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Party bikes could be coming to downtown

A Farmville business owner is hoping to get people pedaling their way to local bars with the help of what could be the area’s first bona fide party bike.

At the Wednesday, April 7, Farmville Town Council Work Session, Town Manager Dr. Scott Davis informed the council he had been approached by Jacob Jamerson, owner of the successful Farmville-based food delivery company WayFast Delivery, about an idea regarding starting up a party bike business in town.

Davis explained that in other U.S. cities where party bike companies have been established, such as Roanoke or Nashville, riders are able to pay for a seat on the multi-person vehicle and use pedals to propel the bike forward.

The party bike, which is manned by a conductor employed by the company that owns the vehicle, typically makes several stops on a predetermined tour across the city where riders can stop at various local restaurants/bars before getting back on the bike and pedaling to the next destination.

He stated in some cities riders also partake in drinks while on the bike itself, although he added Jamerson did not necessarily express an immediate interest to serve anything on the bikes. Additionally, the bikes include a motor should riders get tired of pedaling, and the vehicle must be licensed and meet all road requirements.

“I’m coming to see today if you all would have any interest in adding this to a type of business that could operate here in Farmville,” Davis said Wednesday. “I will say from a tourist perspective, it could add a different flavor in Virginia that most places would not have.”

Saturday, April 10, Jamerson gave some insight behind his inspiration for wanting to bring the party bikes to town.

Jamerson stated he encountered party bikes during a trip to Atlanta and was inspired after seeing how much fun people had while riding them.

“It also had me thinking, with COVID hitting so many bars and downtown restaurants so hard, what a great way to bring some extra revenue to the downtown area while also giving the customers a unique experience of our downtown.”

In describing how he envisions the service might work in Farmville, Jamerson stated tours would likely last around an hour and a half and would cost approximately $20-$25 a seat. He added the bike would likely hold up to 14 tourists at a time.

“We would be making several stops at local restaurants where the tourists would be able to exit the bike for a certain amount of time while they enjoy all the great, unique experiences each location has to offer,” he said.

Jamerson said patrons would also receive history facts about Farmville during the ride, and T-shirts and other souvenirs could be available for purchase through the tour.

While nothing is set in stone yet, Davis asked councilmembers on Wednesday to get back to him with potential questions surrounding the party bike concept and if it is an idea the town is interested in exploring.

Jamerson said he hopes approval for the party bike operation will come by summer.