Last Christmas Bob and I had a few days CHILD-FREE to ourselves (the first EVER) and had absolutely no plans but to hang out around Austin. We had a lot of coffee, ate at some new restaurants (ok, NEW to us, since we were out of the Austin food loop at locales that were not kid-friendly) and had a first husband and wife manicure. It was awesome. But, this year, we find ourselves having three WHOLE CHILD-FREE days again around Christmas and I thought I’d go into planning mode. One of the biggest things we noticed as we rode around downtown Austin last year were all these new bikes for rent all around town. We really wanted to try them out but by the time we could even figure out how to rent one, we had to go pick up the kiddos from child care or risk paying a hefty penalty. Not this year! I looked into these electric bikes (or AKA ebikes) from Rocket Electrics and scheduled a day for us to go test them out. The excitement began to mount as I realized that Bob and I could have fun in the open air, get some great exercise, and not have to lug two little kiddos with us. Hey, I love my kids, but I also love spending quality time with my husband just as much and sometimes, yes, even more. Grown-up talk and not having to clean up kid messes or calming down kiddo melt-downs (ahem, we do have a TWO year old..) is a mini-vacation to us parents and we were ready for the adventure.
Rocket Electrics is strangely close to the first place Bob and I rented an apartment (sans kids) when we first moved to Austin, you know, before E. Riverside became the ‘East Riverside’ it is now. It’s a great location to downtown, Zilker, and many popular destinations that are just a bike ride away. The owner, Nicole Zinn, couldn’t be cooler and she had her staff set us up with a map and with directions on any site that we may want to visit. In our over five years of being parents and becoming non-free range adults (if that is such a thing!), I’m a little shocked to say that there are many things in Austin that have changed and it was very helpful having our own guide. I was ready for the open road and to try out these electric bikes that can speed through town almost as fast as a Segway (or so says the brochure.) Before I begin to tell you about our adventure, I’ll get you up to speed on Rocket Electrics.
The deets on Rocket Electrics Bike Rentals (cite http://www.rocketelectrics.com)
- Hours: Open 11-7 Daily
- Phone: 512-442-2453
Rocket Electrics rent and guide tours with their electric bikes every day of the week. If you know how to ride a regular bicycle, you already know how to ride an ebike! The only difference is that you can pedal as little or as much as you’d like, whenever you’d like. YES they include a lock, map, safety lights, and helmets (but you are of course welcome to bring your own.) All rental & tour guests must know how to confidently ride a bike & be 16+ years old. Go farther, go faster, and see more of Austin than you ever could on a regular bicycle or a Segway!
Their ebikes have quiet electric assistance which can take care of the hard work for you with a mere twist of the wrist. No need to worry about hills, heat, or getting fatigued after only an hour of riding. Their electric bikes can travel up to 20 miles on a single charge and go as fast as 20 mph. There is free parking at the shop in any spot marked retail (in our lot or the community garage). Read more about ebikes on Rocket Electrics FAQ page HERE to learn more. Also, check out this cool video on Rocket Electrics rental tours in Austin. It’s a great video!
Please note: Just like a hotel room or airline ticket, rentals on high demand days such as Saturdays and holiday weekends may be slightly higher than weekdays or non-peak days.
Our Rocket Electrics Rental Experience
It was cold (for Austin!) when we arrived at Rocket Electrics at 11 am on the nose. The staff was extremely friendly and even let us borrow some gloves for riding. We were given a quick demonstration of how to use the bikes and did a loop around the parking lot to make sure we felt comfortable riding. It was so simple to use and we were quickly on our way zipping around downtown Austin. Being able to crank up the speed on the electric bikes was exhilarating and you could switch gears easily to pedal as much or as little as you wanted. Our bikes had an option to be able to attach our personal belongings and I secured my purse to the bike without hesitation. I am so glad I brought my sunglasses because between the fast speed of the bike and the cold Austin air, my eyes started to water before I put them on. The bikes were charged to go a full 20 miles and we probably would have gone all day if we didn’t have to do kid pick-ups from preschool and Brooke’s winter camp. We highly recommend Rocket Electrics as a fun way to enjoy the outdoors in Austin with family. Bike rentals are for ages 16 and up, but if you purchase your own ebike through the shop, you can get kid gear attachments for babies and toddlers. Enjoy the ride and ride a rocket!
List Price: $ Prices Vary. For Day Rentals (11am – 6:30pm) Prices vary between $38.00 – $58.00 per day