Q&A with Meryl Strichartz of Lakeshore Pedal Tours
What is Lakeshore Pedal Tours?
Lakeshore Pedal Tours is a new Kenosha sightseeing opportunity It’s a multi-passenger human powered quadricycle – think of it as a giant bicycle that you ride with your friends. Up to 13 passengers, who are facing each other around a bar, are the engine! Our tour guides control the steering and braking, but the bike won’t move unless the patrons pedal. The average speed is only 2-5 mph. So, it is more like a horse-drawn carriage than a zippy bicycle. Groups like to rent them for bachelor parties, birthdays, graduations and just to be outside and together. It’s common to get dressed up and decorate the bike for special occasions.
What is included on a Lakeshore Pedal Tour?
Fun! We provide a driver, cooler, ice and a 90 minute rental of the quadricycle. People need to plan for a 2-hour experience because it take a few minutes to load everything up. It is BYOB and guests are allowed to bring up to 3 cans of beer or other fermented malt beverages (no hard liquor), snacks or any non-alcoholic beverages.
What route do you recommend for the tour?
We have four routes.
1. Downtown Entertainment District– Where we pass almost every bar and restaurant or can get people pretty close to their favorite place.
2. The Union Park area – Where there are lots of cool places to discover.
3. Along the lake – Through the parks, which are amazingly beautiful.
4. To the HarborMarket on Saturday mornings.
I can’t pick a personal favorite — I love them all.
What does the Lakeshore Pedal Tour offer to customers that other tourism attractions can’t?
Being on the pedal bike with friends is such a blast because it is like being on a parade float. The reactions from the people you pass by is a thrill—they smile, they cheer you on and it becomes interactive with the street life. It’s more than just doing something with your friends — it’s something you and your friends do with the community.
What is the best part of being owner of Lakeshore Pedal Tours?
For sure it is the community relationship building. I love making things happen and working with people who love Kenosha. I have had steadfast support from Visit Kenosha (the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitor’s Bureau), Vicki Seebeck, a business owner and representative of WWBIC Kenosha and many others including Happenings Magazine! After the challenging year that we have all had, being able to launch a business that promotes fun and good times in Kenosha is reward in and of itself.
Have any Lakeshore Pedal Tour stories to share?
We just started, so I don’t have a lot of stories to share yet. But I really got a kick out of the group of high school teachers who celebrated their last day of school by heading over and doing an afternoon tour. I joked with them that I was going to post pictures to our social media with some silly teacher-related tags! They had a great time and want to make it an annual tradition. They truly deserved a day out!
How did you become interested in starting up the Lakeshore Pedal tours here in Downtown Kenosha?
I am extremely involved with the downtown harbor community. I am an active board member of the Kenosha Community Sailing Center and proud member of the Kenosha Yacht Club. I was really looking at ways for us to connect what we are doing on the northside of the harbor (sailing lessons, kayak and SUP rentals) with the southside (HarborMarket and downtown). The pedal party bike seemed like a fun way to cross the bridge—literally and figuratively.
Even though you just started with the Lakeshore Pedal Tours, what’s next?
For sure a second quadricycle. I’m limited now to parties of 13. But, I have a lot more up my sleeve. We have a Dock Party on Saturday, June 19th that we are sponsoring for the Kenosha Community Sailing Center and I’m hoping to help the center bring pedal boats in later this season. My new personal motto is “one pedal at a time” – but I pedal fast and know that I will end up someplace awesome!
You sold me! Where do I sign up?
Visit our website at lakeshorepedal.com for all the details, including booking.
This story originally appears in the Summer 2021 print issue of Downtown Kenosha Magazine.
Q&A & photos by Donny Stancato
Edited by Jason Hedman