Yellowknifers have a way of finding a way to do things on bicycles.
It’s no miracle, but AuroraTours.net floated a winner of an idea when they deployed a small flotilla of water bikes from Latham Island this summer.
They call it Yellowknife Water Bikes Tours.
AuroraTours.net usually focuses their tours around the Aurora tourism which is connected to a huge national and international market.
However with the border restrictions due to COVID-19 this year, the company had to pivot to something that could appeal to the Yellowknife public.
In the spring, they added the water bikes, since then the company noticed more activity on the Great Slave Lake was increasing.
“There are more and more paddle boarders, canoers, kayakers and other recreational type of boats out there every summer,” said Guy Eramus.
These bikes are just like riding a bicycle, “they pedal forward and backward, it’s a bicycle on pontoons,” Eramus said.
Since the spring, they have had a few dozen people use the bikes on Great Slave Lake, Yellowknife Bay and Back Bay.
The launch site for the water bike tours is just off of Turner Road on Latham Island.
Julie Rodger was out for a ride July 24. There was a brisk wind.
“We were worried the morning of because it was really windy,” she said. But she asked the company if the wind was going to be a problem, and was assured it wouldn’t be – it might even be a little more fun.
But for Rodger the wind did die down and she said it was gorgeous day. She said the bikes are stable.
“It’s almost sturdier than a real bike, you’re not gonna tip and we didn’t get wet at all, it was a beautiful ride.”
She said the guide taught them how to use the bikes and told them how to go under a little bridge that they have to duck under. The group rode the bikes through Latham Island, Back Bay and into where the house boats are. They ended the tour at a garden at the end, she added.
Rodger said she would use the water bikes once a year, but she said she has a friend who is using the bikes every week.
Rodger recalls a friend telling her the water bikes are a mild workout for somebody who is not physically fit.
The Yellowknife Water Bikes has a total of six bikes the public can use, and a seventh bike for the guide, Ben Cornel, to use.
He added, AuroraTours.net supports the Canadian Economic Development Agency and the Government of the Northwest Territories.
The Yellowknife Water Bikes stop the tours for the year at the end of August.