Sunday, August 26, 2012

Beginning of Fall Semester

Now the doldrums of summer have been swept away by a flood of fresh bodies filling the sidewalks  and spilling into the roadways of uptown Athens after midnight. Bikes Bring It is working to meet the demand of an ever-larger student population by putting more pedicabs on the streets during the hours that you need them most. Currently there are 3 sidecars in the BBI fleet, and we are now seeking to hire more drivers to keep these bikes working and serving the public. I hope to expand our hours of operation and make rides available from 9pm to 3am on Thursday through Saturday, but not until there are enough operators in action. Contact me at if you are interested in this fun and challenging position!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Epic Summer Recap

That sure was a lightning-fast summer, wasn't it? I had a good time out at Wisteria attending the Summer Solstice and Starwood festivals. A new pedicab was finished for each of those events and tested out during the week-long Pagan party scenes. I refer you to these photos for edification:
The Rasta Buggy, a 3-seater sidecar with 24" wheels all around and the first design to incorporate a hand-crank for auxiliary power input by the outermost passenger.

The Skycar, a 2-seater sidecar with 20" wheels and another hand-crank, although admittedly not as effective due to its aft position. This one, however, is by far the lightest sidecar construction as of yet.

By the grace of Wisteria's non-existent clothing policy I also have some pictures of two lovely naked women on the Bumblebee Bike, but of course I'm not allowed to post things like that here. Use your imagination, I guess.

Another event that BBI made an appearance at was the annual Boogie On The Bricks, which is Athens' only street festival where you get to drink beer and dance on Court St. to your heart's content. It's always a good time, and I even had one of the performers on slide whistle at the Washington Street intersection spontaneously incorporate me and the Skycar into their gypsy music act. It was great!

Good turnout for this event!
 I won't lie, I did get a little fuzzy.
That's my good friend Rachel from Elemental Groove Theory rockin' out.

 Also, Bikes Bring It held a Grand Opening Party in conjunction with my birthday celebration, which not only provided an impetus to clean up my garage and workshop, it also made for a good time with a whole weekend of visiting friends, music, and rock climbing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Got Smart

Introducing the Ultra-Widgy: a Samsung Transform Ultra
I'm pretty stoked on this new smartphone device that I bought for my business. I spent all last week discovering and testing ways that it can help me track, log, record, share, and display information about Bikes Bring It. Besides, it has unlimited entertainment value as well, being able to play music, movies, books, and games.

Here's a list of a few applications that I will be using frequently:

Twitter: Now updating twitter and logging fares is easier for me, since I can create tweets by voice and keep my hands on the bike more.

Facebook: I recently created a Facebook page for BBI, so same goes for updating that- can be done by voice and from virtually anywhere.

Camera: You may have noticed some new videos and pictures coming from this device, the quality of which I am pretty impressed with.

Endomondo: A workout tracking app that records routes via GPS and keeps stats on mileage, duration, average speed, top speed, and altitude changes. All records are saved to my Endomondo profile and added to a worldwide list of cyclists and other sports participants. The leaderboard shows Athens as having the most cycling miles per capita of all cities in Ohio, which makes me proud!

Open GPS Tracker: I haven't field tested this one yet, but it seems like a good app for tracking individual fares as opposed to the whole night's operation. It gives a live map with the route drawn on it, with a color gradient to represent speed, as well as a compass and a readout of current speed, time elapsed, and miles traveled. It has an option to post trips to Twitter, which I can use to collect more information on each individual fare and determine average tips based on the distance or duration of my trips.

Square: This one was a big surprise to me- it's a credit card-reading device that plugs into the headphone jack on my phone. BIKES BRING IT NOW ACCEPTS ALL MAJOR CREDIT AND DEBIT CARDS!! It allows customers to sign their name on the touchscreen for transactions over $25, and I believe allows receipts to be sent by e-mail. The company providing the service charges %2.75 on each transfer, which is less than the %6.9 that Paypal gleans off of each use.

