When upscale food trucks roared into popularity a few years ago, the folks running them praised their rolling operations as far cheaper and simpler to launch than a bricks-and-mortar restaurant.
Now, entrepreneurs are finding similar advantages in food bikes.
Brewers, chefs, baristas and even farmers are turning to pedal-powered vehicles to bring their goods to consumers — and, sometimes, actually produce them on the street.
The environmental benefits of ditching a motor are obvious — fewer emissions into the urban air. It also makes sense financially: A fully outfitted food bike costs just several thousand dollars — a fraction of the price of a food truck, which runs tens of thousands.
But the main appeal, it seems, is far simpler.
“It’s more convenient being on a bike,” says Vincent Sterne, owner of Two Rivers Cider Co. in Sacramento, Calif.
Sterne has been delivering cider kegs and bottles by bike to bars and retailers for 18 years.
“I go to all the local beer festivals on my bicycle, and I pull in and get set up and pull out again faster than anyone in a truck,” says Sterne, who uses four company bicycles. One of them is actually a moving bar: a cargo bike fitted with keg mounts and tap handles that he pedals to special tasting events. “I just roll up and turn on the CO2,” he says. “It’s that easy.”
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