Reno resident Mike Ball was reading a beer magazine last year and saw something in an advertisement he’d never seen.
In the photo, multiple people were pedaling a party bike the size of a boat and enjoying some drinks.
Ball hopes to generate the same type of curiosity he had by bringing it to Reno.
“I had been kicking around the idea for a few months,” Ball said. “It finally came to fruition.”
Cycle Pub, an 18-foot-long vehicle powered by the pedals of up to 14 patrons, debuted in Reno last month, giving people a social and entertaining way of hitting downtown bars. Businesses also use it for team building.
Cycle Pub provides a driver for the vehicle and helmets. A two-hour ride, where speeds reach 5 to 7 mph, costs $300. The route strolls through downtown near bars and restaurants on Arlington Avenue and other side streets.
“This year, Cycle Pub is exploding in Oregon,” said Ball, who worked with the company in Bend, Ore., to bring the idea here. “All it is built on is people getting together and having a good time.”
The original idea was to provide a cooler on the Cycle Pub and let patrons bring their own alcohol and snacks. But Ball said the Reno City Council wouldn’t allow alcohol because it violates open container laws.
Carson City does allow alcohol on board, and Ball also does tours there.
“We’re not trying to add debauchery to the streets,” said Ball, who said the latest his tours stay out is 10 p.m. “It’s a classy deal where you go around town and share the city with the people.”
Ball said the Cycle Pub will be available during wine walks and other social gatherings downtown. He has just one vehicle, which costs $45,000, so reservations are a must.
While 14 is the max capacity, 10 people do the pedaling, which Ball said isn’t very difficult because downtown Reno is relatively flat.
And just because Cycle Pub is associated with alcohol, doesn’t mean that is its sole purpose, Ball said. Reservations for anniversaries, business use and other recreational activity are growing.