Love for a Bike,
 Love for a Son

People enjoy cycling because it’s fun and a good workout. But for some, it’s much more than that. It is life changing.

There is this family that lives in Santa Cruz, a beautiful beach town in California. Dad Mike was a retired pilot for the cargo airline Flying Tigers, founded by former pilots from the glorious Flying Tigers fighter unit of World War II. Son Billy loves cycling and bikes around town for 20-30 miles every day. Riding such a distance is impressive, but not unheard of among Urtopian customers, especially those who commute daily. But Billy doesn’t go to work.

Twenty years ago, a horrific accident messed up with his knees and legs and gave him head injury. Billy was in coma for a while. Since waking up, he’s been unemployed. Mike went all in to look after Billy. Taking care of the mounting medical bills was just the beginning, he’s moved next to Billy’s house so that he can see his son every day. He encourages Billy to get out and get around, because he understands that his son needs to see things to stay happy and healthy.

“I’m pretty mechanically inclined, and my dad is a smart guy.” Billy explains how he replaced both tires of his Urtopia e-bike without watching any tutorial, while looking proudly at his dad Mike.

Fortunately, they discovered Billy’s love for pedaling. Soon enough, Billy started riding a bike for everything and every day, from shopping to running errands. Thanks to the nice weather and perfect location of their hometown, cycling has turned out to be the perfect regime, not just helping Billy to recover but to stay in shape, physically and mentally. Then, as Mikes puts it, “we live in Santa Cruz, which is a flat town, a little bit of hill but not very much. We have the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other side. So, it’s nice to go back and forth. On a regular bike, you get tired. On an electric bike, you really go quite a bit further. That was the main reason when we bought our electric bike.”

So, after owning a dozen bikes, they went electric. There is just one catch—Santa Cruz has an awful lot of homeless people there, and they make a living by stealing bikes. Six of Billy’s bikes have been stolen, including all three e-bikes! But cycling outside is too important to Billy to live without. So, Mike and Billy went to ELV Motors, a local e-bike shop, trying to find a replacement. At first, Billy was asking for other bikes as he had always used the same brand motor. But as soon as they glanced over dozens of e-bikes on the shop floor, Urtopia Carbon One stood out immediately. And they decided on it in the blink of an eye, once reading on its stunning features and feeling its unrivalled weight in hand.

“Hop on and take off, no gears and no nothing, and there you are.”

“Billy has a tendency to do things rather improperly so we need a bike that’s simple in design and maintenance. Normal bikes have the rear gears that hang down and break easily, but Urtopia’s single gear and belt drive solve that problem.” Mike explains on their decision. Of course, there is also the GPS, considering that three e-bikes had been stolen in a row. Billy was so thrilled and has been riding his favorite Urtopia happily thereafter forever…for real? No. I’m sorry, but when reality kicks in, it rarely ends like a fairy tale.

In a month, Billy’s Carbon One was stolen, right on the stair entrance to his house. “It’s…like a bomb! I was shocked!” Billy spoke of his feeling when he found the cable lock cut open on the stairs in the morning. “But we actually know exactly when the thief took it—2:37am!” Mike’s eyes were sparkling with light. I asked, “how come?” “Urtopia told us! We got a notification on the phone.” Said Mike. However, his email service was down, and he could no longer access his inbox to retrieve a new password to sign in to the Urtopia app.

But Billy can’t live without a bike. So, the second day, they drove back to ELV Motors and bought another Urtopia Carbon One! Billy was so thrilled again and has been riding his favorite Urtopia happily thereafter…until, well, another twist happened. But this time, a rather good one.

Billy gladly presents their two Urtopia Carbon One e-bikes, with a cable lock on his shoulder.

The moment I heard about their stolen Urtopia from ELV Motors, I contacted Mike. With the help of our tech team, we reset his password and helped him log back on with his first Urtopia account. Once in, Mike found that the stolen bike was just four blocks away from their houses, in a heroin section of the town. Interestingly, the bike was fully charged and had been ridden for a few miles every single day, according to the bike’s auto route-recordings in the app. So, one sunny afternoon, they requested the dispatch of local police and went to the spot as indicated by the Finding My Bike function in the app. Once there, they found a guy lazily sitting in front of a house, sunbathing.

The 7-foot and 350-pound cop walked up and showed the guy a picture of Urtopia Carbon One. “Oh yeah, that’s my bike! It’s right inside.” The guy gleefully admitted, apparently high. Then Mike connected his phone to the bike via Bluetooth and made the bike ring a bell in the app, which firmly established their ownership. Thus, away they took the stolen e-bike and went home. Both Mike and Billy were so thrilled and have been riding their favorite Urtopia e-bikes together happily thereafter…only this time, we wish it is forever.

Passionate people are bound to relate and meet. In fact, Mike was so enthusiastic and remarked at the end of our interview, “as an aside, it’s really a nice bike. It’s light. It’s very functional. Even if you don’t use it for finding a stolen bike, you can watch where you drove it to. It’s a middle-priced bike but for its features, it’s the best deal out there. I don’t know two ways about it!”

But from where I see, it’s the unspoken love between the dad and son that has deeply touched us all. Blood is thicker than water. Doesn’t your most precious, most beloved one in this world deserve the best of everything you can give? Mike and Billy showed us a perfect example. 

And this holiday season, love is in the air.

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