Reporting Liz Collin
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There are more beer bikes on the streets this spring than there have ever been before, but some neighborhoods aren’t jumping on the welcome wagon.
Five years ago, the Pedal Pub Company started with just one bike. Now, there are a dozen across the metro and a competitor, called Traveling Tap, started about a year ago.
With rock music pumped through a few city blocks, northeast Minneapolis celebrated a soggy Sunday with an amusing street race. The 4th annual Northeast Pedal Pub Races pit business against business. But some also used Sunday’s event as a platform to protest.
Chris Cowles has lived in northeast Minneapolis for the last 10 years, and he feels that beer bikes are a nuisance.
“Everyone’s welcome in the neighborhood, but we ask that you respect that we live here,” Cowles said. “It’s a safety concern and a noise concern.”
Cowles is one of a growing number of neighbors who aren’t having quite as much fun as the 16 people riding the rolling bars. For months, a Facebook page has been taking complaints. On the page, there’s a picture from a bike that wasn’t able to get out of the way of an ambulance and home video of just how noisy they can be.
Lisa Staplin is manager of Pedal Pub City and says her company has worked with Minneapolis for more than a year to get a list of road rules in place.
“We’re working really hard as an industry to try to keep that under control,” Staplin said.
The pilots, as they’re called, are taught to keep the music and the yelling down around residential streets.
“They do much more training than we’ve ever had to do in the past,” she said.
The company says it’s been trying to meet with those who oppose their business to get a better idea of what else to do. So far, they haven’t heard back. But as this business model booms, they expect this won’t be the last of the push back.
“We know that not everybody’s going to like us. We know that a lot of people do because they keep coming back year after year after year,” she said.
The Minneapolis ordinance pertaining to beer bikes went into effect in May. They’re only allowed to operate until 10 p.m. seven days a week.