Riding 101



Before jumping on board with National Pedicabs, we really want you to know the basics of what you'd be getting into.  It seems a lot of fun (because it truly is), but pedicabbing can also be a challenging job.  

Please take a few minutes to read up on some essential points of the job: 

You're your boss.

As an Operator (the fancy term for a driver), you are actually running your own business.  That means you rent the trike (the pedicab) from National Pedicabs but then run your business on the streets in your own fashion (within the rules and requirements of DC, of course).  

One of the advantages of riding with National Pedicabs is that we fully train you to understand the basics and learn the techniques that make each driver a success.

This is definitely hard labor. (Even if it's a ton of fun.)

Pedicabbing causes frequent laughter, but also hard work.  Really hard work.  

Don't kid yourself: riding a trike is different from "fitness exercise."  This is a labor job, not a fitness regimen, and as such demands you pay attention to your health.  (Of course, labor this fun hardly seems like labor at all, most days!)  

DC has some grueling hills, and you are often in a random, stop-and-go rhythm.  As if the load of the trike wasn't challenging enough, these other elements add a challenge that needs to be respected.

Most riders will tell you that pedicabbing is unlike any sort of pedal-powered riding they have ever done. Even experienced cyclists are surprised by the differences between riding three wheels versus two.  

Most adapt to the intensity of pedicab within two to four weeks. Even the smaller folks manage to rock the trike pretty quickly! 

Basic physical strength (relative to your size) is essential.

All the trikes have variable speed gearing, yet even with that assistance keep in mind you will be often towing upwards of 400 lbs. or more! Though it requires some getting used to at first, you may soon find yourself in the best shape you've ever been in.  Pedicabbing is a job where your work is your workout. 

We'll give you tips and tricks to improve your strength and work smarter. An added bonus to being a pedicabber is that you'll stop worrying about going to the gym or counting calories - because you'll burn them faster than you can count!

Big personality, big profits.

More than your body, pedicabbing relies on your personality.  This is because while the execution of the job requires physical work, your earnings rely squarely on your social skill.  

Coming on board, try to keep in mind that it takes a little time to generate the knack for the sales portion of this job. 

Successful ride sales techniques are varied; the DC tribe of pedicabbers has evolved these tactics over the course of a decade. So while you'll be encouraged to experiment with your own sales style, almost every rider out there can offer you a tip or two in guidance.

National Pedicabs is at your side.

While your allies will be the pedicab community at large, National Pedicabs is at your side as well.  

We have occasional events for you to opt into, and also have an infrastructure to help you occasionally procure rides.

We will supply many simple tools to make you the best rider you can be.  The rest will be up to you.  But on of the privileges of riding with us is we try to work with you every turn of the crank.

Key skills for the job.

Once out on the road, things can become unpredictable.  We work with people, who are the most unpredictable creatures on earth.  We ride throughout DC, which is a hill-spotted terrain of surprising traffic variety.  Things happen sudden and fast, and while many shifts can be calm, others can be nearly chaotic with change. 

Being ready for this challenge requires having four key skills:

  • Strong sense of humor.
  • Ability and willingness to work with others, especially those very different from yourself.
  • Improvising in changing conditions.
  • Staying calm in high-pressure scenarios.

Click here to start the application process.

Click here to start the application process.

We're eager to have you tell us why you think you'd be a good fit in "the Tribe" of pedicabbing.  We want to share our culture, teach you our lingo, encourage your skills and ride alongside you!  We're looking forward to hearing from you soon!