A pub Crawl, a spin class and a karaoke group walk into a bar… Hands down one of the best things I came across when I travelled Europe last year was their awesome half bike/half table contraption that rode around the streets of some cities. […]Continue Reading
Pedal Pubs offer thigh-burning, smile-making tours of Calgary breweries
Party bikes mark another summer in Calgary with a second entry into the market.
Pedal Pubs, which launched on Friday, takes Calgarians on brewery tours in the Barley Belt and the Brewery Flats on 15-person group bikes.
“To see the 65-year-old lady on 12th Street smiling as we ride by, that’s what we get up for,” says Dave Skabar, the co-founder of Pedal Pub Canada West.
Party bikes were invented in the Netherlands in 1997 and have since spread to hip American cities like Nashville and Portland, where parties of 15 people tour hotspots on the music-blasting group bikes. Party bikes came to Calgary last year with the launch of Urban Pedal Tours, a company based out of Edmonton. Canadian Craft Tours also offers similar bike tours of Calgary breweries. Pedal Pubs bikes are built in Amsterdam by the company which first invented the attention-grabbing group tours.
“We’re all about showcasing the cool neighbourhoods and the cool breweries,” says Skabar. “We want to refresh the way people see their city.”
The company’s first tour Friday launched from Pedal Pub’s headquarters in Inglewood and took participants to Cold Garden, Eighty Eight Brewing Co. and Dandy Brewing Co. over two hours. The bike features 10 pedal seats and space for 15 passengers, as well as a driver, who steers, signals, and shouts encouragement at the participants. The bike’s top speed is around 10 km/h with everyone pedalling, which means other vehicles need to pull around the apparatus as it completes its tour. Despite the slow-moving vehicle, drivers smiled, honked and waved as they passed by the music-thumping group of pedallers.
“The bike embodies everything that I am,” says Skabar, “a big, attention-seeking, smile-maker.”
Pedal Pubs will open the season operating three bikes in Calgary, with the potential to add more if there is demand. Tours currently operate Wednesday to Sunday starting at 11 a.m. with the last tour departing at 7 p.m. The bikes also feature non-operating taps; the company is in discussions with the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission about serving beer on the bikes themselves. Skabar says that they are currently unclassified when it comes to serving alcohol aboard the party bikes.
“You won’t find anything about a 15-person pedal-powered patio” in the AGLC rules, he says.
In the meantime, the people-powered party on wheels offers smile-making, thigh-burning tours for Calgarians to see the city’s blooming craft brewery scene.
“Our mantra is we pedal happiness,” says Skabar.
Visit Calgary Herald to view this article directly.
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