The first time I saw a pedal wagon was during Bockfest last spring. I knew instantly I must ride on one of these contraptions. Of course, I forgot about it until a guy in DWOW mentioned it to me, and then I promptly forgot about it again until a couple weeks ago…
DWOW is a big fan of all things local, particularly local beer, so one day on Facebook we stumbled across a post from Mt. Carmel Brewing that said if you shared the post you’d be entered to win a free pub crawl on the pedal wagon. Done and done.
Last Monday I nearly lost my bladder when I checked Facebook… I had actually won the Mt Carmel contest for the free trip! I never win anything. I mean never. Oh happy day! Jack from Pedal Wagon informed me to pick 14 friends and come on down to Over-the-Rhine on Friday at 7pm. I think we ended up filling 13 of the 15 seats, not bad for a bunch of people getting older and less apt to “go out” every weekend. Oh, and several Dives without Wives fellas brought their wives and significant others along. It was a big ol’ party.
For those of you unfamiliar with the pedal wagon, it is part bicycle, part barstool, part rolling party. Although you’re not allowed to drink alcohol on them (yet) in Cincinnati, they’re still the most entertaining way to go bar to bar these days. Let’s face facts, the limousine went out of style for a “night on the town” about the same time Vanilla Ice and M.C. Hammer were in the Billboard Top 40. Sure, the “party bus” is still a good alternative for transporting a wedding party to a reception, but the pedal wagon should be the clear choice to transport the bride-to-be or groom-to-be on a little bachelorette/bachelor party tour of your favorite watering holes.
Probably the best part of riding the pedal wagon is the attention you generate. Cincinnati isn’t New Orleans or Vegas, so a bunch of jackasses riding down the street on a bicycle contraption with loud music still generates quite a buzz. Bystanders were taking pictures and waving (and one gave us the finger, so sorry to interrupt his night) as well as cars behind you are honking and waving. You feel like you’re doing something exponentially cooler than everyone else around you… They’re just walking to the place you’re pedal wagon-ing up to… how lame! I felt like a pretty big deal Friday night.
The crawl started at Neons and hit up four other bars in historic Over-the-Rhine: Arnold’s, The Lackman, Japps, and MOTR. Pedal Wagon Captain Zack gave us each the low-down on riding as well as wristbands to get us discounts at each stop on the tour. After a beer at Neons, we were on the road getting attention from passer-bys and having a good time.
Now, before you accuse us of being a bunch of lushes, there are some cool aspects of Pedal Wagon that kept us from being too shmammered to sit on the thing from stop to stop. Your whole tour only lasts 2 hours so if you do the math, you’re looking at about 20 minutes per place. If you’re drinking more than 1 beer in that amount of time, you’re on a mission for destruction. For the most part, you have a drink at each place, pedal to the next, and have another. In total you have 5 drinks spread over 2 ½ hours. It may be a little much for some of the smaller people in this world, but for 25lb overweight me, 5 drinks in 2 ½ hours won’t leave me too bent out of shape. Of course, you can always skip a drink at a place or two if you’re worried about having a little too much.
Overall the whole experience with the pedal wagon was a blast. Captain Zack was friendly and energetic (and I think we kinda stiffed him on a tip… I’m not sure an appropriate tip for a pedal wagon drive? We gave $10-$15?) If you’re looking for a fun way to get co-workers or friends together, check it out. They have multiple ride routes and special themes, so there is a ride for everyone at some point in the year. Spots are still open for their Christmas themed tours, so you might start there.
For more info, visit their website.
And Indianapolis friends… Get ready! They’re coming to Broad Ripple!