A different way to get around has wheeled its way into Borderland.
Voyageurs Ebike Rentals & Tours offers the opportunity to rent and ride an electric bicycle also known as an e-bike. Dan Olson, owner, said starting the business provided a service he thought the area needed.
“I've been thinking about this for the last five years,” he said. “This winter, I decided to follow through with it... It gives people something different to do, and I think they'll enjoy it."
An e-bike is a bicycle with an electric motor which can be used for propulsion. E-bikes have a small motor to assist the rider's pedal-power, but also retain the ability to be manually pedaled by the rider.
Because e-bikes are classified as bicycles rather than mopeds or motorcycles, they are allowed on local bike trails, said Derek Briggs, who helps Olson with the endeavor.
"You can ride from here out to Voyageurs National Park," he said. "It's a way to get out and enjoy this area in a way some might not have been able to do before."
The bikes run on rechargeable batteries and don't go faster than 20 miles per hour. Their duration runs for 30 hours, Olson said.
While the men were talking to The Journal, Nancy Lindstrom, of International Falls, stopped to check out the bikes. Having never tried them, she wanted to see what riding one was like.
“This is great,” she said after taking one of the 14 available bikes for a spin.
Olson and Briggs said they enjoy watching people's faces when trying out the bikes. They said many of them are surprised how much they enjoy it.
“It's worth it to at least come out here and take one for a ride,” Briggs said. “You can pedal for awhile, you can use pedal assist or use the motor.”
“Anybody can do this,” he said, adding people need to be at least 16 years old to rent a bike and all riders are required to sign a waiver.
The business has a reservation system and can be accessed online at https://voyageursebikerentals.com/ or reservations can be done in person at the Voyageurs National Park Headquarters building, 360 Highway 11, where the bikes are set up.
Rental rates are:
- $15 for an hour
- $45 for four hours
- $75 for a full day
For more information, find Voyageurs Ebike Rentals & Tours on Facebook or call 218-240-5505.