Tennessee Party Bike owners look to expand routes

Tennessee Party Bike owners look to expand routes

Posted:
The party bike is peddled by its passengers. The party bike is peddled by its passengers.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

PIGEON FORGE (WATE) - A 15-passenger, pedal-powered vehicle is offering excursions for people in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge.  

It's known as the Tennessee Party Bike, one of only 18 registered party bikes of its kind in the country.  

"It's just amazing how much comraderie there is with everybody on the bike when they're peddling the bicycle and having a good time," said Vickie Quillaims, owner of Tennessee Party Bikes.

Up to 10 passengers can pedal at once; the driver only drives the bike.  

"He doesn't pedal, so he breaks and steers," said Quillaims.  

The party bike is originally made in Holland. The owner Vickie Quilliams bought it after son Dustin Moore saw the party bike operating in a town in Oregon. Moore is a manager and driver of the Tennessee Party Bikes.  

The party bike caters to all ages and typically operates in the evenings and accommodates groups.

"You can go all over Pigeon Forge. We can do different kinds of tours, pub tours, we can do tours for entertainment, we can do sight-seeing tours," said Quilliams.  

The owners currently are looking to expand into Knoxville, but for now they can't legally operate there. Knoxville City Council would have to pass an ordinance to allow the party bike to operate within city limits.  

City council passed a pedicab ordinance in August, but it doesn't apply to a party bike. The party bike has multiple pedals, and is considered a "pedal carriage". No ordinance has been proposed or discussed amongst city council members.  

A city spokesperson said the city's law department is studying the issue.  

The owners made a petition to the city of Gatlinburg, which has a pre-existing ordinance that bans the party bike.  

"They don't want people falling off the bikes or they don't want the bikes causing traffic issues, so those are the two things they have a reluctance to approve an ordinance for. We're working with them and hopefully we will do what we need to do, have a good time and keep everyone safe," said Quilliams.  

Quilliams said all bike drivers are trained. Anyone can ride on the party bike, but those under 18 have to wear a helmet.

No alcohol is served on the bike since state laws don't allow the consumption of alcohol in public.

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