By Anthony St. Clair
We all know there’s nothing like a good pub crawl. Except that sometimes it’d be nice not to walk. To maybe feel the wind in your hair. Heck, and maybe to even burn off some of those beers.
That’s the thinking that went into Pacific Pub Cycle, which in 2013 began offering pub cycle tours around Eugene’s Whiteaker area.
“There are similar businesses running in cities around the country,” says Melissa Finn, who books tours. “We felt that with the great biking culture and fantastic local beers offered in Eugene, our city was a perfect fit.”
The rain-or-shine tours combine socializing and a pub crawl with a leisurely pace (the bike only goes about 5-7 mph). A tour operator rides at the front of the customized, covered four-wheel bike. Up to 14 patrons ride on two rows of seats that face inward. Most seats have bike pedals, but two seats and a bench allow patrons to sit back and relax. While alcohol may be enjoyed only at the tour’s stops, people can bring snacks and non-alcoholic beverages on board (but no glass).
“The result is a high-energy experience and everyone has a great time,” Finn says.
Tours start at the 5th Street Public Market, where groups meet the bike and their driver. Typical stops include the Tap and Growler, the Oakshire Public House, Ninkasi Brewing, and the Hop Valley Tasting Room. Some groups finish at Steelhead Restaurant and Brewery. Groups have about 20 minutes at each stop, and tours last approximately two hours. Tours can also be customized for wine-focused stops or special requests, and Pacific Pub Cycle hopes to add more cider and wine stops.
Getting the tours off the ground wasn’t without some difficulties, though.
“Eugene didn’t have a code that fit the Pub Cycle,” Finn explains. “It is a four-wheeled vehicle, and existing pedi-cab codes allowed only for threewheeled vehicles. The City of Eugene also had a lot of concerns about safety and traffic.”
Pacific Pub Cycle is looking to include other breweries in the downtown area, “but for now the City of Eugene has limited us to the Whiteaker area,” Finn says. “Our hope is that once we have been operating for a while, we might be able to expand that route and become involved in events around Eugene and the University of Oregon campus.”
Booking and more information available at www.pacificpubcycle.com.
Stories from the print edition of the Oregon Beer Growler.