A Coachella Pedicab Driver Shares His Craziest Stories

Categories: Coachella

pedicab pic.jpg
Ryan Cox
Christian Bowers

By: Ryan Cox
It's near triple digits in the hot Indio sun and there's a brown dust haze filling the sky from the continuous foot traffic. You pass your first round of security, weak from exhaustion and dehydration when out in the distance you catch glimpse of a group of men in blue. Are they cops? Nope. Superheroes? Sorta. These are Coachella's pedicab drivers and they're waiting to taking you to your next destination on their man-powered chariots.
Meet Christian Bowers, a 37-year old pedicab driver from Scottsdale who's been in the business for about a year. I find him with the rest of his fellow drivers next to the security check-point adjacent to the campgrounds. He's got a pair of 70's style glasses covering half his face while a well-groomed mutton chop covers the other. Tattoos adorn his legs, and he's laughing and smiling while conversing with his colleagues.

Trying to coerce some juicy details about the underbelly of pedicab rides at Coachella, he assured me that it's pretty uneventful with the occasional drunk person or misunderstandings. Nothing too crazy. But when I asked him about some of his other experiences, that was a whole other story.

OC Weekly (Ryan Cox): Has anyone ever had sex in a pedicab?
Christian Bowers: I don't know anything about that [laughs]. Nothing like that at Coachella, but in the past, I've witnessed some partial things.

Has anyone ever tried to stiff you for a ride?
Bowers: I was actually stiffed once. Four people got into a cab and each person thought that the other person had paid when they got to the club. There have been misunderstandings with amounts and payments and such where people only paid me 1/3 or ¼ of what they were supposed to. I've even had someone only pay me $2 after I had taken them miles and miles away.

What's the craziest think you've seen a pedicab driver do to someone?
Well, where I come from in Scottsdale, a lot of the pedicab drivers have wars with taxi cab drivers. They'll rip off taxi cab mirrors, they'll jump on their cars, they'll do all kinds of shit. I don't condone any of this- it just makes the job more dangerous for us.

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