TOP: Coming home from a family camping trip,
Fahrner rode a regular bike while his wife, Martina,
rode this Stokemonkey bike hauling their son in
a trailer, camping gear, four potted plants bought
on sale, and a 55-gallon drum they picked up
for a rain barrel. She matched his speed effortlessly. BOTTOM: Unlike other assisted bikes, the
Stokemonkey puts power to the front chainwheel.
It’s like having an extra pedaling partner.
bike mechanics and be confident both on the bike
and at the workbench. “It has been important to me
that Stokemonkey’s early adopters have the strong
foundational biking skills that make it safe,” Fahrner
says. “And I think these skills tend to go hand-in-hand
with the ability to install it.”
The extra power and range make the bike more
capable, he says, but it’s still a bike. Fahrner didn’t
set out to get people out of their cars. He wants to
keep people who gave up their cars from getting
back behind the wheel when jobs and kids tear at
the convictions and the quadriceps. The Stokemonkey makes the bike capable of more tasks and
utility. It doesn’t make it easy. It makes it easier.
Rick Polito is a freelance writer and dedicated bike
commuter in Boulder, Colo.