Xtracyclin’ the town

You know what they say about the length of a man’s bike?

Yeah, I don’t either.  (Sorry.)

I do know that I’m a fan of the happy marriage Xtracycle officiated between form and function when they innovated the LongTail deck to convert any bike into a cargo ride.  You got the frame of your choice (pretty much), you got your hitchless trailer/passenger seat/baby seat/bike bag (up-high and visible) and you end up with the whole darn thing coming together in the same graceful line we all like to see in a bike.

Plus, the LongTail decks just BEG for stupid shenanigans or even more artistic ventures.

Wandering through town today, I came across the Xtracycle of a committed Wellington commuter named Michael.  From hello, it was clear that Michael treasures his long ride.  He was kind enough to roll his baby into better light– and to straighten her collar, so to speak–  so I could snap a few pics.

Michael fit the FreeRadical cargo converter onto his Charge Duster about seven months ago and he loves the improvement.  A car-free, daily commuter, Michael wanted something to help him carry his work gear– he’s does landscaping– but still allow him to remain an aggressive rider.  He’s piled rakes, spades, dropsaws, waterblasters and chainsaws onto his Xtracycle for rides from Wadestown to Miramar and back.  Yeah, that means back up the Wadestown hill.  He finds the hills of Karori, and most hills in general, a piece of cake since he started running 32/22 gearing, and he doesn’t feel like he’s slowed down a bit.

Michael’s been riding bikes since childhood but chose to remain without a car at about 18.  He was a daily rider in Manila before coming to Wellington and reckons that this little city is a piece of cake by comparison.  His ethos on the bike: be courteous, make intentions clear and maintain appropriate distance from everyone.

It begs for cargo. And passing pedestrians.

The Free Radical Xtracycle guarantees cargo loads up to 200 pounds of weight (90kg).  Despite the impressive gardening supplies that he’s lugged across town, Michael says his best load to date was a friend with a case of beer.  The same friend is aiming to surf the Xtracycle.  So, of course, I’m now super anxious to see Michael’s friend hanging ten around town.  If anyone spots that kind of surf sesh, you got to let me know. Please.

Michael didn’t want to be in pictures, which I get.  He’s letting his bike speak for him. I think his bikes says, on his behalf, “there is just no reason not to ride.”  Sweet bike, Michael.  See you on the road!

If you really want to feel like you’re missing out on something, or you just want to see more surfing, check out the Xtracycle love video.


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