14 February 2008

Das Partybike: European Bicycle Evolution

To be honest, I'm embarassed. Embarassed that the cycle-mad Danes didn't think of this first, given our affection for beer, which is just as developed as the Germans. What a splendid concept. Riding a bike with friends, drinking beer and even eating. All at once. Meet Das Partybike.

This is taking bike design to new levels. Their website is clear about the concept. "The rolling partytheque with music, draught beer and good times." You can bring your own beer and food, or they can provide it, as well as a DJ if you prefer. The price is €20 if you can muster 15 friends - beer, food, DJ are extras.
While this partybike will roll to your door anywhere in Germany, there seem to be other versions abroad. But this beast of a pedal-powered machine is by far the coolest on the kitsch scale. I love it.

It seems to be the ultimate northern European invention. A social gathering involving beer where everyone helps propel the vehicle forward towards a common goal. If one of you needs a rest, the others will keep pedalling. The partybike is Scandinavian-style democratic socialism in practice. :-) A rolling society of like-minded individuals.

From what I gather there has been a similar bike in New York City:

They called themselves Partybike, but it is actually a Conference Bike. This bike - another German make - is used as a tool for corporate teambuilding in London, as a tour bike in Berlin and a tool for helping blind people ride in Dublin.

In New York, however, groups of people having fun are apparently frowned upon by the police and the operation has been shut down. Here's one account. I find that extremely odd.

But nevermind that, what I'm looking forward to seeing is a commuter version on the bike lanes leading to distant suburbs in Copenhagen. Seven businessmen and women pedalling along together, chatting or talking on their mobiles, drinking coffee in the morning light, taking turns steering. What a great way to go to work.

Anyway, feel free to check out Das Partybike here. There's an English version.
Read more about the Conference bike here. And about the makers of the Conference Bike here.

Let the good times roll!