Jul 262011
Authors: Rachel Childs

Sixteen people sit around a bar booth, pushing yellow pedals to Coopersmith’s Pub and Brewing Company on College Avenue while Wiz Kalifa’s song “Black and Yellow” plays on the speakers above. A front-side barrel comes to a stop in a parking space as everyone gets off.

Bar patrons and pedestrians look on at the contraption with wonderment. Then the questions come.

Passerby approach the bike to ask how much it costs, where it goes and whether or not it served beer.

The MyHandleBar party bike is the newest way to see the local pub and club scene while burning off calories from the brew consumed during the night.

The moustache-themed bicycle took to streets of Fort Collins and Boulder in May and is equipped with a wood roof, bar stools and tap.

It is not licensed to serve beer yet, but the owners will attempt to have it put in the same category as limos and other passenger vehicles that allow alcohol.

The “feitscafe”, or beer café, is the brainchild of two brothers in the Netherlands who accepted the challenge of a bar owner to build a float for the Queen’s Day Parade. They scribbled the plan on a napkin, and the beer bike was born.

CSU graduate and entrepreneur Theresa Preston saw the bike in Entrepreneur magazine and said she had to have one. There are only a few in the U.S. and Preston owns two of them.

Each bike cost Preston $35,000. She bought them with money saved from four Plato’s Closets the she owns in Fort Collins, Littleton, Colorado Springs and Cheyenne, Wyo.

“You’re not getting these out of a vending machine or anywhere else,” she said, waiting outside of Coopersmith’s.

July 23 marked the first Pedal Chaser night, where anyone can pay $25 for a ride around town without having to book a party.

The group riding during the 23rd’s special laughed as they tried to push the beer-mobile down College Avenue to the next bar.

“It’s not bad at all,” said Jennifer Vasquez who visited Colorado from Chicago, about pedaling the 2,300-pound bike.

Groups can book the bike for $180 on weekends, $170 on weekdays and $200 on holidays.

Brian Bjork, a CSU communications graduate, not only steers and guides the bikes during tours, but also goes to various local businesses to find deals for MyHandleBar groups.

“No one really knows what to expect and it’s something new so everyone has a good time,” said driver Bjork.

Coopersmith’s general manager Sandra Longton took her team on the bike and enjoyed every minute of it.

“We look forward to working with MyHandleBar groups,” Longton said in an email to the Collegian. “I think it will catch on quick. It is a great way to travel while doing brew tours with your friends.”

There have not been any injuries on the bike and the team takes several safety precautions. Riders are required to sign a release and show a valid ID. Helmets are available for those who want them, but no one has opted for one so far, said Bjork.

And while there may not be any official advertising for MyHandleBar, the looks from passerby and other bar patrons says it all –– the bike does its own publicity.

Web Content Editor Rachel Childs can be reached at news@collegian.com

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