PedalPub driver on last week's crash: "I can't imagine how terrifying that was"

Categories: Accidents
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This morning, City Pages touched base with veteran PedalPub driver Melissa Summers to get her perspective on the unprecedented crash that sent two riders to the hospital last week.

SEE ALSO: PedalPub driver Melissa Summers responds to the haters [INTERVIEW]

In her five years of driving, Summers said she never came close to tipping a PedalPub, though she's well aware of the hill at First Street and Fifth Avenue in Mill Ruins Park that proved dangerously problematic last Thursday.

"I know that corner -- it's kinda a sharp turn," Summers said. "But slow down and it's all good. I can't imagine how terrifying that was."

Summers said drivers don't receive specific training on how to handle steep hills like the one on Lyndale Avenue to Franklin Avenue or another near the intersection of Summit Avenue and Dale Street in St. Paul, but common sense is usually sufficient.

"Obviously you need to slow down before you take turns, but those things feel really stable," she said.

Summers acknowledges, however, that PedalPubs can be dangerous if driven recklessly.

"You can get up to 15 miles per hour going down a hill, but I wouldn't want to take a turn that fast -- especially a right," she said, adding that routes are designed to avoid putting riders through the misery of having to pedal the booze-fueled vessels uphill.

Summers, who isn't driving PedalPubs this year for the first time since 2007, said she's spoken to people who still work for the company since the accident and "they're all just like in shock."

"It's really weird," she continued. "It sounds like some freak thing happened. I'm just glad nobody was killed."

Meanwhile, the "Liability Waiver and Behavior Agreement" all riders must sign before getting on a PedalPub indicates those injured in last week's crash will have a hard time suing the company for damages.

"I assume the risk that I may be injured and/or injure someone else while using the PedalPub," the waiver states. "I assume all risks associated with my use of the PedalPub and will not bring any action against PedalPub Twin Cities, LLC, its successors and/or assigns, for personal injury, property loss, or property damage, including any action for negligence, breach of warranty, products liability or strict liability."

Here's the whole thing:

Pedal Pub Release of Liability Waiver

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

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Andrew Hine
Andrew Hine

The center of gravity wasn't the only thing too high, apparently...

Rahul Dhuria
Rahul Dhuria

I agree. They come around that corner all the time and not sure what the cause was, but am sure something will change

Nyssa Shawstad
Nyssa Shawstad

I've seen them squeal around that corner dozens of times, while it is kind of annoying for residents it seemed safe enough. Hard to say if it was excess speed, unbalanced rider weight, something in the road, a combination of these, or something else entirely that made them tip this time.

DavidFoureyes topcommenter

Yeah. If the police report mentions operator (driver) negligence in the form of going too fast when taking the turn: That waiver is garbage.


Those waivers aren't worth the paper they're printed on in court.  Even suspected negligence makes them completely worthless.

Erica Anderson
Erica Anderson

Apparently common sense is not required to steer a pedal pub. Anyone with half a brain would know not to go speeding down on 1st and 5th st.

Craig R
Craig R

The crash or being on the petal pub in the first place

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