Soon you may be able to visit all the breweries on Fresno’s “ale trail” without putting down your glass of beer.
The Fresno City Council on Thursday unanimously approved an ordinance allowing pedicabs to serve alcohol to passengers. Council members voted and signified their support for the ordinance by ringing little bicycle bells.
Such party bikes are multiperson pedicabs led by a tour guide. Services vary, but it’s common for the pedicabs to take riders from bar to bar while serving alcohol. They’re popular in other cities around the country and state, such as Sacramento.
Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria introduced the ordinance, saying it would help the revitalization of Downtown Fresno.
Soria believes the rules will support entertainment and breweries in the Tower District and downtown, where a self-proclaimed “brewery district” and the city’s ale trail have popped up.
“It promotes a healthier option for the environment and allows alcohol consumers to visit several venues without operating a car,” Soria said during the meeting, which was met with resounding “ding, ding dings!” from other council members ringing their bike bells.
Brewery owners and downtown advocates attended Thursday’s meeting and voiced support for the ordinance.
The city previously did not have a pedicab ordinance. A city staff report said the new rules will have no fiscal impact since costs and services will be handled by the owners, operators and users of the bikes.
The staff also noted the city has been approached multiple times about brew bikes, and several local businesses and developers are looking forward to starting the service.
Soria’s ordinance limited the speed of the pedal hoppers, outlined permitting and insurance guidelines and set other rules.
In 2015, the state began allowing pedal hoppers and imposed safety requirements, but required them to be regulated locally.
After that, Fresno Pedal Co. sprang up, offering a tiki-themed party bike service. At the time, Fresno didn’t have an ordinance, but the tiki bike owners and operators said no city officials seemed to have no problem with it.
Mostly, the bike service followed the same regulations that govern limousines. Alcoholic beverages were limited to beer and wine, and could be consumed only on the bike. Fresno Pedal Co. partners got certifications from the Alcoholic Beverage Control. The company also supplies plastic cups – no glass is allowed on the bike.
Helmets are welcomed, but not required.