Sophomore launches pedal cab business on campus, looks to expand around Milwaukee


Photo by Olivia Qualls

Some may know Griffin Rain as the student who bikes his pedicab up and down Kilbourn Avenue on weekends. The sophomore in the College of Business Administration is an avid biker and the founder of Pedal Power Cabs, a small business that began offering taxi services on campus in September.

Rain’s business began with his love for biking. He was diagnosed with diabetes his sophomore year of high school, and biking helps him manage his blood sugar.

“Since I started (biking), I have fallen in love with it. I love exploring Milwaukee,” Rain said. “I’ve biked down to Chicago before.”

When he saw pedicabs at Summerfest this year, Rain was inspired to start his own business. He approached a biker at the festival and asked him how his business worked.

Now that Pedal Power Cabs is up and running, Rain has become well-known around Marquette.

“I think he’s kind of an icon on campus. You see him riding around and people are shouting ‘Griffin!’ Everybody knows who he is,” said Jenniffer Hernandez, Griffin’s friend and a sophomore in the College of Business Administration. “This was a way to make money off of something that he would do anyways, which I think is a great strategy for any business.”

Mikey Wilson, a sophomore in the College of Nursing, often uses Power Pedal Cabs to make sure his friends get home safe. As a customer, Wilson said there are several reasons why someone would choose Rain’s cab over a limo.

“Limos don’t have lights and speakers playing good music,” he said. “You don’t really see a pedal cab out that much, so it’s kind of a novelty. And Griffin is just a cool dude. You can strike up a conversation with him about a lot of stuff.”

Rain recently purchased his second pedicab, and he is looking for people who want to work for him. Until he finds employees, Rain often has his friends biking with him.

“They’re basically renting the cab from me for the night. So maybe I’ll charge $35 to rent it and whatever they make over that, they can keep,” Rain said.

Though Rain’s focus is Marquette, he is available at most major events in Milwaukee and he often does bike tours downtown. He is looking forward to expanding his business and plans to purchase more pedicabs to regularly cover UW-Milwaukee, Water Street and North Avenue.

“The biggest thing is going to be finding people that are wanting to do the pedicabs. Especially on weekend nights because you can’t be going to parties, you’d have to give that up,” Rain said. “My favorite part is that I just get to bike around at night.”

“It’s neat that everyone kind of knows who I am now. It’s cool meeting some people I wouldn’t have even met before.”