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Day 7-Tuesday (Tampa/St Petersburg)

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We wake up in the Walmart parking lot and head to the closest Fedex to print off more material. As we drive through downtown Tampa we see the beautiful scenery of the sculptures and fountains. We finally find the Fedex and print off the last of our brochures and find out who’s going where. We finally head out across the bay to St Petersburg and reach our first shop. We pull up and go inside and again are amazed by the size of the space. We talk with the shop owner and he displays the typical interest/skeptical deminer. After about 30 minutes of questioning and researching he agrees to buy a batch and leaves. We wait for another 15 minutes as a worker delivers us a check. On the way out of the shop we notice a mango tree on someone’s property. The tree has a private property sign on it so we decide to pass up the mangos and head to our shops.

Charles takes St Petersburg on bike and I take Tampa in car since it’s more spread out. Since we started a little late we didn’t have much time to work. After our run, I meet back with Charles and we went down to an original part of the city we called 6th street. It was the original part of town with cobble stone roads, lights lining the street and bars and restaurants for about half a mile. We went looking for local bike riders but instead found a bar with trivia we deiced to stop at. The prize for winning trivia was a $25 bar tab so we decided to stay and try and win free dinner. At the same time we’re watching game 4 of the Eastern Conference NBA finals with the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers (2-1). As the night carries on we slowly lose our trivia and watch as the basketball game gets closer and closer. At the end of the night the Indiana Pacers win and we lose our trivia. Luckily we only had waters so we didn’t owe anything.

We head out and are about to leave and see a sole pedicabber  sitting on the street so we give him a card and ask him about his business. He tells us that he’s the only pedicabber on the street and is there every day.  He goes on to explain how he charges $300 for the advertising stickers on the side of his cab. With one on each side we figure he’s making $600 per month just by riding up and down the street. He tries to convince us to get the larger advertising spot on the back for $600 per month but we quickly find a way to delay our acceptance.

He convinces us to take a quick ride and gives us a tour of the street showing us good places to eat and sell. After our ride we start to pack up and run into a guy they call “Rasta” who wants lights on his bike. We install his green lights and finally are about to leave when the pedicabber pulls around with a customer who’s interested in our lights. He’s talking fast and furious and finally we part ways without making a deal.  

We head out and stop to get gas and run into the gas station owner who is admiring our bikes. We show him the lights and more people including a trick rider we saw downtown show up. More people gather and we give out business cards left and right. FINALLY, we’re able to leave and head towards Orlando. We get about half way to Orlando and I start to get tired so instead of continuing to drive, we pull over at a truck stop and sleep for the night….

 


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