Friday, March 7, 2014
Most people throw on a pair of shorts, padded or not, and a T-shirt or jersey when they head out on their bikes. But not Green Man.
The Maine Pedicab driver prefers to show up for the bigger events around Portland - like last Friday's First Friday Art Walk - in a chartreuse Morphsuit.
"People go bananas, especially in the Old Port at night or for Art Walk," says Green Man, who prefers to go by Chartreuse Man around his closest friends. "The laughs, the looks, the photographs. I probably had 150 to 200 pictures taken the other day."
Green Man spends his non-pedicab days as an artist and musician. But when he's transporting fares for tips his super hero powers come out. Those powers include being eco-friendly, making people smile and the ability to "expand people's appreciation for the strange and different."
Before he was seen on a cycle, Green Man was created on a ski slope. On a dare from a friend the Green Man suit was purchased for a day of spring skiing at Jay Peak. The allure of the Green Man brought free ski tickets and kept the suit from being crammed in the back of a closet.
"When I saw the bikes, and the color of these bikes, it was a no-brainer," he says of the Maine Pedicab cycles.
Because he also loves cycling for pleasure, Green Man says becoming a Pedicab driver was also a no-brainer. "Summer job equals getting paid to do something I love to do," he says.
Maine Pedicab opened for business in April and manager Nate Hamburger's fleet delivers riders to destinations around the Old Port and near Hadlock Field. The business is part of USA Pedicab, which started in Boston in 2005 and has locations in several cities.
The open-air taxi rides are described by some as "transportainment" and Green Man certainly fits that bill. He plans to be in full green force for this Sunday's Old Port Festival and says fans should expect to see the man in the Morphsuit morph a bit himself.
"As summer goes on, expect the Green Man to change his look," he says.
Coming soon: A mask and Pegasus wings.
Karen Beaudoin lives in Portland and is the web editor for PressHerald.com.
Her Pedal On blog offers info, events and advice for people who love their bikes more than, well ... almost anything.
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