Public Safety climbs like never before

December 11, 2019

Several of Yale’s Security officers assigned to the Prospect Hill area are testing a new kind of bike. Recently, Yale Public Safety purchased a Trek Powerfly electric mountain bike. This model is an e-assist bike, meaning that the rider still pedals manually but has the option of activating one of four modes of electric-assist pedaling.

The department recently purchased the bike with the Prospect Street hill in mind. To walk, run, or bike up that hill can be quite a workout. Yale Police and Security officers sometimes traverse up and down the hill multiple times during their 8-hour shift. “While it’s heavier than a standard mountain bike, it’s a smooth, mobile ride and makes patrolling that neighborhood a bit easier. You still have to do some work pedaling. It’s not motorized, it just kicks in enough to give the rider that little extra help uphill,” said Tom Madera, security manager.

The bike is black, super sturdy, yet sleek looking. It is fitted with front and rear lights, a rear rack, and a bike bag. With all that extra gear, it weighs over 50 pounds. It has a rechargeable battery that can be plugged into a regular wall outlet. After the initial road tests, the plan is to put this bike into a regular rotation used by the six security officers who patrol the Prospect Hill area of campus.

Yale Public safety has partnered with Zane’s Cycles in Branford to replace the mountain bike fleet as older bikes age out.  “We will replace the older Cannondale’s with new Trek Marlins, these are not e-bikes just standard mountain bikes,” said Tom Madera. For now, there is only one e-bike for the entire campus.

Also, in partnership with Zane’s, Yale Security Officers Jeffrey Bluege, Eric Lefebvre, and Bill Hewitt will be trained in basic bike maintenance. They will learn how to fix a flat, broken pedal or chain, adjust loose cables, change brakes, and fix a rear derailleur. “We are really excited about the new bike and replacing our older bikes. Also, having three in-house, trained mechanics will be important,” said Tom Madera.

Look for the new e-bike and its’ riders zipping about their beat up Prospect Street.