Virginia Beach — Joe Maloney and Kalven Klovas share a love of water.
The Navy buddies — Maloney is a senior chief and Klovas is a retired chief — had worked in explosive ordnance disposal and deployed to Iraq together in 2011. Two years ago, over a few beers, the two decided to create a business centered around water with a fun experience in mind.
In July 2021, they launched the Chesapeake Bay Pedal Club as Virginia Beach’s first bicycle boat pub.
“After years of being beer-loving connoisseurs, we always thought Nashville’s Pedal Pubs were a brilliant idea that combined the outdoors, beer, and fun with family and friends,” Maloney said. “We thought how cool it would be to have one on the water.”
After some research, Maloney found a company that custom builds human-powered pontoon boats with a paddle wheel. The boat includes 10 bike stations facing a bar with integrated coolers, a seating area and a bathroom.
The concept is simple. Everyone pedals together and it spins the paddle wheel at the back of the boat which propels it forward. “We have a motor so people don’t have to pedal if they just want to relax and enjoy the ride,” Maloney said.
The 37-foot boat can reach speeds of 3 to 4 knots when everyone is pedaling, but averages 2 knots, Maloney said.
Pickup and drop-off is at the Owl Creek boat launch adjacent to the Virginia Aquarium. The boat navigates the perimeters of Lake Rudee and Lake Wesley to the tip of the rock jetty.
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Two-hour public cruises for 16 passengers ($38 per person) and private cruises for 20 people ($525 total) are available on Saturday and Sunday. From company outings to team building, bachelor parties to birthday parties and date nights to family outings, Maloney said crowds always enjoy a good time.
They also offer sunset cruises ($550 private and $43 public) from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. All cruises, public or private, bring your own beer, wine and snacks.
Michele Ambrogi of Shadowlawn has been on six cruises.
“I first went there with a group of friends around July 4th last year and had a blast,” Ambrogi said.
In August, she booked a 1970s-themed birthday party with 15 friends. When her father arrived from out of town, they went on a sunset cruise together.
“It’s like a spinning class, but way more fun,” she says. “It’s one of those things you can’t wait to do again and I’m already planning the next one.”
Sandra J. Pennecke, 757-652-5836, [email protected]