McConnell Golf Gets Electric with Elby Bikes

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With an eye on the future, Raleigh-based private golf club ownership adds electric bicycles (e-bikes) at three of its 12 clubs for test drives and sale. Elby Bikes were officially unveiled November 1 at Wakefield Plantation.

“As we build clubs of the future, we must embrace wellness as a way of life,” said McConnell Golf Chief Operating Officer Christian Anastasiadis. “Teaming up with the Canadian company Elby, we saw an opportunity to promote a very special product in private communities in which we hold a footprint."

McConnell Golf has long followed a creed of “Building Clubs of the Future.” Along that line, the Raleigh-based private golf club ownership team has added electric bicycles (e-bikes) at three of its 12 clubs around the Carolinas and Tennessee.

Elby Bikes — produced by a duo of globally recognized visionary entrepreneurs with more than five decades of automotive design and manufacturing expertise — will be available for test drives and sale to McConnell Golf members and their guests at The Country Club at Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, Providence Country Club in Charlotte and the premier community of Old North State Club at Badin Lake.

McConnell Golf officially unveiled the Elby Bikes at a ceremony in Raleigh on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at Wakefield Plantation’s Sports Club.

“As we build clubs of the future, we must embrace wellness as a way of life,” said McConnell Golf Chief Operating Officer Christian Anastasiadis. “Teaming up with the Canadian company Elby, we at McConnell Golf saw an opportunity to promote a very special product in private communities in which we hold a footprint.”

E-bikes have become a booming market, particularly in Europe. Simple and easy to use year round, the Elby Bikes are very comfortable to ride in short and long distances regardless of terrain, age or fitness level. Elby uses only the top-grade components, ensuring the highest level of quality and durability.

Elby employs the durable, silent, fully sealed and incredibly reliable Bionx d series 500-watt motor. The e-bikes are easy to maintain and require very little maintenance. With a range of up to 80 miles per charge and an electric assist to 20 mph, Elby Bikes only require 4-5 hours to fully recharge.

Elby also offers the latest in e-bike technology. A rider’s smartphone can become their mounted Elby interface, allowing the rider to access information about the bike, plan and record routes with maps, track statistics and check the status of the e-bike system. The system is powered by an on-board computer that can even be swapped out for a smartphone with a Bluetooth app that includes turn-by-turn navigation — and also includes a USB port so riders can charge their phone while they ride.

“You have the ability to ride the Elby like a normal bike and then there are four options for a boost,” said McConnell Golf Corporate Director of Member Activities & Wellness Natalie Clemens. “Plus, there is also a resistance setting for a more challenging workout. They are really neat bikes — smooth and sturdy. We’ve already received positive feedback from our membership.”

McConnell Golf will display the e-bikes at various locations around the three clubs to increase member awareness, and will allow riders to take the e-bikes in 30-minute increments.

Elby is the brainchild of Frank Stronach and Fred Gingl, two Canadians who powered Magna International into one of the world’s preeminent auto parts manufacturers and the only company of its kind to build complete cars for luxury brands like Aston Martin, Porsche, BMW and Mini.

Anastasiadis shares a special connection with Stronach as they come from the same roots. Both are from the region of Styria in Austria, with the City of Graz being a home of automobile manufacturer Magna Steyr. — as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“We see McConnell Golf as a perfect fit for this product,” said Anastasiadis. “The e-bike is more than just a comfortable transportation for in or around the community. It is a wellness tool that combines an enjoyable ride with activities and performance goals set by each individual.

“Guess what,” he added. ‘’When you get tired, the bike will take you home.”

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Martin Armes
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