Calvin and I had both run cross-country together through all of high school, and worked together at the Bay Harbor Yacht Club, Lycka explains, one winter, as we were running errands for work, we were driving through downtown Petoskey, and began discussing the possibilities of a pedicab business.
Petoskey was the natural choice for the business, Lycka says.
We had both grown up there, and had seen the influx of people each summer during the tourist season, he explains.
After their first couple of weeks in business in the summer of 2009, the friends and now business partners realized that Petoskeys history would make an excellent focal point for pedicab tours.
We put in many long hours during that first year, and were able to promote ourselves through a lot of dedicated work, Lycka says.
For their roster of specialized tours, Lycka and Schemanski charge a flat rate. But - perhaps unusually, given the literal physical effort expended pedaling people around town - they offer their regular pedicab taxi rides for tips only.
We chose to work for tips (apart from our tour rates) because many people refuse to take a ride if there is a set cost for a taxi ride, Lycka explains, we find that once people experience the ride, they value it much more than they previously did. Overall, the tips plus tour rates have been lucrative, and the process has been fun, he enthuses.
The themed tours are another important component of Petoskey Pedicabs business. A quick glance at their Signature Tours list reveals a wide variety of options.
We offer tours that take the riders back through the early days of Petoskeys formation, exploring the history of both downtown and the natural area around it, Lycka says, Petoskey used to be a much larger epicenter of tourism - what led to its status today? Well, my favorite tour, The History of Tourism, answers this question.
Other Petoskey Pedicab tours include rides through downtown and the waterfront; their Hemingway Tour and Prohibition Tour; a Bay View Historic Tour; and new for 2011, a tour along the new trail that was just completed along Petoskeys Bear River.
Petoskey Pedicab will kick off this years season on Memorial Day weekend and will run through August 27 this year.
We will be operating every day and can be found all around downtown, Lycka says, but we almost always keep a free pedicab at the intersection of Howard and Lake streets, and well have two pedicabs running every day.
In the fall, Schemanski and Lycka can be found in Ann Arbor, where they run their pedicabs for nightlife and game day transportation; but the rewards of a Northern Michigan summer for these pedaling achievers are great ones.
Meeting hundreds of people and forming relationships with the community have been the best parts of the job for me, Lycka says.
Petoskey Pedicab may be found in downtown Petoskey, and may also be contacted by phone at 231-758-0535 or via their website at www.petoskeypedicab.com (the tours are also listed on their website.)