Disappearing around a distant corner, waiting beside you at traffic lights, 16 people drinking, laughing and pedalling. This is what’s happening in Adelaide’s city centre. It’s HandleBar Adelaide and we’re about to go for a ride.
First, let’s paint the picture. You and 15 of your buddies are enjoying a couple of adult beverages around a bar. Sounds typical so far, but on HandleBar Adelaide, your bar stool is a bicycle seat and your feet are on pedals.
Multi-taskers rejoice. HandleBar Adelaide ensures you get your daily cardio in, catch up with a bunch of your buddies and do some sight-seeing through the world’s 5th most livable city.
HandleBar began in the Netherlands almost 20 years ago.
Brothers, Henk & Zwier Von Laar, were asked by a bar-owning friend to design a float for the Queens Day Parade. Their design combined 2 of the Netherlands’ synonymous past times, cycling and beer drinking. HandleBar’s immediate popularity initiated the manufacturing of new and improved models.
The original, now in Detroit, is owned by 2 mechanical engineers with a love of the outdoors, their city and having a good time. The brothers in the Netherlands are still pumping out their models and when you climb aboard you’ll see it’s theirs from the stylised Dutch “Het Fietscafe” or The Beer Bar signage.
Back in Adelaide, there are 4 of these laughter-inducing-pedal-pumping-drinking machines owned in partnership by Stephen Lindsay and Jason Seris.
Stephen began HandleBar Indianapolis (USA) in 2013 then sought out Australia’s most conducive city to bring the concept to. He jumped through many government department hoops and began operating on St Patricks Day 2016. Jason, one of the first employees saw the potential and got involved.
To participate, it’s pretty straight forward.
HandleBar requires a single point of contact, if that’s you, start by getting a solid commitment from riders as the organiser pays via credit card at the time of booking.
Once you have numbers, options to take the whole HandleBar (16 seats), part HandleBar to be combined with another group or, if you’re in Adelaide on your Pat Malone, book a single seat and they’ll fit you in somewhere.
Drinks! Collate your group’s booze order. The maximum drink order per person is 3. If this seems a bit on the low side you will be making 2 stops at pubs during the ride. Orders need to be in 5-ish days before the booking and the organiser is responsible for payment up front.
On the day, every pedaller signs a liability waiver before climbing aboard. (Note to the organiser – collect your reimbursements at this time too!)
The organiser is 2IC to the driver to keep the booze-fuelled group under control. The waiver has each rider agree to act responsibly and not arrive intoxicated.
The wearing or not of helmets is by choice but at your own risk and all drinking must be done on the HandleBar, (drinks can’t be taken off and consumed anywhere else but the pedalling position).
Your route begins at HandleBar HQ @ 140 Gray Street.
Conveniently located walking distance to the Edinburgh Castle Hotel where post-HandleBar Happy Hour is extended to all participants.
Request your pub stops or let the driver take control. In our case, Thomas, our HandleBar expert found us a couple of great pubs. The Saracens Head and the Gilbert Street Hotel had us for 20 minutes each to knock back another bevvy and answer nature’s call.
Be warned, there will be uncontrolled frivolity during your 2-hour tour and much laughter and love at “The Ed” once you’re done.
A huge thank you to Kevin, General Manager of HandleBar Adelaide, for his help in pulling this together for us and the whole crew of HBA for providing a seriously fun way to see parts of beautiful downtown Adelaide.
Catching up with an incredible group of friends on HandleBar Adelaide: it’s a thing we love….
***psst….paraphernalia.co cover their own costs in order to bring you unbiased and reliable reviews.