Last week before I darted off to Arizona and picked up a cold (nope, not allergies, damn it), I hopped on a bike and went from one brewery to another. Well, not a traditional bicycle, but something new to ABQ, at least. The Duke City Pedaler, the newest creation of ABQ Trolley Company owners Mike Silva and Jesse Herron, was our means of conveyance from Marble to Tractor Wells Park to Back Alley. The party bike can transport up to 14 people, powered by 10 of those folks pedaling in unison on either side. The ride takes you down city streets, but fear not, no car nor truck ever got too close to us.
Guess what? Pedaling that thing is not as easy as it looks. There was a reason that all of us on this test run rarely sat down upon arriving at the breweries. We had to make sure our legs didn’t cramp up or anything. But it was good exercise and a fun ride, with the current cool-but-not-cold temperatures a godsend. Jesse and Mike said there are plans to make sure folks stay cool when the temp rises in the summer, though one suggestion (misters) was shot down quickly as those things cost a lot and tend to leak and could rust the Pedaler. We shall see what they come up with in the weeks ahead.
Anyway, here are the nitty gritty details you need to know, courtesy of Jesse:
1) The Beer Bike 5K will run Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. 2) The course is Civic Plaza — Marble — Tractor Wells Park — Back Alley Draft House — Civic Plaza. Later this summer, we plan on a Beer Bike 3K that will be Boese Brothers Brewing, Back Alley Draft House, and Draft Station. Rio Bravo Brewing will also be in the mix once they are up and running. 3) Tickets are $30 and can be bought online at dukecitypedaler.com. You can also book the Beer Bike 5K for your group (14 passengers) with advance notice for $395.
Thanks to Jesse for all of that. So as noted there, our course took us to Marble (where I met the group, since I was at work til 6 and had to zip downtown), followed by taking 2nd St. down to Tractor WP, and from there we eventually made our way downtown via 3rd St. to Back Alley. Now, this being New Mexico and all, we could not drink while on the Pedaler. That would violate the state’s open container law. At each brewery we had about 45 minutes to drink, grab some food off a food truck (or the NYPD kitchen while at Back Alley), and in general just hang out.
Among those on this test run were Marble head brewer Josh Trujillo and two of his staff, plus reps from Tractor and Back Alley/NYPD, a radio station staffer and his girlfriend (I was not good at taking notes, apologies to all for not remembering your names), and finally Dan Mayfield, who writes for ABQ Business First and hosts “The Morning Brew” on Ch. 27. One of the Pedaler staffers, usually Mike or Jesse, would also hop on and help out (they took turns, lucky bastards). Another Pedaler staffer handled the steering and the brakes, all while jamming out to a lot of 80s and 90s tunes. We certainly got a lot of looks, mostly friendly and amused, some confounded, by folks in cars and on the sidewalks. It was certainly a unique site to behold.
One suggestion for the future, based on post-ride conversations I’ve had, is to work with the breweries to get at the very least a discount on your first pint. If the Pedaler staff and the breweries could swing it, even a ticket for a free pint would be nice if included in the cost of signing up to ride, though that could always end up violating another law about no free alcohol. But getting a dollar off or member/mug club prices (same thing, really) would be a nice bonus.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience, even if my out-of-shape quads did not. Certainly the group we had on board was a lot of fun to hang out with, so that certainly helped during the long, long ride from Tractor to Back Alley. Hey, you burn a lot of calories on this thing, and then replace them with delicious beer calories. That’s a win-win, as far as I’m concerned.
After I kick this cold, I’ll see about hopping back on the Pedaler one of these days. This time I’m supposed to bring Franz Solo and Mrs. Solo, since they’re friends with Mike’s wife, and Leah Black, who was talking up the Pedaler long ago, but had to stay at Marble and serve people beer last week.
If anyone out there has any questions about the Pedaler, send them our way and at the very least we’ll pass them along to Mike and Jesse.