As I approached my 500th ride with Lyft, I decided I wanted to include the community in my celebration. I bought a 50th birthday card, crossed out the word "birthday" and replaced it with "Lyft." I added a zero, to make it 500, along with a pink fuzzy mustache. The card came with me on the road, and I had dozens of passengers sign it, congratulating lucky No. 500.
By the time the magical night rolled around, it was full and featured quite a few driver signatures as well.
On a Friday night, a little after 1 a.m., I reached ride No. 499 in Uptown Minneapolis. A request came through, followed by a cancelation. A second request ended up being a no-show. A third request resulted in another cancellation. Undeterred, I was determined to hit 500 that night.
Finally, a passenger named Anubhav requested a ride. I accepted, picked him up, and we had Lyft-off!
After the fistbump, I told him that he was No. 500, and I gave him the card. By then it was 1:30 a.m., and Anubhav was a bit tipsy. His face reflected genuine happiness and wonder about having this strange honor foisted upon him. As I dropped him off at a downtown nightclub, he seemed truly grateful to have been the lucky recipient.
As I wrapped up the ride on my phone, a girl walked up to my car. Amazingly, it was Rachel, a friend of mine who I hadn't seen in almost a year. She hopped in my car, and I flipped off driver mode to catch up with her. We discussed her adventures, my 500th ride, and she took a stack of my referral cards to share the Lyft love.
It was a fantastic ending to my night and cemented my notion that we get the rides we need. Had I not had those two cancelations and a no-show, I wouldn't have ended up where I was: happy, celebrating No. 500, and reconnecting with a long-lost friend.
I am eagerly looking forward to the fireworks of passenger 1,000!