Rex Lee, 41, is the driver and motor of a Pedal Express bicycle pedicab serving downtown Reno since February. For more information, call 376-0967 or search for Pedal Express on Facebook.
Tell me about your business.
I got into pedicabbing when I was in college in Chico, Calif. I got out of it for many years because I got into yacht sales, but as the economy started to tank, yacht sales followed suit. It just didn’t work. So I got back into it a little over two years ago, and I’ve operated now in Houston, Texas and [Baton Rouge], Louisianna. Through a divorce and child custody issues, my kids moved out to the West Coast, and that is actually what brought me to Reno, Nevada.
Tell me about your pedicab.
They’re the only ones downtown that are the fiberglass finished products. It’s got rear-differential hydraulic disc brakes. The whole rear is fully suspended, so the customers aren’t just comfortable, but they’re safe. It’s the safest rig on the market in the world right now.
What’s the clientele like?
Our clientele is very diversified. We deal with people from the very young—little kids, little girls love us—to the old, old couples going for a fun romantic ride, to middle-aged people going for Christmas light showings. We deal with the college drunk market year-round. And we definitely cater to the restaurant and bar crowd year-round.
What’s the difference between taking a pedicab and a regular taxi?
Riding a pedicab is more entertainment than it is transportation. A taxi, you’re going to walk out and most of the time you’re going to take a taxi not for entertainment value but just to get you from point A to point B. When you walk out of an establishment and see a pedicab, more often than not, someone’s going to say, oh let’s take the pedicab, because it’s fun! Not because we need transportation from point A to point B, but we’re going to take transportation because it’s fun. It’s enjoyable. We don’t need to. We could walk, but this pedicab is fun! It’s exciting. That’s the difference between us and any other form of transportation.
How does Reno compare to other cities where you’ve driven a pedicab?
The clientele is very, very diversified, so that makes it fun. Logistically, Reno’s set up perfect for pedicabbing. It’s very flat [downtown], very short. It works so well for us. The Freighthouse District has been a great place for us, with the Aces baseball, and, of course, the Eldorado, Silver Legacy and Circus Circus. Between those two major hubs of entertainment, it makes Reno excellent. There are so many little bars with great entertainment. The entertainment value in Reno I think is far superior to what most people know.