Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on November 4, 2007
Looking for new green way to get around Chicago? Well, if your into fresh air and a relaxed pace, then you should try out the cities Rickshaw services. Okay your saying what the hell is a rickshaw, well your saying that if you have never traveled to places like India.
To tell you the truth, this is my first rickshaw experience in Chicago, and I was just a bit hesitent. But I was in Chicago among friends and my host for the night was G Living’s very own Green Chef Vanessa Sherwood. She hooked me and my friends up with a ride to theGreen Zebra restaurant, where we where all meeting up.
Did you know Chicago is trying to become one of the greenest cities in the world? Amazing right, well Chicago is taking great steps to achieve that goal and it is getting a little helping hand from Roger Rickshaw.
I must admit, when Vanessa told me about Roger’s rickshaw service, I was skeptical. Even though he was prepared to pick us up wherever we were and whisk us to the restaurant — and she offered to foot the bill — I was still hesitant. “Isn’t that a big, touristy kind of thing?” I wondered. Ridding around in a rickshaw, checking out the sites — I didn’t want to feel like I was being touted around town in a horse and carriage, like I was on my honeymoon.
Then throughout the weekend, I noticed there were an inordinate amount of people on two or more self-propelled wheels. There were lots of bikes and roller blades. Scooters, too. (Apparently there’s no helmet law in Illinois, because I saw no one wearing one). When the warm weather hits Chicago, it seems to bring most people out for sports and bikes. Cool with me.
So, after thinking about it, a rickshaw fit right in. And it certainly is green. We reserved a ride.
Roger started his rickshaw company in 2001 as a way to exercise, supplement his income and possibly entertain. His site says he has Chicago’s largest pedicab service. He takes great pride in this hobby and is a great showman and tour guide. Even if you’re like Vanessa and live in Chicago, it’s a fun way to relax, get where you’re going and have a different perspective on the city.
So, Roger picked us up at Millennium Park and peddled us away. We had a blast. Roger and his partner (our group required two rickshaws) enjoyed their job so much, it was hard not to enjoy the ride. They loved talking about the city, its great restaurants and bars and the people. We got to sit back, enjoy the open air and observe Chicago’s amazing architecture as well as the river and its draw bridges. We took a ridiculous amount of photos and I ended up being a big tourist, which is a great thing to be while traveling.
And even though we were treated to the ride, I couldn’t resist asking Roger what he charged for his services. He said the average fare for hailing a rickshaw on the street was $12 and the minimum price for an arranged pickup was $20, “but,” he added, “it’s really a barter system.”
Next time you’re in Chicago, call Roger Rickshaw instead of a cab or a bus. Just remember to bring your camera.
Contact Roger Ricksaw for a reservation at (773) 620-7921 or via email.