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Tributes paid to ‘courageous businessman and pioneering entrepreneur’

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St George’s entrepreneur Michael Paynter, who has died at the age of 36 (File photograph)

St George’s is mourning the loss of a young tourism and transport entrepreneur, with the Mayor, George Dowling III, paying tribute to Michael Paynter, 36, who died last week.

Mr Paynter was a founder of Pedego Bermuda at Penno’s Drive in St George’s.

He also launched a bicycle touring service that he ran with business partner Luke Lindo.

Electric bicycles brought visitors to the island out on e-tours that Mr Paynter extolled as safer for tourists and environmentally friendly compared with gas-powered bikes.

Mr Dowling said yesterday that he was “deeply saddened to hear of his passing”.

“I would call him a courageous businessman and a pioneering entrepreneur in the realm of electric bikes.”

The mayor hailed him as “a warm individual who participated to help elevate St George’s as a very engaging member of the town”.

He added: “The Town of St George is poorer with his loss.

“I am thankful for the vibrancy that he brought to the town while he was here with his colourful tours and also experiences developed with other stakeholders. Michael created such a powerful positive impact in such a short time.”

He gave his condolences to Mr Paynter’s “family, friends and associates”.

Michael Paynter (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Mr Paynter spent years building what became e-tours after noticing bikes offered for credit-card rental overseas.

He and Mr Lindo won the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation’s annual Rocket Pitch competition for emerging small businesses in 2018 and started e-Tour Adventures, which offered pedal cycles as well as e-bikes.

Mr Paynter later teamed up with the California-based Pedego to launch his business.

Kristin White, the owner of the gift store and tour centre Long Story Short, said she had brainstormed with Mr Paynter on visitor experiences for the Old Town.

In a post online, Ms White said her shop stood just three minutes from Mr Paynter’s and that he was someone who had become “a regular facet of your daily life — just a part of the fabric”.

She said she had been reluctant to try the e-bikes but ended up “hooked” after Mr Paynter persuaded her to give them a spin.

Ms White said she now owned an e-bike, adding: “Michael always joked about that, how he got me to abandon my traditional bikes.”

She said the two had spoken regularly about their ideas and business plans, which marked their last conversation.

“The week between Christmas and new year, we stood on the porch after a tour and talked about 2023 and all we hoped to achieve.”

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Published January 11, 2023 at 7:58 am (Updated January 11, 2023 at 10:29 am)

Tributes paid to ‘courageous businessman and pioneering entrepreneur’

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