FAQ

Top 10:

1.  We provide the driver who steers and brakes, a stereo and of course, the Pedal Pub.  We help you load and unload your items from the overhead roof rack, take pictures, clean up the mess and anything else you may need over the course of the tour.

2. Must be 21 to drink alcohol, but we do allow 18yr olds to ride along.  Sorry, our insurance policy does not allow children to ride.

3. If youre looking for an available date click here.  You don’t have to book, you can also just search the calendar for available dates.

4. The max party size is 16 people (no exceptions) and the min recommended is 6.  We provide a driver, which would be the 17th person.  We do have 4 Pedal Pubs so we can take 4 out at once for a total of 64 people.

5. Cost for a 2hr tour is $400 Friday/Saturday and $300 all other days.  That means it’s between $18-25/person if you bring 16 people.

6. We have a stereo on board with a headphone jack that you can hook up your ipod/iphone to so you can be the DJ.  If you’d rather us choose the music we have an FM/AM radio we can play as well.

7. We start and end all tours at the same location (190 Gratiot)  (Remember that we are a bicycle, not a bus, and The HandleBar doesn’t move without pedal power!)  :)  A map is here:

8. The HandleBar operates from March through December, 7-days a week.  We run from 12:30pm to 10pm Monday-Friday, and 10am to 10pm on Saturday and Sunday.  If you’d like to book a tour time outside this range just shoot us an e-mail to info@handlebardetroit.com

9. Most people prefer that we take care of the route, but if you have something in mind different from the below all you have to do is tell your driver right before the tour (or during it :)).  We stick to the downtown areas only and typically we do 2-3 stops for every tour: Campus Martius area (Grand Trunk Pub, Checker Bar, Hard Rock, The Beach Bar), Comerica Park area (Town Pump, Park Bar, Rusted Crow DistilleryRub Pub Sports Bar, Coaches Corner) and Greek Town (Old Shillelagh, Fire Bird, The Well, The Detroiter, etc) . There are also other bars all over downtown that we can go to – just ask us – we have no preference and will steer you towards the places we think you’d like.  Some examples are Downtown Louies, Queens Bar, Detroit Beer Company, Cornerstone Barrel House, etc…..  Don’t get stressed out about all the options – most people just show up and let us take you around!

10.  Alcohol is now legal to bring on The HandleBar.  You may bring your own beer & wine only (or other canned beverages like bud light limearita, etc but no hard alcohol).  No glass will be allowed out while we’re on a tour (If you have glass in a cooler it needs to stay there unless we are stopped – we recommend not bringing it at all).  The city of Detroit also states once a tour has started you may not stop the bike to purchase alcohol at a store (except for inside a bar) so please come prepared to start the tour :)

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is there room to bring ?

There is a roof rack that runs the entire inside perimeter of the bike and the center of the bike is completely empty with a width of 2feet.   We’ve never had a group bring “too much” and the roof rack is perfect for jackets, phones, purses, small coolers, etc.

What dates are available ?

You can browse available dates through the booking system.  Just click the “pricing / book a tour” menu above…. and if you find one you like – BOOK online.  Clicking the link doesn’t mean you have to book, you can just browse the dates as the 1st step.   Group tours need to be booked at least 2 days in advance of your tour  http://handlebardetroit.com/booktour/

How do I pay ?

You can browse available dates through the booking system.  Just click the “BOOK NOW” button below to find your available date and pay online.  We do not offer cash payment for tours.

Where do we park ?

There are a lot of options for parking and they can be found here.

What is the route we take ?

Your driver will handle the route unless you have some place you’d really like to go.  If you have a special requested stop, just tell your driver and we can accommodate.  As long as we can find parking, just let us know and we’ll tailor your route.

 How many people ride ? How many pedal? 

The HandleBar carries 16 passengers maximum, plus the Pilot, the Bar Handler.  We cannot accommodate any more than 16 per bike due to insurance reasons.  There are 12 “BarStools” total (6 on each side) but only 10 total pedaling seats, (5 on each side).  If you look at the pictures of the Pedal Pub you’ll notice 2 of the “Bar Stools” don’t have pedals below them because they’re over the rear wheels. (Picture below) There is also a bench in the back of The HandleBar that seats three for people who want a rest or would rather just relax.  The last spot is in the middle of The HandleBar for the group “bartender” (if you want one).  As far as a minimum number, we recommend a minimum of 6 people to rent The HandleBar. (Keep in mind there are 10 “pedaling” seats, so 10 is actually ideal if everyone wants to pedal the entire time)

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 What are some recommendations to eat before or after the tour ?

We’re located right in the heart of downtown so the options really are endless.  The closest spots are only a few steps away: Vicente’s is an awesome smaller cuban spot, Punch Bowl Social has huge seating capability, Calexico is a new Mexican restaurant with great outdoor seating right on Woodward, Hard Rock Cafe and Texas De Brazil are steps away as well.  Also 2 blocks down Broadway from us is Detroit Beer Company and Small Plates – both great options for food/drink.  Not even a block or so in the other direction is also GreekTown, which is absolutely loaded with bars and restaurants.

If you’re really looking to take the party up a notch we also recommend trying Atwater Brewery.  They have a VIP area that you can rent right inside their brewery that holds up to 60 people and if you mention you’re a HandleBar customer you’ll receive 2 free pizzas and your first round of complimentary beers!  More info here:

What if it is cold, rainy, windy or (yes!) snowy the day of the tour?

The HandleBar operates rain or shine.  Don’t stress out about the weather days in advance – forecasts change.  Plus, we’re from the midwest- we can dress for the weather! If dangerous weather does occur, The HandleBar reserves the right to cancel the tour and offer the renter a rain check. There will be no rain checks offered for rides once begun.  We’ve found our tours in the rain sometimes actually have more fun because it makes the experience that much more ridiculous and you do stay fairly dry with the overhead awning.

