KUCHING: Fancy soaking in the sights of Kuching city in a relatively novel way? Then try pedaling a Surrey bike, or quadcycle, which is very popular in Austria.
A Surrey bike is a bicycle with four wheels, and it comes complete with bench seating, a brightly-coloured roof and two steering wheels.
Austrian Gerald Loew, who started the bike rental service at a shop opposite Ghee Hoe Hin Trading at Eu Hai Street here four days ago, said cycling is an environmentally friendly way to travel.
“It is good for the environment and the people because it combines health, the environment and family into one activity which everyone can enjoy,” he said.
“Plus, we can push for a greener Kuching.”
Loew added that Surrey bikes were very popular in Austria, which had implemented the park-and-ride system to promote a car-free city.
“It is a great and fun way for the whole family as well as visitors and tourists in groups to explore Kuching city at their own speed, move around conveniently, while exercising at the same time.”
Loew added that he picked up his children from school with a Surrey.
“Drivers on the road are very courteous. They do give way, which is great.”
Loew, who is also a therapist dabbling in alternative medicine, arrived here four months ago with his Kelantanese wife Maizan Mahasan and three children.
“I am still trying to set up my clinic here and this is a side business to supplement the income,” he said, adding that they were in Indonesia for 20 months before deciding to move again.
Loew imported three Surrey bikes – two-seater and four-seater to start his business.
Asked about the cost of the bikes, he replied: “It is quite expensive because they are hand-made. They are priced between RM7,000 and RM8,000 ringgit, depending on the size.”
Surrey bikes can accommodate between two and eight people, and there is a small shelf in front which is often used for small children.
Loew said he would be decorating the bikes with lights for night riding soon.
Rentals are available at between RM20 and RM25 per hour.
He encouraged everyone to take his Surrey bikes out for a spin.
“We want you to simply enjoy the ride.”