X is the way
- I just joined this group, and wanted to chime in about my bicycle
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
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