Are you a fan of pedal pubs?

Just witnessed a Pedal Pub roll after a high speed cornering attempt. No bueno. #ambulance !
Photo by rwalseth via Instagram

Critics of pedal pubs seized upon Thursday’s pedal pub crash in Minneapolis to vent their frustrations over the bikes.

Over at the I Hate The PedalPub Facebook page comments like Julie Tilsen‘s “nature weeding out the stupid” are typical.

The crash sent two riders to the hospital after the bike tipped while taking a corner at a high speed. Minneapolis Police have ruled that alcohol was not a factor in the crash. The driver of the multi-person bikes isn’t supposed to drink alcohol. Passengers are allowed to imbibe.

The Star Tribune has this overview of the state and local regs:

Early this year, Minneapolis passed new regulations on what it called “pedal cars” — banning hard liquor aboard and requiring operators to obtain licenses ($59 per driver and $98 per vehicle), to operate before 10 p.m., to keep the noise under a certain decibel level and to keep passengers from becoming too rowdy.

Pedal pubs became legal in Minnesota about four years ago, when Rep. Steve Simon, DFL-Hopkins, pushed a law exempting a “vehicle that is operated for commercial purposes in a manner similar to a bicycle … with five or more passengers who provide pedal power to the drivetrain” from the state’s prohibition on open alcohol containers in vehicles.

St. Paul also passed pedal-pub regulations in 2012. City and police representatives said Thursday that they do not know of any accidents involving pubs there.

Today’s Question: Are you a fan of pedal pubs?

  • Gary F

    A fan? I’ve never been on one, and they look like fun, but being on a diet means my beer intake is a lot less than it ever has been. But then, I could stay I’m exercising while downing some stout.

    Without knowing all the legal mumbo jumbo…….

    What kind of insurance do they owners/drivers have to take?
    And the outdated concept of “presumed risk” comes into play.
    How do these people get home after their trip?
    Where do they stop to drain themselves?

    • Gary F

      But then, it is biking, and with the media’s current worshiping of all things bicycle, it must be good.

  • Sue de Nim

    No. They’re intensely annoying. Though I can enjoy being at a rowdy party on occasion, I definitely do not enjoy other people’s rowdy parties impinging on my work or quiet leisure, or driving safely and quickly to some destination. The idea of taking a mobile beer bash onto city streets is thoughtlessly selfish.

  • PaulJ

    No, and the bright colored clothing trend must also be stopped.

    • Pearly

      Yes! Brown shirts for all!

      • Gary F

        Minneapolis has Transit Police and Park Police, and Regular Police, and Police on Bikes, and Police on horses, so with all that LGA money, what not “Peddle Pub Police”!

        It’s for our own good. Right?

        • Pearly


          • PaulJ

            Whose beer hall do they think they’re putsch’n around?

  • david

    Have no issue with them, but I’m not the type to get all roadragy if someone in front of me won’t allow me to go 10 MPH over the speed limit.

    I’m surprised they don’t tip over more often. Seen those thing take corners nearly on 2 wheels to great cheers of the riders.

  • Jenna

    Yes! I think that it’s a typically safe, unique way to do a pub crawl. I think it’s safer than drunk pedestrians walking around or driving to bars. You are contained/confined to one space as you are traveling and it GUARANTEES a sober driver controlling it. The reason this made the news is because pedal pub accidents are RARE. I used to live in Uptown and I never saw any of the pedal pubs get too crazy.

  • Skyler Vilt

    They are dangerous distractions on the road. When they are taking up half a lane, it’s forcing drivers to either pass dangerously or slow down traffic precipitously. Additionally, what happens if an emergency vehicle has to get somewhere or navigate a turn quickly and a pedal pub is there? I can understand the appeal of the pedal pub but frankly they are more than a nuisance.

  • Dan Theman

    They are a slow moving hazard to traffic.If you look at the way they are designed with a very high center of gravity makes them vulnerable to tipping on corners if the speed is excessive. The passengers have little or no back support. Do we really want to promote alcohol consumption? I think not.

  • Sean

    Absalutely. They are fun, they add enjoyment, they invigorate the downtown environments. They are steered, slowed, controlled by a licensed operator. This was simply an accident. Id you don’t like them, don’t use them, but don’t ruin it for those that may enjoy a little fun. As for this accident, perhaps looking into why it tipped would be a good idea.

  • Mia


  • Jeff

    Why not simply put some roll bars on the sides…that way if it tips it won’t be falling on top of anyone.

    • david

      Sounds like a pragmatic solution to the real problem. Unfortunately I think most people’s issue with them is they think they own the road and everyone and everything else needs to get out of their way.

      • Jeff

        Just like most bikers, I have more respect for pedal pubs…at least they are accomplishing the act of drinking beer.

