Veldkamps and Dumez oversee Boogie Bikes in Hingham
Dean Dumez used to ride his bike from Oostburg to Sheboygan for his high school job but says he kind of gave up cycling.
He biked a little bit when his children were young and thinks he rode about 10 miles on a bike last year.
“In 2020 with an electric bike, I’m over 1,000 halfway through the year,” he said.
Dumez and brothers Lee and Dustin Veldkamp are the founders of Boogie Bikes, a company in Hingham that is the only place in the county that assembles e-bikes.
Most of its sales are through their website (www.boogiebikes.com) but anyone is welcome to Hingham to test drive their e-bike.
Because e-bikes make cycling fun again, according to Dumez.
“It does because if you have a big hill or some wind or you’ve gone a long way and you’ve got to get back, you can make that as easy or as hard as you want to make it,” the 1996 Sheboygan Christian graduate said. “You just turn the pedal assist up or down, depending on what type of work you’re looking to put in and the bike fills in the gaps.
“I live on the northeast side of Sheboygan and I’ll commute to my parent’s house in Oostburg and back on a Sunday – 30-mile round trip – no problem with an e-bike. I would’ve never been able to do that with a regular bike.”
About a year ago, the Veldkamps were looking for a new technology business to start. Dumez joined them to research trending markets and they came up with the e-bike idea.
This past fall, the three went to China for the Canton Fair, which is the largest consumer goods fair in the world according to Dumez,
“We went there with the intention of picking out a bike that we would buy and then distribute in the United States via online sales,” he said. “While we were doing that, we decided that that probably would not be a unique or good enough business model and we needed to do something different than everyone else. So we decided that we would source our parts oversees to start and that we would assemble the bike in the United States. And we’d have better quality because we’d have people assembling them here rather than just getting a box from China and shipping it somewhere else.”
When they returned home, they started testing various e-bikes to decide on a specific product.
The winner was the Boogie Cruiser.
The bike can get up to 20 miles per hour from a standstill thanks to a 750W motor and has five levels of pedal assist. The way it charges is similar to smart phones.
“I think it’s fun, exciting, and I think E-bikes are really neat,” Dumez said. “People absolutely love our bike and that’s been exciting. Like a proud father kind of thing.”
About 20 people are involved at the Hingham facility, where the final assembly and packaging is done.
They began selling bikes approximately three months ago and have already shipped about 50 of them.
Dumez hopes to launch new models at some point and has several ideas, including a trike and an electric fat tire mountain bike.
Naturally, this has him excited.
“I think making bikes is exciting,” Dumez said. “I think making stuff in the USA is really exciting. I think the product is neat and fun and exciting. And the response from people when they get on it and ride it, that’s really exciting.
“It’s kind of a generic word, but it does cover all those different things.”
We’ve had our Boogie Bike for about 3 weeks now and absolutely love it! We did a 30 mile ride on the Red Cedar Trail last weekend on Saturday and this weekend we’re taking it to the Root River Trail in in southern, MN. We live in a Horse & Buggy Mennonite community and they have taken quite an interest in our bike, trying it out etc. They do not drive automobiles, but bike a lot. The owner of one of their bicycle shops asked if he could ride it and rode it home a short distance so his wife could ride it. He came back saying “It’ll be easy to get spoiled riding this bike for sure!” – Ervin Witmer (Stanley, WI)