Those of us who are San Diego bound are gearing up for many things, including the inevitable oceans of pedicabs swarming like seagulls over every scrap of pedestrian. But a lengthy LA Times report on the pedicabs of San Diego reveals that the city is acting to curb these ubiquitous peddlers:

But the tourist tradition has become a civic nuisance as the number of pedicabs has soared in recent years. Competition for customers can get ugly, and some operators are breaking traffic laws, prompting calls for stricter city regulation.[snip] Drivers from San Diego grumble about increased competition from foreign students who come to town on four-month visas to operate pedicabs. The students — mostly from Turkey and Russia but also from Brazil, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Croatia and elsewhere — worry about making enough money to pay their rent or next year’s tuition.

According to the piece, the number of pedicab licenses issued has soared from 338 in 2007 to 643 in 2008, to 917 in 2009 already.

Apparently more focus was placed on these “beggars on bikes” after a 60-year-old Illinois woman died after tumbling from a pedicab.

Let’s face it, if there one thing we don’t want to read in our obituary, it’s “died in a tragic pedicab tumble.” We’re planning to carry a pedicab swatter and stick to gasoline-powered hired cars.


  1. Pedicabs? Hell, watch out for the TRAINS. And don’t try to cross them when they’re parked along Harbor drive near midnight. You never know when they’re going to start up again…

  2. Those trains will fry you with their electric tracks if you don’t know any good riddles. The pedicabs will will swarm you like a new Hitchcock film. Squid will come out of the sea to love your girl in a new way. The bars will overcharge you for beer. CD’s will fly from hotel rooms on high, and cut you in half, and you will have a really good time. I’m so excited. Now, if only UPS would only believe that my address does exist, so I can get order from the printers from them, and leave for San Diego, already.

  3. You know, not everyone can be like us, earning big bucks in this swanky, hi-toned world of comic books. Some people gotta actually work for a living. “Beggars on Bikes”? Come on, have you seen the CALVES on these guys?

  4. The pedi cab drivers from Russia, Brazil etc are fine and to be encouraged. They’re often sexy ladies. Yes, they know it and their customers know it.

    Now the local SD drivers? They’re asshole jocks for the most part. Ones I know for a fact will offer drunk women “freebies” in exchange for sexual services rendered in some darkened corner.

    On the other hand, I don’t use them. I actually use my legs, like real human beings should do. Sorry but if you need to use one and it’s not about lugging stuff, the you should probably get some exercise.

  5. I’ve only had one bad experience with a pedi cab driver. Outside of that, it’s been some wild and exciting rides through the streets of downtown San Diego. Sorry about the accident, though. But I agree that the biggest obstacle is when a train stops in front of the convention center. Then we’re reduced to human cattle and a long wait.

  6. If you are going to use them, ask for the price ahead of time. I remember getting a ride of about 6 blocks, and asking how much I owed, and he replied $40.00. That was the last time I ever used them.

  7. Be sure not to get out of the cab until the pedicab driver gives you change or to have small bills to pay the exact price plus tip. Otherwise, the driver might take it all and ride away. A 60% tip is great if you can steal it.

  8. “some operators are breaking traffic laws, prompting calls for stricter city regulation”

    Since some pedicab drivers are ignoring regulations, the solution is stricter regulation? Maybe they could try calling for stricter enforcement…? And/or stricter penalties for breaking the laws already in place.

    I’ve never taken a pedicab. I don’t like valet parking either.

  9. I don’t really know what these are, but if they are anything like what the bikecabs are in NYC, I don’t see how they can be a bad idea. Hell, Cali is swarmed with too much pollution from autos, right?

    And we wonder why the country is too polluted, people get cancer (from said pollution) and everyone is overweight. *sigh*

  10. Another reason to move the Comic-Con to Vegas!!!111!!!

    At least there, those ripoff guys would be risking heat exhaustion in the dry Desert heat when they pedal the Con attendees around— make them WORK for that overcharge! ;)

  11. Comic Con is sooo never moving to Vegas. San Diego is a nice place to visit. That’s why the con has done so well there. I’ve taken my share of pedicab rides. Some were nice. Some were terrifying. Non were worth the money. Anyway, I’m more looking forward to swimming with the hentai squid. Where can you find that in Vegas?