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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!

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to DieselDragon For This Useful Post:

    TikkiTikki (26-01-2018)

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