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Eau Claire Bike Cabs: an Asset to Downtown Culture

Written By: Danielle Small  |  Posted: Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

            Germany, New York City, Bangladesh, India, San Diego and Eau Claire all have one thing in common: bike cabs. Bike cabs or pedicabs are human powered tricycles that carry passengers from one destination to another. Normally seen in large cities, bike cabs offer a scenic and intimate way of exploring the innards of a city. Native Eau Clairian and Memorial High graduate, Zach Barker, enjoyed the eco friendliness and convenience of bike cabs when he lived in Milwaukee and Madison during his college years. He decided to bring them to Eau Claire's growing downtown culture by starting the company Eau Claire Bike Cab. Eau Claire Bike Cab offers free rides in their many cabs to downtown patrons when the weather is accommodating and can typically be seen around events like the summer concert series in Phoenix Park. Currently, the cabs are volunteer driven so there is no set schedule of when and where to get a ride but you can make reservations if you call or text (715) 894-7005. Also, if you want to know when and where they will be outside you can check their Twitter and Facebook accounts: http://twitter.com/#!/ECBIkeCab and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eau-Claire-Bike-Cab/184018718315467.

            I took my first ride in the bike cabs at the summer concert series in Phoenix Park where two Eau Claire Bike Cab drivers were stationed. I saw a giggly group of young girls apprehensively approach one of the drivers. It was obvious they had not ridden in a bike cab before and their curiosity compelled them to ask for a ride. The driver, seeing their excitement, gave a quick smile and gestured them into the cab. When I saw them ride off towards Barstow one girl had both hands in the air as if she was in a roller coaster while another waved back at family standing by. All had smiles on their faces. I would like to say I had the same childlike enthusiasm when I entered the bike cab but this wasn't the first time I rode in one. The first time was in Union Square in Manhattan, New York. The landscape from that ride was starkly different from the one I was about to take in downtown Eau Claire and I found it comforting to be in a bike cab without the anxiety that comes from being sandwiched in three lane traffic while yellow taxis speed by just inches away.

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