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"[Park] staff believes that it goes far too slow to be on the parkways, so it would stop traffic," said Annie Young, a parks commissioner. "A lot of people had concerns about the intonations of the name. So I would say that's another barrier."
Life on the road
"Is it safe?" is the second question people usually ask about the PedalPub (after "Can we drink on it"?). Olson and Boyce say they haven't had any problems. Before riding, you have to sign a waiver acknowledging the risk. They offer helmets, too.
"There was only one insurance company in the country that would cover us, so we've got to be careful," Olson said.
Understood. But you'd have to try pretty hard to fall off the PedalPub. With a top speed of 6 miles per hour, you're in no danger of flying off. But you won't be falling asleep, either.
The slightest decline in the road can give the PedalPub some welcomed speed. Near the end of our Northeast tour, barreling down the street at a good, oh, 8 miles per hour -- light speed by PedalPub standards -- we came upon Mayslack's. Boyce decided to give us a good show, so we hit the turn into Mayslack's parking lot at full speed (no braking). We shrieked again:
And then bam, we lurched to a stop. The bar's patio was full of people, all of whom stopped in mid-gulp, dumbstruck by our slow-speed, action-packed entrance. Boyce saw the perfect opportunity to hand out brochures. One guy, slouched in front of a pitcher of beer, took Boyce's info and said, "Yeah, I like to be active."
Which makes you wonder: Do drinking and exercise really go together? One of our fellow riders had a hard time persuading his drinking buddies to go along.
"My first thought was, 'Oh, all my friends would love this.' Which didn't turn out to be the case," said Jason Shapiro, 34. "They wanted me to scout it out first."
What a scouting trip it was. During our journey -- each PedalPub ride should be a journey -- a delicate balance between drinking and exercise revealed itself. Very Zen-like. Maybe that's the PedalPub's greatest achievement. You drink, you work it off, you drink again.
It's a win-win -- for body and belly.
Tom Horgen 612-673-7909