In recent years, there have been many new things to see in downtown Vancouver. This includes a ton of new bars, eateries and some great wine tasting rooms. This also means there is new life in the downtown area and people wanting to see just what is happening. The re-birth of downtown drove Michael and Mauren Palensky to combine the love of beer with something else very popular in the Pacific Northwest, biking.
By biking we are not talking about riding a motorcycle, but instead hopping on a guided bike built for 15. Yes, this is a peddlers dream with 10 riders sharing the power roles as they peddle through downtown Vancouver. The staff of Couve Cycle is changing the way both locals and tourist explore downtown.
The Palensky family had seen the party cycle concept in other cities and just knew Vancouver needed their own. They started with just one guided bike tour and have recently added a second bike to their company.
Trying to picture how 15 passengers can ride just one bike may take a minute if you have never seen a party bike. The concept is simple, there are ten riders seated along two edges of a rectangularly shaped vehicle. Each of these seats has peddles for them to operate.
For passengers wanting to either tack a break or perhaps not up for peddling, there are 4 seats on a bench across the back of the vehicle. The tour guide sits inside the vehicle where he can add a motor for support. The bike can be powered by the riders, a motor or a combination of both.
This bike is built to turn any tour into a true party as it is wired for music, has cup holders and even spots to charge your phone. The guided tours are available to purchase by the seat or by the vehicle. Children are not invited along unless the bike is rented for a private party.
Couve Cycle is currently offering several different tours to meet a variety of special requests. They offer three tours for purchase by the seat: Wake Up Tour, By the Seat Beer Tour and By the Seat Wine Tour.
The Wake Up Tour hits downtown early, with a one-hour bike ride leaving at 9 AM on most Saturdays and Sundays. This tour starts with coffee and pastries. A tour guide takes the group for a nice ride along the waterfront while the city streets are still quiet. Because this is the shortest of the tours, the price is $20 a rider.
By the Seat Beer Tour takes riders on a two-hour tour of three breweries and taprooms in downtown. These tours run on Sunday and Saturday for $30 or Tuesday and Thursdays for $27. Stops along the way vary and are up to the guide. They always start at the Loowit Brewing Company. All beer tours are 21 and over only.
By the Seat Wine Tour takes riders for a tour of tasting rooms and tapas rooms in the Vancouver area. This tour will make three stops as determined by the driver. This is also a 21 and over ride with these tours only running on Thursdays currently. The cost per rider by the seat is $30.
Each of the tours that sell tickets individually requires at least 8 ticketed passengers. Ticket are sold online for these tours. There is also a full schedule updated in real-time with current spaces open.
For groups or private parties, both of the party bikes are available for private bookings. They can build a special route including a trip down Officer’s Row, or other scenic treks by the waterfront. Private tours can also be adapted to include younger riders.
Because they are in the Northwest, the party bikes are ready to roll in rain or sunshine. They are also made to support groups that may not be able to power the bikes via peddling because they each have a motor available as well.