Another Season and another Dollar/Pound

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.

When a project makes a difference

The last few weeks have been spent getting ready a Rickshaw for the Children in Need. This years challenge is for them to travel an even greater distance then they did last year and this new team will earn the respect of every one watching.

I’ve been luck to meet a general giant, who goes by the name of Martin. Martin has a great sense of humour and a great spirit. It’s been fantastic helping him get ready for this challenge and enabling him to be able to take part.

Our part is quite small but will hopefully mean that others will be inspired to over come life’s challenges and to be the best one can be.

Please look carefully and make sure you watch the event when it starts and then donate as much as you can 😉


Amazing woman

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!!!

Big Shuttle ride

We got a big group booking to move 120 people from Mc Motors in Stoke Newington to Old Street, fully branded! Any one who’s ever done a birthday do for 120 people will know what a headache the whole thing can be, so to transport them all 6 miles to the 2nd location can be classed as a big logistics project.

Artwork was ready to role but the client only got clearance three days prior to the booking that they could go ahead.
Branding 40x pedicabs was done within 6 hrs and herding our Rickshaw cats took only three managers to control traffic.

The ride up from our base took 1hr and lining up 30 mins, then loading clients & getting on the road just 15 mins. The big wagon train of Rickshaws stretched, 50 meters from head to tail, so a huge thank you to all the drivers who have way.

The passengers were the talk of the street and I think Kingsway has never seen such a sight, the branding had a huge impact and our fresh fleet stopped all the people on the street at least 20x times.

The general ride was supported by BMX stunt riders who did tricks for the amazed passengers and what took 40mins must have passed like a flash. Arrival provided a well deserved break for our thirst riders, who were welcomed by clients for a drink and to watch the evenings additional entertainments.

After the close our riders headed home, a lot more merry then the work of lesser mortals and happy to have finished a long day of building up to what was more like the Rickshaw Olympics!!

The final result was that our client was soooooo happy they want to do the same again in Scotland !!!


Want to work, then find work

Just tweeting about how few of my fellow riders are English, kind of sad, as it’s a great way to meet people, make money and do a good thing for London.

The type of Rickshaw rider that seams to thrive and goes in to build bigger things are those that have a sense of adventure. Things become possible and life opens up when you work. I’ve never heard of an unemployed person getting a pay rise, so why would you write yourself off?

If you are an artist, then it’s a great way to gain experiences, for musician a super way to get flexibility and contacts, for a wana be star, future rich person ….. all good!!

The only down side is you need to like fresh air, exercise, people and making money. So what’s stopping my fellow local persons?! The brain, the brain that said, that’s not for me, I can’t do that, it’s not safe, no good, to hard, to strange and they say bad things about them ……

So, to live life or to wait for time to pass? I chose 13 years ago to change my life for the better and it happened, going from unhappy working in a cash handling centre to being a Rickshaw rider, with loads of life 😉


Going for the Cup

Four years ago Bugbugs, my london rickshaw company, moved to our new base in the side roads of the city and not long after, a letter dropped into our mailbox, which gave us a merit certificate for our part in keeping the city clean. So let me explain, our new location on Shoe Lane, is 8000sq ft of underground arches, cool in summer & warm in winter and very damp. It takes you straight back to the 18th century and it’s only the addition of electrics, stuck to the wall that gives a clue that we are now in the 20th century.

In this space are parked over 212 cycle rickshaws or better known ‘pedicabs’, with each rider producing around 3kg of waste each week. We add less to the waste mountain then most offices but felt we could do better.
Our motto is ‘best practise’ first.

So in that first year, we changed from a big bin to bags, illustrating more clearly what was being thrown away, this got us a ‘Merit Award’. The next step was to hand sort the waste, to ensure that as many pieces of paper, cans or plastic bottles would end up in our recycling and our final thing was to work out how to work with other companies to change their waste into a resource for our riders. This got us a ‘Platinum Award’ and a nice seat at a fancy banquet.

In the third year we started to look at what things could be changed to reduce waste. Using 2nd hand computers and have things fixed rather then to replace. Got us another ‘Platinum Award’, dinner and pat on the back but our goal was now the one and only ‘small site cup’.

So at the start of 2012 we pulled out all the stops and looked at what was creating our waste. We asked our riders not to bring rubbish from the streets, formalised the collection of food and redistribution from our local Pret, hand sorted the waste, commissioned an artist to repurpose our rubber waste and started to count the bags which we put to the curb each week.

I’m proud to say that 2012 was the year that earned Bugbugs the silver cup at the clean city awards!


Things to do today

So I start with a little article by TfL, which was plastered through every paper and news page they could find to print this. Sadly most just regurgitate the same text word for word without, checking the facts or purpose. Balance seams to be out of the window in favour of ease – kind like filling the Christmas turkey with paper, looks good but wrong.

So the next step is how to speak to those that feel the industry is wrong or ‘dangerous’. Most have there own agenda, family, political alliance, ambition, an easy vote winner or readily lead. What response will I get when contacting –
Alex Peters-Day, General Secretary, LSE Students’ Union, who seams to have said: ‘Pedicabs can be an incredibly dangerous form of transport.’

Will she be open to facts we requested from TfL about the accidents that have happened in the industry – 8x minor incident in 2011 or will I get a brush off?

So today I sent the email and wait to see what happens next.