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Thread: Returning to Pedicab riding after a 15 year break?

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    Question Returning to Pedicab riding after a 15 year break?

    Hi everyone!
    I've mainly joined the forum today as I used to ride with BugBugs back in 2002-03, though only for a short while as low hire levels and high train fares/long commuting times made this too cost-ineffective. Having nonphysical disabilities I've been out of work for quite a while (I'm sorry to say) and struggle greatly with regular working environments, but a discussion with friends at the weekend made me realise a return to Pedicab riding - Where the traditionally less formal and more casual environment is easier to manage with my limitations - Might be well worth looking into.

    That said, I do see that things have changed quite a bit in the years that have passed. Getting back in contact with BugBugs revealed they are now just a media/promotional company and no longer offer rider services, and though they referred me to Reliable Rickshaws a Google search today revealed a result at Companies House showing they'd been wound-up in November.
    I also see there's been a big push toward better regulation of the Pedicab industry (Especially from the LTDA) which is something I - As a rider who'd like his passengers to be assured of safety, comfort and fair business - Support all the way, but it seems that TfL really have dragged their heels over the issue and left the industry in something of a void.

    Depending on how practical it would be I'd be more than happy to obtain my own Velocab and have that licenced/operated as a Hackney Carriage (HC), but as it seems HC regs in London can only be applied to motorised vehicles I'm guessing this'd probably not be an option, even though I've obtained a full and clean car license since I stopped riding. Living outside of London I might be able to operate as a HC in my local area, but with little tourist trade and generally poor weather around here demand for pedicabs is probably non-existant.
    Other likely issues as a sole operator are pedicab maintenance (I can ride one, but I'm useless when it comes to repair!), my inability to operate a business (Accountancy and filing requirements prevent this), and DDA compliance for a pedicab HC outside of London even though I'd have no issues riding a long wheelbase Pedicab equipped with a wheelchair lift and platform.

    What I'm really looking for is a setup similar to what we had at Bugbugs, where certified riders were offered the hire of safe and well maintained pedicabs and operated as sole traders, backed by BugBugs' public liability cover as an inclusive part of the hire. This would allow me to operate in the way I'm presently used to, and - Crucially - Gives me the freedom to operate as and when I am able within the limitations of my disabilities and other health related issues, without the obligation to be at x for yy-hundred hours on pre determined days.
    I must also confess to having a strong preference for riding Velocabs, as their sturdier construction and extra weight are a perfect match for my (100% power oriented) riding style. Mainstreets are just too light and flimsy for me to ride safely, a Cycles Maximus looks like it'd just disintegrate if I tried riding one, and physical considerations mean I can't ride recumbent cycles at all.

    Although I've been out of the game for quite a while I'd really like to return as soon as I could, and I believe my NCP Level II from BugBugs would still be considered valid and require only a bridging exam to pass Level III - Which should be easy with my present cycling and motoring experience. I also have excellent navigational capabilities (I've considered taking the Knowledge for personal interest), could operate pedicabs over longer distances without issue (I'd even accept LHR if I was asked for it!), have a good informal fluency in German, and also rudimentary French, Spanish and Welsh. However commuting considerations mean I'd ideally be operating from a base within walking distance of Waterloo, Charing Cross, London Bridge or Victoria stations.

    If anybody can help with useful information or can point me to a stable and operating company (Like Bugbugs was when I was with them) I'd really appreciate it - Especially as I'm pursuing this to try and improve myself and issues connected with my disabilities, rather than simply trying to get a job.

    Many thanks in advance for any advice, and my apologies for the textwall!
    +++ DieselDragon +++
    My other ride is an Alstom Class 373 TMST. Good luck overtaking that!

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    TikkiTikki (26-01-2018)

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    Hi & Welcome, DieselDragen...

    The delay in your posting was caused by me ;-) - the first postings are always approved before to avoid spam....

    Have a good time here.

    Saludos

    Gerald
    Saludos

    Gerald
    Admin www.PedicabForum.com

    Our company site:
    www.trixi.com

    Other web sites:
    www.Bicicleta.es





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    DieselDragon (25-01-2018)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixi.com View Post
    Hi & Welcome, DieselDragon...
    The delay in your posting was caused by me ;-) - the first postings are always approved before to avoid spam.
    No worries about the delay Gerald, and Muchos Graçias for accepting me/releasing my thread to the forum!

    I've been using various forums for years, so I'm familiar with the antispam measures. Sorry for my double reply in another thread BTW, but the datestamps in most of the topics gave me the incorrect impression the mod queue might not have been checked in a while.

