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Saddle Up

The four best bars in America for tackling a mechanical bull

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Cowboy's Dancehall
San Antonio, Texas

This high-energy bars offers live music nightly, along with dance lessons for two-steppers with two left feet. In addition, to the mechanical bull, the dancehall also features live professional bull-riding on Friday nights.

Johnny Utah's
New York, N.Y.

Home of the Big apple's first mechanical bull, this Urban Cowboy experience is also the only place in the city where you can ride for free. Johnny's extensive whiskey and tequila menu provides the perfect liquid courage for climbing aboard the beast.

Saddle Ranch Chop Shop
West Hollywood, Calif.

Although its bull has been featured in a handful of movies and TV shows, like Six Feet Under, American Idol, and Rock of Love, this bar is just as well known for its great steaks. If you're looking for a crowd-pleasing honky-tonk outside of Texas, you can't do better.

Henry's Food & Spirits
Juneau, Alaska

A popular hangout among locals (lured by the bull), this country bar up north also serves up a complete range of microbrews.

Tips for Mastering the Mechanical Bull

Your first instinct may be "grab on for dear life." But to truly beat the man-made beast, follow these guidelines from pro bull rider Guilherme Marchi.

  • Lower your chin, as close to your chest as possible.
  • Raise one arm up to maintain your balance.
  • Keep your chest out (and tighten your abs, as if you're "pulling your belly button into your back," Marchi says).
  • When the bull jerks, try to "break" at your hips. Keep your shoulders in front of them at all times.
  • Once you're on the saddle, go with the "bounce of the bull," Marchi says. Or, in this case, the rhythm of the machine.

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