michele on her pink pedicab in tofino

Tofino business profile: Slow Living, Slow Travel

by Jan Brubacher, Tofino


When you sit on this thing you kinda feel special, you close your eyes, wind in your hair, your jeans, t-shirt and gumboots come alive—morphing into silk, sequins, and glass slippers—flowing about creating illusions of cinder type princesses. You look up expecting to see a handsome knight on a white stallion pulling you along in this very sweet and very pink carriage—but no, it is Michele Dimitrov, who has found a new passion in business. The business is a hot pink pedicab, the passion is bicycling, and it is Michele that by putting these elements together, has created Bodi Bikes, a great new business about town. (The Bo of her son’s last name Boulton and the Di of her own last name come together to spell Bodi, hence the name Bodi Bikes.)

It was 1989 and Michele had just graduated from university in Winnipeg with the realization that she didn’t want to work in her area of study. And so she moved to Tofino with her boyfriend at the time —they had a place to live on Wickinninnish Island, and Michele immediately knew that she wanted to live in the area. “I needed to be in a small town by the ocean.” The beauty, the calmness, the fishing, the nature, the surfing, and the swimming all pulled her into this small town coastal living —a big change from her 23 years of life in Winnipeg.

Over the years Michele worked various jobs before starting the Dust Bunnies Cleaning company, and now another page turns with the start of Bodi Bikes.

Some may have seen or heard about this business last year when Michele was starting to put it all together and if she was out riding it was not an easy thing to miss—it is a rather spectacular mode of transport. And slick too! The pedicab is really a pumped up tricycle that is designed to carry people—the carriage is made of fiberglass so is relatively light, and the bike has 21 gears, giving lots of play for the smaller hills of the area. The whole unit weighs 150 pounds and can carry two passengers comfortably.

Michele went to Colorado to buy the “bike” from the only company in North America who manufactures and custom paints these vehicles. They have been in business for fifty years, they ship all over the world and this was the first ever order for a custom paint job in pink—hard to believe, but true—imagine this may even be the worlds only pink pedicab!

By May or so, when the weather is favourable, this pink pedicab will be a familiar sight about town. Michele plans to be running six or even seven days a week, 11 am until dark, pedaling people in and around and out of town as far as the bike path goes. She has some ideas for tours; a harbour tour along Main Street to the various docks, a sunset tour to one of the beaches and back to town. She also thinks it would be neat to do some weddings and use the bike in the bridal procession. “It’s one of those things that will just progress on it’s own.” Maybe it will become a Tonquin Beach shuttle or just the most romantic way to get around town.

In the summer when the roads are plugged with traffic “bikes are the way to go” says Michele, “I think it’s a really great idea, it’s a fun thing, it’s a social thing, and it’s pink!”

Multitalented and creative, Jan Brubacher writes films, creates jewelry and costumes, and convincingly plays the role of mother.

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Tofino business profile of BoDi Bikes, Michele Dimitrov's newest venture. Written by Jan Brubacher for Tofino Time magazine.

tofino time may 2005

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