Please Note: Silent Running has since closed their doors, but we loved getting to know them and still feel they deserve a little spotlight for coming to Sanford.
If American made products, zero emissions and a whole lot of fun all grab your attention then you might want to stop by Silent Running and take a ride on one of their electric bikes, just as Claudia and I did. For months I’ve been the weird creeper peeking through the windows at Silent Running patiently waiting for them to open their doors and find out exactly what the store was about. And last Saturday I finally had that chance. I sat down with store owners Rafael and Bridget and probably overstayed my welcome because I just loved chatting it up with this couple.
Rafael and Bridget call Sanford home and have done so for the past 10 years; they fell in love with Sanford…but who could blame them. It was Iowa State University (ISU) that brought the two together: Bridget was in the process of receiving her degree in English and Rafael his in Art. (Side note, if you’ve never set your eyes on Iowa State University Campus I suggest you stop what you are doing and Google it!) Bridget felt right at home when she walked down the streets of Sanford for the first time as it reminded her of her hometown in Iowa. They both fell in love with the Sanford community and the idea that the people in Sanford are always looking forward while retaining that historic feel. They are both very proud to call themselves Sanfordites. And what better way to represent your city and being a Sanfordite than to place your business right in the heart of downtown.
This eco friendly couple wanted to allow the citizens of Sanford to have transportation options that were both sustainable and eco friendly. So, Silent Running was born. Where does the name Silent Running come from you ask? Both Rafael and Bridget are Sci-fi buffs and if you are too then you might recognize the name from the movie…you guessed it, Silent Running. This 1972 Science Fiction Film gives off the same vibe that the couple were already going for in their business, low noise and low emissions. “I love the whole 60s & 70s idea of being earth friendly and forward thinking. That feet in the sand and head in the stars mentality” says Bridget.
So what exactly does Silent Running have to offer? Electric bikes, need I say more? Well I’m going to because I want to be sure that you are fully informed of just how amazing this business is for our community, but those electric bikes sure are a heck of a lot of fun!
There are currently 7 electric bikes in the store, all ProdecoTech Bikes both for rent and purchase. Bikes can be rented out for 1,2 and 4 hours (more hours can be added just ask!) at $15 an hour or $50 for 4 hours, but you must be 18 years of age or older. If you take it for a test ride and fall in love you can purchase your one for yourself! The bikes can go at least 20 miles on a single charge and if the battery runs out or your feeling the need to get your exercise in the bikes work just the same as your day to day bike when you pedal. The ebikes are easy to charge as they don’t need a special outlet they use a regular home/business 110 outlet, so you can charge up wherever you go!
As the need grows for more bikes the couple will include more for both rental and purchase. Non-electric bikes aren’t for sale or rent just yet, but will be added to their stock in the next couple of months (they’re talking to U.S. and Florida vendors now to select those) so be sure to check back in if you’re looking to purchase a new bike. And if you’re searching the market for an electric scooter they got you covered on that as well; carrying both middle class, Boom Electric Scooters and high class scooters, Genze Electric Scooters (the Tesla of electric scooters). The electric scooters also use a basic home/business 110 outlet, so easy!
They are the only Central Florida dealer and service provider for GenZe electric bicycles and electric scooters. The shop currently carries one GenZe demo electric bicycle and one GenZe demo electric scooters, you can order any of the GenZe electric bicycles or scooters from the full GenZe range. The GenZe bicycles and scooters arrive in 7-10 business days. Silent Running provides full setup and testing of the bicycles and scooters. After purchase, they are the local authorized service provider. All of their Silent Running customers who purchase an electric bicycle or electric scooter receive one full year of free in-store charging (during normal business hours).
In the shop, they also carry bicycle and scooter gear and accessories (such as helmets and logo tee shirts). Rafael and Bridget will continue to add more bicycle and scooter gear and accessories to their shop.
Not only do these products rock because they are fun to ride and eco friendly but they are also all American made, so you’d be supporting a local business that supports a local business….double BONUS!!! Genze makes the electric scooters and has all their products manufactured and assembled in Michigan and ProdecoTech the maker of the electric bikes is right here in Florida.
After learning about the products that Silent Running has to offer, Rafael kindly gave us instructions on how to properly use the electric part of the bike, gave us our keys to our bike locks, offered us our complimentary (and optional) bicycle helmets, showed us our map of Sanford that is attached to each bike so we would be sure to not miss a thing while we were out and we were off!
In no time we were zooming up and down the streets of Sanford and oohing and awing over all the historic homes, we took a quick drive by The Sanford Farmers Market and stopped into the Smiling Bison for breakfast. Thank goodness Silent Running lent us those keys and locks so we were able to eat without having to worry about our bikes. After we ate we hopped back on our bikes and headed out to the Riverwalk, it was beautiful! Before we knew it we had been gone for almost 3 hours, we were so excited to get back and share our experience with Rafael and Bridget.
For rentals, it is best to make a reservation to ensure bicycle availability. To make a reservation, email firstname.lastname@example.org or stop in the store during business hours. You can also contact the store owners through that email to schedule a sales demo for the ProdecoTech or GenZe product.
Watch our 2 Facebook Live Streams below as we take you on a bike ride thorugh the historic district and the Riverwalk:
Claudia and I both agreed that we’d be back again and hope that you’ll now want to go for a ride too! Check out this awesome new store at 229 S. Magnolia Ave. Sanford, Florida, FL 32771 (Phone: 407-942-3393) and be sure to follow them on Facebook to stay up to date on all their new happenings. Happy Riding!