Amsterdam doesn't have a bikes ambassador as prolific as CopenhagenCycleChic, but it does have the bierfiets, a bicycle-driven ambulatory beer bar, as well as constant inspiration supplied by its many bikers showing what can (and perhaps what cannot) be accomplished on a bike. Bierfiets are peddle-powered bars that seat 10 to 22 people and carry 30 liters of beer while tooling around the city. Two recent bierfiets accidents, however, have the city's transportation councilor wondering if these people-powered party bikes should be banned.
Bicycles and beer a bad combo?In one case, according to DutchAmsterdam.nl, a 'motor' rider fell of her vehicle after a bierfiets turned suddenly. In another case, an all-women bierfiets crashed when it tried to go through a too-narrow tunnel. Legally, anyone operating a bicycle in the Netherlands is not allowed to drink. Beer bikes have slipped through a loophole as there's a designated driver in charge of steering the vehicle, while the beer drinkers are contributing their peddle power.
Outlawing beer bikes already begunBierfiets aren't allowed in certain parts of Amsterdam where street alcohol is absolutely forbidden, and the beer bike has already been outlawed in the Dutch city of Delft, and just last week was also outlawed in the city of Valkenburg. Partyfiets.nl, which rents its bierfiets to tourists, is upset at the thought that Amsterdam may follow suit. The company told DutchAmsterdam that it already rents its bikes with a designated, sober driver. But the motor rider who fell after her encounter with a bierfiets called the beer bikes 'an unguided projectile.'
If not beer bike, how 'bout karaoke bike?The Amsterdam City Council will decide next month how to deal with the bierfiets. Partyfiets said it will soldier on with a 'karaokefiets' (minus the beer) if the bierfiets is banned. In the meantime, the 'pedal pub' has branched out to the U.S. and can be seen in the streets of the Twin Cities in Minnesota and in London.
note: Bierfiets photo inyucho @ flickr.
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