You might have seen them around Dallas - people sitting on stools at a bar, enjoying drinks and loud music while they glide past you on the street. But wait ... this bar is moving?
The Buzz Bike isn't like other bars. Instead of being inside a building, it's a part of a moving vehicle that is powered by, well, you. As a participant of this traveling bar, you're required to power it while you sip on drinks.
This bike bar trend has been around in other U.S. cities, but co-owners Gloria Flores and Maribel Navarro brought it to Dallas straight from Holland. Renters can either rent the entire bike for $160-190 per hour, or choose a lesser-known option: The Social Buzz. The Social Buzz is sold by seat ($30 for two hours) and is aimed at people who want to make new friends and have fun with the old.
When I decided to test out the Buzz Bike, it was a no brainer to do the Social Buzz instead of rent the entire bike. (What a great way to meet new people!) Here are five things to know about the Social Buzz tour of Uptown.
The bike: The bike can seat up to 16 people with 10 people pedaling. There is a height requirement of 5 feet 3 inches to be able to pedal, although there are a couple adjustable seats. And if you do happen to be shorter, don't fret, there is a back seat bench that is perfect for you, or you can have the job of the bartender and hand people the drinks they brought along. The Buzz Bike is BYOB.
The tour: The only option for the Social Buzz is to do the Uptown tour (the options for renting the whole bike out are the Uptown, Arts District, downtown, and Victory Plaza routes). Going a max of five miles an hour on the flat surface, it is the perfect speed to give people high-fives out of their car windows, and wave to the people filming you (because so many people will).
The bars: The Social Buzz has two stops. We stopped at So & So's first where people on the tour could enjoy some beer or shots. The next stop was Three Sheets, where the group had the chance to get more drinks, catch up on the football game that was going on, and get to know each other better.
The people: Going on the Social Buzz by yourself, or even with one other person can be intimidating. But keep in mind that the people on the tour want to make friends. Sure, the other groups on our tour were celebrating birthdays, but that didn't stop us from mingling on the bike and in the bars. I mean, after all the work you put in to make that bike move? You're bound to bond over that. Kyle Langley, 25, went on the tour with his friends celebrating a birthday, and came away making new friends. "It was kind of a unique experience because we got to intermingle with some other crews, which was fun," Langley said.
The work: I saved this one for last, because it is the factor that surprised me the most. The biking is not for the weak. It is pretty tough work. Especially when you're trying to drink at the same time. Your legs might very well be sore the next day (just saying - and yes, I did bike the whole time).
The work is all worth it, though, for a unique experience that allows you to make new friends. After our tour ended, our whole group went out to another bar to chat more over drinks. Navarro, one of the owners, said she sometimes sees customers return for another tour with friends they met the first time around. "People do become friends, and they continue that friendship," Navarro said.
For more information, such as bike tour times and additional pricing info, see the Buzz Bike website.