'Cool idea:' Edmonton couple launches Urban Pedal Tours
Bike friendly businesses gear up for new cycle network downtown
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Matt and Carol Gosse were enjoying a brew in Portland three years ago when a giant 15-seat bike went by.
“This bike came by with all this music, lots of laughing and all this fun,” Matt recalled. “So we thought it was just such a cool idea to bring this to Edmonton.”
Fast-forward to 2017, and the couple's business idea is ready to roll. They’re launching Urban Pedal Tours this May, featuring a bright green 15-seat bike that will take customers to craft beer taprooms and breweries in downtown and Whyte Ave.
“We bought two bikes, so we’ll see how it goes,” Matt said during a phone interview Tuesday.
But Urban Pedal Tours isn’t the only business gearing up to take advantage of a more bike-friendly core, as Edmonton’s new downtown cycle grid gets set to open this summer.
Michael Kalmanovitch, owner of Earths General Store in downtown, said the grocer will use the grid for deliveries if enough people place orders.
“Although small, the grid is definitely a start,” he said, noting the store did a small number of deliveries last year. “What we want is to have that grid even go further from the downtown core so more people can use it to experience the downtown.”
Though Matt with Urban Pedal said the company won’t use the grid (the bike is too wide), he said the tours will fit well with Edmonton’s changing downtown.
“I think our bike will work well in an environment where there are less vehicles around and more walkability and the bike route,” he said. “There are great alternatives to users, where we are eco-friendly while introducing them to different places.”
Ian O’Donnell, president of the Downtown Business Association, said he loves how Urban Pedals is connecting businesses.
“I think it’s a great idea,” he said. “A cycle network is a complete transportation system. Adding that and the LRT — with great vehicular access — all contribute to a better experience and more efficient movement of the downtown.”
Urban Pedal Tours will launch on May. 25. Fare is $39.90 per seat (drinks not included), though Gosse said there are opportunities for a full bike rental. The bike travels about 10 kilometres per hour and the tour lasts two hours. You can also expect some celebratory events this summer when the downtown cycle grid opens.
More bike-friendly businesses
With Edmonton’s downtown grid expected to open this summer, here are some other bike businesses that may take advantage of the network.
Food Bike Tour
For the second year, Vanessa Ojeda will take Edmontonians around the city to indulge in fine local foods and beverages, “without the guilt as the calories are burned off.”
The tour takes around six-hours, and riders get to see four to six different locations.
“Learn about the stories and history about the local cuisine while working up an appetite,” says Ojeda’s website.
Cookie Love will again be using a bike cart this year to serve up ice cream sandwiches.
The cart will travel downtown by day and hit festivals, farmer’s markets and other events at night. The sandwiches contain “Pinocchio” ice cream between two cookies.