An Irishman’s American Dream: Meet the Irish Central Park cyclist
The pair then spent the next 24 hours working the streets, although exhausted Ainsworth said he was delighted to have been part of such a huge event.
When the inauguration celebrations were done and dusted, Ainsworth and his pal headed south to Orlando, Florida where they worked International Drive for a few weeks. Shortly after another golden event was taking place, the Super Bowl in Tampa.
Since arriving back in New York, Ainsworth is busy keeping the New York tourists, especially the ones from Ireland, happy.
When asked what makes him different from the hundreds of other Pedi-cab drivers, Ainsworth said, “I’m Irish, I’ve so much knowledge of this city, I’m fluent in English and, of course, charming.”
Aside from giving New York visitors the low down on the city, Ainsworth also works weddings, honeymoons and proposals in the park and beyond.
“A lot of Irish people come here on their honeymoon and they book me to bring them on a tour,” he adds.
After an hour long historical tour (and a bit of craic) at Central Park, Ainsworth brings his clients to a nearby Irish bar so they can get fed and watered.
However, the past few weeks have been very slow for the young Mayo man. The weather has been bad, the recession is in full swing and the competition is heating up.
“The city is talking about regulating the bikes, and the sooner they do that the better for me because there are so many of us now on the streets. It’s a real hustle to get customers,” said Ainsworth.
“If it stays this quiet I will have to move on,” he added. “Yesterday I worked 10 hours and I only made $130, it’s that quiet.”
During one of his trips around the park, Ainsworth met a gentleman who offered him a job in Buffalo with a concrete company, and although he would love to stay in Manhattan, he said the recession and the hundreds of bikes on the city streets are slowing business down immensely.
“I don’t want to leave New York but I have to make a living so Buffalo might be my only option,” he said.
A ride with Ainsworth will set you back approximately $65 for an hour. Although, he is open for negotiations and will “give a good deal when I can, especially if you’re Irish,” he said with a wink.
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