It’s not every day that you have a ride hailing you, but that is exactly what we experienced at SXSW this year. We’re talking about pedicabs of course. Consisting of unique and vibrant group of people, these professional bikers are sure to be seen roaming around the streets of downtown Austin, TX.
Throughout the week we grew to love the chime of bike bells and friendly voices calling out to us, asking us if we needed a ride. On a couple of occasions, we stopped to chat with a welcoming cyclist who just wanted to drive us around for the love of good conversation. In talking to many of the cyclists working South By, we realized that these are not people who drive pedicabs for the money, but rather these people drive pedicabs because they love cycling. Anyone can see that there is obviously a close knit bike community in Austin. More often than not, our pedicab driver would shout a friendly joke or send a warm greeting to another cyclist passing by on the road. Not once did we have an encounter with a pedicab driver that didn’t end in us giggling or leave us at our destination in a better mood.
In most niche communities a certain style develops among its members, especially in a town such as Austin, TX that prides itself on being and staying weird. A common theme we noticed within the pedicab community was their affinity to dress in vibrant and animated garb. Some of the cyclists went as far as to dress in character or bring their dog along for the ride. Check out our galley above about of all the nifty pedicab drivers and the style they exhibited this week at South By South West.
Photos by: Abigail Slider
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