We might not be a horse-drawn-carriage kind of town, but The Amazing Pubcycle is out to prove we are the kind of town that supports a bicycle built for 14. “The response so far has been overwhelming,” says Shawn Verbrugghe, owner of the Pubcycle. “We’ve already started filling [empty tours] in less than half-hour.”
The pubcycle, in short, is a 13-person-powered bicycle — and as the name would suggest, it allows open containers of beer or wine on board. Don’t worry, though; it’s steered by a certified “Conductor” (aka a designated driver who guides both the steering and the tour).
Tours can happen a few ways. You can book individual tickets for two to eight people by calling 214-5010 or visiting amazingpubcycle.com. These group excursions wind their way through downtown, last about an hour and a half, and cost $23 per person. You can also book a more private tour for eight to 13 riders. For this option, you book the whole bike for $299, so it’s best to pack it to the fullest. The last option is for the last-minute types: you can just show up for a “Nomad Tour,” a 45-minute, $10 sprint through the downtown streets. There will soon be a chalkboard inside Aloft listing the open time slots available each day.
Apparently, some potential pub-cyclers are even more last-minute: there have been numerous requests for pickup as the pubcyle rides by. “People want to hop on, but we just can’t let them. It would be against our ordinance and insurance,” says Verbrugghe.
A few other good-to-know notes:
• All tours are BYOB, but there’s no glass allowed on the bike. Bring your cans or stainless steel growlers. There’s a cooler if you need it.
• You don’t have to be 21-plus to ride the cycle. However, the Pubcycle will use wristbands designate those of drinking age, and the minimum age for riders is 5.
• All tours start and finish at Aloft in downtown Asheville.
• Tours that stop at a brewery or two along the way will start soon. The owners are still working out the details.
Clips of Faith
Not in the mood for a group ride? On Sept. 6, you can ride your own bike down to Pack Square Park and take in some short films starting at 7 p.m.
Clips of Faith, as the event is known, is an annual tour where New Belgium pairs quirky short films with some of their Lips of Faith beers. This summer’s offerings include everything from the technique of dice rolling to how to be the hippest hipster — and more than a dozen beers, of course.
While any event that combines bicycles, beer, and film is awesome, Clips has one additional component that makes it even better: 100 percent of the proceeds from beer sales go to charity. New Belgium’s charity of choice last year and this year is Asheville on Bikes.
“The money generated at New Belgium’s Clips of Faith is the lion’s share of the Asheville on Bikes operating budget,” says Mike Sule, Executive Director of Asheville on Bikes. “We used the proceeds from last year's event to expand our community rides, enhance bicycle corrals, invest in a long term strategic plan, web development, and to purchase new tents.”
Admission to the event is free, 3-ounce samples are $1.25 and 12-ounce pours are $5. Food will be provided by independent vendors like Gypsy Queen Cuisine and Avery’s Hot Dogs. For the latest information on Clips, go to www.newbelgiumclips.com.