Buffalo Pedal Tours has come a long way since we first announced that owner/tour operator Ken Szal was on a mission to bring the first pedal pub to Buffalo back in 2014 (see here). Since that time, Ken and his team have been growing at a rapid rate, with pedal tours in Rochester, a fleet of six pedal pubs in Buffalo, and as of this summer, a new river boat on Lake Erie. To date, Ken and his pedal touring contraptions have embarked upon countless excursions, many of which are themed as Buffalo Bills outings or even Oktoberfest expeditions.
I caught up with Ken recently, to ask him about his lake-faring outings this past summer. Seeing that his business on land took off so quickly, I wanted to know how the aquatic side of the business was doing.
How many people does the river boat seat?
Our boat seats 18.
Where do you launch from?
The boat is kept at the Small Boat Harbor. The tours start from Templeton Landing, for most tours.
How long would it take to get from the Outer Harbor to the Buffalo River on average?
It’s about a 75 minutes trip to get from Small Boat Harbor to RiverWorks. But we started most tours this year from Templeton Landing due to the high wind conditions. It also makes the trip to RiverWorks about ten minutes shorter (the river boat must go out and around the observation deck at Erie Basin Marina).
What has been the biggest hurdle since launching?
So far… our biggest concern is that Canalside has prohibited us from docking and/or taking our guests there.
What makes this type of tour so special?
The private VIP setting that this boat provides cannot be duplicated on a pleasure boat or on larger vessels (you’re one with the water).
It’s great to see that for the most part it’s been smooth sailing for Ken and his River Boat. Although I have not personally been on the contraption, I enjoyed watching it on the Buffalo River all summer long. The vessel adds another fun dimension to all of the interactive aquatic offerings that are available. It would be great to see a couple more of these floating about. Knowing Ken, that’s probably something that he already has up his sleeve. We will be keeping a close eye on him and his pedaling endeavors.