As my first night as a pedicab driver wound down in September 2003, it all became clear. I’d just created multiple deliriously happy customers, got a great workout, interacted with the Manhattan masses—and made well over $100 cash after only a few hours of pedaling. What more could an enterprising person want? Well, a lot more—of that better living.
Craft transport could give me everything I wanted – and maybe everything the city I love needed.
Revolution Rickshaws was born in that moment. By providing a better solution to everyday city logistics challenges—and moving beyond needless city congestion, toxic supply chains, misplaced government transport infrastructure subsidies, unhealthy operational practices, massive motor weapons – RR could be the change so many want to see in New York. My eyes were opened. My life was changed. Here was a way to combine a passion for enterprise with the power of innovation. The work was fun, I’d get fit again, and most important of all, I’d be making the city a dynamic, more resilient place to be than ever.
Months later, I knew I was on the right track when I discovered Cycles Maximus, the world’s premier manufacturer of work trikes. Their innovative modular design enabled RR to provide its customers with a range of manpowered transport, marketing, and logistics solutions with top-grade pedicabs, freight trikes, billboard trikes, and self-build platforms through which RR created its film and photo service program. After ordering one from the factory (navigating import/export challenges makes weaving through the worst midtown traffic during rush hour seem like a breeze!), I went to their Bath, England, headquarters, met the team, and gave them green light to forge of our initial fleet of hand-built trikes.
As well, I co-founded the New York City Pedicab Owners’ Association with the help of Peter Meitzler, Ian Wood, and George Bliss as Revolution Rickshaws was getting off—er, on—the ground in mid-2005. Can’t have a proper industry without a proper trade association, I figured. It remains true today.
Still pedaling after all these years? You bet.