PedalPub driver responds to the haters [INTERVIEW]

Categories: Booze
pedal pub 2.jpg
Summers is sick of people hating on PedalPubs, and most of the vitriol is unjustified, she says.
Melissa Summers works full-time for Nice Ride, but she's a five-year veteran PedalPub driver. In fact, she put her son through college with the money she made captaining the leg-powered, booze-fueled vessels roughly 30 hours a week from 2008 through last fall.

SEE ALSO: "I hate the Pedal Pub" Facebook page: Funniest new memes [IMAGES]

Summers took this season off, but says she's considering returning next year. She's somewhat reluctant, however, because last season in particular, she noticed a proliferation of PedalPub haters that made her driving gig difficult for no good reason, at least in her opinion.

"By the end of the year last year things were getting kinda dicey with threats and general unpleasantness," Summers said. "We had a PedalPub attacked downtown and we had people who were planning to board the PedalPub, we had rocks thrown at us, and the driver is out there alone."

"It didn't happen very often but when it did it was pretty scary, so I just decided it wasn't worth it," she continued. "What I can't figure out is you don't see people hating on party buses and for God's sake, those are like the most obnoxious things in the universe."

Summers pointed out that all PedalPub riders have to sign an agreement stipulating that they'll "behave and get tossed if they behave badly." It's no idle threat -- she's booted people off herself, she says. On the other hand, she says party bus riders aren't subject to the same agreement.

"Party bus riders don't sign anything that says, 'I'm not going to act like an asshole,'" Summer said. "I'm not saying there haven't been idiots [on the PedalPub] -- trust me, there have -- but it's a very small percentage of the groups that have jerks on it."

Furthermore, Summers says all Pedal Pub drivers are expected to have hospitality experience and are trained in how to handle unruly passengers before handling their first real trips.

Regarding service-industry allegations that pedal pubbers use bar bathrooms and order copious waters without tipping, Summer said they're "completely overblown."

"I've got friends who work in bars in Minneapolis, and the majority are happy to have our business," she said. "If they said they didn't want us to stop, we wouldn't go there."

Asked about specific incidents that made her uncomfortable, Summers said the driver of a certain evil-looking ice cream truck in Northeast was "a major hater."

"He would follow us up the street, come by real slow, and say, 'Fuck the Pedal Pub!'" she said, adding that another man in Northeast was known to "throw beer cans at us as we went by." Yet another bike-riding hater was known to "hit passengers as he went by on his bike." (His blows must've been somewhat playful -- Summers said she never had to contact police about an incident that happened on the PedalPub during her half-decade driving.)

Of course, Summers said most pedestrians, bikers, and drivers she encountered while on the job had no beef. Many waved and snapped pictures. But as exaggerated or downright false anti-PedalPub stories proliferated (for instance, Summers says bus riders complaining about getting stuck behind a pedal pub on Nicollet Mall during rush hour are making things up, as pedal pubs aren't allowed on Nicollet during that time of day) and the "I hate the Pedal Pub" Facebook group grew in popularity, she decided to retire from driving... for now, at least.

"By the end of last year with 'I hate the Pedal Pub,' it was scary. People were making specific plans to make my life miserable," Summers said. "It made you kind of nervous being outside a bar and watching people by yourself."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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60 comments
zunicorns
zunicorns

"People were making specific plans to make my life miserable," Summers said."

You mean like what the Pedal Pub patrons do to the people living in the normally quiet neighborhoods you go through? I love how every single complaint by numerous people are dismissed as overblown by Summers. Having ridden a Pedal Pub piloted by her, I can tell you this: She's full of it. We blew through stop signs and were encouraged to scream and holler as we slowly pedaled from bar to bar. She did warn us not to litter, to give her some credit there, but that's about it. I think if the Pedal Pub wanted to actually stop the "haters," they would acknowledge that they do indeed have a problem with their patrons disturbing the peace, littering, using people's lawns as toilets, and stop with the multiple traffic violations. Instead, Pedal Pub claims all of the complaints are lies, while employees steal the "Neighbors Against Pedal Pub" signs and verbally accost anti-Pedal Pub people when they see them in public.

