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Patio Ride offers unique biking experience

4:26 AM, May 26, 2011   |    comments
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"I don't know what that thing is, but I've seen it floating by," Brenda Payne, a bystander, said. "What is that?"

It is a contraption that is part bar, part bike. It's called the Denver Patio Ride.

'The Denver Patio Ride is based on a concept from the Netherlands," Nick Vannucci, the owner, said. "You should picture, you know, a moving funky entertainment machine going about five miles an hour."

The vehicle seats 10 where people can sit around a bar and pedal. One person is steering. Five more people can sit in the middle between the two bars.

"We want to have the imagery of being in the sun on a patio on a Saturday afternoon," Vannucci said.

The Denver Patio Ride cannot actually serve drinks, but it does shuttle patrons from bar to bar in areas in and around Coors Field.

"It's great fun watching it go by in LoDo when it's fully loaded and everyone's pedaling mad and it's going 3-to-6 miles per hour," John Payne, a bystander, said.

Vannucci says because it goes so slowly, the Patio Ride is safe, and he says the driver is always sober.

"You know, we've never been pulled over," Vannucci said.

Some bar owners love the idea.

"[It] enables you to drink more and you have the safety of competent chariot drivers that are getting you from point A to point B," Justin Anthony, owner the Matchbox bar, said.

"You meet great friends. You sit down. You start pedaling," Daniel Campbell, a rider, said. "It could be a good workout if you want it to be. But, if you don't want it to be, it could be a leisurely ride."

Vannucci says it can be a healthier way to drink.

"It's the whole idea of working out a little bit while you're drinking, kind of balances everything out," Vannucci said. "You metabolize your alcohol a little quicker."

He says the Patio Ride also saves on gas and electricity by having its lights and sound system powered by solar panels.

The Denver Patio Ride is available for rent on two or three hour tours. Vannucci likes to take people to a developing Denver area called River North or RINO.

"We're just happy to just be a business that bridges our businesses together and can help this area for generations to come," Vannucci said.

So, if you see something mysterious on the streets of Denver, it's just 16 people out for a bike ride.

"To ride that thing would be great fun," John Payne said.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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