Bicycles can be used for transportation, fitness, recreation, and for those with a little imagination, a whole lot more. Pedal powered vehicles have been turned into shops, pubs, food carts, and perhaps most surprisingly… a venue for pole dancing. We’ll get to that one later.
Let’s take a look at these unique uses of pedal power, as their popularity is only growing:
The Beer Bike: A pub on wheels propelled by the pedaling of everyone on board. Accommodating up to 16 riders on bicycle seats around a wooden bar, the Beer Bike can hit speeds of 5 mph with everyone working. The experience features draft beer, and an integrated sound system to play your own choice of music. Don’t worry, there’s also a sober guide who sits in the middle and navigates.
It’s certainly an original and environmentally friendly way to see a city, and you get to have a pint with friends while you’re doing it. The Beer Bike was originally created in 1997 by Zwier Van Laar in Holland, as a way to help a pub owner advertise his establishment in a local parade. It was wildly popular, and can now be found in many cities throughout Europe and the US.
Drinking is not the goal here, with the main focus being a good time with friends or family. Most Beer Bikes set a limit of about 10 liters of beer per hour for the group of 16, so no one is out there getting too inebriated. One question does come to mind though; when the group has had their fill, where’s the restroom?
Here’s a list of Pedal Pubs in the US: http://www.pedalpub.com/
The Coffee Bike: Instead of finding your way to the coffee shop, the coffee shop comes to you. Popping up in different parts of the city, a cargo trike serves up your favorite espresso drinks, hot coffee, and cold brew, all without electricity or motors. I can’t think of a better way to get my coffee in the morning.
Here in Boston, the hometown of Montague Bikes, The Coffee Trike opreated by Alessandro “San” Bellino has been serving up caffeinated delights by bike since early 2012. Coffee bikes are popping up all over, so keep an eye out in your town and prepare for a warm cup of coffee.
The Pole Dancer Bike: You read it right; a bike hauling a mini stage that includes a pole, 2 strobe lights, siren, and a professional dancer.
It’s an obvious way to attract people’s attention, but what’s the point?
The Poleriders, located in New York, define themselves as trained professionals on a mission “to promote bicycle safety, raise awareness of the immense potential of pedal power, and bring pole dancing to the streets where dancing belongs”. Sounds good to me!
Other Mobile Bike Businesses: I’m sure you’ve seen delivery bikes and pedicabs, but how about a bike mechanic that comes to you… by bike! A longtime dealer of Montague Bikes in Newmarket Ontario, The Mobile Bike Shop is just that, a bike shop on the move. While they have an elaborate truck and trailer to service anything from races to group training sessions, they also offer service by bike. They come to you to repair your bike, and you avoid the inconvenience of having to haul it across town with a flat tire or broken derailleur. Practical and convenient!
Know any other mobile bike businesses that should be on our list? Have you been inspired to start your own? We want to hear about it! As a business, going by bike is a great way to reduce costs and environmental impact, and it’s a lifestyle we can’t help but get behind.