the officers ready for the field. Training includes bike-handling
skills ranging from traffic safety and speed to descending and
ascending stairs, even standing perfectly still and balanced,
as well as interacting with the public (kids often unknowingly
run in front of the officers). They also have to know the proper
way to tactically dismount the bike to be ready to run after
someone, slide takeout to stop a fleeing suspect or even
assume a stable firing position right off the bike if necessary.
They’re as easy on the bikes as they can be, but public safety
The bulk of the training process takes a mere two days,
but Striek says it is a bit fun to watch officers who haven’t
been on a bike in months or years, especially on day two.
A couple of full shifts—especially when training on steep
hills and over stairs and with headwinds, coupled with some
saddle soreness—are truly baptism by fire for some officers.
The electric bikes are already proving to be a major asset.
Non-electric bikes are largely full-suspension mountain bikes
outfitted with bags and lights to carry all the things an officer
will need, from citation books to emergency gear, plus radios,
etc. There’s an additional 50–70 pounds of gear that the
officers must carry on the bikes and on their person.
Imagine the officers getting a call to assist another officer
a mile away. Schlepping that much stuff, quickly, over that
distance, means that the officer will likely be tired by the time
he/she arrives. The electric bikes allow the officers to cover
that distance faster and with a tremendous amount of assist,
leaving a lot more energy to help out another officer when
The police version of the Ridge Rider has the same six
levels of assist, but the speed limiter is set a touch higher
than a consumer version. If they’re pursuing someone on an
electric bike, this comes in handy. It doesn’t seem to affect
range. Striek put in 40 miles the first day using high levels of
assist and returned with about 20 percent of the battery left.
That’s a pretty good range, and he says it was above-average
The 48-volt, 11-amp-hour batteries are removable. In
the month or so they’ve been using them, they’ve not had
to swap a battery during a shift. The rear hub is a 500-watt
Pedego motor with a torque sensor to help the Shimano SLX
20-speed drivetrain motivate the bike.
The police lights are specially made for law enforcement
by NiteRider and run on a separate battery. The blue/red
light covers flip up to allow maximum brightness on the dual-purpose, dual-light system.
The hard-packed sand allows the officers to ride right along
the shoreline. Not a bad day at the office by any measure.