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Progressive dinners may never be da same again.

This gal Aimée Anundsen...

...has the crazy idea of creating progressive dinners downtown…on a multi-person bike that looks more like a caterpillar.

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This manic machine “employs” eight people to sit up to its bar and pedal like hell from one watering hole or eatery to the next –while eating, drinking (but not grog) on board and generally making a racket.

“The magic thing is, when you’re doing this, suddenly you’re a team,” says Aimée. “It breaks down barriers in the first minute.”

And the great thing is, here you can eat, drink, be merry – at the pubs and bars you stop off at – and keep driving. Because they have a designated “driver” up front who actually steers the thing.

I’d seen a couple of these machines in the past year. This time I decided to stop and ask.

Turns out to be City Cruiser, based at Horton Plaza (619-800-4555). They have four of these pedaling party “buses” either touring downtown, or doing a pub crawl, or a wine-tasting or a singles mixer or hey, a progressive dinner. Costs $200 a tour or $25 each.

I check underneath to see if they’re cheating and actually powering it with an electric motor.

No motor. Just one battery to power the lights and horn.

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Aimée had these specially built in Minnesota at about $20K each. “The standard model was twelve or even sixteen people. These are for eight,” she says.

She’s a refugee from the ’08 financial turn-down. “I had my own business, but with the recession I had to go into Corporate America. Financial side. Then I saw one of these in the mid-west about 18 months ago. People seemed to be having so much fun. Because they were participating. Not just being passive consumers. And I thought ‘Why not? This would be perfect for San Diego weather.’”

On eat/drink crawls, her “drivers” specialize in seeking out happy hours and eateries that will play along with the progressive dinner idea.

“And people like actually getting a chance to pedal off the carbs between courses, and work up an appetite for the next stop.”

Man. I think we have a new word:

“Partyicipating.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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