Category Archives: pedicabs

The Space Shuttle is in Town! and other wierdness

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Last Friday I caught a glimpse of what seemed to be the Space Shuttle driving down Duval Street. The spacecraft was a little smaller than expected; but the tail fin and color scheme is pretty dang recognizable. It must have been it, but I couldn’t get my camera out fast enough; that thing is a freakin’ rocket ya know. A few hours later I took the above picture, catching the ship moments after it safely stopped at a stop sign and continued along down South Street. I did see the Space Shuttle…

I did! I did!

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Houston, we have contact! I saw the Space Shuttle again, at 12:00, heading straight for me with nothing more than a mere double yellow line separating us from a deadly head-on collision! I quickly pulled over and parked my pedicab and snapped a few photos as the ship slowed and stopped next to me. The pilot said he saw me snapping photos earlier and asked if I wanted a postcard. Hells yeah! Nice people.

I learned that the Shuttlevan hangers in Texas and was built to celebrate 25 years of flight. There’s even a 1,700 watt fog production machine! Check the website!

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Six or Seven years ago I was riding my bicycle down Greene Street and strangely heard a piano approaching me from behind. I turned to see a man in the middle of the street alternately pushing a piano on wheels from behind and then playing it from the side as it rolled. I took a quick photo and have never forgotten the sight. I have no idea of the what and the why. A few days ago I saw what must be the same guy and the same piano on Duval! He wasn’t playing it this time, only pushing it down the street. I love this town.

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I saw these two Konas with crazy camo tires one night after sloppyhour. Pretty sweet.

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Another wonderful night at the parrot. John’s singlespeed and my fixie. Let the revolution begin!

Want more photos? More bicycles? Want to see the newest fixie on the island, built just days ago? And welcome a new Surly to the neighborhood, a sweet Traveler’s Check?   Continue reading

A Rollerskating Jam Called Saturday

Saturday, Saturday, it’s a Saturday.

5 whole days of work and one whole day to play

De La Soul knew what was up, but my pedicab shift on Saturday was the farthest thing from work and yet I got Paid in Full. The line between work and fun is completely blurred, perhaps even eradicated, on days like this.

I was craving sausage gravy and biscuits even before getting on the saddle and pulling out of Perfect Pedicab and onto Whitehead Street. A short ride across Old Town to my other job, at Turtle Kraals, ensured I was well fed thanks to my employee discount. Thrifty and tastey, yeah, that’s how I’m rollin’. Luann, the morning bartender, asked me to take her visiting parents on a tour later and paid me in advance. Sweeet. I hooked her up with a deal and left feeling good; not even 11AM yet and I already made bike rent. ahhhh, a great way to start the day.

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It was a super slow morning spent mostly at the South end of Duval on the Atlantic Ocean side of the island. This is a wonderful spot to chill, relax and wait for a fare. Lots of people walk the full mile and half or so all the way down Duval, to see the Southernmost Point buoy; and then feel all lazy about walking back. A ride in a pedicab, especially with cocktail in hand, is a wonderful way to get back to Mallory Square, Sloppy Joe’s or wherever you want to be next back in Old Town. Some say Duval Street is the longest mainstreet in the world as it streaches from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean!

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Jason and Pollard getting some needed rest. Friday was a looong night. The pictures in the background are by Bob. He spends the morning and afternoon painting as his artwork hangs behind him on the fence in the great gallery of the island shoreline. Dozens of people pass by every five minutes speaking in all sorts of accents and languages. The cool ocean breeze always compliments the contrasting rays of the strong tropical sun. There’s usually a few of us here reading, resting or entertaining ourselves and the tourists.

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Jeff’s secret to success…

the pig helmet cover!

So today is Thursday and I am trying to remember the details that made Saturday so amazing to finally finish this post. But I can’t remember the specific things, it was just a really great day. Sunny with a nice, cool breeze. Occassional white, fluffy clouds provided brief patches of wonderful shade. It began slow, but as it progressed, I got a lot of rides that were fun and tipped well. I had a great time bugging out and chillin’ with the other riders. Everything and everyone was just on the One.

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Kapsis the grinder giving his sweetie a ride home. These two are waaay too cute and in love. He’s always blowing kisses from his pedicab to her as she works at a restaurant’s outdoor patio. The Ohio boys and I passed them enroute to happy hour. Yep, most places here do happy hour seven days a week. And the bars are open to four. But’s that’s a whole other post.

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Happy Hour at Kelly’s. This certainly helped keep the great vibe going after work. Forget the fact it’s the original Pan-Am headquarters. Forget it’s owned by Maverick’s love intrest in Top Gun. Happy Hour is bangin’! $4 gets you a half dozen of some of the best wings on the island. $3 gets you a massive margarita. We had a lot of both.

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This is how I got my new printer home to Bahama Village from New Town without using my van.

A bungee cord held it in place. I could steer holding just the box, but that was kinda scary and i didn’t do it again. Ok, i did a few more times, and it was still scary! But, after living here since the first week week of January, I have only driven my van four times, three to go kayaking and once when I moved from Brian’s couch to my apartment.