What type of clothing should I wear ?

We recommend no sandals as they can come off easily and to dress in comfortable clothing (sporty chic for ladies ?).  Anything can be worn and you’ll be OK (check pictures on social media) but remember that you’re pedaling on a bike so consider that when choosing your wardrobe!

What if our tour takes too long?

You will be charged a late fee if you do not return The HandleBar to the starting point on time. The time it takes to complete a tour is up to the people pedaling. The Bar Handler will assist in keeping you on time. We have test-pedaled all routes and know how long they take.  We have never had this be an issue!

Do you provide a Driver ?

Always. We call the driver The Bar Handler. Our insurance provider requires it.

Who should rent The HandleBar?

Bachelor and Bachelorette parties, Corporations for team building, group rewards, and promotions, Birthday parties, Church outings, company parties, conventions, sports teams, pub crawls, picnics, family reunions, you name it.  We are available for tailgates for Lions/Tigers games or any of the many events going on in Detroit, too.

Who shouldn’t rent the The HandleBar?

If you love being caged in a cubicle you probably will not like The HandleBar.  If you are allergic to the outdoors, hate even the slightest form of anything remotely resembling exercise, or don’t want to be seen pedaling a 16-passenger bike around town then maybe you shouldn’t rent us.  For everyone else – you’re going to have a blast :)

Who can’t pedal The HandleBar?

The HandleBar typically has a minimum height requirement of 5’3″ for pedalers depending on the length of your legs (we have adjustable seats) There is a maximum weight limit of 300 pounds for people on the bike seats. The back seat is perfect for those who don’t fit within the height and weight limitations.  And remember, there are two handleBAR stools that don’t have pedals so you can always sit on one of those!

All riders must be at least 18 years of age.  All riders who are drinking will need to provide valid identification that they are at least 21 years old.

Who’s in charge of The HandleBar?

The Bar Handler. If you act in a dangerous manner, you’ll be asked to get off and find your own way home. You can imagine the difficulty we had finding insurance for this thing in America, so the rules are strictly enforced.

The renter. Only one person can be a renter and that person is the only person the Bar Handler answers to. Can you imagine 16 people arguing about when to leave the bar? We don’t want our Bar Handlers getting in the middle of that!

Have there been problems in the past with people falling off?

We are the original Pedal Pub bicycle w/ 20 years of history in Europe!  Since Zwier and Henk Van Laar invented the world’s first HandleBar Pedal Pub and have been running them around Amsterdam, there was only one fairly significant injury. A woman tried to jump off while the PedalPub was moving (which we never allow) and broke her ankle.  Follow our rules and we’ll keep you safe :)

 How much does it cost? When do I pay? How do I pay?

The Handlebar costs $400 per 2 hr tour on Friday and Saturday, and $300 per 2 hr tour all other days.  You can pay by Visa, Mastercard and American Express.  We do not have an option to pay in cash.

What dates and times can I reserve?

The HandleBar operates from early spring through first snow fall, on every day of the week.  We run from 12:30pm to 10pm Monday-Friday, and 10am to 10pm on Saturday and Sunday.

We reserve the right to adjust your tour time, with your advance knowledge, to maximize the number of tours we can accommodate per day. All tours must be booked at least 48 hours in advance.

What if I want to cancel or reschedule?

If you cancel 14 or more days in advance, you have the choice of receiving a refund or a rain check valid for 3 months.  If you choose the refund option a $25 fee will be subtracted to cover credit card processing and our software booking fees.  Cancellations less than 14 days out – Sorry! No refund or rain check.

What’s the fastest the The HandleBar can go?

On flat streets, with a strong crew, The HandleBar travels at a maximum speed of approximately 12 miles per hour (according to our tour with the boys at Car and Driver magazine).  Most typically we’re closer to 5-7mph.

Can The Handlebar go up hills?

We know where the “hills” are and are very good about avoiding them :)

Can we decorate the bike for our tour ?

Sure!  Tips and dimensions can be found here

Do you have music aboard?

Absolutely!  Feel free to bring your cellphone, ipod or CDs.  We have a headphone jack/cord on-board so no need to worry about bringing your own.  The only thing you need to provide is a music device that has a headphone jack/port (iphone/ipod, etc.)  This means we have a cord that will work with any cellphone or MP3 player.

What if we don’t want to drink alcohol ?

No Problem!  We have tours where people just want to ride on The HandleBar and enjoy the city without stopping at bars.  The HandleBar is a blast and everyone is welcome!

Do any of the bars we stop at offer shot or drink specials to HandleBar riders ?

Absolutely – they change from time to time, but your Bar Handler will have all of the latest information when you’re on your tour

Do you guys sell gift certificates ?

Sure – click this link and purchase a gift certificate online for any value

Was alcohol always legal on The HandleBar ?

No it wasn’t legal according to the city of Detroit until the 2017 season.  History: State law Senate bill 165 was passed in July of 2015 and allows alcohol to be consumed while on the HandleBar in the state of Michigan.  The city of Detroit’s interpretation for the 2015 and 1016 seasons was that an existing city ordinance, Disorderly Conduct ((Code § 38-5-1)), did not allow alcohol – even with the new state law.  All of that is history, as we know, because Detroit city council passed an ordinance in late 2016 to specifically allow alcohol.

 

Video:  The Mackinac Center for Public Policy did a story on us that you can see below.  It’s a quick video that shows what it’s like to do a tour on The HandleBar.  The focus was also to highlight how The HandleBar has paved the way in Detroit to work with the city to allow new ventures by entrepreneurs.  If you have time check it out!

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