Jake Carter wants to change the way people get around town. Change them from hauling themselves to and fro in a gas guzzling car, to scooting as many as 30 miles for the cost of a stick of gum.
“I want everyone to stop driving downtown,” Carter declared. “And, I want every student to stop driving.”
Carter is not strictly anti-automobile, but as he sees it, there’s just no point in driving five miles. His solution to the downtown parking problem, rising gas prices, and rising temperatures, is an electric, or hybrid, or gas, scooter.
- PHOTO BY STEVE E MILLER
- ELECTRIC PERSONALITY : San Luis Rides owner, Jake Carter, buzzes past traffic on an electric Go-Ped Scooter.
Several months ago, when Carter decided to make the switch, he checked out what other local shops were carrying, but couldn’t quite find what he wanted, namely a gas-powered scooter capable of climbing hills, and carrying more than 250 pounds at speeds up to 25 miles per hour. Carter ended up getting a Go-Ped, which gets about 100 miles per gallon.
Then he ended up selling them. San Luis Rides has the whole family of scooters from Go-Ped, including electric versions for adults and kids, and even a wagon that attaches to the back of the scooter. Most of the scooters can reach speeds of 15 to 20 miles per hour, and only cost a dime or two to charge.
Carter also has I-Zip bikes with an electric assist that kicks in when the rider starts pedaling. They come with front suspension, disc brakes, and an optional internal battery. They also have an internal motor so the bike looks just a normal bike, except that it moves at about 18 miles per hour, even when the rider is scarcely pedaling. I-Zip even makes an off-road model for more adventurous commuters.
While the range for most electric and gas-powered scooters still isn’t great—most can go between 25 and 30 miles between charges—Carter said that scooters make perfect townie rides, and they plug right into the wall.
Take a test drive any day of the week between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. at 778 Marsh Street, Suite 110 in downtown SLO. Or check out San Luis Rides at the SLO Thursday night Farmers’ Market, starting Oct. 10. For more info, call 548-8881.
Kylie Mendonca compiled this week’s strokes and plugs. Send your business news to firstname.lastname@example.org.