I’ve always found cycling a most empowering practice. When I was a kid I quickly embraced it, leveraging the power of my own body to go places, see people, keep fit, spend time outdoors, and explore my hometowns on two—or three—wheels. At the age of 13, I decided to add profit-making to the mix and got my first job: delivering newspapers by bike for The Boston Globe.
I’ve been pedalling for profit ever since.
At 21, I moved to NYC for a spell, taking some time away from college. The best gig I found was bike messenger, an insane rush of adrenaline guaranteed every shift. In the early aughts, I started to notice pedicabs around town, gave one a spin, and quickly came up with the idea for Revolution Rickshaws. Pedicabs and cargo trikes are a whole other level of empowerment. On the road with a work trike, you’re making a giant footprint in the streets—and you feel safer. I actually met my wife, Helen, through Revolution Rickshaws. Too nervous to ride a bike in the city, she felt comfortable on a giant trike, became one of our top deliverists, and turned out to be the woman of my dreams.
Through the company and my passion for cycling, I’ve managed also to find ways to deploy trikes for critical community work. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I volunteered in Red Hook moving hundreds of pounds of clothing and other essentials from Visitation Church to the homes of local residents using a cargo trike; as well, Revolution moved thousands of pounds of food for The Carter Burden Center for the Aging when motor vehicles were downed due to the petrol shortage.
I founded Revolution Rickshaws in 2005 to empower people to make a living through pedalling. 10 years on, that seed of a mission has yielded fruit: Revolution has helped train and empower hundreds of profit-making pedalers, some of whom continue to roll today.
Revolution today empowers enterprises (and people) to establish, operate, and maintain carbon-neutral work-trike-based transport, logistics, and marketing systems in NYC with our top-grade cityvan and citycab technology.
Leveraging our fleet of 30 work trikes, Revolution over the years has executed successfully tens of thousands of carbon-neutral deliveries otherwise destined for petro-vans for dozens of enterprises. Today, trikers with Revolution cityvans deliver the goods for Fairway, Citarella, The City Bakery, and other NYC enterprises. Revolution ensures that our trikes roll safely and securely year-round for our customers and that their operators trained by our staff are road-ready and responsible at all times.
Revolution’s long-term goals include forging carbon-neutral “live drive” supply chains serving the NYC foodshed. In 2013, Revolution partnered with the Vermont Sail Freight project to produce a carbon-neutral supply chain that delivered storage crops and non-perishable farm foods from Vermont to Brooklyn wholesale and retail customers via a boat on the Hudson River and work trikes on city streets. We’re also working on developing an active cooling system for our cargo container, which would allow us to execute last-mile delivery for farmers and others bringing their products into the city in bulk for right-sized district distribution via trike.
Re-branding – $4,000: Currently our citycabs and cityvans sport minimal branding – particularly our cabs. Part of this loan is set to go towards branding re-design and cab & van wrapping so we really sing in the streets.
Training — $ 2,500: We’re developing a next-level training and certification program for people who want to pedal for profit. We will be able to develop training materials and systems and pilot our new program. This is what we’re all about: getting people in the saddle!
Inventory upgrades – $3,500: Most of our trikes are 10 years old and could use a little spiffing up. They’re bomb-proof and set to last a lifetime; however, a paint job and a few new components will get them rolling beautifully AND looking like new again.