Frank Muscato says riding an electric bike can make cyclists feel young again.

“It’s like riding when you were a kid, when you rode up and down the hills and never got tired,” says Frank. He and his wife, Karen, own Pedego Bloomington Electric Bikes, a partnership with California-
based Pedego Electric Bikes, which has 60 shops nationwide.

The couple opened the store at 224 N. College in mid-September, five months after discovering the joys of riding electric bikes at a Denver bicycle expo. Frank, a retired police officer, hadn’t ridden a bicycle for 40 years, while Karen biked recreationally.

“We immediately fell in love with it,” recalls Karen, sitting in their store next to red, green, turquoise, and raspberry-colored bikes. Initially, they were looking for bikes for themselves, but Frank hatched a plan to get out of his retirement doldrums when he saw an opportunity to open their own store while perusing Pedego’s website.

“We knew it would be really good for Bloomington and that there were a lot of bike lanes here,” says Karen.   

Frank says he’s never had such fun at work. He spent 25 years as a police officer in Dallas, where he met Karen, also an officer. After they moved to Bloomington in 1994, he worked for Wal-Mart and later Walgreens, developing organized retail crime divisions nationally. After another three-year stint in Dallas, the couple returned to Bloomington in 2013.

Now, Frank says, he loves spending days talking with cyclists and explaining the benefits of Pedego bikes — comfortable, inexpensive to charge (a dime each time), and easy to ride. “It’s like a breeze comes behind you and starts pushing you,” he says. Nationally, most buyers are more than 40 years old, he adds.

The bikes cost from $2,295 to $3,995 and are equipped with throttles, providing full power on demand to more easily get started and to go up hills. Most have pedal assist, which senses how hard riders are pedaling and provides help when needed. Cyclists can ride 15 to 60 miles on a single charge, depending on the model’s battery voltage and amp-hour rating, amount of pedaling, terrain, speed, and the rider’s size.

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