TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Downtown Toledo continues to be a place where creativity thrives. There's a new way to take in downtown, and it's rolling into town this week.
One man is taking a chance and bringing a pedal pub to Toledo. The concept is simple and started in Europe. You and 15 friends pedal, have a drink and enjoy the sights, while the driver steers and brakes.
"This is the original pedal pub. It was designed by two brothers in Amsterdam back in 1998 for the Queens Day Parade over there," said Tom Van Wingen, owner of The Handlebar Toledo. "After the parade people wanted to rent out the back and they've been making them ever since. The rest is history."
Wingen is an engineer by trade. The two, 16-person pedal pubs came without any assembly required - just added the wheels and greased the chains.
Wingen's two business partners successfully started the same concept up in Detroit.
He wanted to leave engineering and start something different - so he looked 40 miles south on I-75.
"I've been kind of seeing Toledo change over the past few years and I think it's on an upward trajectory," said Wingen. "Especially as far as the downtown area goes. We think the time is right to get rocking and rolling."
Wingen said Toledo is very business friendly. He worked with downtowntoledo.org to get his foot in door.
To get pedaling, he worked with the transportation department to come up with the bike routes.
"We've got a route mapped out. If people have any special requests, we're happy to take them along those routes to," said Wingen.
He assured that the routes won't include any hills so they won't wear anyone out and will stay within the downtown and uptown areas.
Currently Winger is the only driver because it requires a special public vehicle operators license. He plans to hire more drivers soon.
The HandleBar Toledo has started taking reservations for the two-hour pedal pub bike tours.