Ready to ride: 100 Mile offers electric bike tours
Seven new e-bikes are part of a new pilot project at the South Cariboo Visitor Centre.
Joanne Doddridge, director of economic development and planning for the 100 Mile House District, said the decision to purchase e-bikes was partly due to the difficulty of providing visitor services to the public during COVID-19.
The idea is to have a kind of roving ambassador who could move towards tourists on their electric bikes, carrying tourist brochures in their panniers. A secondary reason was to get people off the highway and into town by offering e-bike tours around town or to Centennial Park.
Visitor center manager Julie Gilmore said that when asked by Doddridge to look for ways to bring tourists into town, “e-bikes – e-bikes – are what came to me”.
Gilmore said e-bikes have a clean footprint and offer both exercise and something fun for tourists.
She chose the iGo Outland Royal, an all-weather bike with big tires that can be used off-road or on paved surfaces, making it ideal for expanding the program to the 99 Mile or 108 Mile Ranch trails at the coming. The bike is a foldable version, which makes it easy to store.
The bikes have a top speed of around 37 kilometers per hour, but the staff can manage the speeds when on tour, with one in the front and one in the back of the line. All users must be over 16 years old, wear a helmet and obey traffic laws.
Helmets are provided by the Visitor Center, although customers can bring their own. Everything is disinfected after each visit.
Gilmore said the program, which started this month and is free, is already getting a lot of attention.
“Right now we’re getting a lot more locals because they seem to be coming in, that sort of thing,” she said.
There are currently five e-bikes available for hire, with the additional two for ambassadors or for use by staff on tours or local events.
Tours can currently be booked twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays at 1:30 p.m.
The tour lasts an average of 1.5 hours and includes points of interest such as the stagecoach, bird markers, murals around town, Centennial Park and the 100 Mile Marsh.
At this time there are no independent rentals.
100 mile house