45 Years of Tahoe Pedal Power

By Kayla Anderson | Saturday, June 10, 2023

When it comes to two-wheel fun on the South Shore, one name quickly pops to mind: Anderson’s. At Anderson’s Bicycle Rental, the Anderson family has been helping people experience the joys of biking in South Lake Tahoe for 45 years.

What does it take to stay in business for close to a half-century?

In the case of this family-owned and -operated business, their friendly demeanor, energetic attitude and passion for helping others have fun have always been the key to success. They love what they do and it shows. Anderson’s has repeatedly been named Best Bike Rental Shop in local polls and is well-loved by locals and return visitors. More than 75 percent of their customers are repeats, many of whom are now bringing the second and third generations of their families in to experience some of the best casual biking around the lake.

Along with its longstanding history and reputation for providing great customer service, Anderson’s has an amazing location, and that contributes to its popularity.

South Lake Tahoe offers miles upon miles of paved bike trails along Lake Tahoe, making the entire area a two-wheel wonderland. The Anderson family loves to bike the trails near their shop, especially through the national forest to the beaches, and they look forward to sharing that experience with their guests every year. Anderson’s is the only bike rental business at the beginning of the National Forest Bicycle Trail, the 4-mile path that links to the Pope-Baldwin Bike Path and the beach. Its central location to the paved trails allows casual bicyclists access to local attractions without having to be on any busy streets or highways.

There are many sites and attractions along the trail from Anderson’s to the beaches, including Pope Beach – Camp Richardson Resort, Beacon Bar and Grill, Tallac Historic Site/Valhalla, dog-friendly Kiva Beach, Baldwin Beach, scenic walks and more.

“The historic site at Valhalla is amazing,” Sue says.

The Anderson’s team can also point people toward a special paved trail that leads to Fallen Leaf Lake without having to deal with traffic on the main road. 

A visit to Anderson’s rental shop on Emerald Bay Road usually starts with meeting matriarch Sue Anderson or her son-in-law Andy Kinard, both of whom offer warm, friendly service and helpful local knowledge to ensure that everyone has a great day biking the trails. They graciously and efficiently help everyone get their waivers signed and their bikes picked out and quickly pedal off to their daylong adventures. 

Anderson’s maintains 350 bikes, the largest fleet on the South Shore. They have tricycles, tandems, mountain bikes, comfort bikes, trailers for kids and pedal-assist e-bikes. They can accommodate any age and ability. Sue says Anderson’s oldest customer was 103 years old. The paved bike trail by the shop is nice and flat (except for a couple of small hills), making it bikeable for everyone, even centenarians.

Anderson’s is very much focused on their customers’ safety as well, offering safety equipment with rentals and keeping their fleet of bikes well-maintained.

“We take care of people,” Sue says. 

From her big, welcoming smile and engaging personality, you can tell that it’s something that just comes naturally to her. Everyone enjoys being treated like family at Anderson’s Bicycle Rental, even if you do not share the namesake. 

Sue’s late husband, Doug Anderson, and his parents started the business in 1978. Back then it was Anderson’s Bicycle Rental and Skates (as in roller skates; yes, it was the ‘70s). Doug ran the business from 1993 to 2014 until his passing in 2014, which is when Sue and her kids, 24-year-old Bailey and 22-year-old Danny, took it over. Anderson’s manages about 15 employees, most of whom are friends of Bailey and Danny.

“I’ve known all of these kids since they were in car seats, since preschool,” Sue says with a smile. 

Sue is hoping that her daughter Bailey and son-in-law Andy will take over the business and down the line maybe have some kids of their own to keep Anderson’s going for years to come.

“We’re shooting for 100 years,” Sue says. 

(530) 541-0500
645 Emerald Bay Road, South Lake Tahoe

About the Author Kayla Anderson
Kayla Anderson is a North Lake Tahoe-based freelance writer who regularly contributes to the Sparks Tribune, Tahoe Weekly and Tahoe.com Magazine.