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Life is wonderful! I’m poor as hell, but so is most everyone else here right now. After pedicab shifts several of us walk across the street to the Green Parrot for free popcorn. Hungry, dirty, smelly, bicycle scavengers! Then its off to Cowboy Bill’s happy hour for $1 yuenglings and PBR’s.

Last Thursday I had a rare day off and went kayaking with the boys from Ohio. We basically just floated around the Gulf of Mexico between Key West and Stock Island, paddled to Cow Key Marina for a sixer and then floated to the Atlantic. A completely lazy afternoon under blue skies. I actually fell asleep in my ‘yak due to the sun and two beers. First time that ever happened. I liked it!

Riding around, both on the cab and my fixie, I see some strange, funny, beautiful, weird things. I most always take the full length of Duval Street on my ride home from the waiting gig. This is the main drag with about a million bars and another million tourist t-shirt shops. Its super fresh to see who’s pedaling and out and about and see how everyone’s day went. Truly a wonderful, small town in many ways.

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This guy rode up next to me near the end of my shift in front of The Bull. Moped? Check. Spear gun? Check. Time to get some dinner!

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Mad props to this dude! I can’t wait to find out the whole story. This bike is flash! Wow. Airplanes can see this set-up! There’s fake fish in those tanks! And also some great beats you can’t hear in the photo!

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Close up of the fish; and of course, blurry and out of focus as promised.

My new camera has died. But, as Coreylynn told me, the universe will give you what you need. So my old, dying camera that finally bit the dust when dropped into the water of a drainage tunnel under Oakland, is now working again. Yes, there’s a rubber band holding the battery door closed, but blurry photos are on and poppin’ again! Woo-haa! The Beat Bike Blog cannot be stopped!

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Dozens of Civil War reenactment soilders paraded by Perfect Pedicab and the Parrot Saturday afternoon at the end of the dayshift. Amelia, I wish you were here this week. Civil War stuff, the Parrot and yep, it really does happen, Jimmy Buffet did a a very intimate, unannounced show at Margaritaville. Duval street was a mess!

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Suenalo at the Parrot. Dang these guys are good. Wow! We caught their Saturday night set and both “soundcheck” sets on Sunday. Both night sets were packed with people dancing to the Latin grooves. The friday set prolly was too! Please, please, please check this 11 piece band out, Hotness! Soooo soooo much fun!

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Here’s some randomn shit you see on a pedicab. Surfboard, paddle and snorkeling gear!

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Gettin’ Paid to Ride!

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Its official! People hand me monies to to pedal a giant tricycle and talk to them. I am a licensed and working pedicab driver…errr rider…make that pedaler! So far… it seems like pretty much a really super duper awesome job. I am working for Perfect Pedicab, which as glorious fate would have it, sits directly across the street from The Green Parrot, my favorite bar in the world (think Sully’s of Hartford, but in the tropics). For the last three days, I have been riding up and down Duval Street picking up people and pedaling them around while talking about the shitty weather back home and sharing crazy stories of Key West. At their destination, I drop off the passengers and they give me cash money! Money! For riding a bike and talking about interesting shit. I love this job!

Friday, being my first day, started with Kim training me on the trikes and reviewing the rules of the city pertaining to how to park, how to ride, where not to go and other rules and safety type stuff. I also got a playful warning not to hit any parked cars!! (yep, its been done before) Then they let me loose on the streets of Key West. Woooo-haaaa!

My first fare was a mom and daughter from Chicago, who needed to make a stop to shop enroute to their hotel near the Southernmost Point. Another was a couple from Kentucky wanting to stay longer. Three 20somethings working on the Pearl, a rerouted cruise ship, were loving their unexpected trip to the island. Colorado, Australia, Bosnia, France, NYC, people from all over were excited for the ride and really enjoyed themselves. It felt great. I am getting paid to pedal, meet people from all over the world and tell stories. Sweeet! Well, except for the lack of insurance, no medical benefits and the pillaging I am doing to my bank account when grocery shopping. And slow days can really suck because each day starts in the red and only getting enough fares will get you into the black, and hopefully far enough to survive. But still, seemingly a super sweet gig for me, and I am absolutely, totally enjoying it.

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“Coco frio!” Saturday’s highlight was meeting Manny, the coconut man. Towards the end of the work day, several of us were hanging out on Whitehead Street behind a pick-up truck full of coconuts and their delicious water. Manny was chopping one end, leaving a quarter-sized hole, perfect for drinking with a provided straw, or just straight up as we were…au natural. mmmm……. sooo fresh and sooo good. He’s a pretty freakin’ funny character. Tourists were all smiles with a well spent $3. Go check him out while in town. Manny, thanks for the hook up, I got you when you need that ride! “Only three coconuts left!”

Sunday. Day three. I now know where all the hills are on Duval, Fleming and Southard Streets. If you’ve been here, you prolly think of it as flat. Shit! The highest point on the island is only 18 feet. But trust me, when pedaling three passengers, you will suddenly notice even the slightest slopes. Now it seems so obvious. Even with 21 speeds, I tend to stay in the middle chainring; occasionally using the large ring if I want some speed with an empty cab. But not today. Nope.

Sunday was super slow. So slow, that the bored strippers ladies from the Key West Entertainment Club, were in front of their building, on the sidewalk, with signs reading, “free hugs.”

I love this town! My apologies for the lack of a photo…

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