AlBoyce
AlBoyce

To members of the I Hate The Pedal Pub group:  PedalPub is sincerely interested in meeting with your representatives to discuss your needs and issues.  Please contact our manager, Lisa Staplin, at twincities@pedalpub.com to set up a mutually convenient time.  Thank you!  Al Boyce, Managing Partner, PedalPub Twin Cities LLC

loserdroid
loserdroid

I hate party buses more than Pedal Pubs.

Kent Erickson
Kent Erickson

It should seem obvious, but party buses can actually keep up with the speed limit once they get going and aren't slowing down other motorists and holding up traffic. So the comparison ends there. Also, what is this woman talking about with Nicollet Mall? I have seen many Pedal Pubs on Nicollet Mall during the evening rush hour. 5:45 is still rush hour isn't it?

JeniKay
JeniKay

These ridiculous things are invading Lowertown now. Aside from the acting like hooting, hollering idiots, I constantly see these things parked in a traffic lane on 7th Street and other areas. I wish to god one of them would get hit, so I won't have to hear anymore whining about how people annoyed by these things just "hate fun."

Kevin M Frazier
Kevin M Frazier

i think these are cool people always complain but i bet they have used one once or twice

Shane Willis
Shane Willis

We need the economy to keep growing so some, who have turned to hating people having fun, because they cannot afford to have their own fun, will subside... Noise laws apply between the hours of 10:30 pm and 6:30 am, so unless they are excessively noisy and sitting outside your window and lingering, you need to suck it up a bit, I think. Cheers!

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

What is interesting is the consumer push for better availability of drinks and drinking establishments (ie. Surly Law)....while the government is trying to find ways to decrease usage through tax hikes and legislation. When the level goes to .05 from .08 its going to be very interesting to see what happens. I doubt people will be willing to buy that extra beer at a show or game, when it could cost them $5k in expenses (ignoring the risk to life and the uglier side of it).

Agree that this is very one sided journalism. I don't think anyone but heavy drinkers, cougars,  and 21 year olds like party buses or peddle pubs.  Its basically a look at me I am drinking approach, which is not widely appreciated or understood. This is an example of the USA's immature approach to alcohol. Poor life decisions are generally contagious. 

denvercalled
denvercalled

This whole article is very one-sided. The title certainly implies bias and no one from the other side of the argument is put on the record. It's very easy to write off anyone with a complaint as a "hater" (here's to hoping this fad term goes away soon). This article gives no background to what the IHPP facebook page is all about. It certainly isn't an angry mob. If anything, the "haters" are more concerned about rider/driver safety than the drivers and operators of PP themselves (see the videos of pedal pubs blowing through stop signs and nearly causing accidents). In a state where I can't walk down the street with an open beer or have an open container on my bike or in a car, how is this considered ok and safe? The flash mob attack would be the least of my concerns as a driver of one of these things. How long until we have a horrible crash involving a car & PP? There are no helmets, no seat belts, people are drunk, the driver has to drive and chaperone at the same time, and they operate on busy streets often with little regard for posted traffic signs. To me this is a safety and regulation issue rather than a matter of peace and quiet. Put it this way...if this were just a bunch of guys who fashioned their own 8 person bike and headed out on the town to get hammered, they'd be arrested and taken off the street. I don't see how one designated "driver" and a specific route make it that much better. When a business has a hate page with half as many (2200) likes as the business itself (5900), that should tell you something. Last question...when will we see one of these in Edina or Excelsior or Woodbury? Exactly!

Chance Lunning
Chance Lunning

Okay, the pedal pub is annoying but you are in no way justified in calling her a bitch. Keep your sexist bullshit to yourself.

