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Call Him Mellow Yellow

I thoroughly enjoy Turtle Bay, the Sundial Bridge and our amazing Sacramento River Trail. But often in the heat of the summer, after a walk from the museum through the arboretum, I feel like I need aloe, a respirator and IV fluids. Now there’s a better way to enjoy our community’s natural treasures without sun stroke, lack of oxygen and dehydration: Sit back, relax and let Bob Frost do the work.

Bob has introduced the pedicab, a rickshaw for the 21st-century, to Redding and launched Sundial Pedicab, the latest enhancement to our Sundial-Arboretum-Turtle Bay recreation trilogy. Bob, a retired Shasta-Trinity Forest Service timber salesman and firefighter, conceptualized Sundial Pedicab in the early ’90s as he watched the construction of the Court Street and Sundial bridges. A resident of Lake Redding, he was always drawn to the river trail and briefly considered a pedicab for personal use.

His pedicab didn’t replace his car, however, until this year, when his dreams to provide a safe, comfortable, eco-friendly way to see our city’s attractions came true. Bob, anxious to use his new toy, “didn’t even roll it out of the garage,” for the first month, patiently waiting for a break in January’s winter weather. His first “fare” was on January 31, a clear, 60-degree day, and he’s been pedaling ever since, for birthday celebrations, anniversaries and weddings.

But you don’t need a special occasion to call Bob. He will pick you up in the Turtle Bay parking lot for a casual tour of the Sundial Bridge, McConnell Arboretum and Gardens and the surrounding trail systems. (A $5 fare buys a 15-minute ride for two passengers.) Bob’s longest tour was a two-hour jaunt from Turtle Bay to Keswick, roundtrip.

Bob’s pedicab was also the travel mode of choice for many of this year’s Kool April Nights attendees and you will often find him shuttling guests during breaks in the Home and Garden shows and other Convention Center events.

The Sundial Pedicab, built by Main Street Pedicabs in Colorado, features all of the bells and whistles required of a vehicle on the street: headlights, running lights, turn signals and rearview mirrors. The low, slip-resistant step and hand rail make it easy to hop on and off, even for those with mobility issues. And have no fear. His new toy’s pieces and parts are expertly cared for by the bicycle gurus at the Chain Gang. The pedicab will soon be equipped with a canopy-mounted misting system, to keep shaded riders cool under Redding’s summer rays.

However, when you ride with Bob, you get more than a fun, safe, effortless ride. Bob has become something of an expert in the flora and fauna of the Arboretum and is learning about the public art that adorns the garden’s Mediterranean landscape.

Bob, who says that he “couldn’t have asked for a better reception” when he introduced Sundial Pedicab, is charming and affable. He beams when he relays stories of riders who return renewed from an hour-long, contemplative ride in his pedicab. I believe him when he says that the best part of his new career is “just seeing people happy.”

To schedule a scenic cruise on the Sacramento River Trail or the Sundial Bridge, call Bob Frost, owner and operator of Sundial Pedicab, (530) 351-1755. For more information, email sundialpedicab1@yahoo.com.

Adam Mankoski is a recent North State transplant who feels completely at home here. He enjoys experiencing and writing about the people, places and things that embody the free spirit of the State of Jefferson. He and his partner own HawkMan Studios and are the creators of Redding’s 2nd Saturday ArtHop. Email your North State news and events to adamm.anewscafe@gmail.com.