A party bike, pedal crawler, pedibus, cycle pub, beer bike, or bierbike is a multi-passenger human powered vehicle. A party bike is sometimes mistaken for a larger scale version of a pedicab, but it is not since the party bike is powered by the passengers while the steering and braking is controlled by the driver who does not provide pedaling power. Some also double as rolling refreshment stands. Human-powered party bikes have been in use for decades and have grown into several families of vehicles for a variety of purposes, including tourist rentals and private touring. They are not used as pedal taxis or pedicabs since the driver provides no power to the party bike and cannot pick up “fares” in the customary sense. They are often available at tourist attractions where they are rented by the hour or day and often serve as a rolling refreshment stand. When used in conjunction with alcohol, the driver is usually hired with the party bike.
A modern tourist party bike usually features open seating for eight or more riders in a sociable configuration. These vehicles are often designed to look like early 20th century trolley cars and have side seating for the pedalers, a bench seat in the rear, rack-and-pinion steering, and a canopy top. Only a few manufacturers offer an electric assist motor to aid the riders on hilly terrain. Modern party bikes are typically fifteen to twenty feet long, seven feet wide and eight feet tall. Because they are driven on municipal streets, some manufacturers include headlights, tail lights and turn signals, as well as lighting for use at night.
These pubs-on-wheels have become popular in the United States, as well as Germany and other European countries. Some party bikes can have up to 12 cycling passengers, three non-cycling passengers, bar tenders and a driver. In many European municipalities, it is legal to consume alcohol while pedaling or riding on the party bike, provided the driver is not imbibing. However, strict state-based open container laws in the United States prevent most party bike passengers from consuming alcohol while on board except in certain municipalities. In some locations, the driver is required to have a chauffeur's driver's license to operate on public streets. Generally, a company or individual will own the party bike and rent it out to the public for tours. The party bike is often associated with the micro beer tourism industry. It can be seen used by corporations for team building and retreat activities, groups such as wedding parties, birthday parties, coffee drinkers, exercise groups and sight seers.
Accidents and Incidents
On August 15, 2013, in downtown Minneapolis, a full party bike operated by a large beer bike company, tipped onto its right side while taking a turn after coming down a slight grade. Two of the riders were taken to the hospital by ambulance. A police spokesperson stated that "Alcohol does not appear to be a factor." Earlier in the year, the city had entertained introducing new regulations and licensing for party bikes."
Also in downtown Minneapolis, in 2011 a full party bike was briefly "attacked" by a large mob of youth, with no injuries and only a Blackberry stolen.
Party bikes around the world
Party bike taken at night in Arizona
Seen in action on London Bridge
The PedalPub in Minneapolis
A beer bike in Berlin
Dublin Pedi Bus in Dublin
A 'LimoBike' in Amsterdam
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- "It's a pub its a bike". blogaboutbeer.com. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
- "The Pedal Crawler". pedalcrawler.com. Retrieved 2013-02-09.
- "The party bike". thepartybike.com. Retrieved 2011-03-26.
- United States open container laws Retrieved 13 December 2012
- The Cycle Pub is Alive! Retrieved 26 March 2011
- Celebrate Your Birthday On This Party Bike Retrieved 31 March 2011
- 07 March 2011 OMG: It's A Bicycle--That's Also A Bar! Retrieved 26 March 2011
- 2 taken to hospital after pedal pub tips over in downtown Minneapolis Retrieved 12 February 2014
- Minneapolis considers new rules for 'pedal pubs' Retrieved 12 February 2014
- Flash mob of at least 25 attacks the Pedal Pub Retrieved 12 February 2014