Spring has turned into early summer and the weather in London swings from the traditional wet and grey to bright sun and blue sky’s (with the occasional white fluffy cloud). The best part of this time of the year are the new faces, the adventurers who come to role through the city on three, peddle powered wheels, some seek escape from the ‘boardroom’ of a future life working in an office, some for more adventure and a tiny few, who’ll build an empire. Each one of us a story unfolding, as we catch the hours, days, weeks and months, butterflies in the city’s flowing river of people and transport. Adverts will catch our eyes, windows will lead us away and people will offer promise and adventures. A season is of many shades, a game of chess, a game of chance and often a leap into the unknown.
These Bugbugs riders will be unlike any other batch and each group have the eyes of youths and the skills of hunters, I love the slow steps at the start that some make, the huge plunge a few make and the gentle unfolding of the tales, as they meet the city head on. I’m reminded of the days I started, how everything was moving lights and smells. From the spicy air in china town to the perfume rich soho, to the mix of humanity a rickshaw rider is both a passing shadow to the saviour, to the transport pimp, all adventure is open and ready to role, so I ask myself what will this year bring and my eyes are keen to see and my heart is ready to role, the roller coaster that’s this new season.
Electric rickshaw or not
Ok, as a discussion point, let’s look at electric assisted and twist and go. Good or bad?
Experiance from what happened the last time pedicabs went electric in London.
1. The price of rental dropped to by 30%
2. Cost per customer dropped, as customers could not see why to pay extra if you are not killing yourself.
3. Riders had to do more runs per night to make the same money.
4. An ‘arms race’ of who had the most batteries and biggest motor.
5. Increased cost of operating a pedicab, through burned controllers, battery packs and broken forks
6. Rider retention dropped to weeks rather then months, as it allowed anyone to ride but not every one suits getting on a trike and working.
7. Electrical fires increased in the bases operating electric assist
8. More electric and mechanical failure per trike
1. Any one can ride
2. Trips are faster
3. You can make more lifts per night
4. Hills aren’t a hassel
5. Quicker starts
6. You can put electric on all ‘older style’ & they work as well as a ‘new’ trike
7. Rental drops and rides are cheaper per person
8. It’s the most efficent electric Vehical – we tested one and got 60 miles from a good grade of assisted motor, on a velocab
Which side you would be on?
We at http://www.bugbugs.com felt that it adds one more complication and that the whole thing becomes less friendly. We actually never launched an electric fleet (even an illegal one 😉 and suggest that a new operator can save lots of pain if they can avoid going that route
It’s not every day you meet Superwoman’ but a few years whilst operating our usual Wednesday training run i, for the first time met Shiz, an amazing young woman with bags of enthusiasm and a huge drive.
What stood out and still does is this huge wave of energy she infuses into others. Herself a power house, she imparts the feeling of a race horse ready to go.
As a rider she managed with a smile to finish huge rides, in her first day managing to cycle her Bugbug, all the way to Earls Court – not an unimpressive task, from which more experienced riders would shy away.
Well, after looking for a race worthy of her enthusiasm, was looking at the country of her origin and said to herself she wanted to tell the world it is not just a stereo type, but has depth and a world of different people.
One of our amazing people, rider, runner and fantastic –
@HassanRouhani: Shirin Gerami abt to become 1st female #Iranian triathlete to officially participate in world championship. #pride
Best of luck Shiz!!!
So the MD wanted to see if an advert in Facebook would creat any actual business or entice any user to be become a Rickshaw rider. To our surprise we ended up with an abuse fest posted by Black Cab drivers.
So our thinking is that any press exposure is good exposure, as this creates increase traffic to the Bugbugs web site.
So, the results half way in, we have an increasing number of ‘likes’ mostly caused by the side effect of the exchange and not due to us actually paying for ‘likes’. We did get 4x calls for people who want to do the training and this has been disappointing, as we pay per day (14 days booked) and the number of potentials was supposed to be 25000 Londoners, at a 2% converses rate we should have been off our feet.
Turns out our new riders are the best ‘recruiters’ and also seam to be more proactive in bringing friends.
So, we will up date at the end and post some highlight of cab vs Bugbugs 😉
But ears a link 🙂
Cabs vs Bugbugs
Bugbugs Advert has attracted lots of interest from cab drivers, mostly to vent on poor cycling habits.
So as I’m fond of cycling and trikes, must look for a junction which is well known for poor car driver habits. Any one know which one we should pick?
This is a London based challenge but if you think you know anyone who could tell me – please let them get in touch.
Great event coming up in London, usually under the name of the sponsor of the day. I must say, it’s some thing I’m looking forward to. If you’ve never been on one, then it’s best described as ‘bike porn’, roads blocked off from cars and the whole of central london for our two wheeled friends.
It’s a great PR exercise for bikes, you get to see and smell central London without cars! Pollution drops and breathing is without aftertaste. I’m pleased that we have one day in which you get a chance to see London at life speed. It’s a great event if you have kids and it’s a great event if you’ve never been brave enough to go around the centre on a bike.
Look it up and come join us all http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/25195.aspx
It sucks when thanks to political pressure a license is not created/provided and then that same pressure is used to creat an unfair system to beat up on Rickshaws.
It’s sad that London is still a long way from a green business like the pedicabs/Rickshaws to get a license.
A much press hyped subject, in which pedicabs are vilified for trying to operate a clean transport system and black cabs can use 150 years of monopoly powers to bully and eradicate, cycle based, competition.
One of our riders was arrested for ‘stopping longer then is necessary and obstruction’, he speaks English very slow and was never given a chance to explain nore a quarter given to operate his service thanks to mayor Borises policy to beat up on the industry (30,000 black cab votes ensure this). His pedicab has been impounded for 7 months and we had to find £1500 if he wanted to plead ‘not guilty’ and to swallow loosing our income from the pedicab. A choice, which is much more costly then pleading ‘guilty’ which equals, a minor fine but another bad long term mark for the industry!
Yesterday was the grand finally and in summery it was the lack of evidence by the police which won our case.
Sadly, it’s more usual, the lack of video evidence for a rider to prove that he is innocent which turns the whole process of ‘guilty’ till proven innocent on it’s head.
Thankfully, this was based on the more traditional ‘innocent till proven guilty’.