Today is RIDE YOUR BIKE TO WORK DAY!! I fortunately don't have to work today, so I'm going to hold off on the tradition this year. PLUS, my tandem bike is in the shop, and some of my lady parts are chapped/callused, from pedaling on that AWESOME Big Daddy Bike yesterday named The HANDLE BAR.
If you haven't heard of it before, The HANDLE BAR is a pedal pub, in Indianapolis, that started in 2012. The idea originated in Amsterdam, and is becoming a growing trend in America. It is a bike that hold 16 passengers, and there's room in the middle for the pilot (sober and provided, to ensure you get back in time:)), and the person you designate to be the bar handler. There are 10 pedaling seats, seats without pedals, and a long bench in the back, for those who want to shout out orders to coworkers, while enjoying some rays and refreshments, without having to pant.
You get to pedal this bike right in the middle of the downtown streets, while taking up a lane of traffic, just like a real car:). Onlookers were cheering, taking pictures, and encouraging us to lift our drinks in celebration, and making us want to scream “HOLLA”!
But not ALL people were happy about this bike full of beautiful, fun ladies, hooping, hollering, and dancing in our seats to good Rhianna, Justin Bieber, and Phil Collins songs. Some people were annoyed that we were taking up an entire lane of traffic during rush hour. They didn't really appreciate that the bikes top speed maxed out at 5 MPH. They would honk, speed past, and yell expletives that we couldn't hear, because we were too busy belting out the lyrics to “I Set Fire to the Rain”, by Adele. I think we were all so surprised that we naturally harmonized so well together, and we were too busy appreciating our day, so there was absolutely no way we would allow these crotchety old fuddy duddy's to bring us down:)
Naturally with a vehicle of this size and magnitude, you can imagine how high the risk of injury would be. You could easily fall off the bike into traffic, you lose a good flip flop, your Marsh chicken could fly right off the bar, if you hit a big bump, and you could easily lose an arm or leg, if you turned your body toward traffic, or tried to high five a bystander, at an inopportune time. That's why at The HANDLE BAR, safety is key, and there are rules to be followed!
At the very beginning, they offer you bike helmets, although they strongly encourage you to sign the waiver, to refuse to wear them. I don't know if its because they don't have enough available, or simply because adults wearing helmets on this thing, in a picture for their flyer, would just look stupid. Regardless, you are not allowed to turn in your seat unless you're at a designated stopping area, you must keep your belongings secured, and you have to keep your hands and feet in the whole time.
MOST IMPORTANTLY: You can be loud everywhere on the trip, but NEVER while passing by the horses, on the circle! Apparently, these horses that give carriage rides downtown, most every night of their lives, are startled by noise???!! Anyway, we appreciated the warning, because it was unanimous, that not a single one of us wanted to go home with hoof print bruises, on our backs, chests, or faces, if one of those stallions happened to rear up in anger….
Now, after reading this, you may feel like you want to run down there and get a reservation, but there are still some things to consider first. This bike is really set up for wealthy people like us:). It's $400 for 2 hours, but I guess if you divided it by 17, the price does become reasonable, for more middle class people to enjoy. Seriously though, this man makes $200/hr, with very low overhead. He doesn't pay for gas, WE do the pedaling, WE are responsible for bringing our own beverages, and to drum up business downtown, someone offered him a FREE empty warehouse to park his rig in! What an awesome, brilliant career choice;)
Now, if you think you can afford it and it still sounds fun, consider these last two things. It states clearly on their home page that you shouldn't rent this bike if you are allergic to the outdoors, or if you are not cleared by your doctor to exercise. But….I don't want anyone to miss out on this experience!! So, if you are unable to exercise, sit on the back bench and make your peers lug your lazy backside around. You've earned it! And if you are allergic to the outdoors, trust me, it will be worth it for you to make the extra effort, to look for a gently used astronaut suit, so that, you too, can enjoy the ride!
I wonder if Mr. HANDLE BAR rode his bike to work today??…..