'Idea came in a dream' - Floating bicycle hire on Broads
- Credit: Supplied by Laura Calver
A start-up hire firm on the Norfolk Broads is soon to give a whole new definition to the phrase 'off-road cycling'.
Laura Calver, 31, and her husband Simon, 35, are launching Buoyancy Bikes, based in Wroxham.
The bicycles are mounted on two hard-shelled floats, pedal powered and by the handlebars, which control a fin below the waterline.
Mrs Calver said the idea came in a flash of subconscious inspiration.
She said: "My husband woke up one day and said 'I wonder if you can get a water bike on the Broads?' He says it came to him in a dream."
Mrs Calver said they had only heard of one other business which might be hiring out floating bikes in London, but other than that she thought the concept was new to the UK.
She said: "The Broads Authority told us there was something very similar back in the 1990s but it never really took off. So as far as we're aware, it's just us."
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The couple live in Sprowston and Mr Culver also runs a firm called Anglian Metal Roofing.
They currently have five of the bikes, which are made in China, and hope to be operating 15 within a couple of months. They are each designed for a single rider with a maximum weight of 120kg, and a minimum height of 140cms.
Mrs Culver said they would be rented for £25 per hour.
She said bookings for the bikes, which would be available from April 24, had already "gone crazy" and they were looking forward to a busy summer season. She said riding the bikes, which had a top speed of around 5mph, was "relaxing".
"We're just around the corner from Bridge Broad. It's a nice and sheltered area and there's not too much traffic. There's some lovely wildlife down there - we've already seen a kingfisher.
"It's a really relaxed way to see the Broads and it's not scary at all. They're very sturdy, you can't tip them.
"You're not going to be able to go as quickly as you can on a normal bike."