South Knoxville store offers electric bikes

A parking lot in South Knoxville became an improvised bike park on a recent sunny day as Vickers Johnson and George Johnson took a spin.

"It's the exact same as a regular bike. You have all the gears. This one is seven gears. Not nearly as complicated as some of the racing bikes. Just push up to shift up and pull down to shift down," George Johnson said.

Well, one difference.

The Humming Bikes are e-bikes. That's a brand based in Louisville outside Knoxville and available at Emery's 5 & 10.

"We all ourselves the 21st century variety store. And with that it encompasses anything you can imagine," Emery's 5 and 10 owner Ron Emery said.

Ron Emery thinks the electric bikes are a good fit for his store on Chapman Highway. They come in different styles and different sizes.

A folding version even fits in your trunk. You simply unfold it at your destination.

They all give riders a power choice: legs or electric.

"Someone your age like to pedal and that's fine. Someone my age likes to pedal a little bit but we like a little help going up hills," he said.

Of course, pedal power is free. But you can recharge the battery in a standard wall outlet for about ten cents.

"It will go 30 miles on a charge," he said.

Cheap to operate. Owning one? Well, customers can rent one of the bikes by the hour or the day, finance it for about $70 a month, or buy a bike for more than a thousand bucks. So there are a lot of choices.

Ron Emery said his e-bike program will soon offer more choices because it is about to expand.

"We're actually in the process of putting in a full bicycle shop too. We're going to rent regular bikes and electric bikes and have mechanics to work on bikes and sell bikes and the whole bit," he said.

It can be a whole lot of fun. Top speed is 18 miles per hour, and you don't even have to break a sweat.


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