So this past weekend, Allison, Ryan and I were on the hunt to find something unique to do. We have been super busy the past month or so between the holidays, traveling and planning Tampa Bay’s first ever Startup Week (more to come). This January weather in Tampa is some of the best of the year, so we knew when planning we wanted to be outdoors and our goal was to find something active. As we threw around ideas, we stumbled upon Tampa Bay Water Bike Company, a local startup company run by husband and wife team, Dan and Amanda.
Opening at the beginning of this year, TBWBC offers guests the opportunity to experience Tampa from a whole new perspective, a bike seat floating in the Hillsborough River. After checking out their website and Facebook page, we saw how inexpensive this unique experience was and noticed that they also offer lots of discounts for military, students and TEACHERS! We contacted the owners and set up a 2pm appointment on Saturday.
We woke up Saturday morning to a chilly start, but don’t you worry, you won’t get wet on the water bikes, so you are safe to wear pretty much whatever you feel most comfortable. We decided to head over to Tampa Heights to check out some cool stuff happening their at The Better Block Project. But we didn’t just Uber or drive ourselves. In true NHIE fashion, we rented some Coast Bikes outside of Irish 31 and rode our way around town.
After some morning fun checking out Tampa Heights, we made our way to the Convention Center to meet Amanda and Dan down by the docks. In order to get the full one hour slot you sign up for, they suggest arriving 15 minutes before hand to sign paperwork and go over the safety guidelines. So around 1:45pm, we met on the dock right outside of The Sail to get our ride started.
Paperwork signed- Check
Safety guidelines- Check
Life vests- Check
The whole process of getting on the bikes took no time and before we knew it, they were untying our ropes and sending us on our way. As we were told during the guidelines, there were multiple routes that we could take exploring complete with a time of about how long it would take (to be sure we made it back in time). By this point in the day the weather had warmed up to about 65 degrees, so it was PERFECT for a day of biking both on and off land.
We spent our hour touring the river starting with a trip down to Curtis Hixon. The view from these bikes is like NOTHING we have ever experienced. We loved how cool our pictures turned out too! Oh don’t worry, there is a spot on the bikes for a water bottle, purse, phone, that you can get to easily as you enjoy your ride. So we rode down passed our old stomping grounds in Plant Park and threw a u-turn to head up towards Bayshore. We then rode up Bayshore Blvd. underneath the Davis Islands bridge and down a bit before turning around and making our way back towards our starting point. The ride was smooth and relatively easy to navigate. One part that took some getting used to was turning. We all had our moments of difficulty and it was fun to watch each other struggle a little.
On our way back to the dock, Ryan and I knew we had to share what we were doing with our friends, so we made sure to Facetime our frozen friends up north to add some salt to their wounds and show them where we were. Whoops! All in all, it was a really cool day of exploring another piece of our city’s puzzle that we love so much. We highly suggest you get over to Tampa Bay Water Bike Company as soon as you can to test out this unique experience! And as always, let them know NHIE sent you!