Pedal bike tour expands fleet with help from local students

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) A pedal bike tour company in downtown Waco is expanding its fleet thanks to the work of some local high school students.

(Photo courtesy of Waco Pedal Tours)

Waco Pedal Tours, a company started in December 2017, has been rolling through the streets of downtown Waco since introducing a 14-seater bike to the community, but it will soon add a second bike thanks to high school students from Rapoport Academy who have been constructing the rolling bar top from the ground up.

“I just really enjoy this program,” said senior Sydney Stallworth.

“It takes something off my schedule and replaces it with something I find a lot more fun than sitting in a classroom.”

Stallworth is one of four students in a career prep class at Rapoport that teamed up Waco Pedal Tours to construct the bike while getting class credit and getting paid.

The students work from 8 a. m. to noon every Friday at a shop on Franklin Avenue, as well as at night and on weekends.

“This is such a critical piece for our students,” said STEM and Career and Technical Education Director Clay Springer.

“This bike includes every element of robotics including the different pneumatic and electronics but it includes the marketing piece and the social media piece and the tourism and engaging the customer so it helps with communication and those hard skills of welding and cutting and those types of skills.”

It’s a partnership formed after Waco Pedal tours sought help from Springer to repair its bike, which was out of commission for weeks.

Springer did the repairs, and then had the idea to get his students involved in constructing the additional bike.

“When he told me high schoolers were going to do this I was like ‘no way’ but they’re very talented and have done so well,” said the Pedal Tours owner Corey Dickman.

It’s a sentiment echoed by co-founder of the company Daniel Abarca known to patrons who ride on the tour as “Captain Danny.”

“We are so pleased. We are so grateful for what we're seeing with these amazing results and we’re excited to get the bike done. “

The new bike won’t be ready to hit the streets until likely January but the company is getting ready to launch reservations for its popular Christmas tour.

Last year the tour focused on seeing Christmas lights but this year they’re teaming up with local businesses where the tour will stop off to do things like make holiday cards or Christmas ornaments.

“It will be family oriented and we’re excited for the future,” Dickman said.

“We are just so thankful that this type of partnership is working out,” Springer echoed. “Waco Pedal Tours has opened their doors and let us move our metal tools into their shop and they're covering our students under insurance and paying them to work and we just want to expand this for every student in every industry we can find.”