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New shop gets you moving

Bayside Adventures offers bikes, boards, kayaks and more

January 20, 2016
By John Morton ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Charles Hansen is a high-motor beach guy who likes to get around without a motor.

For years, he built custom bicycles in his garage for his friends. When it was time to go to work at Matanzas on the Bay, he'd often arrive by paddle board.

Now, he has opened Bayside Adventures where people can rent all things that put them in self-propelled motion, whether it be bikes, skateboards, paddle boards, surf boards or kayaks. Located at 450 Old San Carlos Blvd. under the Harbor House condos, where he is leasing space, Hansen will also take your rented paddle board by cart to the gulf near the pier or will place your kayak in the bay near his shop. If you want in-the-water instruction, he offers that too.

Article Photos

Shop owner Charles Hansen prepares a bike for rental.

"We make sure people are up to it," he said of the paddle boards, which he said are trickier on a first excursion than people think. "You should be able to go about two hours on it and believe me, you'll be exhausted."

A simple text message is all that's required for a reservation for either half-day or full-day use, with weeklong retals available only on bikes, but all rentals are required to be made in person. In the future, he hopes an in-room computer system he said is being considered by the Matanzas Inn and the Harbor House - which share the same owner - can be another means of booking an item.

"The owner there wants his guests to have a one-stop-shop opportunity for everything - to want for nothing," Hansen said. "He already has a restaurant of course for them, but he wants to add everything a person is looking for while on vacation."

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With that in mind, Hansen also serves as a broker for local companies that offer things such as boats tours, fishing outings, Jet Skis and parasailing.

"We know all their qualifications," he said of the operators he represents.

Next up will be additional beach items for rent or purchase, Hansen said, such as coolers filled with ice, umbrellas and chairs, yoga matts and beach wagons.

Fact Box

Who: Bayside Adventures

What: Rentals of bikes and boards, bookings for watersports and excursions

Where: 450 Old San Carlos Blvd.

Contact: call or text 895-5252

"I'd also like to move toward more of a retail situation with some of my items, especially my bikes," he said. "I plan to showcase some of the more elaborate ones here in the shop."

Meanwhile, he is pleased with his first few weeks of business.

"I ran out of things very quickly," he said, "so I'm stocking up. There's no better way to see the island than by bike or paddle, and what better way to also get around the traffic."



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