The Ridekick™ Story
Bicycling is surely the most beautiful way to get from here to there – no matter where “there” is. Except when it’s hot and sweaty outside. Or when you need to carry a whole lot of stuff. At moments like those, the bike usually stays in the garage.
Until now. A small, start-up company out of Colorado has created the solution: a personal bike trailer called the Ridekick™ power trailer.
Ridekick bridges the gap between an electric bike and a tow-behind trailer. However, it is neither an e-bike nor a trailer. It’s actually a new category all its own. It takes you beyond where bikes, alone, can go. Using a linkage system that attaches to the rear wheel axle of virtually any bike, and a simple throttle that easily hooks onto your handlebars, the Ridekick power trailer connects you to a power boost that also carries your belongings. And once you take a spin on a bike powered by Ridekick, you will be having so much fun, you will not want to get off.
The story of how Ridekick International began is unique and fun, much like the Ridekick power trailer itself. The Fort Collins, Colorado-based company, founded by Mark Wanger and Ken Schrader, started several years ago when Mark, a retired HP engineer, was intent on finding a way to make a difference in the world – starting with sustainable energy.
During a hot, summer meeting full of smart, thoughtful people who wanted to decrease energy use, he looked around and it occurred to him that most of the participants had driven a car to the meeting. And why not? With the summer heat, biking would have caused an unprofessional amount of sweat. An electric bicycle could be an answer, but given the price, storage area requirement, and addition of another single-use device, that was unrealistic, too.
Shortly after that realization, Wanger watched the Tour de France. At one point, Lance Armstrong’s stats were shown – heart rate, miles per hour, and the watts generated – 320 watts, a little less than the 400 watts used by a cordless, hand-held drill. “If Armstrong could go 32 mph, creating 320 watts, how fast could a bike go with 400 watts pushing it?” thought Wanger.
That stroke of ingenuity led to a crude, drill-powered prototype bike engine, which led a neighbor to notice the experiment, which caused the neighbor to show Wanger a more advanced prototype he’d been working on, which led to a partnership that ultimately formed into a revolutionary new company.