Photo Gallery: Take a ride on 'The Peddler'

Matthew Lane • Sep 26, 2017 at 8:16 AM

KINGSPORT – Leave it to Rod Monroe to have one of the most unusual vehicles in town.

If you're wondering what that strange looking vehicle is, that looks like a bike and has been spotted cruising around the streets of downtown Kingsport, the answer is a pedal tavern.

But what's a pedal tavern?

Monroe, the owner F&L Livery and Limo, calls it a bike pedal crawl – essentially a 15-passenger, covered bike with wooden counter tops down both sides. It's got cup holders and some storage space, and it soon will have music and decorative lights.

It's almost like a cross between a limo and a bicycle. Fourteen people can ride it, six on each side with a couple more on the back bench.

All you do is hop on, buckle up and start peddling. That is the primary source of locomotion. Top speed is two miles per hour and it does have electric power if the riders get tired or an incline poses a threat.

Monroe said he ordered the bike — nicknamed “The Peddler” — back in June and it arrived about two weeks ago. Since then he's taken it out for a spin a few times, to let the community get a look at it in the hopes of generating interest.

“The Peddler” is available for rent by restaurants, bars, other businesses and private individuals. Monroe said it would be perfect for parties, reunions, special events and anniversaries.

As far as Monroe knows, it's the only one in the Tri-Cities. Similar rides are often seen in larger communities like Nashville, Asheville and Chattanooga.

Monroe said he plans to use the bike mainly in the downtowns of Kingsport, Bristol and Johnson City and sees it as a good revitalization tool.

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