Michel Letarte: A Thriving Entrepreneur with a Passion for Bikes
Michel Letarte is a remarkable individual who embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship and embraces the power of bicycles. His commitment to his community and fostering meaningful connections is evident in his ongoing projects, all centered around his trusty RadBurro electric cargo trike.
A Creative Journey with Bikes
Letarte’s love affair with bikes began in 2005 when he embarked on camping adventures with his family of four using a pedicab. Notably, his unique mode of transportation quickly gained popularity among fellow campers, who were captivated by this innovative approach. Letarte recalls people eagerly approaching him, asking where they could acquire a pedicab of their own.
The Birth of a Business
In 2011, Letarte’s wife surprised him with a trip to New York for his birthday. During this memorable visit, he witnessed young children operating pedicabs, and it was then that he truly fell in love with these remarkable bikes. Inspired by this experience, Letarte established his own pedicab company in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, his hometown.
His venture initially focused on providing transportation services for the renowned Festivoix festival. However, Letarte quickly discovered that his pedicab service offered far more than just a ride. It became an unforgettable experience for his passengers, leaving them with cherished memories.
Determined to push the boundaries and explore new possibilities, Letarte stumbled upon Rad Power Bikes during an online search. The addition of electric assistance revolutionized his business endeavors, finally giving him the energy and stamina to keep going. “These bikes have opened up new horizons for me,” he happily proclaims. “I am no longer exhausted!”
Innovative Ideas Take Flight
One of Letarte’s breakthrough realizations following his adoption of the RadBurro was the establishment of Bibliovelo, a unique mobile bicycle library. The visionary concept came to him through Steve Bernier, who is now his business partner. Together, they embarked on a successful pilot for this groundbreaking program, realizing its immense potential.
Bibliovelo embraces accessibility, adaptivity, and education, bringing the library directly to the community. Letarte passionately explains how Bernier carries a range of books and board games on the RadBurro, effectively extending the services of the Municipal City Library to all free of charge.
Throughout the summer, the Bibliovelo will visit several parks across the city, making literature more accessible to community members who cannot easily travel to the main library. Children now have the wonderful opportunity to visit the mobile trike, grab a book, and enjoy a few hours of reading bliss while swaying on a park swing or relaxing under the cool shade of a tree.
Adaptable and Versatile: The RadBurro at its Finest
Letarte’s RadBurros exemplify adaptability and versatility. During the day, it serves as a mobile library, while in the evening, it gracefully transforms into a pedicab shuttle service. As we chatted, Letarte took a moment to rest in the back seat of his cab, explaining how he’s currently putting the bike to the test, determining its range on a single charge and identifying the best routes in the city.
Exciting new RadBurro projects are also on the horizon for Letarte. He plans to collaborate with a local elder-care facility, leveraging the bikes to enhance mobility and foster connection among older individuals. Additionally, Letarte is exploring the idea of utilizing his bikes as a water distribution vessel, enabling the public to refill their glasses and bottles rather than relying on single-use plastic alternatives.
Letarte’s enthusiasm for the RadBurro is contagious. “One of the things I love most about this bike is how it enables me to connect with people easily,” he exclaims. “I can utilize it in countless ways—the possibilities are truly endless!”
*Editor’s Note: The RadBurro commercial etrike mentioned in this article is no longer in production. We have now introduced a new consumer-friendly etrike, the RadTrike.