Arts & Entertainment

Electric Bike Expo cruises into Santa Monica

Pragma Industries's CEO Pierre Forte rides an Alpha electric bike in Biarritz, southwestern France.
Pragma Industries's CEO Pierre Forte rides an Alpha electric bike in Biarritz, southwestern France.
IROZ GAIZKA/AFP/Getty Images

Since hoverboards aren't a reality and hills are, pedal power promoters who want a little extra push say electric bikes could be the next big thing.

What exactly is an electric bike? It looks like a regular bicycle but it has a motor, a battery and a drivetrain. The idea is to augment not replace human power. So if you're facing a headwind or a steep climb, you have help — allowing you to travel further without getting exhausted.

Curious about how these motorized bicycles handle? You can take one for a free spin this weekend at the Electric Bike Expo in Santa Monica.

Various styles of electric bikes are on display, from mountain bikes to beach cruisers. Anyone can stop by and test them on closed courses. 

Ray Verhelst, the founder of the E-Bike Expo, says Santa Monica is the perfect spot for the event: "Santa Monica has been one of the most aggressive cities in terms of bike lanes and bike-friendly communities. So there are a lot of electric bike shops as well as traditional bike shops in the area, a lot of cyclists."

The Expo runs through Sunday at the Santa Monica Pier parking lot.