Dustin Moore is manager and driver for Tennessee Party Bike, a 15-passenger pedal-powered vehicle that offers group excursions in Pigeon Forge and is working to expand into Gatlinburg and Knoxville.
How'd you get this job?
The owners are relatives of mine, and it was partly my idea. I'm from Gatlinburg, and I was caught in this big line of traffic in Bend, Ore. I was all mad, road rage, in a line of 15-20 cars. Off in the distance there was all this light and noise, and every two or three seconds you heard "Whoo-hoo!" and a bunch of people were waving. It was a PedalPub party bike, from a business first started in the U.S. in Minneapolis. The first time, I was like, "That's okay then." But the second time, it hit me, "They just made moonshine legal in Tennessee, and they have all those tailgates in Knoxville, I need to investigate this bike."
What were you doing in Oregon?
Actually, I go to school at Oregon State, studying human health and family services and I'm working on a counseling degree. Right now I'm taking online classes, and when we close for the season in January—we don't go when it snows—I'll go off to do my internship and then come back in the spring.
Is this the only bike?
Right now. They are really expensive; they cost more than a really nice car. We bought it from the Netherlands—in Amsterdam, of course, the driver can drink. I don't drink on the bike, and for right now, neither do the passenger-pedalers. Tennessee law doesn't currently ban public consumption, or have open-container laws as a state, but almost every city enacts its own consumption laws. The only place you can drink without a temp beer permit in this state is Beale Street in Memphis. We are working with officials at a city level; whether we are allowed to have open containers is up to them. Hopefully by next season people will be able to bring their own beer or wine on the Tennessee Party Bike in certain places.
Pigeon Forge and Sevierville are your only routes?
For right now, yes—we've been going since May. We'll find out soon if Gatlinburg is going to let us on the streets, and we're working with Knoxville regarding their ordinances, too, but we're not there yet. We're trying to get into the tailgate thing. And we can't charge for rides in Knoxville yet, but my sisters did a girls' night out on Market Square; we got gelato, went to pubs, went across the Gay Street bridge and back. Ten women, ages 30-65, huffed that thing the whole time—got sweaty and had a blast.
Do you get a good workout?
I'm not pedaling at all, everybody else pedals! That's how in other cities they can have alcohol on the bike; I'm the designated driver! Of course we do take people to, say, pubs on a tour, and they can drink there. You have to be 18 even to ride the bike, and everyone has to sign waivers; for pub crawls everyone has to provide IDs.
Do you have another job?
I do, I'm an upholsterer; I work on medical tables.
Did you do the Party Bike cushions?
I didn't do the ones on there now, but I'm about to redo the ones on there now. That's the only downfall of the whole bike, no shocks! And before, if you were under 5'2" you couldn't reach the pedals, but now we've got adjustable seats coming from the Netherlands.
Do people try to "borrow" it for joy rides?
It's extremely secure; we keep it under lock and key, and we have a trailer lock and a padlock so no one can release the brake. Besides, it's ridiculously large—1,100 pounds. It would take at least six people to pedal it away!
For more information or to book a tour: tennesseepartybike.com