Obnoxious 'Pedal Pub' Tips Over In Minneapolis, Injures 10

pub pedal.jpg

Drink Beer. Pedal a giant, approximately 1,000-pound “bike.” That’s the premise of the Pedal Pub, a roving bar that partiers rent by the hour to imbibe while seeing city sights.

On Thursday, on a street in downtown Minneapolis, one of these monstrosities tipped over. It took a turn too fast and crashed. Amazingly, the Minneapolis Police Department said alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash.

Seriously? Isn’t alcohol the only real thing involved here?

pedal pub crash.jpg

Crash scene in Minneapolis

Since it launched in 2009, Minneapolis Pedal Pubs have rolled around the city leaving drivers, pedestrians, and city bikers bewildered and bemused. Granted, people have fun on the beer carts, where each rider is required to pedal.

A sober “pilot” steers on tours that last two hours or more. They rent for $385.

Mostly, the Pedal Pub is harmless. Thursday’s tip-over was a rare and unfortunate exception. Ten people were injured, and two had to be evacuated by ambulance to a nearby hospital, their condition unknown.

The company makes each rider sign a waiver. It states: “I understand that participating on the PedalPub is a potentially dangerous activity. I assume the risk that I may be injured and/or injure someone else while using the PedalPub.”

To me, the Pedal Pub just seems like a bad idea. Putting beer-drinking “pedalers” on city streets, in traffic, shouting and tipping back mugs as commuters, busses, and other bikers pass by… is this truly smart?

New laws were passed last spring in Minnesota to add regulation to Pedal Pub procedures. There is a vocal opposition to the pubs in the community, notably a group called “I Hate The Pedal Pub.”

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Yard sign in Minneapolis

Litter and noise are among the complaints. They get in the way of traffic and block bike lanes.

In the end, the pubs also give city cyclists a weird large cousin and a bad face. Drivers already not thrilled to share the road with bikers are only going to get angrier if a giant “bike” filled with beer drinkers is blocking intersections and getting in the way.

We wish the riders in this week’s crash a speedy recovery. The Pedal Pub needs to slow down on those curves. Maybe it should pull over and stayed parked permanently on the side of the road.

—Stephen Regenold

Posted by Mike - 08/16/2013 09:46 AM

Take your hearing aids out and go back to bed old man.

The SOBER driver – as you clearly stated in your article – is the one steering and controlling the speed of these pedal pubs – so its likely alcohol was not a factor.

Posted by Mike VanArsdale - 08/16/2013 03:23 PM

I have been on this thing a few times with various groups of people and had a blast. I also have lived in the city and commute by bike out to the burbs for work and have never run into an issue with a pedal pub getting in my way whether I am in a car or on a bike. Seems like you are pretty one sided on the topic and show your personal dislike for this activity. To each his own, but there are plenty of people out at the bars all the time who ride their bikes home (myself occasionally included) and are putting themselves and those around them at much greater risk than these rebel rousers on a pedal pub in the middle of the day. And lets be honest, if you are living on one of the routes that these things go down a pedal pub is not the loudest thing you hear…

Posted by Sean - 08/17/2013 12:15 PM

Buddy, you should probably do at least a little bit of homework before you write an article… you should know that people don’t actually drink beer while they’re on the pedal pub – it’s simply a pub crawl transportation system. People only drink when you’re at the bars that they go to. This crash has about as much to do with its passengers as a limo crash would. My advice: try it yourself, then you’ll have some credibility.

Posted by Noel - 08/27/2013 05:38 PM

Yes, very bias article. The driver was most likely sober and was working with the company itself. I don’t see people banning mini bar in limosine. Or are you telling me that the drinks in a limo are just there for decoration?

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