Thursday, April 18, 2024

Charitable Pedal Beach Tours Shares Coronado History with an Entertaining Ride Around Town

Updated 01/13/2024
Jeff Davis, creator of Pedal Beach Tours, pedals for a cause as he shares interesting Coronado historical facts with guests.

Learn behind-the-scenes history and trivia about Coronado as you travel by electric pedicab on the new Pedal Beach Tours created by former CHS Principal Jeff Davis. Officially launching on January 26, this venture started percolating in Davis’ brain two years ago, as he began researching and coincidentally found the largest pedicab manufacturer just over the Coronado bridge in San Diego. With a pretty amazing twist, Pedal Beach Tours is actually designated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is geared to give all the proceeds back to charity. All the employees, guides, and board of directors are volunteers and receive no monetary compensation.

Starting out, Pedal Beach Tours will offer illuminating and humorous tours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm with each tour lasting 70 minutes, with potential expansion plans. The pedicab is electric and can go up to seven miles per hour with a comfortable capacity of six passengers. The cost per tour is $100, which all goes to helping families in need during the holidays.

He sees this as the next chapter in this “Tikkun Olam,” Hebrew for repairing the world, a practice he has followed his whole life. This is made possible because the drivers who pedal guests around are his friends and have volunteered to help in this charitable endeavor. Volunteers include Davis, along with Cyril Light, Butch Lobb, Allan Goldstein, Jamie Gillies, Bob Lapidus, and Wayne Westing, who come from a variety of professions including physicians, educators, an attorney, an airline captain, and a real estate developer. Davis’ wife Mardelle helps out with scheduling coordination. The start-up cost of approximately $25,000 was raised through contributions to Pedal Beach Charities.

Tours start wherever guests want to be picked up in the village and can be customized with music and stories tailored for the group, whether it be adults or families. There are more than 50 optional “slowdowns” where the guide shares details about unique places along the way. On a recent sample tour, I learned many interesting facts like that the Navy amphibious base opened in 1940 for pilot war training after the bay was dredged. We also cruised along the pathway near the yacht club and stopped at the historical wall highlighting Tent City and the history of The Del. Did you know that rooms at The Del cost $3.50 a night in 1900; but you could get a tent, complete with a wooden floor and bed, for $4.50 a week in Tent City? There seems to be an infinite amount of history to share, such as details on the Stockdale family, John McCain, John D. Spreckels, the Kipperman family, the Golf Course, Crown Manor, the Oxford House, and the list goes on. Davis made the tour entertaining and informative with his engaging manner and knowledge, and he is currently training each of his guides.

Having lived in California his whole life, he remembers loving Coronado from the first time his family came here from Palm Springs on a month-long vacation in 1965, and he had Olympian Mike Troy as his swimming coach. He bought a home here in 1994 and was the principal at CHS. Next he became principal at The San Diego Jewish Academy, finishing his career at Tarbut V’Torah (TVT) in Irvine, and is thrilled to return here once again.

After 40 years as an educator, Davis decided this is one of the things he wants to do in retirement, combining his love of cycling with his desire to help others. Through the years, Davis has been involved with the VIP Village School in Imperial Beach. Collaborating with school administrators, he will have children from the San Diego area write letters to Santa and then he and his elves will fulfill wishes by delivering meals and presents for Christmas.

UPDATE Jan. 13, 2024. Pedal Beach Tours enjoyed a sunny ribbon-cutting on the lawn at the Coronado Chamber of Commerce on Friday Jan. 12. Casey Tanaka cut the ribbon and congratulated founder and Jeff Davis and his all-volunteer team, keen to raise funds to help families in need. Photo: Chamber of Commerce

What a terrific mode of having your visitors experience Coronado history in a fun and informative way while being pedaled all over town, all while contributing to a worthy cause. A ribbon cutting will be held at the Coronado Chamber of Commerce on Friday, January 12, at 1 pm. For more information and to schedule tours, check out www.pedalbeach.org.



Jennifer Velez
Jennifer Velez
Jennifer fell in love with Coronado as a teenager while visiting a college friend. She vowed that someday she would make it her home, and that dream has recently become a reality. Fast forward through completing college with a BA in Journalism, Public Relations and Communications, she then went on to work with a variety of clients. She also taught Journalism and coordinated fundraising for her children’s school, and was a staff writer for San Diego Family Magazine and contributed to other parenting publications. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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