The Pedal and Cup has been operating for 14 years in a former railroad depot along the White River Trail in Springfield. (Submitted photo)

Pedal and Cup offers bicycles, refreshments in old train depot

By Vicky Wedig

Staff Writer

The idea for a bike-rental and coffee shop in the Town of Springfield was kick started when a Walworth County representative approached Tim and Karen Schinke about cutting through their property to create the White River Trail.

Tim Schinke’s family had owned the train depot in Springfield for many years, said his wife, Karen Schinke. The depot is actually the township’s second. The first, built in 1885, burned in 1910, and the existing depot was built to replace it in 1911, Schinke said.

When passenger train service stopped running through the area in the mid 1960s or earlier, Schinke’s family decided to use the depot as office space for its neighboring businesses – a feed mill, lumber yard and hardware store for area farmers, Karen Schinke said.

The Schinke family moved the depot from its previous location across the street to where it now sits.

When the county decided to turn the former railroad bed into a recreation trail, a county representative approached the Schinkes for permission to cross over their property, Schinke said.

“As we were walking around the old depot, he said, ‘This would be a great place for bike rentals,’” she said.

Since no bike-rental shops existing along the 11-mile trail that runs from Elkhorn to Burlington, the Schinkes ran with the idea. Pedal and Cup opened a year later and is now in its 14th year of operation.

Initially, the Schinkes planned to only rent bikes but then decided to offer soda and beverages for thirsty bikers. Then a friend who owns a popcorn company in Burlington suggested popcorn and snacks to go with the soda and beverages, Schinke said.

To serve snacks, the shop was required to have a kitchen, she said, so the food and beverage portion of the business expanded.

Pedal and Cup now serves sandwiches, ice cream, soda, smoothies, coffee, espresso and lattes. It has a gift shop with merchandise from area vendors and remains the only bike-rental shop along the trail, Schinke said.

It has about 50 bicycles that rent for $7 an hour, she said. Bike rentals make up about 40 percent of the shop’s business, but White River Trail users make up about 80 percent of the store’s clientele, Schinke said.

Pedal and Cup, 1722 Highway 120, is open weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

 
 

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