People-powered Pedal Pub party bike franchise takes happy hour on the road



Winnipeg’s newest pub crawl has wheels and pedals, and a top speed of around eight kilometers per hour.

If you are in the Exchange District or the village of Osborne, you might see Pedal Pub. Hard to miss: 15 people on a rectangular four-wheeled vehicle, possibly singing along to music while pedaling on the “party bike” to their next drink stop.

“We want to have fun with it,” said Rylan Adam, one of the owners of Pedal Pub Winnipeg.

Pedal riders visit microbreweries and restaurants — up to four per two-hour tour — and cycle about 15 minutes between stops.

Adam saw the party bike in action last August when he visited Sioux Falls, SD

“I was like, ‘Wow, that’s really cool, fun, I wonder if there’s something like that in Winnipeg,'” he said.

Winnipeg no. So he and his friends Miguel Gauthier and Brandon Guenther looked into franchise opportunities: Pedal Pub has more than 60 locations across North America.



Pedal Pub takes customers to beer halls, restaurants and pubs with their very own pedal. The first of its kind in the city, the company has three bikes that can accommodate 15 people each. (Mikaela MacKenzie/Winnipeg Free Press)

The trio received funds from the Canadian Small Business Financing Program and a local credit union to buy three bikes for $85,000 and cover franchise fees.

“We wanted (this) to happen as quickly as possible,” Adam said. “We just thought, coming out of COVID, everybody’s going to be amped up to do something.”

The bikes are great for special occasions like bachelor parties, birthday parties and corporate events, according to the owners of Pedal Pub Winnipeg.

“We’re trying to…revitalize businesses that have been impacted by COVID.”
— Rylan Adam

“We’re really focused on supporting the local,” Adam said. “We’re trying to…revitalize businesses that have been impacted by COVID.”

A trip to the Exchange District can mean visits to Johnny G’s, The Common, Local Public Eatery and Devil May Care Brewing Company. In Osborne, people can buy beers at Toad in the Hole, Confusion Corner Bar and Grill, Low Life Barrel House, and Sookram’s Brewing Company.

“The timing couldn’t be better,” said Kevin Byrne, general manager of Confusion Corner Bar and Grill. “I think people are looking forward to getting out.”

About six weeks earlier, Pedal Pub Winnipeg approached Byrne to add Confusion Corner to its list of stops, Byrne said.


The Pedal Pub is like a party bus powered by people.  (Mikaela MacKenzie/Winnipeg Free Press)

The Pedal Pub is like a party bus powered by people. (Mikaela MacKenzie/Winnipeg Free Press)

“It’s a good partnership,” Byrne said while setting up his 20-table parking deck on Wednesday. “You get more people here who haven’t been here a long time, and you support someone else who’s trying to get something off the ground.”

Pedal Pub Winnipeg does not take a share of the profits from riders’ food and drink purchases.

According to the Winnipeg Police Service, patrons must finish their drinks before resuming pedaling, and they are not committing the drunk driving offense they would be committing if they were behind the wheel of a car.

“‘Pedal Pub’ is considered a ‘vehicle’ under the (Highway Traffic Act) but is not a ‘motor vehicle,'” WPS media relations assistant Ally Siatecki wrote in an e-mail. mail.

“‘Pedal Pub’ is considered a ‘vehicle’ under the (Highway Traffic Act) but is not a ‘motor vehicle’.”
— Ally Siatecki, WPS Media Relations Assistant

A sober guide leads each group. The guide controls the direction and speed of the bike and has an electric assist motor to use if needed, but customers must pull their own weight.

“If you have 10 people there, say, then they have to pedal to get it moving,” Adam said.

Pedal Pub Winnipeg did not need a license from the City of Winnipeg, according to spokesperson Kalen Qually.


Pedal Pub co-owner Miguel Gauthier (driver, center) demonstrates the platform, along with co-owner Brandon Guenther (left), general manager Randi Davreux and co-owner Rylan Adam.  The party bike has a simple guide to control the direction and speed of the vehicle.  (Mikaela MacKenzie/Winnipeg Free Press)

Pedal Pub co-owner Miguel Gauthier (driver, center) demonstrates the platform, along with co-owner Brandon Guenther (left), general manager Randi Davreux and co-owner Rylan Adam. The party bike has a simple guide to control the direction and speed of the vehicle. (Mikaela MacKenzie/Winnipeg Free Press)

“Similar companies would also not need a license as long as they can confirm that the vehicle they plan to use complies with applicable regulations,” he wrote.

The party bikes are too big for bike lanes and will be ridden on Winnipeg roads instead, Qually wrote.

Adam hopes to eventually get booze on the bikes.

“We are still in discussions with the LGCA (Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority),” he said, noting that Calgary is among the Pedal Pubs that simultaneously offer beer and cycling.

Tours begin Saturday. Bikes will run on city streets from 11 a.m. to 9:15 p.m., though times vary by day and location.

Groups can reserve a bike for $549 Monday through Thursday and $599 Friday through Sunday. The company offers individual guided tours on Tuesday evenings at $60 per person. Riders must be at least 18 years old.

“It’s new experiences like this that help move our industry and Manitoba’s economy forward on the road to recovery,” Lindsay Egan, Travel Manitoba’s Head of Partnerships, said at a news conference. .

Pedal Pub Winnipeg estimates that each tour will result in local business spending of $1,200.

The bikes have five seats without pedaling. Fietscafe, a Dutch manufacturer, manufactures the vehicles.

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Gabrielle Piche

Gabrielle Piche
Journalist

Gabby is a huge fan of people, writing and learning. She graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications program in the spring of 2020.

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