How did you become a pedicab driver?
I came to Seattle as a street musician from Los Angeles but I used to live in Austin, Texas where there are about 500 of these. I had a lot of friends that were pedicabbers in Austin but I didn’t need the job then. It always looked fun and then when I came here I just asked one of these guys “how would I start pedicabbing?” and they hooked me up.
Do you like it?
I love it!
Do you mostly work events?
Football games, baseball games, tourists.
What do you like most about it?
I think my favorite thing is that the amount of money I make is exactly equal to how much I’ve worked out. The more I’m sweating, the better I’m doing and that’s just a really great feeling.
Are you going to be doing it in winter?
I’m actually supposed to start an apprenticeship with the Carpenters Union of Washington for the winter because guys have warned me that this is really difficult and in order to consistently pay rent it’s better to have a side gig. But people do work the winter full time. I just don’t know if I have the heart.
What kind of street musician are you?
Is there something in particular you’d like to say about driving a pedicab as a woman of color?
I see definite advantages and disadvantages. I see people pass me up a lot for rides. I think mostly because I’m a woman — not so much a woman of color. They just don’t think I have the strength to pedal them. So that’s a disadvantage, but I find that when I do get rides, people give me really great tips because they’re impressed. They’re like “Wow! This chick just pedaled me up this hill or over there”. I don’t go as fast as the guys do but I think it evens out.
It’s also something that I consciously love doing. I love doing things that people don’t usually do. I’ve made it my mission to do things as a woman of color that we don’t usually do.
What other things?
I travel a lot by myself. I’ve been to India by myself. I went to Mexico last winter. I went to Africa — Mozambique. And just being part of the carpenter’s union too.