While working as the sales and marketing director for Hilton hotels, Rick Thompson thought, “Maybe it’s time to take off the suit and tie and beach it for a while; relax and do something fun.” So he and former silent partner (Larry Neville of Cabana Man) put together a business plan for Cabana Man Bike Rentals. Seaside loved their unique concept, but suggested the name Seaside Transit Authority, a logo that had existed for years as an idea but had yet to find its place until now. And the business began.
Thompson and his wife live in Seacrest. One of their two children now lives here also. When they all get together, their preferred choices for travel are boating and bicycling. A couple of his grandsons have even worked alongside him, learning the business of customer service and bicycle repair. And the bicycles are no ordinary beach cruisers. They are custom manufactured and made specifically for Seaside Transit Authority. “These are high-quality, well-maintained, safe, comfortable family bikes,” Thompson said. And the difference is clear, not only in appearance but also in ride.
Traveling by bike is the ideal mode of transportation in town. The Seaside Transit Authority celebrates five years as Seaside’s bike rental merchant. “To be located in the premier destination on 30A is invaluable for any business,” says Thompson. “We feel fortunate to be a merchant in Seaside.”
Seaside Transit Authority expanded its rental fleet January 2018 to include Pedego Electric bikes, which can be pedaled manually or electronically, and get assistance up to 20 MPH thanks to Pedego’s PedalSense technology, giving riders, a little extra help riding at five different power levels. Now cyclists have the freedom to go farther and faster. “The Pidgeons are the most substantial addition to our business model,” Thompson says. “We have also added and expanded our retail line with beverages, license plates, baskets and different style T-shirts.”
Seaside Transit Authority’s future plans include expanding and growing the business and contributing to the allure of Seaside. — Laura Holloway