If you've walked down Las Olas or Clematis lately, chances are you've seen a Cycle Party. You know, the mobile bar/bicycle contraption that looks like something Leonardo da Vinci would have invented if he were in a frat.
If you still have no clue what I'm talking about, a Cycle Party is essentially a giant bike that seats up to fifteen people. Ten people peddle at a time, while the tour guide sits in the middle of everyone and steers. Tours last for two hours, making stops at bars along the way. Drinking is encouraged, and cup holders are provided.
Cycle Party has been running tours in Downtown Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach for nearly two years now, and in that time the brain-child and co-owner of Cycle Party, Chris Haerting, has managed to peddle his way into the hearts of many drunk and sweaty Floridians.
Gaining popularity largely via word-of-mouth, Cycle Party has had no trouble booking tours in its two locations. But now, Haerting and Cycle Party are adding a third route to that list: Fort Lauderdale Beach.
"Time, patience and good relationships with the local associations and businesses," were the key to getting Cycle Party approved to operate on Ft. Lauderdale Beach, Haerting says.
Ultimately, it was up to the City Commission to approve Cycle Party's additional route. "The Department of Transportation and Mobility reviewed the application and due to our great track record as a tour operator in Downtown and Las Olas they recommended that the City Commission approve our additional route on Fort Lauderdale Beach."
The new beach route will run down A1A, between Sunrise and Las Olas Blvd. "We will need to work out some of the details with regard to start and end locations but we are looking to have this figured out within the next two weeks," Haerting says.
Haerting is currently working with various beach bars in attempts to work out some food and drink deals for their customers, like the ones they have with American Social, Tarpon Bend, and Royal Pig on their Las Olas route. "I already know that S3 will be a major stop for us," He says.
But if you're like most Floridians, when you hear A1A, you think one thing: traffic.
Haerting says not to worry about that, though. "We have worked closely with the Department of Transportation to create a route that is safe and we will only be on A1A for short stretches. We will also be using our newer bike that has electric assist to speed up if necessary."
And now you don't even need friends to go on a Cycle Party. Single seat tours are available to those who can't get a group of six together. "Up until this point our focus has been on private group tours. Now that we have multiple bikes we can begin offering single seat tours that can cater to locals and tourists alike," Haerting says.
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