By Alex Robinson
Queens families will have a couple more ways to explore Flushing Meadows Corona Park this summer.
Wheel Fun Rentals, a recreational vehicle outfit with more than 80 stores nationwide, has opened its first two locations in Queens, at Flushing Meadows Corona Park and the World’s Fair Marina Pier 1, which offer a large variety of specialty bicycles, carts and pedal boats for rent.
“Over the course of our nearly 30 years of experience, we have learned that in today’s fast-paced world people still want the simple pleasures of a day at the park and having fun together,” said Al Stonehouse, president and CEO of Wheel Fun Rentals. “We offer a way for customers to get outside, turn off the electronics, leave the car behind and spend time together having fun and experiencing their surroundings.”
The Flushing Meadows Corona Park location, at Meadow Lake, is the larger of the two locations and has a small fleet of different styles of bicycles, including cruisers, quad bikes, mountain bikes and even low-riding motorcycle-inspired choppers.
The hourly rates range from $8 for kids’ bikes to $18 for a two-person tandem bicycle.
Wheel Fun Rentals also offers four-wheel, multi-passenger cycles called Surrey Bikes, which seat three to six people, for $20 to $30 an hour.
Those looking for an aquatic excursion on Meadow Lake or Flushing Bay can rent kayaks and pedal boats from both locations. The facility at the World’s Fair Marina only has water-bound options and does not have bicycles or Surrey Bikes to offer. It also rents out stand-up paddle boards, a growing sport which has seen a recent wave of popularity.
A single kayak costs $15 an hour, a double kayak costs $22 an hour and a stand-up paddle board costs $18 hourly.
The rental operation also sells reconditioned specialty cycles for anyone who becomes particularly attached to their Surrey Bike.
Wheel Fun Rentals was started in California in 1987 after founder Brian McInerney encountered a Surrey Bike when he was on vacation in Italy. He was so taken with the bikes that he sought out the manufacturer and brought a whole container home with him.
He first started his company with just the Surrey Bikes and regular two-wheel bicycles, but soon expanded to include a number of specialty bikes and boats. Wheels Fun rentals has since grown to have franchises across the country.
Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4566.