Biking up that hill

I’ve been doing this blog for a little over two months now and this is my 50th post. It feels like a bit of a landmark and I really wanted to make it special. I’m just not feeling it today though. I am completely wiped out. After working the Minnesota Twins season opener as a pedicab driver, making up with my best friend and then going to the bar yesterday, then spending the afternoon and evening with my daughter today, I don’t have much left in me.

Still, I want to share a couple stories about my two favorite fares yesterday. The first was a couple of young women who were standing outside Cowboy Jack’s across the street from Target Field where the Twins play. They came over and asked me for a light. I light their cigarettes and engaged them in conversation. tI turned out that they couldn’t get into the bar because one of them had left their ID at Darby’s.

I told them to hop in my pedicab and I would get them there and back. We didn’t discuss the fare. I just wanted to help them and make sure that they had a good time.

I knew that I had heard of Darby’s but I couldn’t for the life of me remember where it was so I got on the radio and asked where it was. Once they told me I felt pretty stupid. It’s in the same building as City Pages so I drive by it every week. I even have a gift certificate for the place.

The ride there was a blast. Everytime we stopped they would pull out their phones and we would take pictures together. They totally loved me! The ride there was pretty easy too; just one little hill getting over the Washington Avenue bridge after which it was all downhill.

I dropped them off at Darby’s so they could run in, retrieve the lost ID and get cash. They came out and handed me a twenty. I was very grateful. We took some more picture and they boarded the padicab for the return trip to Cowboy Jack’s.

This is where it got hard. Darby’s is at the bottom of a very steep hill on a really poorly maintained road. I guess most drivers won’t even go there. I don’t give a shit though. I was just curious to see if I could make it. Worst case scenario, I would make them get out and push. They seemed up for it. Luckily, I’m a badass and made it up that hill. I’ve realized that hills are my secret weapon. Watching me struggle to get up a hill is pretty entertaining and tends to lead to bigger tips.

When I got them back to Cowboy Jack’s we took more pictures, they each handed me a twenty and I gave each of them a big hug. That was a total of $60 for half an hour of supper fun, fairly exhausting work. Still, it was the best fare I had all day. Perhaps the best fare anyone had all day.

Earlier in the day I had my other favorite rider. I stopped by Lee’s Liquor Lounge to see if I could pick up a straggler who was running late for the game. Instead I met a homeless man. He asked me how much it would cost to get him across the bridge to the mission. I told him to throw me a couple bucks and I would get him there. He ran into the bar to grab his backpack which presumably contained everything he owned. This man had next to nothing but for five minutes he had a chauffeur. I think that is pretty awesome. It sure made me feel good. I hope that I have many more opportunities to do things like that.

One of my biggest concerns in setting out on this pedicab adventure was how I would deal with the money aspect. Everyone told me that I could make a lot of money doing it. Certainly that is a good thing but it also worried me. I’m not motivated by making money, I’m motivated by making memories. What I am finding is that by caring for my passengers, the money follows. I’m sure I could make more if I focused on the money but it would probably kill the joy I feel. I am discovering that I enjoy people giving me money. It does make me feel good. It doesn’t matter whether it is two dollars or sixty dollars, the act of giving and receiving is meaningful.

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About lefreakshow
A walking contradiction attempting to make sense of this crazy world though the power of creation, exploration and communication.

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