biking skills where cars are not a factor. “Some people are nervous about cars, and they are little wobbly, so the trail gives them a place to ride and become comfortable on a bike.” Pedego Carlsbad offers a drop-off service to the trail, so people can rent a bike and build confidence in a less stressful environment. Customers have returned from that experience and later bought bicycles. More people biking in the Village means healthier residents, increased parking for tourists, and a better way to enjoy the Southern California weather.
With Walk+BikeCarlsbad, the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, in a partnership with the City of Carlsbad and CirculateSD, aim to educate businesses and residents best practices in biking and walking in the Village, and show the economic benefits of bike and walking.
More information about the year long campaign is HERE- on the City of Carlsbad website.