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Denver continues to push the bicycle as a viable means of transportation, with new bike-share stations and bike lanes popping up all over town. Also increasing in scope is the pedicab business. Josh Caucutt is a Denver pedal cabbie who sees himself as a tour guide to the city—tweeting about his adventures from his account @pedalcabby. According to Caucutt, there are three things you must do in Denver, “drink a craft beer, smoke a joint, and ride a pedicab.” Before indulging in the third activity, make sure you know your way around the handlebars with these inside tips:
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The Friendly Cabbie Discount
The going rate in Denver for a pedicab ride is $2 a block. However, pedal cabbies also give discounts based on a number of factors, including how many passengers they’re towing, the time of night you’re riding, and whether or not the route is downhill. “The price I give is usually the lowest price I’m looking for, and sometimes I take below market value,” says Caucutt. “I don’t want to gouge customers, so I can make sure they ride again and build the customer base, but don’t ask for a cheap ride on Saturday night at 2 a.m.”
Here’s a Tip
Tipping is optional, but just like any other service, it’s highly encouraged. “If they enjoyed it, most people tip well,” says Caucutt. With the discounts most pedicabs are already handing out—not to mention the physical toll of their chosen job—it seems like an easy call to make. “Most people are very generous.”
The Unreasonable Clients
If you’ve ever been out in LoDo on a weekend night, you already know the clientele. “I make my money two ways: women’s shoes and drunks,” jokes Caucutt. Driving around intoxicated customers can lead to interesting stories, but Caucutt says he’s also dealt with aggressive behavior. “I’ve learned to deal with drunks with professionalism and humor.”
Choosing a Cabbie
If more than one pedicab is in the same place, and you’re looking for a ride, there’s an order that customers should try to observe. However, you should always feel comfortable with your driver before jumping on. “There are a few pedal cabbies who overindulge on alcohol or are high on weed,” says Caucutt. “It’s a small percentage, but you need to be aware of that. Most pedal cabbies are responsible and have a good time.”
Tired on the Road
The number of cabbies on the road depends on the night’s (or day’s) events and the bar traffic. Caucutt works between three to six nights a week. “I probably enjoy sporting events most, because they have a routine to the evening,” says Caucutt. “Bar nights get crazy.” When Caucutt needs a break, he usually heads to the Blake Street Vault for a cold one, but he hopes to get tired out because that means a well-paid night. “Rockies opening day was great for me, but it was 17-hours straight.”
Why Choose a Pedicab
The experience of the pedicab is unlike any other form of transportation. You can sit back and enjoy the sights, sounds, and senses of the city. “A pedicab is more than transportation, it’s an experience,” says Caucutt. “It should be more than just a way to get from point A to point B.”
It’s a pedicabbie’s livelihood to know the city. In fact, they have become an integral and amusing part of the nightlife. “If you tell us the kind of place you’re looking for, we’ll get you where you want to be,” says Caucutt. “I like to think of myself as a concierge of the city.”