Ride Along

with the Vail Pedicab Team

Taking to the cobblestone streets of Vail, the team of pedicab drivers assist pedestrians in need of a three-wheeled chariot ride and whisks them safely to the hotels, restaurants and venues. The drivers are charming, athletic and outgoing, plus unmatched with customer service. From Ford Park to the Grand Hyatt, they roam ready to be at any service call. Many locals agree Vail Pedicab offers an impressive door-to-door service in the village with their brightly colored tricycles year-round.

We are often times the absolute best solution for people with trouble walking — elderly, kids, disabled, injured or people wearing heels,” owner Ben Donnelly remarks. Sometimes more convenient than the public bus, drivers offer a fresh breeze and adventurous ride for their passengers going from village to village or restaurant to hotel.

Donnelly, an Adaptive Ski Coach at Vail Resort and owner of Vail Pedicab since 2015, oversees the special use permits and business operations of the four pedicabs. We are a valuable resource to the community and a green business,” Donnelly says.

A truly pedal powered tricycle driven at 8,500 feet makes Vail Pedicab unlike any other pedicabs in the country. We are doing something that has never been done before,” Donnelly says. No electronic assist for the drivers who haul a 400-pound pedicab along with the passengers around Vail and Lionshead village. Truly thighs of steel and lungs to match.

Beyond being fun, environmentally friendly and a socially positive presence, our services are symbolic of the lifestyle Vail represents,” adds Donnelly. Our valuable service is a great way to show guests the town or provide suitable transportation needs.”

Vail Pedicab offers guided tours within the village and wedding services for the newlyweds to be carried away in style. These services are prearranged through the Vail Pedicab website. Rates vary for private reservations and wedding packages. In town services are hailed like a traditional taxi cab and are gratuity based.

Most importantly, our drivers provide customer service that is equal to what the town of Vail provides,” Donnelly adds. He believes a pedicab driver needs to be self-motivated, fit, charismatic and have a friendly smile. They should eat, breath and sleep customer service,” he remarks.

Photos by Zach Mahone

THE PEDICAB CAPTAINS

Andy Hamilton is one of the longest running pedicab drivers who started nearly 10 years ago. Hamilton believes pedicabbing provides a lot of independence and flexibility as a job. You have the ability to grow your own business,” he says. Hamilton believes being a good pedicab driver takes resilience and the ability to be a self-starter, as well as the general desire to work independently.

Besides his pedicab employment, Hamilton also teaches skiing at Vail Resort and works construction. You may see him showing off his other talents of dancing and juggling while waiting for rides on the Bridge Street corner. Im a great mushroom hunter, Ive been a paid comedian in Denver and Im the best skier on the mountain,” Hamilton jokes about his other pursuits.

Ethan Levine has pedicabbed in the village for 8 consecutive seasons — summer and winter — since 2017. This dedication of hustling on a tricycle during the hot, cold, wet and busy times of year require strength and endurance. Hes used this conditioning to bike across the country two times. Im into bike touring, snowboarding and making people laugh,” he says are his other hobbies. He can be seen doing unpaid comedy on the Bridge Street corner alongside Hamilton.

Mariah Schab joined the team this summer, boosting the female members to equal standing, and plans to ride this winter. Schab loves socializing with people from around the world whom she meets on the pedicab. Its a great way to stay in shape,” she says, and everyone who get a ride from us says this too.”

Like the other team members, Schab preforms other side hustles in the valley. Im a barista, vocalist, seasoned yogi and yoga instructor, and I enjoy trail running.” Schab loves giving compliments to everyone dressed their finest for weddings and events in Vail. Its this friendly attitude that makes our drivers sociable and welcoming to visitors.

I joined the team in 2015 just as Donnelly bought four new rainbow-colored cabs. For three summers, I commuted over Vail pass from Summit County every weekend and some weekdays to ride my yellow pedicab. Now, on my fourth season and residing in the Vail Valley, Ive enjoyed showing guests the beauty of our community through the back of my tricycle. I developed lifelong friendships with the fellow drivers who share the same charisma and dedication to living an adventurous mountain life.

For me, the job offers flexibility to balance between my guiding work with SOS Outreach, a local non-profit providing outdoor education to at-risk youth and the incentive to be paid to work out. As a female driver, I know I can never keep up with the male drivers and am not afraid to ask for a push going uphill, but I also know Im feeling the strongest within my body when riding my pedicab.

PROFESSIONAL, SAFE AND FUN RIDE

The Vail Pedicab team includes other outstanding athletes like these drivers who all have a knack for the freedom of a three-wheeled taxicab, plus the personality to win. We are honest and good representatives of Vail,” Donnelly remarks about the general personality of the drivers.

Guests often mention that the pedicab is better than the alpine coaster, as we wind through the bike path late at night. Similarly, many guests say their pedicab ride home was the best part, since they can take pictures from the cab showing off another fun memory on their Vail visit. These experiences, like when passengers feel like royalty sitting in the cab as they practice their princess waves or loudly sing a popular Queen song as they are bicycled through the village, make the pedicab ride enjoyable and entertaining. So, next time you are in the village, let us burn the calories for you while you relax in style through the streets of Vail Village.

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