This is a pubcycle, one of a few human powered
bars that make their way around downtown Asheville. You’ll find similar contraptions in other
cities. I first saw these in Fort Lauderdale and St.
Pete, where the roads are flat. There, even a drunk wedding party consisting
of non athletes can get it moving—even if half of them are only pretending to pedal. But mountain towns like Asheville rely on
electric motors to operate their pubcycles safely. According to Lela, no group of any size has
ever summited Biltmore avenue on pedal power alone. I took that as a challenge. We had the minimum group size of six peddlers. There was Alex and myself, who are reasonably
adept at peddling, plus Barret, who is a professional mountain bike guide. Next to him were Rob and Corinne, from the
DIY Youtube channel, Threadbanger. I was sure they could pub, but could they
pedal? Finally we had Johnny from Crafted Workshop,
who—wait, where’s Johnny? Okay, so we were down to 5. This would be interesting. The ride started off with a short downhill
and a u-turn back up Biltmore avenue. This is where the pain would begin. Lela was amused, but ready to flip the electric
motor switch to keep us from going backwards on Biltmore avenue. But we weren’t having that. And with that, we enjoyed the simple pleasure of a rewarding
downhill. Like all downhills, it didn’t last. By the second climb, Lela realized we were
actually serious. Understandably, she was surprised a group
would pay to be tortured. But not Barret, as a guide he gets paid to
torture people all week. As for Rob and Corinne, they didn’t actually
know what they had signed up for. After a punishing loop around the city, we
had finally made it to Patton Avenue, our final climb of the day. Upon reaching that summit, we’d hook a right
on to Biltmore for a sweet quarter mile downhill back to the starting point. But everyone was gassed. We did it. If you split the weight of that pubcycle between
5 people, it would probably be like each of us riding a 250 pound bike. Pubcycles like Rhino are made of steel and
aluminum, with other goodies like batteries and generators on board. I had always wondered what was possible to
do with one of these things, and that ride satisfied my curiosity. So if you ever find yourself in Asheville,
I challenge you to climb Biltmore avenue on pedal power alone. I know this video was a little different,
but I hope you had fun watching us suffer. It might be fun to do this again with 10 enduro
racers. I’d be interested to see if we could outclimb
a group of civilians using electric assist. If you want to explore Pisgah forest by mountain
bike, you can book Barret using the link below. Also check out our friends at Threadbanger
for very interesting DIY challenges every week. Finally, thanks to Lela for keeping that electric
assist switch in the down position. Thanks for riding with us today and I’ll
see you next time.