Mike Stanek, president of
Cleveland Cycle Tours
, is offering the newest way to see Cleveland: A group bike tour. But unlike most group bike tours, this one employs just one vehicle. Nearly the whole group gets behind powering this 15-person, 1,600-pound bike.
“We are a group party bike, a group cycling experience,” Stanek explains. “There’s no motor, there’s no other way to move it except to pedal it.”
Ten people pedal Stanek’s 15-person bike, whether it’s a site-seeing tour, a pub crawl, a corporate team-building event or a wedding. Stanek can also haul the bike out to any location a customer chooses. A driver steers and operates the brake. The bike goes four to five miles per hour, and Stanek designs the routes to be mostly flat.
Cleveland Cycle Tours has hosted three or four tours since launching in September. Although Stanek applied for the license in July, some red tape kept him from officially launching. For now he is focusing on a successful spring tour season. He’s received a lot of support so far. “We’re building nice relationships with the taverns downtown and in Ohio City,” he says.
Stanek got the idea from a group in Minneapolis who brought a similar bike there from the Netherlands. Today that company has seven bikes operating in Minneapolis. Stanek hopes to grow his company in Cleveland similarly.
“The ultimate goal is to purchase a second or third cycle for Ohio City and Lakewood,” Stanek says. “The biggest challenge is finding a 10-foot high garage because the bikes are 9-feet, 4-inches tall.”
Right now, Stanek operates Cleveland Cycle Tours with his wife, who runs the daily operations, and oldest son, who drives the bike. Stanek hopes to hire and train three or four more drivers by spring.
Source: Mike Stanek
Writer: Karin Connelly