Welcome to our Niagara Region Series! Our media team spent two packed days exploring Niagara as it has never been explored before! Ben, Yegana, and I looked at ways we could travel the Niagara Region while minimizing our environmental footprint! Zoom Leisure Bikes was our second stop, after the Butterfly Conservatory.
Niagara River First Glance
Before renting our bikes, we first stopped to take pictures of the Niagara River. We watched as the aqua-blue tinted waters were graciously flowed north from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, a hefty distance of about 56 kilometres.
The Niagara River is a must-see spot if you are visiting the Niagara Region.
The water is relatively high, with steep gradients of river flow (of about 326 feet, according to Britannica Encyclopedia). This makes it one of the best hydroelectric sources of power in North America.
The Niagara River can be viewed from New York State or the Province of Ontario, depending if you are on the American or Canadian side of the border in Niagara Falls!
Nice to Meet You, Steve
Steve Deboer, Co-owner of Zoom Leisure Bikes, greeted us at his Niagara Falls location.
We engaged Steve in a short interview to better understand his company, first asking him how Zoom Leisure Bikes got started.
He told us that his wife and himself saw a need to supply bikes to the local hotels and bed and breakfasts. “20 years later”, Steve said, “we have a fleet of over 400 bikes, three main locations and visitors who ride virtually anywhere in Niagara Region!”
Steve explained that Zoom Leisure Bikes is not just a bike rental, but also a full service bike shop on Niagara-on-the-Lake, offering wine tours, as well as packages for corporate groups who often stay at the local hotels. The nearby winery tours, local breweries, fruit stands and weekend events, as well, attract tourists to the Niagara Falls area.
Getting Ready to Roll
Steve showed us our choice of bikes and explained, “We have hybrids, our most common bikes, as well as cruisers that are low to the ground. We have tandems and baby seats to cater to families, as well as zoom road bikes for longer distances to meet the needs of avid bike riders like myself.”
After getting our cushioned seats adjusted according to our relative heights for our hybrid bikes, we pedaled to get onto the Niagara Recreational Trail bike path. Reassuringly, there was often a separate paved sidewalk or pathway from the road’s busy vehicle traffic, where we could safely ride our bikes.
More Niagara River Lookouts
The biggest highlight of our trip was finding bike paths that led to even more unbelievable views overlooking the Niagara River.
The Niagara River put us in a state of awe, where we stared into the flowing abyss, and took pictures to remember this magnificent body of water that really felt larger than life.
Getting to the lookouts, we found the pedaling to be easy along mostly flat terrain, on the 20km Niagara Parkway. We biked past the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Niagara Glen, as well as the Floral Clock that were all within a short reach, just to name a few of the Niagara Park Commission’s nature-filled attractions on the Parkway.
Niagara at a Slower Pace
Biking was a great way to capture Niagara’s natural beauty while taking advantage of the fantastic views of the Niagara River.
We didn’t need to worry about the hassles of finding parking, and we felt good knowing that our vehicle didn’t emit unnecessary carbon emissions.
If you’re into bird watching, the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve is just a 5KM distance from the bike rental too!
While we did in hind-sight, enjoy finding unexpected lookouts along the path, I’d definitely recommend using the bike path map provided by Zoom Leisure Bikes, if you prefer to plan out your ride and attraction stops before leaving home base.
To conclude, I’d like to quote Steve who pretty much summed up the Niagara bike riding experience for us:
“It’s nice to see Niagara in a car, but when you are on a bike, you are able to enjoy good weather and capture a lot more at a slower speed!”
“If you’re lucky,” said Steve, “You might even be able to see deer, raccoons, or coyotes!”
Zoom Leisure Bikes Rentals start at $20 per person for a half day (3-hour) rental, or $30 for a full-day rental (until dark). Multi-day bike riding bundle packages are also available.
About Zoom Leisure
Discover why Niagara is quickly becoming one of Canada’s most popular cycling destinations. Two-wheeled touring with Zoom lets you experience Niagara’s friendly towns, incredible architecture, lush gardens and vineyards, world-class wineries, craft breweries and historic landmarks in a whole new way.
For more information, or to plan your Niagara bike ride visit this summer, visit https://zoomleisure.com
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