After a long day of driving, we finally got over the pass that separates Knoxville from Asheville. We had made it. Even though we had no home yet, we knew that Asheville was going to be home. We felt home.
We passed the city and kept going on I 40, heading for Earthaven Ecovillage. Earthaven was our landing pad, which I was grateful to have. I made arrangements with my friends at Medicine Wheel (a house at Earthaven) for a week long stay while we scouted for other options. Laura wanted to be as close to the city as we could, though prices go up with proximity.
It was a fine thing to have a week at Earthaven, where I got further acquainted with some folks I’d met the first time I visited, three or so months earlier in the year, and I got to know a few new people as well. The very next night after we arrived, a former Earthavener named Sid was in town with his family to put on an ecstatic dance, and we all had a great time at that. Our girls became friends with Sid’s girls, and we got to know another couple named Sam and Julia.
We also met Heather and Greg, who were from New York. Heather was doing a two month stint at Earthaven, and Greg was down visiting for a couple of weeks. I had many good conversations with him, and I was pleased to learn that he runs a rickshaw business in New York City, and that he had one of his pedi-cabs with him.
I had seen his pedi-cab sitting by the road at Earthaven, and I found it most fascinating. “I’m going to be going into Asheville with it next Friday,” he said after he showed me the trike. It had two attachments, one being a covered seat for carrying people and the other being a large box bed for cargo. “Just to ride around and see if I can get some passengers.”
“That’s awesome,” I said. “Do you think I could meet you downtown and do a brief story on your cab, and your business?” I asked. From what he told me of his business, I deemed it a highly agorist approach, and I wanted to get some more details about it.
“For sure,” he said. “It would be fun to meet up downtown. I could take you for a ride.”
Friday was supposed to be our last night at Earthaven, but I asked to extend it for night and Laura, Eva, Gaia, and Lila all came along for a night in Asheville. Earthaven is about forty five minutes from Asheville, so we still hadn’t spent a whole lot of time in the city.
Our search for a place to live had not yielded us anything yet, but that is another story all together. We went ahead with each day, knowing that things would work themselves out. For that night, we would go out to eat, walk around and watch the buskers, and meet up with Greg and Heather.
We found Greg by chance. He was riding up the hill as we crossed an intersection. He said he hadn’t given any rides yet, as it was still only five o’clock. “I’m sure that I’ll get most of my business pretty late, as people start to leave the bars. Why don’t you all hop in? You can be my first ride.”
“All of us?” Laura asked.
“Sure. If you can squeeze.” The back seat was designed for two, but the kids could probably all fit across our two laps.
“Can you take the weight?” I asked.
“Sure thing,” Greg replied.
I let the girls load up while I ran ahead, calling to Greg to pick me up further up the block. I got some pictures and footage of them all in tow before jumping in myself.
We had a lovely ride around downtown, stopping at Pritchard Park, where we shot the interview. Greg’s company, Revolution Rickshaw, is indeed a fine example of agorist thinking, and I enjoyed learning about how exactly he got to where is now, making a good living.
We let Greg go after a bit so he could find more fares, going to dinner and having a walk around town. We were fortunate to happen upon the Spoon Lady, who is a well-known spoon player, talented like you wouldn’t believe. She played with a guitarist before a large crowd, which we worked our way among. It was a wonderful performance.
We spent quite a bit of time in a store with all sorts of interesting things and clothes that Laura liked, and then we finished with ice cream, joined by Heather, who was going to ride back home with Laura and the girls. I was going to meet up with Greg again and ride back with him in the van.
I spent some time walking alone, but I didn’t have too long to wait before Greg met me at Rosetta’s Kitchen. I asked him if I could peddle him back to the van, to get sense of how the rickshaw felt to propel. It had a motorized pedal assist, but it was bound to be a lot of work to carry all that weight. The cab itself weighed close to two hundred pounds.
The gears helped a lot, but it was indeed difficult to get up the hills. I started breathing heavily immediately, but I got into the groove. It was fun, if exhausting. The pedal assist really does make quite a difference, even though it's subtle.
If you're interested in learning a bit more about the trike and its features, we talk about them a bit in the interview. And if you're ever in New York City, hail a petty cab. Not only will it be a fun ride, but you'll be supporting good old fashioned agorism, something the world needs more of.
We enjoyed our time at Earthaven, and we were somewhat sad to leave when we finally headed out. We didn't even have a place to go yet, but to speed our search, we needed to stay closer to the city. I was getting fairly anxious about what would become of us, though I knew deep down that things work themselves out, if we just stayed in the flow. And so on the adventure goes.