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X is the way

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  • heysteve9
    I just joined this group, and wanted to chime in about my bicycle commuting experience. I rode a little in high school, but in college I rode to school and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 29, 2006
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      I just joined this group, and wanted to chime in about my bicycle
      commuting experience.

      I rode a little in high school, but in college I rode to school and
      work on a touring bike, usually with panniers or a pack, but very
      occasionally with a BOB trailer. I was working enough in the music
      business in Los Angeles then that I drove across town frequently and
      most errands were easily done by car on the way to or from home.

      I now live in a mountainous little town in the northern area of Los
      Angeles called Tujunga. I gig less than I used to, partly from
      tiring of all the city driving, free rehearsals, and poor paying
      gigs. I now own a brass instrument shop that's close to home (2
      miles) so despite some steep hills, riding everywhere locally is a
      viable option.

      I can't remember how I heard about the Xtracycle exactly. It might
      have been through a link on the sponsor page of Garryck Hampton's
      peacepedalers (dot com) website.

      After devouring the Xtracycle site, I called to order a bargain-
      priced demo model, and attached it to my old Ibis Custom mtn bike.

      [Insert life-changing soundtrack here, harp, soaring strings]

      I zipped around offroad with knobbies and found that the Gravity
      Advantage Juju is way cool. I put on the slicks and started riding
      to Trader Joes, my office, the bank, the post office, the dry
      cleaners, the fabric store, Target, Tortas Mexico, and anywhere else.

      I was especially inspired recently on a business trip that took me
      through Amsterdam. If you like bikes, GO THERE. I rented a bike
      and rode around from coffeeshop to deli and had the time of my life
      (I highly recommend hanging at Dolphin's Loading Zone and MacBikes).

      It was there I saw people and families who lived the car-free
      lifestyle. One woman who lived there all her life talked about
      distances in bike-minutes. Walking minutes might be as accurate,
      but riding is more fun. She said her maximum distance to go see a
      friend was 45 bike minutes. Even then, it could be a drag because
      you're out of the city center on some boring road, but hey, friends
      move to the suburbs, so sometimes you have to go see them. I saw
      mothers with cargo bikes with groceries and one or two kids in them,
      and these gals would pass me. Want to people watch? Just take
      spin around town. It's truly amazing.

      If they can do it in Amsterdam, I certainly can in LA. So that's
      been my mantra. Ride everywhere and be seen doing it. I'm
      expanding my music shop with a bike department, and we'll carry the
      Xtracycles. The bike shops around town are all about recreation
      and "toys", so I'm hoping to spin this place as where to change your
      life, like we do with musical instruments.

      A few words about the X:

      Carries anything. Rides great. Better than a trailer. No need to
      plan ahead for shopping, just ride and buy what you want - it all
      fits. You get REALLY strong. Going uphill from the market with a
      full load of groceries doesn't faze me anymore. Cars keep their
      distance, I think because I like big and dangerous on this rig. I
      still use a messanger bag, but usually throw it in one of the
      freeloaders, or wear it only when I bought so much that the X is
      full.

      Best,

      Steve Ferguson
      Tujunga, CA
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