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Beer bike is expanding to Ashland

Pint Rider, which started in Medford, takes up to 14 people on beer-drinking tours while they pedal
Nate Olsen leads a tour in downtown Medford Friday evening on his Pint Rider beer bike. Olsen plans to expand operations to Ashland. [Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune]
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneThe Pint Rider, seen Friday in downtown Medford, is entirely pedal-powered and travels 5 to 7 miles per hour.

Pint Rider, a 14-seat guided drinking tour experience that Medford has enjoyed for the past six years, is on its way to Ashland.

“I call it a beer bike; other people call it other things. We give beer and bar tours,” said Pint Rider owner Nathan Olsen.

The beer bike also allows for cider or wine, depending on the party’s preference. The bike runs by appointment, with private parties of no more than 14 for the full-pint ride, and no fewer than four for the half-pint ride.

The tour runs for two and a half hours and makes three stops chosen by either the party or the tour guide, called a “captain” on the Pint Rider website. People also can choose their own playlist or let the captain be the DJ for the bike’s Bluetooth speakers.

The Pint Rider is essentially a bike that looks like a trolley, but it is entirely pedal-powered by the riders. It’s about the size of a cargo van and travels at average speeds of between 5 and 7 miles per hour, according to the Pint Rider website.

The Pint Rider is rented on a 2.5-hour basis (Half Pint is 2 hours). Renters decide how the rental time is spent. Generally the Pint Rider is used for pub or bar crawls, or a progressive dinner, but it does not necessarily require stopping during the rental period, the site says.

People often rent the Pint Rider for events such as bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, team-building events, birthday parties, company parties, tailgating, cyclist group events, parades and more, the company says.

Olsen said the decision to expand to Ashland was driven by customers asking for the option to enjoy the beer bike experience in the city.

Ashland City Council amended the city’s open container ordinance to pave the way for the new business at its meeting Tuesday.

“It sounds like fun; it sounds like something different. We haven’t had something different in a long time,” Councilor Gina DuQuenne said during the council meeting.

“I’m going to make a quick confession: It’s really fun, I’ve totally done it and couldn’t stop smiling,” Mayor Julie Akins said.

Council asked police Chief Tighe O’Meara whether he had any concerns about the business. The chief said he had already checked with Medford Police Department and found no recorded problems.

“You might see me on the bike at some point,” O’Meara said.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Morgan Rothborne at mrothborne@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4487. Follow her on Twitter @MRothborne.