Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pedaling while you drink

At last! A mobile bar that allows you to pedal your way around a city while drinking beer with your buddies! Now that's an invention I can sit down in.

According to a recent NY Times article, this invention started in Amsterdam and has taken off from there, showing up in many cities in Europe and America. 12 riders belly up to a bar, start pedaling and drinking. Some of the organizers ensure that one of their (non-drinking) employees do the steering. Others don't!

The US cities that have some are surprisingly hilly, like Portland OR. Their legality is always in flux.

Fun quotes from the article:
“It kind of inspires a sense of silliness,” said Luke Roberson, based in London, who built his first Pedibus, a beer-bike-type vehicle that sometimes also serves champagne, in 2008. Once, he said, a group of actors in a London tomb-themed haunted house spotted the passing bike. In full ghoul costume, they gave chase and boarded. Another time, the police pulled a tour over, asked for a card and booked one the next day.

"Everybody needs to pedal,” Mr. Karsten barked, as the bike began to move forward, merging into street traffic. “Don’t give beer to locals. Don’t slow down. Don’t scream and shout.” He looked around as the Parisians lighted cigarettes. “And stop smoking! It’s bad for your health.”

Bart Sallets, who started running beer bike tours in Belgium in 2007, said that while “of course, getting drunk together is a very nice way to bond,” things can occasionally get out of hand. Like the time a middle-aged, kilt-wearing Belgian almost set his bike on fire during his bachelor party. When the police arrested the groom-to-be, everyone else ran away, leaving the tour guide stranded with the bike, which is too heavy for one person to move.

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