A few weeks ago I spent the weekend in Nashville for the bachelorette party for one of my best friends from college. One of the activities that was high on everyone’s list was doing a Pedal Tavern! I had never done a Pedal Tavern before but a few of my friends have in various other cities and said it was an awesome time. Our group had a awesome time on our Pedal Tavern and I definitely recommended it for bachelor/bachelorette parties or any other kind of group party you might be having.
History of the Pedal Tavern
Human-powered bikes have been in use for many decades, but the concept of merging a human power-bike with alcohol is a relatively new invention. The Pedal Tavern (or party bike as it is also sometimes called) was actually invented in 1997 by a man from the Netherlands. A Pedal Tavern is not to be confused with its cousin the pedi-cab. A pedal tavern is powered completely by its passengers, while the steering and breaking is controlled by a driver who does not provide any pedaling power.
To this day, most of the pedal taverns here in the US are manufactured overseas in Europe and shipped here to the US. We were told by our driver that the Pedal Tavern we rode around was manufactured in Belgium and costs a pretty $80,000. Pedal Taverns are most commonly used in larger cities for parties and are very popular amongst bachelor and bachelorette parties.
How it works
The Pedal Tavern experience is very straightforward. You gather your group, book a time, pick your route, pedal and drink, stop at a bar and drink, re-board the bike, and continue the process over and over again until the time period for your tour is up.
Important things to know
- Pedal Taverns vary in size and price. Some party bikes can have up to 16 cycling passengers, 3 non-cycling passengers, a bartender and a driver. Other Pedal Taverns are smaller in size and only provide a driver.
- Pedal Taverns are typically a group thing. I would suggest having a group of at least 4 people for doing a pedal tavern. If you have a larger group there’s a good chance you’ll have your very own Pedal Tavern. If you have a smaller group you’ll be riding with other people, which can be a lot fun and an awesome way to meet people.
- Pick a time, any time. On the weekends, most Pedal Taverns have a plethora of times to choose from. The company we used had their first tour of the say starting at 10am and their last tour of the day starting at 10pm. So whether you want a boozy brunch or a pre-game before the Broadway bars, you’re covered.
- Choose your route wisely. In Nashville we had 4 routes to choose from. We opted for the Midtown route. The Lower Broadway route is always a popular option, but think of it this way: you’re going to go to the broadway bars no matter what when you’re in Nashville. Why not use the Pedal Tavern as a way to see some other parts of Nashville you wouldn’t normally flock to. Just my honest opinion.
- The bike is 100% completely control by your foot power. Your driver/guide steers and breaks the bike, other than that you are the only thing that makes your Pedal Tavern move.
- The pedal tavern does not supply you with any alcohol. You must bring your own alcohol, and of course can (and should!) get drinks at the bars you stop at. Many pedal taverns will have a cooler aboard that you can stash your beverages in to keep them nice and cold.
- Know the drinking laws of where you are. Drinking laws vary from state to state in the US. In New Orleans we could walk down the street slurping hurricanes all night. That’s not the case in Tennessee. In Nashville, you may drink while on the bike, but as soon as you get off the bike and drink and it’s considered an “open container” which is illegal in the state of Tennessee and punishable with a substantial fine.
- Tip your driver/guide! Our driver (Geoff) was awesome. He played great music off the iPod, was nice and funny, and brought his guitar and played us an amazing rendition of Chris Stapleton’s Tennessee Whiskey.