A unique ride around town12/2/2015
Biking is often described as a hobby, a fun sport, or a way of exercise. But for Dave Welch and Mike Moreno, it has become much more than that. What began is a hobby and a fun thing to do with friends became a business partnership for Welch and Moreno and a staple for experiencing Des Moines and downtown nightlife.
“I used to ride a lot of bikes, and a guy came into my office and said, ‘Have you seen the 16-passenger bikes they have in Minneapolis?’ I Googled it, I liked it, and we thought we would give it a chance,” said Welch.
It turned out to be a good chance to take for Welch and Moreno. The Big Yellow Bike has become a great way to tour downtown with friends, family or coworkers.
The bike can hold up to 16 passengers, with 10 seats for pedaling and six non-pedaling seats. Moving at about 5 mph, the bike can take guests wherever they choose to go.
If your party has more than 16 guests, no problem — The Big Yellow Bike now owns three separate bikes that can be rented together or separately, depending on how many guests are in each group.
“We never tell a group where to go. The driver gets a feel of the group, and we let them decide where to go,” said Moreno.
The tour makes about four to five stops within the two-and-a-half-hour ride, but it really is up to guests to determine what they do. From business outings to bachelorette parties, The Big Yellow Bike has been a host to all.
“We liked the social aspect of it, and it was unique,” Moreno explained.
With most tours starting at the East Village, The Big Yellow Bike can bring guests to just about any bar of their choosing or just provide a tour of the town while riders bring their own music, food and drinks. Alcohol isn’t allowed on the bike, but barhopping transportation doesn’t get much better than this.
Even in the winter months, drivers are willing to take the bike out for guests — depending on the weather, of course.
“If you’re willing to brave the snow, we are, too,” said Welch.
The official tour season for The Big Yellow Bike usually spans from mid-March to late October, but tour dates are always open for guests.
The owners said that as long as there are people willing to ride, they are willing to provide the tour.
Tours vary in cost depending on weekday or weekend, but guests are sure to get a great experience out of it. It costs $250 to ride the bike Sunday through Thursday, which ends up being about $15 per person for a full group. On Friday and Saturday, it costs around $22 per person, or $350 in total.
Whether you love biking, love drinking or just want to experience Des Moines in a new way, The Big Yellow Bike is ready to fill each person’s needs. The bike serves its purpose of getting guests around town, but it is totally up to the riders to determine where the bike takes them, the atmosphere of the ride and the experience it provides. CV