Northloop
Northloop

I lived on my street long before the Pedal Pubs made it their route. Now, I am subjected to loud "WOOO-ing" and shouting drunks yelling at cars to honk at them. It doesn't help that my place is right where the road goes uphill. The "WOOO-ing" is amp-ed up because they have to pedal extra hard to get up the hill. At least with party buses, the drunks are enclosed inside the bus. And they don't all go "WOOO" when the bus goes up a hill. This stupid thing, full of fat assed suburban housewives, and endless Bachelorette parties rolls past my place multiple times a day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And God help you if you are enjoying yourself at a neighborhood bar when one rolls up. It is like a tornado rolling through. These are the most obnoxious things ever.

foureyes137
foureyes137

Holy shit! Is this what we have to care about now? I live on a route, I get stuck behind them for a block at most, people are having fun and spending money in my neighborhood...I have a far greater problem with people parking their huge fucking shitbucket Yukons, and acting like idiots at Psycho Suzies every weekend and Gastof's during Oktoberfest...and I won't make a yard sign to whine about them either because their taxes are giving the riverfront community a firmer tax base.

Have fun people, fuck the haters, tip your bartenders (especially for waters), and wave and smile and give us your money. Eventually all the sourpuss babies will move to...shit, the suburbs? where they will certainly find nothing to complain about.

Emily Summers Leabch
Emily Summers Leabch

Angela, name calling only invalidate your argument. I too live on a PedalPub shortcut in St Paul and I understand the frustration and strong feelings about this. I have had to explain this to my little kids in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday but resorting to calling people names only makes you sound unintelligent.

Curtis Meyer
Curtis Meyer

No. No one parties in Northeast. What was I thinking?

Jen Boyles
Jen Boyles

They are headquartered across from where I live. Needless to say, hoping to move by next summer.

Angela Wiberg Morris
Angela Wiberg Morris

Mary- are you kidding me? Do you think nobody has tried to be reasonable about this situation and remedy it in a logical way? And Curtis... I live in Northeast Minneapolis. In a residential area. Not an area where "douchebags go to party." It isn't my responsibility to put my house up for sale and move from everything I know because a prick with a multiple-person bicycle who serves alcohol and schleps it down my street has decided he now owns this side of town and can do whatever the fuck he wants. There are rules, laws and ordinances that the Pedal Pub are breaking. I am not breaking the law living here and owning a home, I am not the perpetrator and I shouldn't be punished because a company is making a buck off of exploiting a neighborhood full of people who actually work hard for what they have. Blaming the victims speaks volumes to me.

StPaulieGirl
StPaulieGirl

I've never been on a Pedal Pub nor necessarily plan to.  Also, I live in Uptown in a residential area where I deal with loud ass drunks ALL the time, and I work downtown and sometimes get stuck behind PP's.  However, it's not that big of a deal!!  I find it ridiculous that people have nothing better to do than bitch about them.  Seriously?!  Is that truly your biggest problem in life?  If so, be thankful and put your energy towards something good.  Ugh.

thomas.m.crouse
thomas.m.crouse

Hating on the pub is redundant. Drunkenly parading around on a giant bike in public is its own mockery. Ditto for party buses.

Curtis Meyer
Curtis Meyer

I'm not for pedal pubs, and I get the issue, and I would never rent one, it's stupid. However, I should point out that you people choose to live an area where assholes go to party. If you don't like it, why are you living there? For example...Uptown. There's no parking, and it turns into a douchebag convention every weekend. It's well known. It's a given. So, why is it everyone who lives there complains about the parking and the douchebags? Duh!

Mary Wick
Mary Wick

I would say if people are really having issues with the pedal pub why wouldn't you contact them and discuss the specific problems you are having? Perhaps they would change their route?

skw8021
skw8021

I am starting to be convinced that the entire "I hate the pedel pub" movement is just Meg Tuthill trolling us all. I found it entertaining at first until I realized these people actually are sad enough to spend time hating on something as inconsequential and harmless as a pedel pub. Get a life. 

brianwisconsin
brianwisconsin

Fuck the pedal pub.  Crawling down Hennepin at rush hour, 10 cars backed up behind a bunch of yammering yahoos.  I've never once seen a quiet group on those stupid things.