Google Calender: This one technically isn't an app, but by pointing the phone's browser to my Google Calender, it formats the website for mobile devices well enough that it functions basically the same as an app. Now my calender is accessible and updateable from virtually anywhere.

Clock: Displays date and time, has buttons to go to weather, alarms, gallery, music, and dim the screen.

Calculator: For when I need to crunch numbers and get some averages out of my data. Saves the last 10 operations.

Tiny Flashlight + LED: Added as a widget on the home screen. Just punch the icon, and the camera flash begins continuous illumination, which can be really handy. Opening the app from the menu also gives you options like strobe light, programmable morse code flashes, and imitations of flashing traffic lights, an incandescent bulb, or police lights.

Skyclerk: A simple ledger app that I use to record all profits and expenditures

TinyShark: An un-official Grooveshark player. Now I can plug the portable battery speakers on my sidecar into the phone and stream my own custom playlist from the internet!

Here are some accessories I've bought to go with my new phone:

-a cheap generic case from Big Lots modified to be the camera pole mount

-a cheap bluetooth headset by Emerson, also from Big Lots.

-a simple black plastic case from RadioShack

-a car vent-mounting universal holder adapted to attach on the pedicab's left armrest, beside my right hip and visible for the passengers as well.

-the Square device (see above).

-a 16GB MiniSD data card. Last three items were from Staples. Thanks to my cashier, NeoFox! He's a furry, too!

-a tripod adapter that clamps onto devices.

-an aftermarket detachable fisheye lens for phones.

-a portable bluetooth wireless speaker/speakerphone. These last three were ordered at and will take some time to arrive.

Now I feel one step closer to Technological Singularity!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cards& stickers have arrived!

My order from arrived today, four days earlier than expected. Good thing, too, because I'm tired of keeping up with printing them myself. I shouldn't have to worry about running out anytime soon, cause I got 1000 of them.
They are double sided, glossy heavyweight stock, so they look and feel super legit. They have my new Google Voice number on the front (740) 229-9719, so even if you have one of my old business cards, you should ask me for a new card and put this number in your phone instead of my personal phone number.

Also, here are the product label stickers for They arrived a bit crinkled up, but since they're stickers I expect them to smooth out when applied.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mill Fest Recap

I tried daylight cab driving during Mill fest and got a place in the A NEWS / Sway the Crowd Productions video:

It was three years ago since I tried pedicabbing during a fest in the daytime. When I did it then, I was driving the old Raja Royal and had not been pedicabbing very long. My experience then was rather discouraging, because I did not make enough money to justify putting up with such a cacophonous maelstrom. I was jipped a number of times, the reason usually being given that the fest-goers had spent all their money on beer. I was also heckled quite a bit and even got bombarded with water balloons at one point. It was enough to put me off these festivals for quite some time, as their reputation for debauchery and dangerous activities continued to steadily rise. Last week, however, There was a house fire during Palmer fest as opposed to a regular couch fire in the street. The mayor declared it a riot zone and cleared the street with police, and afterward the city and university declared themselves in opposition to this sort of escalation in improprieties during street fests, so the backlash from this created a much more stringent and controlled environment during Mill Fest the following week. I was glad I did NOT go out during the day for Palmer Fest, although I made a good shift out of the later hours that night. During Mill Fest, however, I had not too much trouble operating, though I made less per hour than usual. I started at 7pm and I decided to stay out through the evening and quit at 3am as usual, but with frequent breaks since I was pulling such a long shift. I made a count of my earnings somewhere near midnight to see how the 7-12 timeframe compared to my usual 12-3 hours. I made just over $10/hr in the evening and almost $22/hr after midnight. Both rates are less than usual, but since I worked so long I earned enough to rank #3 in the best earnings in a single night in 2012 category. However, I also spent like $28 on food, getting Baba Ganoush at Souvlakis, (thanks a lot for the extra pita bread!) a grilled cheese from a fraternity fundraiser, a slice of pepperoni at Goodfella's, a Mata Hari at O'Betty's, and finally some banana/chocolate chip pancakes with bacon and coffee at the Union Street Diner before heading home. (Thanks Gabby!)

