However, the new bicycles recently employed for those patrols have a little extra something that makes it easier to get around.
Rangers have been patrolling the park in the past two weeks on electric bikes. The city purchased the IZIP Express bicycles from Brio Electric Bikes on East Olive Avenue.
Both of the bikes are pedal-assist, meaning they operate on a combination of electricity and the rider’s own steam.
“With pedal-assist, it gives you extra power moving forward,” said Hector Inzunza, Monrovia’s senior park ranger. “The staff has been enjoying them.”
Inzunza said the city was looking for another way for staff to get around the 300-acre Canyon Park besides by truck.
He did research on electric bikes, found out about the pedal-assist variety, and discovered that Monrovia had its own vendor in town in Brio Bikes.
“It made sense to me for our purposes at this time,” he said of the bikes. “We have been using pick up trucks. This has a lower impact on the environment. We’re going green.”
Keith Stephens, Brio Electric Bikes’ owner, rides his own bicycle to the store every day.
“With electric bikes, you get exercise, but not a workout,” he said. “You can ride it in your work clothes or your street clothes.”
The bikes at Brio, which opened in May, run between $1,500 and $4,000. Many of them can go a range of 20 miles before needing a battery charge, he said.
The electric bike is not new. The first patent was in 1895, Stephens said. In the past 20 years, they have started to grow in popularity.
“The introduction and widespread use of lithium batteries made them more practical in the last three or four years,” he said.
The two IZIP Express bicycles the park rangers are using can climb steep hills with ease, he said. Brio customized the bikes, adding knobby tires, racks, and bags. They run on a standard 120-volt battery that can be charged overnight.
“The bicycle is the same size, gearing and suspension of popular mountain bikes, but with a little extra ‘under the hood,’ he said. “The steep hills in the park drain more power than riding on flats, but spare batteries can be easily swapped in.”