By Jill Tham
Fresh air in your lungs, wind at your back, a feeling of peace and an exquisite view of the Niagara Gorge as you peer over the embankment riding down the Niagara Parkway; there is no other way to experience what Niagara has to offer then with Zoom Leisure Bike Rentals and Tours. “People are always in the best mood when they see us,” says Rebecca Deboer, co-owner of Zoom Leisure Bikes.
Zoom Leisure Bike Rentals and Tours, locally owned and operated for the past 18 years, is the only company in the Niagara area that specializes in bikes. “Although we offer tours, our business is built on well-maintained bikes. We keep a mechanic on site and have the newest equipment,” says Deboer.
The husband and wife team of Rebecca and Steve Deboer, were recent graduates of Niagara College when they established Zoom Leisure Bikes. “We started renting bikes out of a rusted old minivan to the hotels and our business grew from there,” says Deboer.
Popularity of this singular experience is growing exponentially, leaving Rebecca and Steve with little space left in their shop on Mississauga Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake. “We have a wide variety of bikes to choose from including hybrid, cruiser, tandem, mountain and road bikes. We also have child and specialty attachments,” explains Deboer.
Zoom Leisure provides custom corporate, self-guided, wine and microbrewery tours. “On our self-guided tours we want people to get out there and explore,” says Deboer. Zoom Leisure Bike Rentals and Tours is committed to giving their riders an exclusive experience that is not bound by the clock. “We are the only company that offers late night returns,” says Rebecca. Zoom Leisure staff will go the extra mile and pick up your bike at your hotel – free of charge. “People love that they can end whenever and wherever they want,” she adds. They also have rental kiosks in the Whirlpool Aerocar plaza and Smuggler’s Cove, which are both located along the Niagara Parkway.
With a Zoom Leisure guided tour you are in for an unforgettable experience. Their wine tours last for approximately five hours and consist of visiting four to five different wineries. Their guides are local, well versed and know how to give their customers the royal treatment. Marcy Desroches, one of Zoom Leisure’s tour guides, is not only a travel agent, but an avid traveller herself who has spent a great deal of time in the wine regions of Italy. With Desroches leading the way, the red carpet will be rolled out for you as you tour her favourite wineries. She will turn you into a wine connoisseur as you stand in the vineyard and eat the grapes from which the wine is fermented.
Next, Desroches will guide you into the winery’s tasting room to sample some of Niagara’s best local wines. If the wine you taste is to your fancy, Zoom Leisure will arrange for one of their staff to pick up your merchandise at the winery and deliver it to the Zoom Leisure Bikes storefront or your hotel.
A Niagara expert, like Marcy, will enlighten you with a bit of history and useful tips such as the best places to shop and eat, as you tour around the most pristine places in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The tour also stops in all of the most photogenic places in town, allowing you to get some great shots.
“I have toured individuals that have been biking for years to those who have never ridden a bike before. We have something for everyone,” states Desroches. Whether her guests request an intense ride or a leisurely pace, the beads of sweat will be whisked from your forehead as you quench your thirst with a Signature Series Ice Cuvee Classic, a sparkling wine with a splash of ice wine from Peller Estates Winery. At each stop made, Marcy will use her intuition, knowledge of wine and uniqueness of each winery to find the perfect match for her guests.
Water and snacks are provided with each wine tour and picnic lunches can also be arranged. This summer guests will not only be treated to the best of Niagara’s wines, but a cheese and meat plate will also be added to the tour.
If you are not interested in a wine or beer tour, Zoom Leisure Bike Rentals and Tours will cater to your desires. “We have arranged custom tours for architecture groups, school groups, history buffs and geology tours for Brock University professors,” states Rebecca. “We recently hosted the Buffalo Sabres and every year we cater to an all-ladies group that ride in their stilettos and miniskirts. All the male staff request to work that weekend,” laughs Deboer.
With Zoom Leisure Bike Rentals and Tours, time does fly when you are having fun. Whether a large group or just two love birds on a bicycle built for two, you won’t want to get out of the saddle. To end your day on a high note, visit their new website at zoomleisure.com