Heidi Pinte - Rijwielen Heidi Pinte

In 1933, her grandfather hired out his own bike, in 1973 her parents opened a go-cart hire business and in 2014, Heidi Pinte took over the helm. Meanwhile, her sons are also doing their bit. ‘I’d be delighted if they want to take over the business one day, but if they’d rather not, I’ll be just as happy.’

I have been living by the sea all my life but haven’t set foot on the beach in twenty years. During summertime I am busy with my go-carts and don’t have the time. During the winter months, I can’t face the inclement weather. At that, I get to see enough sand around here because I’m sweeping it up every day. As a child, I used to help my parents in the business. Every free moment I used to lend a helping hand. When the sun was out, the focus was on go-cart hire. When it rained, I was on duty in the amusement park or the pool rooms. We were geared for whatever the weather threw at us.

When I left school, I could officially start working for my parents. And when they retired I took over the business. That was not a given. As a teenager I never even thought it would actually be an option. But the older I got, the more I toyed with the idea. On hindsight, it was the logical thing to do; quite a few members of my family are in the business. My brother works for a go-cart hirer in Nieuwpoort and De Panne and my uncle runs his own business in Koksijde.

As far back as 1933, my grandfather hired out his own bike. Eventually, he bought a few more bikes and go-carts to expand his offer. At that, he let storage for the Canadian tents tourists came to the seaside with and supplied campers with gas. He used to meet people at the tram stop with a large cart to load up and transport their gear.

And to crown it all, he started making his own cuisse-tax.

I still have some carts he made and still hire them out. They are bigger carts that can accommodate four to eight people.

My favourite go-cart is a tiny single-seater my father used to pedal.

An old model that is not produced any more but really cute. I also make my own go-carts, it’s something I learned from my parents and now I am teaching my sons the tricks of the trade. The eldest is 15 and will soon start working as a part-timer here. That way, he’ll really become a master of the craft. My sons spent hours in the business with me. Sometimes they would go to the park to kick a ball around with friends or race around in a go-cart. They spent so much time in go-carts that they’ve had their fill of them. I’d be delighted if they want to take over the business one day, but if they prefer to put their energy into something else, I’ll be just as happy. They must follow their heart and do what they enjoy doing. That’s what I do too.

Rijwielen Heidi Pinte - Kapelstraat 52, 8450 Bredene, +32 (0)59/ 44 65 26

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