When most people think of Paris, they think of wine, the Eiffel Tower and of course, bicycles. The bicycle has become of the most iconic images of Paris and France, right along with poodles and painters.
I’m often laughed at in my little town outside of Detroit because I ride my bike to the grocery store in the summer. My bike is rigged with saddle bags that carry a gallon of milk (or two bottles of Champagne) on one side and ingredients for dinner on the other. I don’t ride for sport. I ride for practicality. Riding my bike gets in some exercise and also gets my errands run all in one trip. There is a little sense of pride, keeping a long standing tradition of “la bicyclette” alive and well, too.
Hence, when I was asked to join a group of bloggers to review the new Handle Bar Pub in Detroit, I couldn’t resist. #HandleBarDetroit is a fifteen seat rolling pub powered by human peddlers. Tourists and Detroit natives alike can be introduced to the iconic sites of Comerica Park, the Fox Theatre, Campus Martias and Mid-town under the knowledgable guidance of their Handle Bar driver. As an added bonus, our driver (he steers, you pedal) also knew some of the more obscure gems of the city; up and coming places to get a great meal or cocktail that one wouldn’t normally find online.
With the wind blowing lightly through my hair and the Detroit skyline in my sites, Handle Bar Detroit offered me an up close and personal look at the renaissance that this city is making. The Handle Bar offers two and four hour tours with stops at local pubs and places of interest. Our two hour tour allotted for twenty minutes at each stop. If you would like more time to sample food, I suggest signing up for the four hour tour.
We had a great time, enjoying the city in a personal, eco-friendly way. I do have a few recommendations after enjoying the tour. Aside from keeping the tour time allotment in mind when ordering at the pub, please consider your group. Handle Bar operates under complete human pedal power. If those in your group are unfit, never been cycling or are generally opposed to exercise, then this is not for them. Anyone can enjoy a cocktail in a pub. I suggest those interested in cycling or enthusiastic about some form of physical activity and also enjoy a pub crawl take this form of tour. There is also limited seating for people under 5’3″ tall as not all of the seats are adjustable.
Several of my friends have also booked the Handle Bar in Detroit and told me how much they loved it. It has been used as a corporate team builder, a bachelorette party and a highlight of a family reunion. For me, it was a little flavor of the French culture I love so much and its beloved bicycle.