Charity Millar’s three-seater e-bike gives her and her two small children an environmentally conscious way to get around Vancouver Island. But when it comes to grabbing food on the go, not everything is equal between car and bike users.

When Millar packed up the family for a bike ride to Colwood this week, she was in full-on negotiation mode. Her toddler, August, was scared of the prospect of needles -- not a good sign considering that the purpose of the trip was to get him immunized.

But Millar had a plan.

“August is three and he was really concerned about the immunization, so I said, ‘You know what, bud?’ I knew that there was a Tim Hortons drive-thru over there and I was like, ‘I'll grab you a doughnut after,’” she told CTV Vancouver Island.

Soothed by the promise of sugar, August agreed to get his shots. Afterwards, they biked to the Tim Hortons and into the empty drive-thru. That’s when the plan started to go awry.

“Somebody over the speaker (in the drive-thru) just said, “Oh, we can't serve bikes through the drive-thru,” Millar said. “And I just asked why, and they said ‘Oh, you're not a motorized vehicle.’”

Except Millar’s bike does have a motor and a battery. And locking up the bike and going inside the restaurant isn’t as quick for her as it might be for someone who doesn’t have to unbuckle two small children and help them down.

In a statement, Tim Hortons explained to CTV Vancouver that the issue is more about safety when it comes to bikes, and clarified that they only serve licensed motor vehicles.

“Our drive-thru policy states that only vehicles licensed under the relevant motor vehicle legislation can be served at the drive-thru windows at Tim Hortons restaurants,” the statement reads. “Licensed motor vehicles include cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles.”

The solution could be to accept that being eco-friendly might mean a bit of hassle when grabbing fast food -- or it appears would-be customers could try their luck at another Tim Hortons location.

CTV Vancouver’s Jordan Cunningham borrowed Millar’s e-bike for a test run at a different Tim Hortons. The result? One box of Timbits, successfully ordered in the drive-thru.

But Millar said, for her, it’s not really about the doughnuts.

“I just love getting where I'm going in an active, healthy and sustainable way,” she said.

With a report from CTV Vancouver