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Pubcycle is pedaling to the pints downtown

The new HVL Pedal & Brews pubcycle travels north on Main Street to the Historic Seventh Avenue District. The new HVL Pedal & Brews pubcycle travels north on Main Street to the Historic Seventh Avenue District.

The pubcycle is rolling.

HVL Pedal & Brews, Hendersonville's first sip and pedal mobile pub, is on the street and open for business.

Owners Adam Justus and Josh Israel hosted their first tour on Saturday (for Josh's wife's birthday) and hosted a frosty ride on Thursday night for some of their friends. The business partners — Justus is assistant chief of the Henderson County Rescue Squad and Israel works in construction — bought out Pubcycle Boone and transported the vehicle to Hendersonville. It operates out of the pubcycle barn, a former Brunson's Furniture storage building, on Second Avenue East.

"It's a mix between a Ford Ranger (chassis), a golf cart and a bicycle," Justus said.

For the winter season, they're operating Pedal to the Pints, a 90-minute tour with stops at two breweries for $25, and Pedal Your Hendo Off, a 45-minute tour to enjoy the lights and sights of downtown for $15. A Pedal-Drink-Repeat private rental for weddings, birthdays, corporate events and other occasions is $325 for all 14 seats. (Book before Dec. 31 for a 15% discount.) A Saturday morning Pedal Backwards history tour from Main Street to the historic Oakdale Cemetery will launch in the spring.

The pubcycle has 10 pedaling seats, two non-pedaling seats and a back bench. Justus and Israel welcomed nine riders for Thursday night's 90-minute ride. Israel served as conductor, as the driver is called, and explained the rules: no carrying beer off the pubcycle, no glass, no bad behavior, throw your empties in the trash. Beer, wine and hard cider are allowed, no glass containers. Customers bring their own libation. Justus said he has plans to fix up the pubcycle barn as a taproom and to sell canned beverages but that's later on.

The owners plan to rotate among the downtown breweries — Dry Falls on Busy Bend and Triskelion, Southern Appalachian Brewing Co. and Guidon in the Historic Seventh Avenue District and Sanctuary Brewing Co. on First Avenue East. On Thursday night's ride, they made stops at Guidon and Dry Falls. The tour ends at Sanctuary, which shares a common back wall with HVL P&B's barn.

Recognizing the popularity of the five breweries downtown, Justus sees a lot of opportunity for the HVL Pedal & Brews. He thinks it will be busier than Boone's pedal-and-sip version and behind Asheville's. "But I think we will be right on Asheville's heels," he said.

Even in the slower winter season, Justus and Israel are bracing for plenty of business. They've reserved a spot in the downtown Christmas parade and they're taking brew tour reservations for Thanksgiving night and New Year's Eve.