Rich Rudin
Rich Rudin

Fukk pedal pubs. What a stupid idea. Get a real job.

lindafrench
lindafrench

i live on a pedal pub route, and they disrupt my day at least 1-2x a day.  

they go through our intersection - yelling/screaming/cheering & ringing their bell, while encouraging passing cars to honk at them.  they throw their trash on our lawns & streets.

nobody loves party busses, but at least those don't drive by my home 20x a week.

i don't condone violence, but i seriously hate the pedal pub & am a member of the FB group.

PattMeterson
PattMeterson

The employees of the Pedal Pub all seem to have the same story about how they operate but anyone who as ever been around one will know, they aren't doing anything to quite these people down. Yes, they say they are done by 10, but that doesn't mean the folks aren't causing chaos when getting off the bike and getting to the next bar or even their car to drive.

Also, party buses don't operate on Tuesday afternoons. They have their time and place.

Chance Lunning
Chance Lunning

It's the WOOOOing, man. If they didn't feel compelled to scream, "WOOOO!" constantly I probably wouldn't mind.

Erica
Erica

As much as I dislike the party buses, they actually go park in one place for the amount of time the customers go pub-hopping. The comparison is apples and oranges. Two, every Friday/Saturday night I am subjected to hooting and hollering from the wankers on the pedal pub from my condominium. Their route is like a block and a half away from where I live. Quiet and well-behaved my @$$.  I am a member of the I Hate Pedal Pub FB page. Violence and harassment is not condoned by the moderator nor do I condone it. The actions of a few bad apples do not represent the group as a whole or anyone who hates these monstrosities on wheels. And if there are establishments who don't mind the Pedal Pub folks and supports them, then name them. Long story short, yeah I am calling a spade a spade on this individual who is defending the Pedal Pub.

Lollipopfop
Lollipopfop

@zunicorns None of the neighborhoods they go through are all that quiet. For one thing quiet neighborhoods don't have many bars. Nor have I EVER seen one of them hop off the bus thing and pee and then run after it to get back on, that would be almost impossible. Nor have I ever seen any "pedal pub" people and "anti pedal pub " people fighting. But if I did I would laugh for a week.  The only way pedal pub users could identify anti pedal pub people is if they were accosted first. Which is probably what you do.

ludwitr
ludwitr

@zunicorns How on earth would anyone ever recognize someone who is anti-pedal pub in public?

vonnykleinman
vonnykleinman

@Kent Erickson And so you have hit on the issue here, my friend.  There is a huge gap between what the Pedal Pub does and what the Pedal Pub says it does.

DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

@k2yeb Wait...they're called "Beer Bikes" where the trend began...in Europe...which isn't in the USA. If you were in Amsterdam 10 years ago...you saw these things.

I won't defend them as not silly, but I don't think America has the market cornered on enjoying drinking outdoors with friends yet.

vonnykleinman
vonnykleinman

Also, can't we let those in live and work on routes decide whether or not they want them there and what is good for their neighborhood?  Aren't they the experts as to whether or not they are out of line?  I believe that the majority of the people who live on the routes don't care for them, some even downright hate them.

natnat
natnat

@NorthloopHey, I hate the Pedal Pub as much as anyone but "fat assed suburban housewives" and "bachelorette parties"?? Really?? Last time I saw one, there were lots of guys on them as well. Try harder to hide your crappy attitude towards women.

 Also, anyone who says that people who don't like the Pedal Pub "hate fun" or are jealous because they "can't afford" it are dumb. Try having to deal with that thing in the neighborhoods where you live and work.

DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

Bottom line: If we live in Holland, Sheridan, or Bottineau, (or SAE or SAW sorta) we knew that there were bars in our neighborhood when we moved here...so unless you moved-in 40 years ago we're all between Mayslacks, Grumpys, Knight Cap, Jimmy's, Deuce, Shaws, Dusty's, 1029, Yacht Club, NE Palace, Stasius (RIP), etc etc etc. Now, name 4 bars north of Lowry in NE Minneapolis...

