As we toured Steveston Village, people in the street were stopping in their tracks, smiling, cheering and taking photos.
We acknowledged their adoration with a casual wave, as if it was nothing, a daily occurrence.
However, the Royal Family or movie stars we were not.
We were the Richmond News team – testing out the latest addition to Steveston’s tourism repertoire, the humble Brew Bike Tour.
Although, it has to be said, there were one or two “princesses” on board who thought pedalling was an option, despite the fact it needed everyone to grind up those wee slopes in the village.
Launched a few weeks ago on Canada Day, the 15-person bike – which costs $30,000 to import from Spain – is co-owned and operated by Shane Zahar, who doubled as our guide.
Zahar took the nine-strong News crew out for a spin last week, with us opting for the two-hour long Steveston Beer Tour, one of four packages available, at $39 per person (not including food and drink).
After departing merrily (we hadn’t even had a pint yet) from the lane behind Steveston Bakery, we made our way “up the hill” to Bayview Street and east to our first destination, Steveston Built, on No. 1 Road.
We’d only been on board for five minutes and already the refreshments were well earned – it was a mini workout getting the bike going if everyone’s not pulling their weight.
A quick happy hour beer and appy (although a few didn’t read the memo on each stop being brief) and we were back in the saddle, this time heading west on Bayview and freewheeling down the slope on Third Avenue to the old favourite, The Buck.
Again, the concept of time seemed to be lost on a few on the team, but as the cold beers kicked in, the urgency of a schedule also slid down the scale of importance.
None too bothered by us slipping behind on time, Zahar said he usually allows an hour or two between tours for this very reason.
Buoyed by the refreshments and some bagpipe tunes blasting over the bike’s Bluetooth sound system, we were now in full flow, once again attacking “the hill” en route to our last stop, Britannia Brewing, on Bayview.
We commandeered the giant party table inside, before sampling some of the craft brewery’s fine IPA and appies.
There was one last job to be done, however - getting the bike back to base at Steveston Bakery.
Thankfully, it was all downhill to the finish and we parked up in good spirits, with our “guilt” at partaking of alcohol on a Thursday tempered by the slight burn in our thighs and calves.
If you don’t fancy the beer tour, options include the Discover Steveston Tour, Taps and Tacos Tour or a Private Tour, which costs $550.
Daily public tours are available for single rider participation as well.
“We have a bunch of team-building bookings lined up over summer,” said Zahar, whose company has similar operations in the Interior.
“The hope is to carry this on into the fall, through to the likes of Halloween. If we do, then we are looking at having more shelter on the bike.”
For more information, go online to BrewBike.ca.