New service with bikes that ride the rails starting in Boone

Iowans will soon be able to ride the rails on what are known as “railbikes,” which resemble steel-framed go-carts that you pedal on railroad tracks with a battery assist like electric bicycles.

Mary Joy Lu is CEO of Rail Explorers which is launching service in Boone this month. Lu says railbike riders will start at the historic Boone Depot, pedaling across farmland into the Des Moines River valley.

“We’re allowing an hour-and-a-half to two hours depending on how long people are staying out there,” Lu says. “I think with the motors, it makes pedaling effortless so people of all ages and ability really aren’t going to be troubled, so that everyone will be able to travel at a pretty constant, consistent speed.”

Rail Explorers is partnering with the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad and anyone who’s taken the Boone Dinner Train will be familiar with the stretch of track as it’s the same course.