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Amsterdam City schedules beer bikes roundtable


July 22nd, 2009 | Last updated: September 25th, 2011

The City of Amsterdam this September will meet with representatives of several companies that rent out so-called ‘beer bikes’ in order to discuss how the vehicles are used within the city.

Beer bike Amsterdam
One of several beer bikes in Amsterdam
© Copyright DutchAmsterdam.nl. Want to use this photo?

The municipality plans to decide in October whether or not it will ban the bikes from city streets.

Beer bikes are pedal-powered bars at which ten to seventeen people are served beer while biking through the city.

The actual driver of the bike is not allowed to drink. Nevertheless, beer bikes have been involved in a number of recent incidents, which led to the city researching whether it is legally possible to ban the bikes.

Driving a beer bike does not require a permit. That means a ban can likely only be enforced by adapting local bylaws.

Karaoke Bike

One problem: the cure may be worse than the disease. Ard Karsten of Partyfiets.nl says, “We’ve been looking at a karaoke bike for some time now, but if a ban on beer bikes is in the works, this will become the alternative.”

The karaoke bike is equipped with a sound instalation and a big screen. Says Karsten, “It’s fantastic. Music in the background, and sing along!”

If the beer bikes are indeed banned Karsten plans to keep them rolling by making a few adaptations. The routes will be adjusted so that the bikes can stop at cafés and restaurants.

Beer Bike Incidents

It is not clear how many incidents have occurred with the beer bikes. Local media sources generally refer to two recent events.

In one case, a motor rider fell when a beer bike suddenly veered left. In another case, a beer bike carrying an all-women party crashed when the group tried to negotiate a tunnel that was too low for the vehicle.

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