Meaning of pedicabs
Pedicabbing doesn't make me a better person. By trying to become a better person, however, I am becoming a better pedicab chauffeur. This is the story of a little spiritual journey I've taken over the last year, stimulated in part by my pedicabbing.
I am by hobby a pedicab chauffeur in Oslo. Last year I drove a Chinese cycle rickshaw with 7 gears, while dressed in a tuxedo top and black cycling shorts or tights. This year I bought a Quadracycle (from Indiana, USA), a bright red four-wheeled vehicle that looks a lot like a pedal-powered dune buggy or Model-T, depending on whether the roof canopy is on or not. Though I'm originally from the U.S., I put on a pseudo-British accent when I cycle and go by the nom de velocipede "Charles Armstrong."
When I started pedicabbing, I found it both lucrative and personally rewarding. My friends characterize me as a happy, cheerful person. When I drive a pedicab, that attitude becomes quite infectious. The experience of riding in a pedicab is so exotic and fun that passengers often start laughing the moment we start moving, and sometimes laugh all the way to the destination. Passersby share in the pleasure, smiling with amusement at the sight of a tuxedoed man furiously pedalling a human-powered "car." Even car and bus drivers grin and yell encouraging remarks. Friends who I have taken on pleasure rides comment on how happy everyone in Oslo seems, when seen from the seat of a pedicab.
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Book (Lonely Planet Publications)