Smiles Galore on a Bicycle Built for Fifteen.
Setting my cocktail back in the cup holder, I began to peddle harder as we navigated a short hill. We were on a Foodie Tour hosted by the Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, (insert http://www.sunny.org) but the food, scrumptious and creative as it turned out to be, wasn’t the only WOW we experienced that day.
Simon, Otto and I were in Fort Lauderdale for a TBEX (Travel Writers Exchange) North America conference, and we were fortunate to have been able to participate in two tours prior to the sessions. The first was the Pathways to the Seminole Nation Tour, where, among other activities, we rode a customized motorized buggy through Billie Swamp on the Big Cyprus Seminole Indian Reservation, which was preceded by a visit to the fascinating Upper Room Art Gallery. The following day, we joined the “Calling All Foodies Tour”, where we were able to burn off a few calories by peddling our way from venue to venue on the Cycle Party quadracycle.
What’s a quadracycle? Well, from a practical standpoint, it’s a 16 1/2 feet long, 8 1/2 feet tall “green” vehicle with a roof. It is powered by 10 pairs of feet, peddling, and five pairs of feet tapping to the onboard music, as they sit around a table with the afore-mentioned cup holders. In charge of the entire mobile party is a trained driver/tour guide who does the steering, braking and operating of lights, direction signals and clanging bell. From an emotional standpoint, it’s a feel-good time on steroids!
As we cruised along at an average speed of 5mph, we peddled to the rhythm of motion-inducing tunes like “September” and “I Will Survive” emanating from the vehicle’s speakers. The music came courtesy of Rockbot, a jukebox app favored by Cycle Party.
It was loud enough to jump-start our energy, but not so loud we couldn’t engage in conversation. I wish the same sensible balance was true of many eating and drinking establishments. But that’s a rant for another day.
We stopped at four eateries to sample a wide range of foods and adult beverages, including unique and tantalizing hors d’ouvres, savory sandwiches, luscious meatballs and tempting sweets, along with tropical concoctions and craft beer. Back on the quadracycle, our grins grew progressively wider as passers-by smiled back and waved. The only party-poopers were the poor folks in their cars who were stuck crawling along behind us. Hey, guys, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
Cycle Party was born in 2012 out of the energy and imagination of a group of four fun-loving, environmentally conscious individuals. Chris, Simon, Aileen and Michael, now have a similar operation in West Palm Beach, and have spread the joy to over 7,000 willing peddlers through over 500 tours in Fort Lauderdale alone.
All manner of revelry and special celebration can be set in motion through Cycle Party. You can create your own event: from birthdays to bachelor/bachelorette parties, fund-raisers to progressive dinners. Or take advantage of pre-organized tours such as pub crawls and sightseeing tours. If it rocks, it can roll.
Businesses and corporations frequently hire Cycle Party’s services for employee happy hours and staff development activities. When I think of all those annual time-wasting, lame torture-fests while working in Atlanta, I want to crush the life out of my stress ball.
But what of Otto? There was no way he could safely accompany us on the quadracycle, so for the first time ever I left him in the hotel room. Upon our return, we immediately knew, by the warm spot on the bed just under my pillow, he must have taken advantage of our absence by sleeping the afternoon away in comfort.
We first saw a quadracycle in Sioux Falls less than a month earlier, and it was a delicious surprise to have had the opportunity to be a part of the fun in Fort Lauderdale. If you ever have the chance to peddle and party at the same time, I highly recommend you jump on it, and have a WOW of an experience.
For more information on pricing and scheduling, visit Cycle Party’s website.