With a wide assortment of adventures, we list the most common questions below in sections. We start with electric bikes, followed by kayaking and camping. We are always happy to engage in a conversation so please feel free to contact us if you prefer or if we didn’t address your question below.
What is an e-bike?
An e-bike is similar to a regular bicycle with pedals and gears, however these bikes have on-demand electric motors to assist the rider to climb hills, ride further or to ride with less effort. They are amazing tools useful to anyone or any business looking to reduce their transportation costs. Plus they are loads of fun for everyone. Experienced cyclists can “dial” their ride; novices can use them to get over the hump of getting back on the bike; and businesses can use them to decrease their fleet costs and carbon footprint. Fun Fact: an e-bike is one of the most fuel-efficient modes of transportation, paralleled only by modern trains. In our experience, one dollar of electricity can power an e-bike to travel more than 400 miles!
Are helmets included?
YES – helmets are included. As with all the activities provided by Vashon Adventures, safety equipment is part of the rental costs. We keep em clean, but helmet liners are available for sale if you prefer. You may also bring your own helmet.
Are e-bikes safe?
Riding an e-bike is as safe as riding a regular bike and we have carefully chosen our fleet bikes to maximize the safety margin. Our bikes are Class I e-bikes meaning they provide pedal driven power assistance up to 20 miles per hour, have hydraulic disc brakes, fenders, headlights and tail lights.
What are the Washintgon state regulations on ebikes?
How many miles will I be able to go on a single charge?
All of our bikes use a top-of-the-line Bosch electric drive system offering superior quality, efficiency and range. For a single rider on our Riese and Mueller Nevo fleet bikes on our VERY hilly island, we are finding most users are getting 40 – 70 miles per charge. For riders using our cargo bikes and transporting more weight (people, pets, plywood, etc) the range is typically 20 – 35 miles. In short, we have found that these batteries last longer than most folks can or want to ride in a single day.
Can I ride an e-bike in the rain?
YES – one of the reasons we chose the Bosch electric drive systems is that they have superior build quality including weather resistance. In fact, they adopted their electric motor design from the power steering system they supply to Mercedes Benz. We find they are far more tolerant of raindrops than most riders. PLUS nearly all of our fleet bikes use the amazing Gates belt drive system https://www.gatescarbondrive.com/ and the Nuvinci continuously variable gearing https://www.fallbrooktech.com/nuvinci-technology therefore there are no chains or gears to worry about.
Are e-bikes easy to ride?
YES – Anyone familiar with riding a bike will find the bikes easy to use. The gearing is controlled by a grip shifter on the right handlebar and the power assist is controlled by a easy-to-use controller on the left handle bar. The Bosch electric drive system is one of the most intuitive in the market; it rides like a normal bike but pushes you along with ease. We recommend a parking lot test ride for anyone who feels nervous about trying one.
Do your bikes have a throttle control?
NO – all of our bikes are pedal-assist meaning you must turn the pedals to receive assistance from the motor. Dividing the load makes for a far more efficient system but you can still blow up the biggest hills without breaking a sweat.
What kind of kayaks do you have for rent?
We offer a variety of kayaks, mostly from the US manufacturer, Current Designs https://www.cdkayak.com/, the last manufacturer of poly kayaks in North America making some of the highest quality kayaks in the world. Our fleet of single kayaks provides options for users at every skill level ranging from sea touring kayaks (16.5 – 18 feet in length) to recreational kayaks (ranging from 14 – 16 feet in length) to sit-on-top kayaks. We also have a large fleet of tandem kayaks in both glass and poly and even the Big Dog, our triple kayak from Northwest Kayaks http://www.nwkayaks.com/.
What kind of paddleboards do you have for rent?
We have a fleet of all-purpose boards ranging from 10 – 12 feet in length from Amundson https://www.amundsonsup.com/ and high quality inflatable SUPs by Badfish https://badfishsup.com . PFDs are required while paddling in all US Coast Guard Inland Waterways including all of the Puget Sound.
Is Safety Gear included?
YES – as with all activities offered by Vashon Adventures safety is our number one focus. Personal flotation devices (PFDs aka. life jackets), bilge pumps, paddle floats and skirts are all offered as part of your kayak rental and SUP users have waist belt PFDs .
Are there options that are safe for novice paddlers?
