NEPA’s new party ride is here

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First Posted: 3/15/2015

Have you ever heard of a bicycle built for two? Well, how about 10? That’s right, 10 of your closest friends on a bike, pedaling to your favorite watering holes in your hometown. And, it’s right in the backyards of Northeastern Pennsylvania residents.

The NEPA Party Bike is a pedicycle, a bike that holds 10 peddlers plus three additional riders. The business is based out of the Simpson/Carbondale area, though the bar-like bike can be brought to its customers.

“Customers can hire us for our pre-planned itineraries or customize their own ride,” said owner Mike Lisowski. “We are bringing the party to the people so those in small towns like Kingston or Edwardsville don’t have to drive to the city to have a good time.”

One pre-planned tour is the two-hour Scranton bar crawl. Lisowski and peddlers start at City Market Cafe and ride to Kildare’s Irish Pub, then to Ale Mary’s, and lastly, to the Backyard Alehouse. The crawl is $300 and riders receive a wristband which entitles them to drink specials at each bar.

Scranton resident Kate Abbot, along with her friends and family, braved the cold and pedaled the bike on its maiden voyage through downtown Scranton.

“It’s my birthday so why not,” Abbot said. “It is cold outside but that’s why there’s beer.”

Abbot’s mother, Nora Burmham, won a Facebook contest for $50 off a ride.

“We had to use it by March and it was Kate’s birthday,” she said. “But we have already talked to them about coming to Mid-Valley to do it again when it’s sunny out.”

The group laughed the entire ride and noticed they were entertainment for all the city traffic.

“It was definitely harder than I thought it was going to be,” said John Chadwick of Carbondale. “Stopping was the wort part because then you have to go again. But it was worth for the drinks and it was a great time.”

Lisowski works with his nephew, Pat Brothwell, marketing guru behind the venture. Brothwell, who has his own travel blog, wrote a story about a similar bike in Philadelphia, which prompted his uncle to purchase a bike for $40,000.

On the pub crawls, everyone on board must be 21 or older and all drinking must be done in the bars. Only non-alcoholic beverages are allowed on the bike.

The bike can be rented for other events such as weddings or parties with a few additional rules. Children 16 years and younger must be accompanied by a chaperone and those under 12 must wear helmets.

Lisowski and Brothwell are looking to work with other communities including Kingston or the Mid-Valley to help promote some local bars.

“I love Northeastern Pennsylvania. I wanted to bring something cool to our area that was different,” Lisowski said. To be able to have something other areas don’t have.”

“I sort of, unapologetically, love NEPA,” Brothwell said. ” I think this is a really cool and unique addition and like that my uncle could have taken this elsewhere but chose here. Returning home after five years and seeing how downtown Scranton is now a place you could actually go out for a Friday night is very exciting and something I’d like to be a part of.”

The NEPA Party Bike debuted in several St. Patrick’s Day parades over the past couple of weekends where businesses used the bike as a float.

“I can’t wait to see where this is going to go and where its niche will end up aside from being a pub crawl,” Lisowski said. “I am either the smartest or dumbest person in Northeastern Pennsylvania.”