I know its been a little while since I tipped the wink to you about recent
happenings at Xtracycle and XAccess, but its 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 worlds largest bicycle manufacturers, named recently as
one of Forbes magazines 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. (Ive written a story about the 8 hours I spent in Togos waiting for
Greyhound on my web site follow this link to read Have a Nice Day,
.) Though I could hardly
walk, I wasnt about to miss the concert. The night before New Years Eve,
I rode to Mendocino with some friends of Kipchoges. 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 theyd 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 youre interested in participating in the February Millie
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,
San Francisco, CA 94110
fax: (443) 347-0521
"Love like your life depends on it. . . Because it does."