Pedego Electric Bikes
For most retirees, cycling is a leisurely hobby to fill that newfound free time. But for Bill Sauerwein, it was the beginning of a whole new chapter in his life—one that led him to begin an exciting partnership with Aptitude Design & Build that culminated in one of his visions becoming a reality.
After taking up biking, Sauerwein became interested in Pedego Electric Bikes and began researching their franchise options. And when a fence-and-deck store vacated its Kirkwood property right along Grant’s Trail, a major bike thoroughfare, Sauerwein jumped on the opportunity to open a local Pedego location—the first of its kind.
“It’s actually the only Pedego that’s in its own separate building—the rest are in strip malls and things like that. This is the first freestanding one—and the largest, too,” says Aptitude Design & Build President Matt Mierek. “Bill thought it looked like a good investment, so he and I met to get an idea of the look he wanted to go for. We wrote up a budgetary quote, and he liked what we had to offer,” says Mierek of the partnership. The former fence-and-deck store had been located in a repurposed residential space, so there was significant external and internal work that needed to be accomplished to transform the space into one that would represent the Pedego brand.
And those unique challenges came with a tight timeline that wouldn’t allow for any missteps or delays. “We had a hard opening date of Memorial Day 2019,” Mierek says. “In January of 2019, he made the decision to go move forward with it, and closed on the property. We started doing all the design work in 3D CAD right away,” he explains. “Our whole team worked together in a super diligent way, and by the beginning of March we were ready to start construction with permit in hand—we completed the whole project in three months, start to finish.” No small task, considering the amount of work to be done.
Pedego’s corporate headquarters in California had dictated the brand’s unique visual style, which was clean and industrial but also incorporated some unique welcoming touches in its signature teal-and-orange color scheme. To transform the former residential house into a store befitting the brand, major structural renovations needed to be undertaken. “It was a very complicated project,” Mierek explains. “We were taking out so many load-bearing walls from the house and trying to just utilize the shell of the structure to save cost … and to add on to that and make it look like the house was never there.”
Luckily, Aptitude’s crewmembers are no strangers to making big changes come together quickly. “When you go through that process, you have so many engineer drawings, so you have to be really familiar with reading those kind of drawings. Our carpenters and foreman are skilled enough to take what’s on paper and make it a reality. To do that, you need somebody who’s been doing this work for a very long time, and also someone who can think outside the box—because there are always changes when you take something on paper and bring it to life.”
The resulting structure is a perfect encapsulation of the Pedego brand—even according to Pedego’s CEO. “The CEO of Pedego flew in from California,” explains Mierek, “and we’re in talks with him right now to see how we can work together on more projects. He pointed at the building and said, ‘You guys nailed it. This is Pedego. This is what Pedego stands for and looks like.’ He was amazed at how quickly we completed the project, and how we turned a normal house structure into this final result.” As for Sauerwein, he’s ready to begin his third act with a stunning new store location. “[Aptitude] has gotten it right so quickly, on the first try,” he says.
Pedego Bike Shop
St. Louis, MO