It seems that slow-paced lifestyle that entices so many people to move to Victoria is also an appeal for tourists – at least according to the city’s slowest tour guide operator.
Andrew Capeau, owner of Victoria Pedicab Company, says taking in the sights and sounds of Victoria on a private pedal-powered rickshaw is an incomparable experience.
“We think 30 miles an hour is too fast to take it in. Five miles an hour is just the right speed,” he says. “This city has so much charm, there’s so much beauty when you get off the beaten path. We’re the only tour vehicles that are permitted on quiet city streets, through the bike paths in Beacon Hill Park, and when people experience that, that’s where they really fall in love with Victoria.”
Victoria Pedicab Company employs 30 pedicab operators during the busy season – May through September – who tour locals and visitors (mostly cruise ship passengers) around on an open-air guided tour.
“They don’t expect us to be these informative, knowledgeable guides that we are,’” Capeau says.
The biggest challenge for pedicabs in Victoria is convincing visitors not to automatically associate a city tour with sitting on a bus.
“What I want people to think is when you come to Victoria, you take a pedicab. It’s like when you go to Venice, you get on a gondola,” he says. “You want to do something that’s going to wow you, that’s going to give you that experience that you want to go away with, where you just didn’t expect it, you were charmed out of your socks by the city, and it was a hell of a lot of fun.”
For info, see victoriatours.net.