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It's Loco Motion: Pedal Pub debuts in Uptown and considers a "Foodie Tour"
(When, in the course of human history . . . it becomes necessary for ordinary citizens . . . to have the courage . . . to rise up . . . in the name of civic duty . . . and absolve themselves of personal luxury . . . and make corporeal sacrifices . . . to cover a story in the line of duty . . . those citizens . . . must take a Pedal Pub tour . . . and write about it)
As we pull out of the Nicollet Avenue garage on Eat Street, our driver Lisa Staplin of the Kenwood neighborhood begins rattling off a long list of ‘Don’t let me catch you doing this...’ type of statements that sounds like she should be wearing drill boots and have a whistle in her mouth.
“No cussing at passersby (I didn’t ask but I think you can still cuss at your fellow riders on the Pedal Pub), no glass, no hard alcohol (just beer and wine), no one under the age of 18, no booze on board unless everyone is age 21, no one over 300 lbs. pedaling, no nakedness (you must wear at least public beach attire), no exiting the vehicle until it comes to a complete stop, no taking your drink with you if you exit the vehicle and we only wave at people with all five fingers.” Her list didn’t end there but it should have because what followed was the kind of detail you would give a three-year-old in potty training like “we don’t urinate on the floor of the bathroom...or...floor of the restaurant.”
The Peddle Pub which debuted in the U.S. in the Twin Cities in April 2007, is a 2,340 pound mostly Volkswagen-part built human powered bicycle bar. Al Boyce and Eric Olson the owners, came up with the business model after they saw the vehicle built by Het Fietscafe of Holland, owned by two Danish brothers, Henk and Zwier Van. The newest addition to the Twin Cities line, the two-hour “Eat Street Tour” begins at 26th Street and Nicollet Avenue, (where their garage is) and includes Uptown.
The Pub seats 16 plus a driver but only 10 seats have pedals. And in case you haven’t guessed it already, there is no backup power – an often shocking surprise to new customers. The car battery bolted to the chassis is only used for the nighttime running lights and the ipod-enabled stereo. Most customers either use coolers behind the bar or hook up a keg just below the bar mounted tap.
When you put it all together the whole operation is greater than the sum of its parts. This Pub is just asking to be ridden on a warm summer night with music playing, liquids flowing and your senses alive. And if you choose, you can call, text or even smoke because those are all legal in this Pub that the City classifies as a “Slow Moving Vehicle.” It rarely travels over five miles per hour. It has all of the perks of bike touring without all of the side affects: like potholes, gravel, broken glass, distracted drivers and severe weather – well, maybe not that last one. When I asked Olson about severe weather protocol he responded as if on cue. “If you get struck by lightning, God wanted you!”
So I’m guessing God hasn’t wanted any of his customers just yet. After 4,000 tours and 60,000 riders, Eric claims zero accidents or fatalities in five years.
The next step for the company is what they’re dubbing a “Foodie Tour.” Along with the usual bar stops, the tour would include restaurants willing to whip up a small plate that would be delivered directly to the Pub outside. This would serve two functions. First, it would save the restaurant from losing valuable seating during busy hours, and second, it would save riders more time so they could spend it drinking...in the sights and sounds of the Uptown scene.
More info at www.pedalpub.com.
© 2012 Uptown Neighborhood News