The Jensen Point Boathouseis located inside Quartermaster Harbor between Vashon and Maury Islands. This 5+ mile long, well protected bay offers paddling that is suitable for novices and families. The bay temperatures are also typically warmer than the surrounding Puget Sound waters. That said, as with all kayaking, you should carefully consider the weather and your abilities when entering the water. In order to protect our guests, our hourly rentals are not available when small craft advisories have been issued and our staff reserves the right to close operations when conditions appear unsafe or to refuse service to individuals if their skill level is not adequate for the conditions.
The Puget Sound waters Surrounding Vashon Island are deep and cold with an annual water temperature of 45 – 55 degrees Fahrenheit (7 – 13 degrees Celsius). Death from hypothermia is a serious concernin these waters and the ability to roll or re-enter the boat is required to avoid exposure. Our guides are trained in self and assisted rescues and can help you get back in the kayak. If you find yourself in the water, you should remain calm and listen carefully to their instructions. It is important to save your energy to execute the best rescue for the conditions and not thrash unnecessarily. The currents are generally less than three knots flowing north with the drain (high to low tide change) and south with the flood (low to high tide change). Generally speaking, winds from the north or south result in more substantial wind driven waves than winds from the east or west, however trip planning should carefully consider all wind conditions and the direction of travel. If you are looking to paddle these waters without a guide, we strongly recommend you carefully consider if your knowledge and skills are adequate for the weather conditions, forecast and water temperatures. Our staff reserves the right to close or cancel operations when conditions appear unsafe or to refuse service to individuals if their skill level does not seem adequate for the conditions.
The Puget Sound Waters surrounding Blake Island are deep and cold with an annual water temperature of 45 – 55 degrees Fahrenheit (7 – 13 degrees Celsius). Death from hypothermia is a serious concernin these waters and the ability to roll or re-enter the boat is required to avoid exposure. Our guides are trained in self and assisted rescues and can help you get back in the kayak. If you find yourself in the water, you should remain calm and listen carefully to their instructions. It is important to save your energy to execute the best rescue for the conditions and not thrash unnecessarily. The currents are generally less than three knots flowing north with the drain (high to low tide change) and south with the flood (low to high tide change). The island is exposed to weather from all directions and substantial wind driven waves can be expected from all directions. For this reason, this location offers only tandem kayaks. If you are looking to paddle these waters without a guide, we strongly recommend you carefully consider if your knowledge and skills are adequate for the weather conditions, forecast and water temperatures. Our staff reserves the right to close or cancel operations when conditions appear unsafe or to refuse service to individuals if their skill level does not seem adequate for the conditions.
Weather and Trip Advice - We recommend you take the time to familiarize yourself with local water and weather patterns. Many of our staff have a great deal of paddling experience in these waters and can provide some recommendations HOWEVER trip selection, weather preparation and preparedness are your responsibility. When in doubt, bail out.
National Weather Service
Are wetsuits or drysuits needed or provided?
We have a limited number of short wet suits that can be provided upon request. Generally speaking, Quatermaster Harbor waters are warmer and a wetsuit is not required.
What should I wear?
All of our locations require you to launch and retrieve a kayak from the beach meaning you will need to enter the water up to your knees. Many of the beaches have barnacles or other sharp hazards and we recommend you wear shoes appropriate for water exposure. All other clothing should be tolerant of water exposure and appropriate for the weather conditions. Remember the wind is blowing over generally cold water so a light jacket is often a good idea.
Can I drive in to my campsite?
No – The campsites at Maury Island Marine Park are walk-in only. The campsites are a 0.6 mile walk from the parking lot down a county-maintained gravel road. It is about a 200-foot elevation loss going from the parking lot to the camp ground (when your pack is full); the good news is that you will have lightened your load by eating and drinking when you make the 200 foot climb back up.
Are there restrooms available and do they have potable water?
Multiple port-a-potties are available and maintained by King County, there is no potable water available.
Are campfires allowed?
Due to the fire hazards, no campfires or beach fires are allowed in the park. Personal cooking stoves may be used.
Can I bring my pet?
YES – Pets are allowed, please follow all of the county park rules regarding leashes and be aware that there are often horses in the area.
Do campsites have picnic tables?
There are not picnic tables in each site however there is one picnic table that is shared and a shelter area containing several tables near the camp sites.
If we didn’t answer your question, please send us an email or give us a call at 206.259.3978