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All aboard! Austin’s first cycle boat lets you pedal and drink on the lake

You can explore Austin's waterways while pedaling and drinking with your friends.

AUSTIN, Texas — There's no shortage of fun in Austin. You've got live music every night, delicious restaurants across town and lots of green spaces to take in a festival. 

Now there's another attraction: The Pedal Barge, Austin's first cycle boat. It's a party boat where you do the pedaling. You can explore Austin's waterways while pedaling and drinking with your friends.

All aboard! Team Daybreak is always looking for a good time and we found it. 

"It is a blast, I mean it is so much fun," said Andrew Ruesch, the co-owner and captain of the Pedal Barge."I just get to take people out, show them the beautiful lake, can't complain about that." 

The barge is a custom built, 22-foot pontoon boat. I mean, who needs Mopac when you can circumvent the traffic and navigate the waters of Lake Austin?

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So, how does it work?

"It is really easy. It doesn't take much. If three to four people are doing it, a little movement keeps it going," said Ruesch.

The pedals connect to a paddle wheel in the back that propels the boat. There are eight pedal stations and seating in the front for four people. Right off the bat, we can see that the overachiever of the group is Bryan Mays. He thinks he's in the Tour de France.

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While you pedal to your heart's content, the Pedal Barge lets you drink with your friends. 

"Who has the Gatorade?" joked KVUE reporter Leslie Adami. 

But the celebration got a little bumpy once we came across a wakeboarder. If you're too busy taking pictures or you are tired of pedaling, there's a motor that Ruesch can fire up. 

"We can just sit out here and daydream," said traffic anchor Anavid Reyes.


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I agree with Anavid. Nothing like taking in the views and playing a fun game of pick your imaginary house.

The boat has life vests and swimming is available in Party Cove if you'd like to cool off on your Pedal Barge excursion. The boat is equipped with iced coolers and speakers. All you have to do is bring your friends and something to drink!

The ride typically takes two hours and tickets are $20 per hour. Pedal Barge is open seven days a week and it holds up to twelve people.

For more information or to make a reservation at the Pedal Barge, click here.


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