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Too Tired to Walk? Hop on a Pedicab!

Petaluma joins list of U.S. cities promoting cycling as cheap, fast and healthy way to get around town.

Imagine getting off the SMART train in downtown Petaluma and hopping in a bicycle taxi that takes you to a restaurant or perhaps a tour of the historic homes.

You don’t have to worry about walking everywhere or if arriving downtown by car, looking for an increasingly hard to find parking spot.

That’s the vision behind the new pedicab service recently rolled out in downtown Petaluma. The idea is the brainchild of Alan Allen, a laid off construction worker who earlier this year launched Community Bikes Petaluma, a group that refurbishes old bicycles and donates them to needy families.

Now the 44-year-old Allen is going a step further and providing a service he says will help reduce congestion downtown and connect visitors and locals to various points of interest without relying on a car.

“Petaluma is an ideal place to do it and it’s a great way to sell our town,” says Allen, who spent 27 years working in construction before finding himself out of work this winter. “Our goal is for this to grow and eventually hire more people and not give so much money to the oil companies.”

Allen is collaborating with girlfriend Melita Cedraholm and Petaluma residents Ryan Williams and Jason Davies, who are funding the green venture. The entrepreneurs foresee the company eventually expanding to include numerous bicycles that ferry people to cafes and restaurants or take them on specially-tailored trips to local art galleries, antique shops or romantic picnics on McNear Peninsula.

In starting a pedicab service, Petaluma joins a growing number of U.S. cities promoting bicycles as a way reduce traffic and provide an alternative means of transportation. Today, pedicabs can be found in Sonoma, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, San Diego and many other cities around the country where they are occasionally touted as "taxis without the attitude."

Want to ride the Community Bikes pedicab? Call or text 707-933-7664 between 7am to 10pm. Cost is donation-based and pick-ups at home can be arranged. For more information, check out www.petalumapedalcab.com

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Kathy Conover August 28, 2012 at 02:10 PM
What a wonderful idea! This would be a good way for folks to get to from home to the fairgrounds to get the airport express shuttle.
Darris August 28, 2012 at 05:56 PM
We donated our Cannondale mountain bike and a BMX to Community Bikes. We LOVE the business model! I'll be looking for the Pedicab. Great idea but curious how it's going to work in a very busy town with lots of vehicle traffic. Fun to see creative people coming up with fabulous ideas that serve the community. All the best to you!
Bridget Lyons August 28, 2012 at 09:17 PM
My daughter and I enjoyed our recent "ride" after shopping at the Petaluma Farmer's Market in the Park. What a great opportunity we now have in our community! Giving a donation for this ride, was so much fun too! Bridget and Jessica Lyons

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