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37Happy New Year, Roots!

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  • Paul H. Freedman
    Jan 16, 2002
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      Dear Roots:

      I know it’s been a little while since I tipped the wink to you about recent
      happenings at Xtracycle and XAccess, but it’s been a busy holiday season.

      Asia business trip: Ross and product-team sidekick Chad travelled to Taiwan
      to strengthen the relationship between Xtracycle and its key sourcing
      supplier. The visit also included an early-stage partnership meeting with
      Giant, one of the world’s largest bicycle manufacturers, named recently as
      one of Forbes magazine’s top 20 small companies. Chad and Ross returned
      from Asia with a new shipment of Xtracycle FreeRadicals and some prototypes
      of new FreeLoader bags. The main enhancements to the 2002 FreeRadical are
      mesh ends to the FreeLoader bags, to keep your small items from falling out
      as you ride, new maple snap decks (for superior weather resistance, a beefed
      up kickstand mount, better drainholes and cable mounts. Future prototypes
      included enhanced pockets for carrying small objects such as laptops and
      Xtracycle brochures in the FreeLoaders.

      New Years Adventures! Kipchoge, Ben, and I Xtracycled from headquarters in
      Nevada City to the coast in time for a New Years Eve concert by Michael
      Franti (a member of the Xtracycle Celebrity Corps). The 4-day trip began
      and ended in rain, and covered some beautiful rugged goat trails in the
      Mendocino National Forest and in the Coastal Range. Unfortunately, due to
      unrelenting knee pain, yours truly dropped out of trip after the first day.
      I wished Kipchoge and Ben good luck and walked 12 miles back to the nearest
      town. (I’ve written a story about the 8 hours I spent in Togo’s waiting for
      Greyhound on my web site – follow this link to read “Have a Nice Day,”
      http://www.paulfreedman.net/have-nice-day.htm .) Though I could hardly
      walk, I wasn’t about to miss the concert. The night before New Year’s Eve,
      I rode to Mendocino with some friends of Kipchoge’s. I suggested following
      the route the bikers were taking, though we did not expect to find them on
      the road well after dark. Sure enough, we gave up the search and pulled off
      the road to decide where we would spend the night. Then by a brobdingnagian
      stroke of good fortune, Kipchoge and Ben rode up, thinking they’d ask the
      friendly people in the fogged-up Volvo for directions to a campsite,
      whereupon we swarmed them, hooting and hollering, until thirty seconds
      later, they realized that we were not some crazed moutain people but their
      friends. Much merriment followed.

      In a parallel New Years trip, XAccess director Adam French did a 10-day
      Xtracycle tour around Mount Kenya. And I quote: “In the closing scene we
      pedaled the 35 km back to [Nairobi] on the main roads. Gradually our group
      of two grew to three, four, and then five, as local fellas joined in. The
      pace picked up, the race was on, and we made the last 15 km at a sprint,
      loaded free rads and single speed bombers, all barreling down the road at 50
      km/h on the final hills into town passing traffic and weaving between kiddie
      pool sized pot holes, into the setting sun.”

      February Millie Tour! The Xtracycle tour bus hits the road again for ten
      days on February 8th, when the crew drives down to Baja to film Xtracycle
      adventure footage, and hit the beach. The first stop will be an pancake
      breakfast with the Surfrider Foundation at San Onofre State Park. We will
      fry pancakes, hand over some beautifully stenciled Surfrider FreeLoaders
      (also part of the recent shipment from Taiwan) and shuttle surfers on our
      Xtracycles back and forth to the world-famous Trestles surf spot. Please
      let us know if you’re interested in participating in the February Millie
      Tour.

      Upcoming Media Appearances: Look for Xtracycle product reviews in the
      February issue of Dirt Rag, and the Outside Magazine Buyers Guide spring
      edition. A review in Mountain Bike Action is also coming out soon.

      Visit www.xaccess.org ! XAccess.org made its premiere in late December.
      More than a web site, this is our first statement to the world as
      organization about what we want to achieve, and how we do our work. We
      welcome feedback; please take a look at the site and let us know which parts
      you like, and where think it needs improvement. News about the XAccess.org
      launch has been limited to a close group of supporters to allow for the
      feedback before we begin to publicize XAccess in the media. Please send
      feedback directly to me: paul@.... Many thanks to Eric Krauter (our
      web developer/designer from Boston), Adam French (for editorial consults),
      Ross (for digital photos and usability advice), Gregg Osofsky (for technical
      help with the server) and Genes Sotto (for logo design.)

      Please take time to read the “Join In” section of XAccess.org. There are
      lots of ways you can help our organization. Currently, our key needs are
      fundraising and expanding our network within the media and the nonprofit
      world. Thanks to RootsRadicals David Zapol and Diana Laird for setting an
      example with their generosity in their most recent annual contribution. If
      you are thinking of making a tax-deductible contribution to XAccess, please
      contact me to discuss the programs your donation will support. If you have
      personal contacts in the press who might be interested in covering XAccess
      in an upcoming story, please forward their address so I can send a press
      release. Lastly, we are seeking advisors with significant experience
      building nonprofit organizations. If you have personal contacts who fit
      that bill, please consider putting us in contact with them.

      Till next time, I remain,

      Paul Freedman

      ----------------------------------------------
      Paul Freedman
      302 Montcalm
      San Francisco, CA 94110

      paul@...
      www.paulfreedman.net
      (415) 824-1551
      fax: (443) 347-0521

      "Love like your life depends on it. . . Because it does."