Happy St. Patrick Day! I am sure most people in Baltimore will be celebrating this holiday by going out to a bar or restaurant and having a few drinks. Why not have a little fun, right? It is important to remember to not drink and drive though. You not only endanger yourself when driving intoxicated but fellow drivers and passengers on the road. If you are going out tonight you might want to remember to call the “Tipsy Taxi.”
What is the Tipsy Taxi? It is a collaboration between the American Automobile Association (AAA) and Yellow Cab that tries to keep drunk drivers off the road on holidays that usually involve consuming large amounts of alcohol. To help with St Patrick's Day celebrations they are offering the service tonight.
That means on St. Patrick Day, Saturday March 17th, between from 4 pm – 4 am anyone who is at a Baltimore city restaurant or bar can call (#1-877-963-TAXI) and get a Free Ride home.
There are a few restrictions to using Tipsy Taxi though. You must 21-years-old and need to live in the Baltimore metro area. The taxi rides are Free but after $50 bucks, the rest of the ride is on you. Still it is a pretty sweet deal and a good idea to keep intoxicated drivers off the road.
Supposedly the Tipsy Taxi line is busiest between 12 am – 2:30 am. So keep that in mind if you call then. Remember if you are drinking tonight please call the Tipsy Taxi number #1-877-963-TAXI.
Most of you probably remember my article on Charm City Pedal Mill. Here is a video with Jason and Amanda talking about what the Pedal Mill is, where the idea came from, and what the tours are like. Sit back and enjoy!
Looking for something unique and fun to do on a weekend night, or any time in Baltimore? Look no further than the Charm City Pedal Mill.
You are probably wondering, ‘What is a Pedal Mill?' Basically, a Pedal Mill is a cycle with pedals and gears, 4-wheels, disc brakes, and a steering wheel like a car. It is powered by people, outfitted with 16 seats for adventurous riders to get it moving. It's a Rolling Bar. A ride on the Pedal Mill is a great way to spend a night out with friends in Fells Point and Canton.
Pedal Mills are inspired by similar machines in Germany and the Netherlands called Fietcafes. Amanda Linden, the owner and entrepreneur behind Charm City Pedal Mill, first encountered Fietcafes when she was living in Germany, spending time abroad.
Later in her hometown of Milwaukee, Amanda saw some people she had known in high school. Funny thing was, they were going by on one of these crazy Fietcafe contraptions. She started talking with them, and it turned out they had started running pub crawls around Milwaukee with it. “That's where I got the idea.” said Amanda.
So in August, 2011 she launched Charm City Pedal Mill. She runs the company along with help from a great group of dedicated friends. “Couldn't do it without them all,” says Amanda.
Using social media and a go-getter attitude, Amanda dove head first into getting the company started. After purchasing a vehicle, she went around to all the bars in Fells Point and Canton, told them about her Pedal Mill, and gave them her business card. “Some people were like this is the coolest thing ever!” However, there were bars that she never heard back from. Now with the success of the company and pub crawls, “Those bars are now calling me saying. ‘We really want to be on your tour!” says Amanda.
The Pedal Mill stops at about 10 bars on any given night. Tours will vary depending upon the time and day. Special requests are welcome.
Amanda is no stranger to the food and restaurant business, having worked in the industry for about 13 years. However, she longed for something more. “I didn't want to bartend, and didn't want to manage a restaurant. I had done that before!” she lamented. With Charm City Pedal Mill she has found her true calling, running pub tours in Baltimore. “It doesn't feel like work at all” Amanda said enthusiastically.
Amanda estimates that there are about 10 other cities that have Pedal Mills running tours, like her high school friends in Milwaukee. She emphasized that this is the, “First one in the Mid-Atlantic, which is kind of cool.”
For those interested in trying out this awesome contraption, it is $25 Mondays-Thursdays to rent out a seat. “You make that up with specials at the bar,” says Amanda. As part of being a rider on the Pedal Mill you will get a special wristband that lets bars know you are a Pedal Mill passenger, and that entitles you to specials. Each bar is different but you typically save 10%-15% on drinks and get shot specials. Tours are generally two miles long, which is great for working off all that beer and food during the night. (When else are you gonna do that, huh?)
You can also rent out the entire Pedal Mill per hour for $155. (Prices are a bit higher on the weekend.) The price goes down per hour the longer you rent it. People rent it out for birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties, corporate events, and other special events. “The groups coming out are usually celebrating something.” said Amanda.
The Pedal Mill is equipped with a sound system, so you can bring CDs or an MP3 player and listen to your favorite tunes through the night.
You can celebrate all you want on the Pedal Mill. Lots of people dress up in crazy costumes, “We had a whole crew of pirates last week,” Amanda told me.
One key person who helps run Charm City Pedal Mill is Jason. He fills a number of roles, acting as the main entertainer, head driver, and oversees operations and maintenance. You can see him on board the Pedal Mill most nights. He emphasized that the drivers stay sober, like all drivers should. “You drink, You pedal, We drive!” is the Charm City Pedal Mill slogan. “Never had a bad experience on here.” said Jason when talking about what it is like when they take the Pedal Mill out with customers. Jason fixes the Pedal Mill often, and was doing an alignment when I went to check it out. “He is good with the mechanics of it,” Amanda commented.
The drivers consist of a fun group of people, who all add their special skills to the business. Kevin is an electrical whiz helping fix any issues with the lights or sound system. Jeff is very good with bicycle mechanics. Sarah is the only girl driver, “She's great, really really good” says Amanda.
You might think getting this Pedal Mill business started and getting the permits would be difficult. Amanda told me that generally the city has been receptive because Baltimore is supporting bike initiatives. She also mentioned that businesses are particularly generous in helping each other out. The company partnered with Wedding411 and some hotels to be featured in Where magazine (that magazine that is always in hotel rooms). In addition, Drink Baltimore will run specials for them.
Sounds and looks awesome, right? What are you waiting for? Go get a group of friends together and rent it! Then come back and leave a comment and tell everyone about your fun experience on the Charm City Pedal Mill.
If most of you have not heard tomorrow Baltimore will be hosting it's first Grand Prix. This a big event for our small city and it is supposed to bring in an estimated 70 million dollars. There are many people unhappy with the event. Rightfully so as this is causing huge traffic congestion downtown. Consider though how much this means for a city like Baltimore. Our reputation has been marred by such shows as “The Wire” and “Homicide.” While there are many fans of these shows and I would include myself among fans of “The Wire” our city is plagued by many issues. It all really comes down to Baltimore being a poor city. Attracting a big racing event will mean continued commitment to keep money flowing into the city. Tens of thousands are expected to come out for the Baltimore Grand Prix. Baltimoreans should be excited! I know it can be difficult with terrible traffic, which I experienced today. Many communities are still without power. Racing is the last thing on their mind. Even if this is only around for 1-2 years, it will be a Boost for Baltimore. I look forward to covering it this weekend for the people of Baltimore.