Jeanine Siemens travels around the globe and everywhere she went, she would rent an electric bike.
“It’s a great way to explore a place,” said Siemens. “I don’t have to worry about parking. I could make meetings without being all sweaty and I feel really good riding. So I was energized for my meetings. I don’t have to rent a car, it’s cheaper and it reduces our carbon footprint.”
When COVID-19 hit, Siemens drew inspiration from her experiences to start a business where she could take people out safely during the pandemic on rides – on e-bikes.
Siemens, who is from Denman Island, established The Electric Tour Bike Company, with partner and tour manager Paul Trudeau, a Qualicum Beach resident.
The company officially started on June 4 and has a fleet of more than 20 new electric bikes that they rent out and use for guided tours in Parksville Qualicum Beach and in other areas.
“It’s just a really nice way to kind of see Parksville Qualicum Beach,” said Siemens. “There just seem to be a real demand in the area and it opens up to all our tourists that come here to see different parts of Qualicum and Parksville that you would never see in your car or you would have the energy for on a regular bike.”
Siemens said the e-bikes make a significant difference for people who are not strong riders or who have some health issues.
“It spans to all different types of genres in terms of age groups and mobility,” said Siemens. “So we actually want to ensure that people, from 16 all the way up to 80 and above can ride an e-bike.”
Prior to starting their business, Siemens and Trudeau explored by e-bike the area’s myriad of trails, courses and parks from Mark to April.
“We came up with some very good tours,” said Siemens.
The company now offers e-bikes for rent at different resorts in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area and also provide specific tours that include visits to iconic and scenic areas, wineries, organic ranches and restaurants. There’s also tours to Hornby Island.
“We want to showcase the area,” said Trudeau. “We want to showcase the different shops and restaurants that we have and our guests are really going to appreciate access to these interesting little places. We have found routes for aggressive riders and some great little ones for novice bikers who have not tried e-bikes or conventional bikes.”
Siemens said it’s a fun, adventurous way of visiting places.
“If you’re on a regular bike, you just can’t get the distance in,” said Siemens, noting e-bikes have a maximum speed of 30 kilometres an hour and the batteries last for four hours. “You can go as hard as you want if you want a good work out or you can go as easy as you want if you don’t want to pedal that hard with the pedal assist.”
If you’re going to shop, Siemens said, they do provide cargo bikes as well as bungee cords and bike locks. They do not provide bike seats for children.
The e-bikes have wide tires that allow them to traverse on pavement, rough roads and rocky terrains.
“All the bikes are pedal-assist so it can be a gentle push to help you along the way or you can put a little bit more torque when you’re going up a hill,” said Trudeau.
For information, visit https://electricbiketours.ca/ or call 250-201-5700.