Honolulu’s Pedal Power Bike Tours Hawaii is the latest bike tour in our directory. We had a chance recently to chat the with the owner, Krystal Vogel.
Krystal thought she had the best job in the world working as a guide for another bike tour company in Honolulu:
“I get to go to work!” I heard myself say one day.
And then last year she found out that the tour company was closing:
“I LOVED the job! I LOVED the people! I LOVED sharing every reason why I live here and why my heart belongs to Hawaii…we were all told that the company would be closing…..just not enough business to stay open………my heart broke a little.”
One of her co-workers joked that they should buy the rest of the bikes and just do it their own. That got Krystal thinking. There wasn’t enough business to support the shop rent and expenses and all the guides. But, one guide with six bikes working from her home, that might work. All she’d need were the bikes, a few helmets, rain gear, some spare parts, an air pump and and a corner of her house for a home office.
She thought about it, hard, for three days. And came to the conclusion that:
“..if I didn’t try I would always wonder.”
She also realized that if it didn’t work out, at least she still had her biggest investment, the six bikes, to sell. So, she did it and:
“…it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made!”
Krystal started with open eyes and has learned a lot since last November. She’s had to learn about business, website development, SEO, bike mechanics, accounting, and more, all while giving bike tours every day.
“I went into it knowing that it would be difficult, and knowing that I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I was doing it for the love of it all, and that has made all the difference.”
The evening before each tour, Krystal loads up her bikes, two at a time, and drives them to secure storage at a hotel across from the tour’s start point on the Honolulu Zoo Trail. The next morning, she bikes from her home shop to recheck the guest bikes and prepare to meet her guests at the corner of Kalakaua and Kapahulu Avenues.
Most of her guests stay at hotels within walking distance to the meet up point. Waivers are signed and riders matched with bikes and off they ride off on Krystal’s “perfect route”.
So what’s it like to lead bike tours in paradise? We asked Krystal for some stories:
“One couple was so excited when we went past the mall and asked if they could return something really quick. No problem! and I just chilled outside for about an hour and waited. They brought me ice cream when they returned, and off we went!!”
“Then there was the sweet innocent young lady who enjoyed frequenting high end gentleman clubs and invited me to join her that evening instead of some random guy she met on Tinder, what else can you say but ‘OK!?'”
“A sweet young man and his girlfriend that had a great aunt that he had never met, and had lost touch with the family. She was last known to own one of the major lei shops in Chinatown 30+ years ago, so on a whim, we went to check it out. She was there! There was a lot of hugging and tears and I felt so honored to be a part of that moment!”
“The Japanese man on his 60th birthday, (we didn’t speak each others language, but we understood each other perfectly!)”
“I keep in touch with most of my tour guests. It’s such a bonding experience sharing your world and the things you love, in such an intimate setting. There’s nothing better than the universal language of laughter! And it comes with every tour!”
Thanks for sharing your story, Krystal!