A cool, electric bicycle that passes the 'green' test

Tim Mathewson, owner and master mechanic of Little City Cycles in Vergennes, believes there's no such thing as a bad bike. The bike entrepreneur-a self-described two-wheel prophet-has not only sold traditional bicycles to residents of Addison County, and saved a few old bicycles from the scrap heap; he has also helped bring new bike technologies to Addison County's road and off-road spoked warriors.

In addition to his retail bike shop, Mathewson sports a heart of gold when it comes to helping disadvantaged people utilize bikes to get ahead in life. He has been giving away bicycles to disadvantaged peoples living both inside and outside the USA for several years.

"I have a section out back of what I call our Mexican bikes," Mathewson said. "We receive free donations of various bikes. Then our volunteers fix them up. When they are road worthy, we give them to new immigrants in Addison County-at no cost."

When he's not helping or inspiring people to ride their traditional pedal bikes more, Mathewson is championing novel ways to expand bicycle usage in the 21st century. His latest product offering is Little City Cycles' hybrid Nor'Easter Electric All-Terrain Bike-Vermont's very own utility bike.

With a six-hour battery charge, the Nor-Easter may not be as fast as a Vespa motor scooter but it's a whole lot cheaper and greener to operate.

"This electric bike is very new. There's really nothing like it in the world," Mathewson said. "This is what I call the pickup truck of the bike world. You can take it in the backwoods. This baby can go anywhere. Even hunters can use it and bring out a deer on the back."

Little City Cycles uses a coaster-brake bike frame, then

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customizes it with heavy duty cantilever brakes, adds sealed bearings, builds the hub motor into the rim, includes an internal-gear hub, then places a powerful 9-volt lithium-ion battery up front to free-up cargo space on the rear rack-thus, the unique Nor-Easter bike becomes a completely new product made for New England's wild terrain and beyond. There's truly nothing like it-anywhere. Really.

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