After being shuttered due to pandemic, Norfolk Pedal Tours opens for new season

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Posted at 2:06 PM, May 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-01 22:36:34-04

NORFOLK, Va. - You've probably seen a 15-seat pedal bike riding up and down Downtown Norfolk. That vehicle is dubbed “Lizzie,” and it's operated by Norfolk Pedal Tours.

"It runs on human power,” Jake Schmader, the company’s co-owner, said. “We're all making this thing move right now."

Norfolk Pedal Tours takes people on tours to local restaurants, pubs and small businesses throughout downtown and nearby areas. It started in 2019, but only had two tours in 2020 and was immediately shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company kicked off its first day of pedaling again on Saturday for its 2021 season. The vehicle is recognized by motorists and pedestrians when it traverses the city streets.

"They just shout at us, they say 'Woo,'” Schmader said. “Sometimes we honk back at them - people get pretty excited, too, going down the road."

The bike can fit up to 15 people, but due to the pandemic Norfolk Pedal Tours is requiring a minimum of six people and a maximum of 10. Tours are private among people who reserve a ride on them.

"We're outside the entire time we're on here, but we're asking people to wear masks. My staff is vaccinated," Schmader explained.

Just by riding with the tour, Schmader added riders will get some special deals at certain local restaurants and business. The riders are handed a stick with the company logo on it to denote them as part of the pedaling tour.

"We have stops: Bar-partners that we go to and hopefully they can offer discounts, coupons and things to our riders,” Schmader said. "We like that we can funnel some people that maybe wouldn't be at these spots."

Tours are limited throughout the day. Click here to be taken to Norfolk Pedal Tour’s website for more information such as pricing, tour dates and times.