Yeah, if we'd wanted a quiet part of NE, we'd have moved over there. Let us act like the progressive, hard-working, inclusive, accepting northeasters that we are... not the entitled babies in Uptown and Northloop complaining that they're having to re-calibrate their espresso machines because of all the noise.*

* irony intended.

zunicorns
zunicorns

@StPaulieGirl Yeah, you CHOSE to live in Uptown, which is known for loud drunk douchebaggery. The Pedal Pub in NE goes through what are ordinarily quiet residential areas with these drunk a-holes shouting and screaming. Patrons have been known to litter, vomit, an urinate on people's lawns. Bully for you living in Uptown, but these residents didn't sign up for this crap.

zunicorns
zunicorns

@Mary Wick Are you serious? Do you think they haven't done that? People are now recording and reporting incidents where the PP is breaking the law, and the city is finally giving them citations. This article is completely one-sided. Read through some of the comments here for an idea of what it is like to live on a PP route.

ludwitr
ludwitr

@Erica So, the actions of a few bad apples on the pedal pubs don't represent the group of pedal pub patrons as a whole, right?

atrupar
atrupar moderator

@Erica Summers addressed one of the points you make in this comment during our interview. The PedalPub never runs past 10 p.m., so she said people who make a big fuss about "hooting and hollering" keeping them awake at night are either exaggerating or go to bed really early. 

Also, for whatever it's worth, Summers said drivers are instructed to try and make sure riders didn't scream and shout while the PedalPub was traveling through residential areas. Of course, I'm sure that effort isn't always successful, but is a bit of hooting and hollering along Lyndale Ave. at 9 p.m. on a weekend really more annoying than a party bus blasting music hours later? That's her point, as I took it.

ludwitr
ludwitr

@natnat @Northloop yeah, god forbid I have to slow down for a whopping 30 seconds of my day, and listen to people enjoy themselves.  I also am petitioning the city to limit laughing and screaming at local parks and schools, nobody needs that kind of noise to ruin their lives like that.

christine 16
christine 16

Kind of disagree. I live on Grand and 22nd. It was very quiet when I moved in.  Never once has a bargoer bothered me. I'm not on Marshall or Lowry or University. I did know that those streets would be noisy. The Pedal Pub is the most rudely disruptive thing I encounter at my home. It may not be violating a noise ordinance, but it's rude to go by someone's house screaming just because you can. I realize the drivers have to cheerlead and make people hoot and holler so they don't realize they just gave someone $50 to drink their own beer while biking and going nowhere. But it's just a dumb concept. Organize a group REAL bike ride. Just put booze in your bike bottles if that's your thing. Get real exercise, get some wind in your hair, go wherever you want...And if you decide to hoot and holler on a real bike, at least someone trying to have a conversation won't have to wait 5 minutes for you to make it a couple houses down the street.

foureyes137
foureyes137

@atrupar @Erica I get 1000 times more litter from people waiting for the bus than from pedal pubs...and you think 10 people yelling happily at 6pm is distracting? How about the people in our area the yell down the streets at each other at the tops of their lungs at all hours? Christ. It's a city. You don't like noise, move to a cul-du-sac in Apple Valley.

lindafrench
lindafrench

@atrupar @Erica 


why is it acceptable to hoot & holler and litter on **residential**  streets at any time of the day?


Lollipopfop
Lollipopfop

@christine 16 I live very close to you, and I know for a fact that its a very young, and not very quiet neighborhood. if you want quiet go live in the suburbs or a small town.  A city is not quiet.

allyourbasearebelong
allyourbasearebelong

@christine 16 I live a block away from you.... While i'm annoyed at the woo-hooing at times when biking by one when not in the mood, generally, I'm still amused.  And actually thrilled at the idea that people generally from other parts of town are enjoying establishments in my northeast neighborhood. Never once has a bar goer bothered you? Really? The most rudely disruptive thing you encounter at your home? You live RIGHT by Pyscho Suzi's and before that, Gabby's... 

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