New e-bike store opening in downtown Columbus GA
Columbus resident Jamal James was on a family trip to Sandestin, a resort and golf resort in Miramar Beach off Florida’s Gulf Coast, when he tried out an electric bike.
James wanted to ride an e-bike – a battery-powered e-bike popular around beaches like Destin, Highway 30A and Panama City. So he stopped at E-Motion Rentals in Miramar Beach and hopped on a bike.
“I loved it,” James told the Ledger-Enquirer. “I couldn’t get enough. I rented it for the day. I had it for 24 hours. It was great. Shortly after, I worked to get myself one.
The idea of running an e-bike rental business was already in James’ head before he took his first ride.
But after trying it out, buying her electric bike, and seeing how much her three kids wanted theirs, starting SHOCK Electric Rentals at 233 12th St. in downtown Columbus was a no-brainer.
“When you look at my clients, it’s not just young, it’s not just old or middle-aged; it’s all ages,” James said. “Even when I’m handing out cards to people and trying to figure out who can ride those bikes, I’m like, ‘Everyone’.”
How it works
James, who co-owns the business with his wife, Shanteria Perry, started the business with his own funds. Prior to starting the business, he worked at McDonald’s while Perry worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield, where she still works today.
SHOCK offers 2-hour, 5-hour and 24-hour rental windows as well as a free 30-minute ride to give passengers a taste of the experience.
James has six Lectric XP bikes that customers can rent and wants to buy six more, he said.
The bikes can travel up to 28 miles per hour, contain a 500 watt, 48 volt battery, and have large tires suitable for different types of terrain. For added convenience, the bikes also fold, so customers don’t need a bike rack to transport it in the car.
The bikes also come in two styles – standard and stepper, a body shape meant to be easier for riders to use.
“You get what you pay for with these bikes,” James said. “That’s the main reason I bought these bikes.”
“Everyone loves bikes”
The hardest part of starting the business wasn’t coping with the setbacks of COVID or receiving a business license; it was just a matter of finding a place to store the bikes.
James planned to settle across the Chattahoochee River in Phenix City, but had trouble finding the right place. So he rents space on the eighth floor of the Corporate Center, which coincidentally is one floor above where he and Perry got married.
Running a bike rental shop out of an eighth-floor office space poses challenges, but James faces them head-on.
Bikes can be transported by only one of the building’s three available elevators as only one contains padding to protect the walls. James can fit three bikes in the lift.
When a customer comes to rent a bike, James drives them back to the lobby to fill out some paperwork. During this time, he will summon the special elevator and go back up to the eighth floor, where he will pick up the bikes and go back down.
Once the documents have been completed and the bikes have been collected, the cyclists can leave.
“Everybody loves bikes,” James said. “Everyone in the building, they are very supportive. They also rented out some of my bikes.
What there is to know
- Address: 233 12th St., eighth floor of the Corporate Center
- Contact: 706-391-2405, or fill out the contact form on the website.
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week (customers should call ahead on weekends).
- Website: shockrentals.com
- Price range: From $19.99 for a two-hour one-bike rental, up to $199.99 for a five-hour four-bike rental.