Party bike

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Beercycle Christchurch New Zealand

A party bike, Beercycle, fietscafé, bierfiets, pedal crawler, pedal pub, beer bike, bar bike, pedal bar or bierbike is a multi-passenger human powered vehicle, invented in 1997 by Het Fietscafe BV from the Netherlands.[1] 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 a driver who does not provide pedaling power. Some also double as rolling refreshment stands.[2] [3] 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.[4] Party bikes are often used for staff parties and bachelor or bachelorette parties.They are often available at tourist attractions where they are rented by the hour or day and often serve as a rolling refreshment stand.[2] When used in conjunction with alcohol, a party bike usually is hired with a driver.


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. A few manufacturers offer an electric assist motor to aid the riders on hilly terrain.[5][6] 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 have headlights, tail lights, and turn signals, as well as lighting for use at night.[5][6]

Serving beer

These pubs-on-wheels have become popular in the United States, as well as the Netherlands, Germany and France.[3] Some party bikes can have up to 16 cycling passengers, three non-cycling passengers, bar tenders and a driver.[4][5][6] 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.[7] 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.[8] It can be seen used by corporations for team building and retreat activities, groups such as wedding parties, birthday parties,[9] coffee drinkers, exercise groups, and sightseers.[10]

Accidents and incidents

In 2011 in downtown Minneapolis, a full party bike was briefly "attacked" by a large mob of youth, with no injuries and only a BlackBerry phone stolen.[11]

On August 15, 2013, in downtown Minneapolis, a full party bike operated by a large beer bike company, tipped onto its right side. Two of the riders were taken to the hospital by ambulance. A police spokesperson stated that "Alcohol does not appear to be a factor."[12] Earlier in the year, the city had entertained introducing new regulations and licensing for party bikes."[13]

On May 23, 2015, in downtown Minneapolis, six people were arrested after they pelted a party bike with water balloons and used squirt guns, after a series of organized attacks on two previous party bikes. The riders of the pub and an off duty police officer helped hold the attackers down until other police arrived. The suspects were booked on suspicion of offenses including terroristic threats, fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct, and released on bail. One of those arrested accused the off-duty officers of using excessive force[14]

A month later, on June 24, 2015, 12 people were injured, three seriously when a car rear-ended a party bike on a bridge in Minneapolis. The suspect was jailed on suspicion of drunken driving and felony criminal vehicular operation causing injury. It was the first collision with a car by a party bike operated by this Minneapolis company, after more than 11,000 tours in nine years in the city.[15]

Problems with noise and traffic jams has led to a ban on beer bikes in the centre of Amsterdam from the end of 2017.[16]


See also


  1. ^ Hearst, Michael (2021-05-18). Unconventional Vehicles: Forty-Five of the Strangest Cars, Trains, Planes, Submersibles, Dirigibles, and Rockets EVER. Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-1-4521-7306-1.
  2. ^ a b "A ten person free-wheelin' fiesta". Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  3. ^ a b "Balades insolites à vélo dans Paris". Retrieved 2019-06-03.
  4. ^ a b "It's a pub its a bike". Retrieved 2011-04-20.
  5. ^ a b c "The Pedal Crawler". Retrieved 2013-02-09.
  6. ^ a b c "The party bike". Retrieved 2011-03-26.
  7. ^ United States open container laws Retrieved 13 December 2012
  8. ^ The Cycle Pub is Alive! Retrieved 26 March 2011
  9. ^ Celebrate Your Birthday On This Party Bike Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 31 March 2011
  10. ^ 07 March 2011 OMG: It's A Bicycle--That's Also A Bar! Retrieved 26 March 2011
  11. ^ Flash mob of at least 25 attacks the Pedal Pub Retrieved 12 February 2014
  12. ^ 2 taken to hospital after pedal pub tips over in downtown Minneapolis Retrieved 12 February 2014
  13. ^ Minneapolis considers new rules for 'pedal pubs' Retrieved 12 February 2014
  14. ^ Chapman, Reg. "6 Arrested Following Attack On Pedal Pub". 6 Arrested Following Attack On Party Bike « CBS Minnesota. CBS Local Media. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Driver arrested on suspicion of DWI in Party Bike crash". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved 26 June 2015.