Pedicab jobs Austin Texas — Pedicabs

Pedicab jobs Austin Texas

Drive for the Devil

Special to Statesman Solutions

Andrey Sokolov has been gearing up for the newly expanded Austin City Limits Music Festival for weeks.

As the owner of Very Special Rides, a medium-size, Austin-based pedicab company, Sokolov isn’t sure exactly what to expect during this event — but he knows one thing: It’s going to be busy. With last year’s attendance estimates hovering around 75, 000 per day and even larger turnouts predicted over these two consecutive three-day weekends, folks like Sokolov are preparing for long hours, hard days and big money.

“We don’t really know exactly what to expect from the two weekend set-up, but in previous years, for three days straight, we were working 12- to 14-hour shifts, ” he said. “You ride until 3:30 to 4 in the morning for big events like this — some riders ride 16 hours straight.”

But it’s easier to clock the hours than it is to calculate how much money will be earned. Pedicab drivers choose from two main fee structures when it comes to charging customers — working for tips or negotiating the cost of a ride before departure like Sokolov does. He said typical pedicab fares range from between $5 to $10 per person, depending on the length and difficulty of the ride, but during big events such as ACL, those numbers easily double. This weekend, a veteran pedicab driver could expect to make about $300 to $400 each day of the event, but he said it varies greatly.

Over the past couple of weeks, Sokolov has spent countless hours pouring over schedules and organizing riders to ensure each of his 26 pedicabs will be out on the street at all times. He’s also taken his drivers on practice rides and spent significant time preparing them for what to expect — physically and mentally.

“You need to rest well before big events, which means no partying beforehand and hydrating yourself very well, ” he said. “You need to have all the spare tools and parts on you so you can replace a flat tire or broken chain. But it takes a lot of preparation mentally, too, because it is going to be like a marathon. You are going to be exposed to direct sun the whole time, the rides are much longer, and many riders deal with dehydration and fatigue.”

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