City officials have determined that the party bike touring town as of late is in fact a vehicle.
Après Bike, a mobile 14-person contraption that has a bar-like table for riders to sit at, had officials stumped on the legality and classification of the machine when it was first spotted around town in January.
City Attorney Jim True, police officer Rick Magnuson and part owner of the company Nelson Riley met recently to discuss the bike’s status.
The group came to the conclusion that the bike is a vehicle and requires headlights, tail lights and signal lights, which Riley agreed to install before operating it during the summer.
The vehicle, which has a top speed of 6 mph, is limited to operating in the Aspen core.
Other legal issues addressed in the meeting involved alcohol being consumed on the bike and noise produced from music. Riley assured city officials that there would be no alcohol on the bike. He also obtained a decibel meter that he can use on the bike to make sure the parties don’t get louder than the city’s standard. Since the business began operating, there has been one recorded noise complaint regarding the Après Bike.
“He’s breaking new ground,” Magnuson said of Riley. “The city’s position is that we encourage him to run a successful business, and we think it would add to the vitality of the town.”
The company was launched earlier this year by local residents Riley and Austin Nelson.
The bike serves as transportation for partygoers in between bars, said Riley. It is available by reservation only and can be rented for $199 per hour with a 90-minute minimum, or individuals can reserve a seat for $15 an hour.
The machine has pedals below 10 of the seats, so guests can help propel the bike, which is about 25 feet long. A driver sits up front, steering the bike.
Riley is currently in the process of seeking a liquor license so that alcohol can be served on the bike. Magnuson was skeptical on the likelihood of the business receiving a liquor license.
“I think it’s going to be a challenge,” Magnuson said. “But he’s welcome to try.”