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Riders find synergy with electric bikes

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Portland shop demos two wheel innovations at Gresham City Hall.

OUTLOOK PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - City of Gresham employee Carly Rice laughs as Rich Fein explains how to operate an electric bicycle Wednesday at Gresham City Hall. Gresham residents and city staff tried out the transportation of the future by riding electric bikes during a demonstration Wednesday, May 17, outside of City Hall.

OUTLOOK PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Rich Fein, owner of Cynergy E-Bikes of Portland, shows city of Gresham employee Shaunna Sutcliffe the ins and outs of how to operate the bike Wednesday. The company set up a booth offering test rides and slices of pizza outside Gresham City Hall, prompting a string of staffers to take up the offer.The bikes were provided by Cynergy E-Bikes, a Portland store that brought their most popular models to East Multnomah County for the demonstration. The bikes operate normally, but have the option to kick on a motor attached to the frame that assists riders.

"The motor and battery makes it easier to go faster and take on hills," said Rich Fein, owner of Cynergy E-Bikes.

This was the second year Cynergy E-Bikes has showcased its products in Gresham. Many of the people who rode them had their questions answered about the bikes, and there was free pizza available.

"It is great the city invited us out again," Fein said. "We want to showcase how much fun people can have getting to work."

The store, located at 3838 S.E. Powell Blvd., has electric mountain, folding and commuter bikes available in 11 brands. The cost of an electric bike is between $1,200 and $4,000, and most of the motors have a top speed of 20 miles per hour. The bikes can go about 20 to 70 miles on one charge, and the average battery lifespan is about four to seven years.

"We want to get people out of cars and have cleaner transportation," Fein said.

OUTLOOK PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - City of Gresham staff member Meghan Borato pilots an electric bicycle down to the ramp to City Hall from the nearby MAX station Wednesday during a test ride offered by Cynergy E-Bikes of Portland.