Brandon Trones and his girlfriend Erin, a celebrity home designer, just moved from Los Angeles to New Orleans to launch their startup trike business.
While working in production and event planning in California, Brandon learned about green transportation.
By combining the eco-vehicle idea with his love for urban cycling, he created Buzz Nola’s electric trike.
Given New Orleans’ climate, tourism and bikeable nature, Brandon and Erin chose New Orleans as the launch pad for their trike startup.
They were happily surprised to learn about the city’s eco-friendly leanings, with its farmers’ markets, recycling initiatives and alternative forms of transportation. They also realized that a tour company will never run out of interesting sights in this city.
Brandon wanted to provide a vehicle that’s fast and fun to drive. The initial design process took a year and a half, and he partnered with a company that manufactures industrial bikes. During the testing phase on California beaches (where Erin had the luxury of serving as a human “crash test dummy”), the trike attracted positive attention from curious Los Angelenos.
A trike rider has three options: pedal unassisted, pedal with motor assistance or ride without pedaling at all. The battery can support 30 miles of travel, and backup batteries are small and easy to swap. The trike weighs 60 pounds and reaches top speeds of 20 miles per hour. With the pedal assist and motor, persons of nearly any age or fitness level can operate the trike, and each one supports up to 250 pounds.
Brandon utilized 20 elements from different bicycles to craft the trike. The wheels can take New Orleans streets – potholes and all – without bursting. Riders have a comfortable seat, a locking trunk and a rear-view mirror. Unique to these tours, each trike has a built-in radio allowing all riders to hear the tour leader.
Another notable feature is the optional canopy, which provides shelter from the sun or rain. Also, the trike sports a sleek design to complement its speedy nature – true to its L.A. roots.
Mardi Gras first responders approached Brandon and expressed interest in purchasing trikes for business use. Buzz Nola is currently working with local deputies to assess the possibility of deploying trikes for city workers.
During crowded parade seasons, for instance, first responders could quickly get aid and medical supplies to those in need of assistance. Brandon and Erin are thrilled to stand behind an “all-utility vehicle” trike that may actually save lives.
Buzz Nola gives visitors and locals alike a personal, informative tour of New Orleans. Their guides are knowledgeable representatives of the city; in fact, one guide has had family in New Orleans for over 200 years. For the loud roll-by sites, guides narrate via radio, while in Garden District they go radio silent to admire the old neighborhoods. For safety, one tour guide leads the group while another acts as the sweeper to guard against errant drivers. Overall, Buzz Nola revolutionizes the tour concept to maximize riders’ enjoyment.
For more information on Buzz Nola, visit BuzzNola.com.