According to Tom Miner, creator of State College’s beloved pedicab service Vamos! Lion Chariot, Vamos is the “coolest word ever.”
Miner, a Penn State alumnus, got the idea for Vamos! Lion Chariot while visiting family in San Diego four years ago.
“I saw these carts and the idea hit me pretty quickly. I was like, this is pretty cool! We need these in State College,” says Miner.
Miner decided to take a ride and realized how environmentally friendly the bike taxis were and that people were having a great time. So Miner took his transportainment (transportation and entertainment) idea back to State College, despite the lack of beautiful San Diego weather.
On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, students can ride the chariots from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and the ride is typically $5 to $8 with the occasional free ride discount.
However, Miner’s company is a lot more than escorting lazy students back to their dorms after a long night. There are now romance packages available along with sightseeing tours and birthday rides.
Miner is more than excited for Valentines Day this year.
“It’s a huge weekend for us,” says Miner. “We did almost a dozen rides last year and I already have one lined up for Saturday this year.”
It’s hard to find romantic things around State College to show your girlfriend how much you care, but Miner knows how to make any guys’ sweetheart love him even more.
“During a ride like this we make sure the lady is properly escorted on to the chart, we are dressed in a suit, and the cart is romantically decorated,” Miner says. “We let everyone in town know you’re the most special couple!”
The Chariot will drop you off at the restaurant and pick you back up after the date is finished. A student round trip ride costs $30, but boys are given the choice to include items such as flowers, chocolate and candles to make the night really special. Romantic music and pictures are free of charge.
Along with helping the love life of crazy teenagers, Miner can be seen riding newly weds around campus. Miner is on www.nittanywedding.com under transportation services and is used for taking the bride and groom to locations for pictures.
“The driver will be in a suit playing Frank Sinatra,” says Miner.
Miner also was lucky enough to witness three proposals. Two of them he was aware of and was able to help make the night romantic and the third one was a complete surprise.
“He just got up and screamed on College Ave and she said yes!” says Miner.
Along with being a Cupid on Wheels, Miner loves giving tours to alumni and perspectives students, giving rides on birthdays for kids and locals and escorting the elderly to Beaver Stadium on game days.
Miner is really trying to make these events the core of his business. Take it from the man with the biggest calf muscles in State College, Vamos! Lion Chariot is a great way to make a night memorable.
Go to www.vamoslion.com and book a ride today!
Photo by Alex O’Brien