Photo: Courtesy Joyride Pedal Tours.
Last Friday kicked off the first day of the annual East Lansing Art Festival, as well as the opening of JoyRide Pedal Tours. The business's two pedal bikes provided Festival-goers with complementary rides over the weekend, but JoyRide assures us that they are here to stay. The company will offer Mid-Michigan its very own party bikes to be used for customizable or pre-planned adventures in the Greater Lansing Area.
The bikes have either fourteen or sixteen seats, as well as a bench seat without pedals and a seat for the JoyRide pilot at the helm. While the driver steers the trolley up front, participants seated around the outside pedal to put the bike in motion.
Tours are for those ages eighteen and older, and while alcoholic beverages are restricted, the pilot is a great designated driver for those touring the Lansing and East Lansing breweries. Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages can be brought aboard and riders are provided with water as well as safety helmets. Tours are $350 for two hours, roughly $25 per person. Both pedal bikes may be rented at the same time to accommodate large groups.
The bikes are available for use all over Meridian Township, and pre-planned tours across the cities of East Lansing, Lansing, and Williamston will take participants to a variety of destinations. According to Tali Hylen, Director of Public Relations for the launch, “We have a variety of tours that you can book automatically, from our website. Brewery tours are already set up around town, and we also offer customizable tours.”
JoyRide is already drumming up excitement from community residents and local businesses. Lansing Brewing Company, Harrison Roadhouse of East Lansing, and Old Nation Brewing Company in Williamston have partnered with JoyRide as exclusive stops on the various organized tours. “I would love to try out one of these brewery tours!” says East Lansing resident Ari Zarbinian. “Lansing is full of the kind of hidden gems that would be perfect for this kind of thing.”
Party bikes can be seen all across Michigan, including Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids, and the Founder of JoyRide has no doubt that they will be well received here, too. “The Founder, Molly Chan, loves the Greater Lansing area,” reports Hylen. “She saw it as a need here. They are up north and international, mostly in bigger cities, but why not East Lansing? The campus is like a whole other city in itself. The possibility for tours is so great here.”
Customizable tours can take participants anywhere they want to go, and generally include about three stops in one two-hour excursion. “Say some alumni want to come back, meet at El Azteco downtown, bike around the gardens, then get ice cream, we can do that,” says Hylen.
In addition to these, JoyRide also plans to hold specialized tours such as fitness classes and shopping trips where bikers will get a chance to meet new people and get some exercise, too. They also plan to offer “Spin” dating, a unique alternative to speed dating and another chance to try one of the party bikes without the hassle of organizing a group.
“You don’t see these every day,” says East Lansing resident Jake Hillman. “I think it’s a great idea. I know the students are always looking for fun new things to try around town”.