    • JQP

      the entire thing should be redesigned as a giant, soft-sided, floating hamster-ball. With flashing lights, warning klaxons and a pungent reek to warn those who are visually and hearing impaired. Oh Wait … the pungent reek is already being worked on by the sweating beer consumers.

  • KTN

    Until I learned they were sentient and would turn on the riders I was a fan, but now, not so much.

  • Abbey

    Having rode on one last year, I would say that I’m a fan of the concept but definitely not the execution. They have no back support and it would be very easy to fall out of them. Additionally they are really hard to motor! Its a lot of work to keep the thing moving. Regardless of this event I am steering clear (pun intended) of these things from now on. I’d much rather have a drink with friends without killing my knees and sweating like crazy.

  • Max

    No. They are essentially pub crawls on wheels. I dislike large groups of rowdy, binge drinking people. It’s totally expected near campus or downtown, but it seems that things like pedal pub and party bus extend the range of this behavior, making it unavoidable. Plus, for whatever reason, people on the pedal pub tour seem to think the event extends them license to act extra loud and obnoxious in whatever bar they descend upon. You have a right to be jackass in public, but that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate or socially acceptable behavior.

  • IceStormer

    About 2 years ago, I drove past an ‘incident’ at 3rd Ave & 2nd St. A rider had fallen off the pedalpub and was lying injured in the intersection with a jacket covering him/her. There were several people standing about talking on their mobiles so I assumed 911 had been called. There was no report of it in the papers nor on the television stations that night or the next day. I have to wonder how many ‘incidents’ like this go unreported, and how safe these things really are.

    I am not a fan of pedalpubs, but if folks want to take the risks involved and accept responsibility for their decisions, then go right ahead. Just don’t block traffic when something untoward happens.

  • NathanT

    No. They’re a menace on a good day, even worse when they use predominantly residential neighborhoods with narrow streets as a route.

  • Jim G

    Nope. Never been on one, because my rule is alcohol and riding in traffic is a bad combination. One’s reaction to alcohol is highly individual. Some drunks get cranky, then there’s randy, sleepy, dopey, angry, crazy, and just plain stupid. Which one do you want driving?

  • I live in a mad nation

    I encountered them on the mall last year while taking photographs, and found them an embarrassment. Personally, just to watch suffering people trying to make the best of it, but especially to those riding them when you take a photo. Their reactions demonstrated to me they felt they were in an awkward situation made more obvious by the photo snap. They’ll likely die of their own burden: the onus of public drinking.

  • snyde043

    I participated in a Pedal Pub tour a couple years ago. It was pretty fun. I think there are probably accommodations that could be made to neighborhoods as far as how late tours run in the evenings to keep from being a nuisance, but other than that, I would say the benefits outweigh the negatives. If Pedal Pubs are the worst thing you have to deal with, be thankful for your apparently otherwise great life.

  • JQP

    No. the theory that you can mix a technically healthy activity ( biking) with a technically unhealthy activity (drinking ) has been proven to have singularly disastrous outcomes.
    I’ll cite softball for now. Sure most of the time , its fun to have a brewski and pretend to run a few bags…. but standing in left field with a beer = trouble… Even worse at first base.

  • Heisenberg

    No. super-annoying.

  • MN Jeff

    Wow, what a forum for the “ban everything” crowd. How many people are really negatively impacted by this?

    What else would they do away with? Walkers on the paths around the lakes to make room for more bikes? Parking on residential streets to make room for more street joggers (a new oddity)? Sidewalk café’s because they reduce the space available for people to walk? I am personally annoyed by the vast amount of restrictions already placed on our daily activities.
    Lighten up people.

    • Max

      Who said anything about banning anything? The question asks if you are a fan of pedal pubs. People are expressing their opinions on whether or not they like pedal pubs, not proposing regulation.

      • Jeff

        Step 1 in banning something is getting a consensus that everyone dislikes a certain activity. Step 2 is everyone looking at each other and saying “What can we do to stop this behavior?”. Step 3 is going to government and getting a ban implemented. That’s the busybody’s guide to government involvement in every aspect of our lives.

        • Max

          It’s possible to dislike something and still acknowledge someone’s right to do it. This forum isn’t even at step 1 and you are necessarily concluding that 2 and 3 are short to follow. People are entitled to express their opinions without having someone brand it as a liberal conspiracy to deprive you of your freedoms.

  • kerschmidtlap

    I don’t think my mother would want to see me go by on one. But if you want to, go ahead. Just not what I consider to be in the best taste.

  • kerschmidtlap

    Actually if I were to be honest I’d have to say that I prefer to stay home behind locked doors, drawn shades and drink where I can’t be seen. Heh, heh.