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Pedal Pubs' Could Carry Beer And Wine Under New Legislation


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LANSING, MI – What do beer-loving cyclists and limousines have in common? The answer may be quite a lot if the legislature passes bills that would regulate “pedal pubs,” contraptions where multiple people could bike and drink at the same time, in a similar fashion to other multi-passenger vehicles.

Like with limousines, occupants of the vehicle could drink while a sober operator was in control of the vehicle.

Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, is the sponsor of one of the bills. He said pedal pub owners wanted to get their vehicles licensed but ran into trouble working with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).

“We had some entrepreneurs in our areas who noticed there was an opportunity to group a business around pedal pubs, or what we’re calling commercial quadricycles. The problem is that in working with MDOT and trying to get those licensed properly, MDOT really didn’t feel they were limousines,” Irwin told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday.

Rep. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, and Irwin have partnered on a two-bill package that would regulate these commercial quadricycles. HB 5408 would add the term and a definition to the Michigan Vehicle Code, while HB 5409 would require an owner to carry $2 million in liability coverage, stipulate that a commercial quadricycle operator couldn’t have any alcohol in his or her system and limit the alcohol on board to beer and wine.

The quadricycles would be limited to operating on streets with speed limits of 35 miles per hour or less.

TC Cycle Pub launched in Traverse City in 2013, and seats eight to 14 people. Company co-owner Kevin Farron in written testimony said he supported the bills.

“The TC Cycle Pub attracts tourists from all over the Midwest. Visitors want to plan their birthday parties in Traverse City to utilize the TC Cycle Pub, but are then disappointed when they learn they are not allowed to drink beer on board like they can in other states,” said Farron.

Farron said the company plans to let people take a ride and bring their own wine or beer. Allowing people to drink slowly while on the bike would be arguably safer than the current situation, he said.

"This weekend we had a group that went to eight stops in two hours. If you can imagine them having a drink at each stop, that’s pretty remarkable," Farron said.

That said, the company has been operating for two years and has not had an accident, Farron said.

He expects his business to grow if the change is made. He said the company would continue to support local breweries and likely allow growlers on board.

Schmidt said he was a strong supporter of these quadricycles, including the one operating in his district. He also said there were local control provisions in the legislation.

Other companies operating these pedal pubs in the state include the Great Lakes Pub Cruiser in West Michigan and Upper Peninsula Pedal Cruisers in Marquette.

Irwin said other people were interested in starting businesses around pedal pubs in additional cities, including Ann Arbor.

The bills did not move out of committee today.



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Ripped off? This thing doesn't go down an assembly line. It's all custom. Buy, cut, layout, TIG weld all of that aluminum. Fabricate all of the pedals, gears, chains, all of the drive mechanisms. Brakes, wheels, tires, roof, paint, etc, etc. I guess you don't value fabricators and welders as much as I do.


Hey you can save 80% if you make your own bread and yogurt too.


I look forward to you rollin out your prototype in time for next spring gary.

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