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