So, concerning future Street Fests in Athens, it seems like I may have to work them during the day and night if I expect to pull in the same amount of cash that I usually do. While the fests generally create more pedestrian activity, it does not always seem to correlate with greater earnings. The Friday before Palmer Fest is a notable exception, where I earned the most of any night so far this year. I might attribute that to an influx of visitors arriving for Saturday's fest and not having spent all their money on beer yet!

And for the record, this weekend was the best of 2012, netting over $300 in three days. I don't think I've ever had this many dollar bills at once!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

New Business Card Design & Case

I redid the BBI card design. I'm working a newer yet version to order from

I also bought this card carrying leather wallet and mounted it with zip-ties to my dashboard for flicking out cards in an instant.

Friday, May 4, 2012

New .com site for UpCycle

UpCycle is the brand name for custom bikes that I build. There's now a web address hosted by Fat Cow that showcases the bike creations I've made as well as other used bikes for sale. You can also request commissions and see future projects coming along.

This blog on the other hand, will in the future be geared less toward the manufacturing and more toward sharing the pedicab operations run by Bikes Bring It. If you have any photos of yourself and your friends on the pedicab, please share them via email ( or by tagging me (Eric Cornwell) in your photos on Facebook.

New Twitter Account

Bikes Bring It is now on Twitter!!/BikesBringIt

I am now "tweeting" via SMS text to log fares, hours of operation, and anything else I deem fit while out pedicabbing. I avoided Twitter this long, but someday soon I'll probably wonder how I lived without it, just like with Facebook.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Produce Cart at Findlay Market

Shorty gets upgraded

My main pedicab has been seeing lots of action and improvements lately.

New tires - 3 Primo 20 x 2.1"

New seat - Serfas gel suspension seat

New lights - 2 Serfas USLR-R USB taillights
- 1 Serfas USL-5 Raider USB Headlight

New sound system - Gigaware portable docking station

New water bottle - BPA free, with Cycle Path Logo

New bell - identical to the previous one that lost its guts.

New light bar - one with red & white alternating

New brake pads - front & rear

New inner tubes - front & outrigger

Also added:

A wheelset from a girls Huffy coaster bike that was already painted white

Coroplast fin covering the outrigger wheel for safety and advertising space

Speedometer for tracking mileage, which ranges from 7-16 miles per night

Canvas wrap over pipe insulation on backrest for a more finished look

A makeshift turn signaling device set up under the driver seat using a taillight that illuminates bottom to top in 3 stages and can be rotated to make the series of lights point either left or right

Other maintenance:

Re-painted the third wheel in white

Greased bottom bracket

Greased hubs on the newly added Huffy wheels

Friday, March 16, 2012

Produce Cart Completed

The produce cart has been finished and delivered to Cincy. Here are some photos courtesy of Adam Birkan, who made the trip with me to document the occasion.

More photos at Adam Birkan's photo blog

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Sidearm

This new project is a sidecar with a different sort of auxiliary input. It has a hand-crank on the side! Thus the name, Sidearm.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Painting the Permaganic Produce Cart

With a warmer than usual winter, I was able to get primer on this thing outside in my front yard.

But temperatures dropped and it didn't look like I would be able to finish painting before the spring, UNTIL...
I leased a part of the storage facility belonging to the Friends of Animals Thrift Store at 21 Kern street. The Produce Cart travelled across town on the 5' Bikes At Work trailer, along with fans, an 8' ladder, a lamp, a tarp, plastic sheeting, and painting supplies.

I strung that puppy up and put on my respirator and sprayed like crazy for a week.


There was just enough room underneath for me to roll myself out from under the deadly paint mist, Indiana Jones style!

Then I brought some parts on the trailer and put it together. Yayy!

And I hear it'll be 60 degrees tomorrow.