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filed under: Pedicab News — Importer @ 9:21 pm January 15th, 2009

What’s up with those bike rickshaws?

It’s a question that bears repeating. So …What’s up with those bike rickshaws?

They seemed to appear out of nowhere this winter, multiplying like bunnies during the inauguration. Tourists seemed to think they’d always been there, a la Central Park East in New York City, but locals knew better. This is DC. We sell tourists “FBI: You Don’t Know Me” T-shirts, scream at them to stand to the right, sell ’em a half-smoke and send ’em packing. At best, they can shell out $60 to steer a Segway for an hour while wearing a dorky-looking helmet.

But the bike rickshaws. The rickshaws symbolize sweat, honest hard work, a throwback to far less equitable days, a practical laying down at one’s feet. And frankly, they just seem so cheesy. So … opportunistic. So … New York.

Turns out the bike rickshaws have been here in the District since the summer of 2006, when DC Pedicab opened up shop. In January, Mayor Adrian Fenty declared pedicabs the official vehicle of President Obama’s inauguration. (Weird, we thought it was that sweet, sweet armored Cadillac.) That’s why so many popped up around that time — about 100 were operating in D.C. for the inauguration, but most of those came from out of town. So it may seem like they’ve disappeared again, but we promise they’re still around.

You’ll most likely find them during bar nights in Adams Morgan/Gallery Place/anywhere people tend to drink a lot on the weekends; Verizon Center and RFK Stadium, and obviously the National Mall. It’s OK to take one for transportation instead of a tour. Just never, ever wear an FBI T-shirt.

Copyright NBC Local Media

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