By Adam Slight
People often walk up to us on the street and ask “Where can you take us?”
My answer is always “Anywhere you want.”
Of course, this is true. We will take passengers wherever they want to go, as long as they’re willing to pay for the effort. Some people laugh at my answer, while others are intrigued, and others simply jump into the rickshaw and shout out a destination.
Here is a list of some of our top destinations in Ottawa:
One of Brian’s favourite rides was from the Byward Market to Preston and Sommerset in Little Italy. He was hired at 2:30 in the morning by a couple who seemed to see a rickshaw runner as a limit that they could push. Brian rose to the challenge and happily delivered his passengers, who tipped him with a bottle of wine at the end of the ride!
Omar has seemed to have monopolized the market of playboy passengers looking for an unusual and luxurious ride to the Casino in Hull. Rickshaw runners often pack roller-blades onto their rickshaws just in case they get one of these 7km rides that require a long home journey.
When I first started pulling a rickshaw, I heard a story of one runner who was so oblivious of what he should charge for a ride that he pulled a customer to a suburb out past South Keys for $50. The ride took two hours, and was no doubt exhausting. A week later, the passengers allegedly returned to the Byward Market and asked for the same ride from another runner, arguing “Well he only charged us $50!”
Last week Chris and Stan decided that pulling a rickshaw day giving tours wasn’t enough exercise so they pulled their rickshaws from the Byward Market to St. Laurent Blvd and back…wearing a 20 lbs vest.
Check the video out here:
Ottawa rickshaw lore always told of a man who, years ago, was hired by a man who had just won the lottery to pull him to Orleans in a rickshaw. People have come up to us on the street numerous times telling me this story. Myself, being the skeptic that I generally am doubted the story, until I recently saw a news clipping telling the story in detail. A man named Carl Kingi, a tourist from New Zealand had just won $1.8 million in the lottery and hired rickshaw runners $2000 to pull him 33 km from the Byward Market to Navan where he had been staying. Not a bad tip!