A combination of home city pride and loving all things outdoors led Memphis native Colton Rickard to squeeze a new activity into the hustle and bustle of downtown—with Rock’N Rickshaws. Now, locals and tourists alike can experience an affordable, fun, and safe way to get around Memphis while soaking in all the city offers.
“I love the city and its rich culture and history,” the full-time sales manager explains. “But we didn’t have a good way for people to get from point A to point B.”
Colton is referring to pedicab excursions. The idea first sprouted during his trips to Thailand and New York in 2019 and 2022, where he witnessed how cities could improve traffic flow while offering an interactive and immersive transportation experience.
“There is a revitalization of downtown Memphis right now,” he explains of the city’s 25 construction projects currently underway and 11.1 million visitors seen in 2022.
After picking the brains of pedicab business owners around the country, Colton saved up to purchase two of his own. Since jumping into full operation this year, Rock’N Rickshaws has seen incredible popularity.
“Right now, the demand already warrants another two.” Colton hopes to begin servicing Midtown and Shelby Farms Park over the next few years.
There is an element of spontaneity and adventurism to the pedicabs’ easily-recognizable bright blue hatchbacks you may have seen traversing down the cobblestone-lined streets of downtown. Being fully equipped with LED-lit canopies and Bluetooth speakers means riders can rock out to their favorite tunes while learning about Johnny Cash’s rise to stardom at Sun Records or en route to retro brunch spot, The Arcade Restaurant.
In addition to providing local transportation services and customizable mini ad-hoc tours of 30 minutes, Rock’N Rickshaws offers the following three engaging tour rides.
1. MEMPHIS BLUES TOUR: Soak in the rich history and culture of Memphis’ music scene with this hour-long tour that travels down Main Street, past Beale, and through the South Main Arts District.
2. SUNSET TOUR: Catch a beautiful Tennessee sunset along the Mississippi River skyline with accompanying bridge views on Riverside Drive ending in Tom Lee Park.
3. PUB CRAWL TOUR: Enjoy a fun night on the town with this bar-hopping circuit that brings visitors to local hotspots for half-hour increments, with over 100 stops to choose from.
“I want to share my passion and love for Memphis with visitors and be able to do that through conversation. So typically, we tell visitors something they didn’t know.”
The bikes have good suspensions and gears, which creates a leisurely experience for both driver and passenger to engage in conversation.
“People come here for reasons like Elvis. When we can give them more personable stories and see the awe in their eyes, that’s really what it’s all about.”
To book your tour, visit Rocknrickshaws.com. IG: @rocksnrickshaws
By Shlomit Ovadia
Photo by Laramie Renae