    Looking forward to getting involved, and (Hopefully) managing to return to the road very soon!
    +++ DieselDragon +++
    My other ride is an Alstom Class 373 TMST. Good luck overtaking that!

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    ...you are right :-)...as soon as I have time I will also update the forum to the latest version....so much work to do :-)

    Have a great time here!
    Saludos

    Gerald
    Admin www.PedicabForum.com

    Our company site:
    www.trixi.com

    Other web sites:
    www.Bicicleta.es





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    Cheers again!
    If it's any help: The Google (Re)Capcha utility is fairly easy to plug into vBulletin (I think), fully accessible/DDA/ADA compliant, remains functional on scriptless browsers, works in such a way it prevents verified access over Tor, and could be used to ensure all submissions from new/restricted/untrusted accounts have been made by a legitimate human user before they are displayed.

    This would be only a minor inconvenience for genuine newbies, would be a major headache for spammers (The human ones would tire after the first few posts, and automatons wouldn't be able to solve the capcha), and once an account is trusted it can be taken off the Capcha requirement, allowing trusted registered users to use the forum over Tor if that is their preference!
    +++ DieselDragon +++
    My other ride is an Alstom Class 373 TMST. Good luck overtaking that!

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    TikkiTikki (26-01-2018)

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    Welcome welcome Diesel Dragon,

    Well you sound like my kind of bloke! Happy to have you back on the scene. I've been pedicabbing and cycling my way around the planet since my early 20s and now I find myself in Vancouver, getting stout, approaching 40, and with less hair than my former days.

    Anyway, I used to operate from the Shoe Lane base about 4 years ago and it was sad to see the closure of Bug Bugs. They really were all about defending the industry and were determined to enforce safety through insurance and maintenance, it's a shame that calls for legislation have fallen on deaf ears, but i'm afraid that is Britain for you.

    It is also news to me that Reliable Rickshaws have closed. John was one of my favourite operators with a true passion for the bikes. Out of the remaining 'big dogs', you are probably left with Eduardo, Hernando and Jair, all South Americans who know little about bike mechanics, but a lot about getting bums on bikes and making them pay rent, if you catch my drift. I imagine they are still doing so, as they all had fleets of 40+ bikes when I left.

    There was a base near Victoria street station for a while but I have really not been on the scene for a while, your best bet would be to ask Cyclepathic Maniac as he really knows the London industry the best, and generally has his ear to the ground. His bark is much worse than his bite! Just as I was leaving, the industry was embracing electric pedicabs, and if you have been out of the game, you are going to want to ride one, they are awesome. You would be wise to get your own and pay rent to one of the bases or find an underground parkade that'll host you. Again talk to cyclepath, as this is what he has done for years.

    Just finally I think the velocabs are mostly a terrible bike which develop lots of cracks, they are mostly obsolete because of this. Even bugbugs switched over to something else - Firedrill might have one of his newer bikes for sale, although they don't have diffs and the canopies are a bit shit. The industry standard nowadays, and by far the all-round work horseof the game, is the Maxpro Ecotaxi. It really requires very little maintenance, is a dream to work on and a pleasure to ride. The cycles maximus is also very strong but it is a nightmare to work on, and the axles snap after about 10 years with no spares readily available. Maxpro virtually put Maximus out of business because of their superior engineering, and well thought out design - they really know the pedicab industry and what a bike needs to be, in order to perform in London. I agree with your sentiments about the Mainstreet - the Americans have never been any good at engineering though (Henry Ford is no match for Brunel)!

    Anyway, it's lovely to see your passion, and I wish you all the best as you climb your mountain. My old man is a British Transport buff too. When I was a young lad, he told me that he could go on the game show 'You Bet' from the 90s and bet Matthew Kelly that he could put on a blind fold and name any bus just by listening to its engine, and here's the thing, I actually believe he could. To this day I still send him pictures of busses I see around the planet, I don't know why, but it makes him happy! I always keep imaging him walking out on to the 'You Bet' stage through dry ice, and standing next to Matthew Kelly's perm with blind fold in hand, busses behind him, but I have a very vivid imagination.

    Anyway, good luck out there my friend, you know London is really full of mean people with no manners and decency, they'll call you a c**t and tell you to get a real job. I live in paradise and our passengers are the most polite, friendly people you will ever meet on the planet. Come join us!

    Russ

    My dad the bus man!.png
    Last edited by TikkiTikki; 26-01-2018 at 07:05. Reason: Insert youtube video and find better American engineer

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    John is still going at the st Giles car park. He has about 20 trikes.

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