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New bike causes stir White Oaks manager has Canada's first ElliptiGo bicycle

If you have seen the lime green bike darting around the city you likely remember it.
Rich Merlino is the proud owner of Canada's first ElliptiGO bicycle ¡ª the world's first outdoor elliptical bicycle. The machine operates like a bicycle except the rider stands and drives the foot pedals in an elliptical motion much like an elliptical training machine that most gym enthusiasts would be familiar with.
"I haven't been able to stay off of it," said Merlino who picked up the bike three weeks ago.
Merlino, club manager for the Club at White Oaks, discovered the bike at a March fitness expo in San Diego.
"As soon as I hopped on it I said 'I gotta get one of these,"  he said explaining that he bought the bike for US $2,200 and had it shipped to Buffalo where he picked it up. The high cost is the result of the high end-components, according to Merlino who, after all was said and done, acquired his ElliptiGO for about US $2,600.
Within nine days Merlino had put 400 km on the machine riding all over the city and letting people try their hand at it.
"It puts smiles on people¡¯s faces," said Merlino who is currently running for Niagara Falls city councillor. He explained that the bike has been a considerable advertising feature in his campaign.
"I can't buy this type of advertising,"  he pointed out.
Merlino is set to show off his Electric bikes further, and contribute to a good cause, at this year's Sept. 12 Big Move Cancer Ride.
"It's a great cause and a great event," he said.
According to Merlino the real benefit of the eight-gear ElliptiGO is the unique work out it offers in that it is much like running without the impact that can result in damage to the body. Merlino said as a gym manager he frequently hears from patrons that they wish there was a way to use an elliptical trainer outside. That is basically what the ElliptiGO offers.
"I can pass cyclists going up hill,"  he said explaining that the longer stride one takes on the ElliptiGO means speed can be rapidly gained.
"It's different," he said pointing out that the ElliptiGO doesn't replace biking or running exactly but it is an excellent cross-training tool.
"I should have named it'sick' because that's all I hear when people see it."
The ElliptiGO does take some getting used to but if you can ride a bike you can definitely ride one of these once you get used to the different centre of balance and turning radius.
While the bike is only available in the United States, Canadian athletic goods distributor is currently planning to roll the bike out across Canada as early as September. For more information about the ElliptiGO visit www.jb-electricbikes.com "The two guys who came up with this, I have a feeling they¡¯re going to be multi millionaires,¡± said Merlino.(http://www.jb-electricbikes.com/)