pedal

A Glance in the Rearview

As August winds down and Labor Day & cooler weather approach, we thought we would look back at some of our favorite memories of the summer, and look ahead to what is sure to be an awesome fall here on the Charm City Pedal Mill.

A glance in the rearview:

Our first ghost tour on the bike (on Friday the 13th, nonetheless).

We had a great corporate group that wanted to do something a little different than just a bar crawl. They had lunch at Gordon Biersch and then pedaled their way through Fells, stopping to learn about the ghost stories that haunt the cobblestone streets. One of our managers, Piper, relayed the stories to them with great enthusiasm and historical accuracy. This is just one example of how we can cater a tour to fit whatever a corporate group is looking to accomplish with a team building event.

The return of the public crawl.

Sometimes you just want to ride a bike and drink some beers, and you don’t have 15 friends available to join you. The solution? A public crawl on the Charm City Pedal Mill. We are booking more and more public crawls, where smaller groups of 1, 2, 4 or 6 book seats, as opposed to booking the entire bike. By the end of the 2 hour tour, the separate groups are all laughing and joking together, and have become friends. It has been so much fun seeing people get to know each other and bond so quickly because of their experience on the Pedal Mill.

What we’re looking forward to this fall:

Themed crawls.

We absolutely can’t wait to participate in Baltimore Beer Week. We will be featuring craft beer crawls that week, so check back in late September for more details! We also had a great suggestion from one of our riders for a zombie crawl around Halloween. Stay tuned for more details on both of those crawls. And anytime you want to have a themed private crawl, let us know, and our drivers would be more than happy to join in on the fun!  

The weather.

While the summer hasn’t been too hellish, we are definitely looking forward to cooler fall weather. There is nothing better than pedaling down the cobbles on Thames with the breeze blowing off the water and a slight chill in the air. We have four epic months left of pedaling in 2014, so grab a friend (or 15) and join in on a crawl! #pedaldrinkrepeat

Let's Talk Music

2 hours may seem like a lot of time in which to build your playlist but I assure you, you can - no, YOU NEED, to pick good jams. I’m not here to say you have to have these songs on your playlist, but think of it as a gentle nudge in the right direction.

Listen, every tour is different. Different people, different backgrounds and most certainly different tastes in music, but the goal is always the same: to have the best time with people you are with, and having a great playlist can truly help create those memories!

Now it doesn’t matter what your favorite type of music is. (Really!) Most tours start off with something low key but favorable to the masses. Now, keep in mind people are going to notice you. Between the 16 passenger bike & the ringing of the bell - don’t you want to display your music prowess with a strong selection?! The answer is YES! By the end of the tour nearly everyone’s music has picked up to the point where it’s not about going to one more bar but pedaling more along the streets of Fells Point.

So which music do you pick? How many songs? Well - ideally you need a solid 8 songs, depending on how long they are. My advice, go with anthems! Pick the songs that you secretly sing at the top of your lungs when no ones around. The songs that you and your friends are sure that you know all the lyrics to, but most importantly don’t be afraid to go old school. Some of the best songs are the old ones. But do yourself a favor - leave the slow songs at home. No one ever went to a spin class and was energized/motivated by Michael Bolton.

I’ve had some of the best times driving tours with all sorts of music. In July we had a tour finish at the last bar, Admiral's Cup, which is a solid distance from our start and end point of Ale Mary’s. They were a blast and they did not disappoint with their song finale: We are the Champions, by Queen. There was dancing in the middle, singing to fellow Baltimoreans on the street and cheering from other people in downtown Fells. That song is one that builds and it’s on the long side so thankfully we hit 2 traffic lights as it finished nearly right at the end.

Here’s a few other songs that have been popular this summer:

1- Fancy - Iggy Azalea

2 - Turn Down for What - Lil Jon w/ DJ Snake

3 - Bicycle - Queen (a fan favorite always!)

4 - Single Ladies - Beyoncé (actually anything Beyoncé is well received.)

5 - Dark Horse - Katy Perry

6 - Holla Back Girl - Gwen Stefani

7 -  We are the Champions - Queen

So if you can, plan in advance. Come pedal with us because some of the best times are the times when you did: pedal.drink.repeat through Baltimore.

**ADE

Amanda is a long-time fan of the Pedal Mill, and has been soberly rocking out with tours (aka driving) since June. She lives in Columbia with her husband, The Town, and their 1 year old daughter, The Bean.

"Who isn't pedaling?

“Pedallll!”

“Who isn’t pedaling?”

Bell rings for 4 seconds.

“Woooo!”

These are just some of the (many) sounds you will hear coming from the Charm City Pedal Mill as it rolls through the streets of Fells Point in downtown Baltimore. 16 friends have come together to celebrate a birthday, bachelorette, or (very often) just being alive.

The “bike” (as we refer to it) is reserved weeks, and even months ahead of time for special occasions. On the day of their outing, guests arrive 15 minutes before their time slot (let’s be honest – most arrive 5 minutes prior, but we suggest 15 minutes so they get maximal bike time). They trade a signed waiver (we’re all about safety) for an orange (go O’s) wristband that will get them happy hour pricing at our partner bars (more on them in a later blog post).

Once wristbanded, they climb aboard the 2,000 lb, 17 ft long bike. There are 12 bike seats (10 with pedals, and 2 above the back wheels), a bench on the back, and room in the middle with the driver (the dance floor, as we call it). They are welcomed to the Charm City Pedal Mill, introduced to their driver, given a brief safety talk, and pedal off to their custom playlist as the bell rings to signal their legs to start circling.

Throughout the two hour tour, each group hits three awesome bars in Fells, spending about 25-30 minutes per bar, with a nice little bike ride between. Our driver (most importantly) stays sober throughout the tour, guides them from bar to bar, and keeps them on track to hit the 3 bars with 5 minute warnings to close tabs and get back on the bike. Some rush out to the bike to get the “best seat”, but honestly there’s not a bad seat in the house!

Upon returning to the start/end point just outside of Ale Mary’s, there is a roller coaster of emotions that each group goes through:

1. An eruption of yells, hands slamming on the bar, and thanks to the driver and manager.

2. A groan of depression as the acknowledgment that the best part of their day/night is over, and they’ll have to go back to the boring way of getting from bar to bar (walking, pfft).

3. More thanks (hugs, hands dropping in the tip jar, and high fives) as everyone dismounts and heads off to their next destination.

Unless it is the last tour of the night, there is generally another group waiting to repeat the process, and the interaction between groups is always hilarious. We’ve heard everything from: “Dude, you’re going to have a blast!” to “They’re not going to be as cool of a group as ours!”

And we’re off with another group!

Interested in booking? Click the Book a Tour button below to check availability for both public and private tours. Questions? Hit up info@charmcitypedalmill.com.