WHO: Dawson Weehunt.
AGE: I’m 20.
WHAT’S THE NAME OF YOUR OCCUPATION? I drive a pedicab.
WHERE YOU FROM? All over Texas. Born in Dallas. Moved to Tyler. Then Longview. Then Magnolia. Then Austin. Then Lakeway. Then The Woodlands and back to downtown Austin.
WHAT LURED YOU TO AUSTIN? I moved here after I graduated from high school to, hopefully, go to the University of Texas. But I’ve yet to do that. I’m going to community college.
I’m in Austin for a lot of reasons: friends, the culture ... I’m really involved with the residential co-ops here. I like the communities here — from the pedicab community to the activist community. I’m vegan and like to bike and swim. Austin fits my lifestyle.
CAN YOU REMEMBER YOUR FIRST DAY AS A BIKE TAXI? Yeah, it was absolutely terrible. It was in the wintertime and it started raining. I got no rides. The second day, it wasn’t raining, and I got $200 on my first night.
HOW MANY FARES DID YOU WORK THE NIGHT YOU SCORED $200? One ride was $100. Then probably four rides for about $20-$25.
HAVE YOU GOTTEN LOST? No. I have my phone. I just Google shit.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET FLAT TIRES? I’ve had four. I’ve been doing this for six months.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE FOR YOU TO GET HIRED? Well, you have to get your license, which takes about two weeks — for processing. After that, it took about 30 minutes.
BEFORE THIS JOB, DID YOU HAVE ANY BIKE-TAXI EXPERIENCE? No, but I rode my bike everywhere.
DESCRIBE YOUR PASSENGER’S EXPERIENCE? Depends on where we’re going. My favorite rides are people who just want to see Austin. So they’re like, “Take me around.” Those fares have the coolest rides because I know the cool bike paths. We always have a blast. A lot of people are just drunk and trying to get to the next bar.
DO YOU NARRATE RIDES WITH, LIKE, TOURISM INFO? Not really. I just talk to customers. I’d rather focus on them.
HOW DO YOU CONVINCE PEOPLE TO HIRE YOU? Mostly by talking to them. I don’t try and call out a lot. Whenever I’m driving around — like if I’m sitting and I haven’t gotten a ride for a long time — then I’ll try and really get one. Most of the time, I just play music really loud and make my presence known.
BEST TIP? That’s a hard one. I got a back massage once. That was incredible. As far as money goes, I got $200 for one ride.
DO PEOPLE HIT ON YOU? All the time. Mostly ladies. They’ll grab my butt. If it was the other way around, that would be sexual harassment. But since I’m a dude, it’s more, like, flirty....
ANY CLOSE CALLS WITH MOTORISTS? Yeah, I’ve been hit before. Nothing too severe. It kind of wiggled a bit.
DID THEY STOP? We were all stuck in traffic together. I changed lanes without realizing it. Someone rear-ended me.
But it was my fault.
WHAT EVENT ROLLS IN THE MOST BUSINESS? South By. Without a doubt. That’s like a 10-day marathon. UT games are good.
Business conventions are consistent. Those are during the day, and not many other pedicabbers are out. The demand is still high, but since I’m the only pedicabber out there, I’ll make, like, $300 on a Tuesday.
MOST OBNOXIOUS BEHAVIOR? Oh, there’s been multiple incidents of people trying to not pay me. Or trying to get into fights... Most pedicabbers carry Mace because of that. Some real assholes out here.
HAS THIS JOB GOTTEN YOU LAID? In an indirect way, yes. But not directly.
HOW EXHAUSTED ARE YOU AT THE END OF A SHIFT? I’m absolutely fucking dead.