After living in temperate climes for the past five years, I’ve lost a little of my Nor’easter edge. But those RootsRadicals and Tweeters living in winter’y zones are chatting about riding tips regarding cold, wet, icy riding. Nice thing about a longtail, you’ve got a longer wheelbase = more stable.
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In a recent How-To post about carrying passengers on your Xtracycle, Don tossed a tip our way about using Razor scooter handlebars to get an ‘xtra 2″ of peg space. Intrigued, and always excited for new mini-projects, I started scouring the local 2nd hand stores and re-use depots looking for forlorn Razors.
Scooter's got some chic factor and I've got some pegs
Sadly, working scooters, let alone busted, broke-down ones were either in happy use or languishing under 10-years of other fads. Figuring that one would land in my lap at some point, I decided to leave the pot to boil on its own.
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If it looks like an Xtracycle... c/o Jason & XtracycleGallery.com
An undeniable facet of owning an Xtracycle is it’s magnetism for questions. “What is that?”, “Did you make it?”, “Is it like a normal bike?” are just a smidgen of the queries you’ll get.
We asked our twittersphere to share with us their off-the-cuff responses to the perennial question, “What is that?” Here are their responses:
- “It’s an extention frame that mounts to a normal bike allowing you to haul most anything, cargo and/or people.” @illintechnology
- “it’s a cargobike, I do my shopping & stuff without a car. It’s really just my old bike but longer and able to carry 200lbs” @shanerh
- i tell them its my grocery-getter & get-around-town eco ride! i also tell them how awesome it is (& that our 2yr old loves it)! @schwartzsheldon
- “It’s an #Xtracycle! It’s my station wagon/kid hauler/grocery getter. Lots of fun to ride!” @jessikate
- “It’s a long bike called an Xtracycle FreeRadical. I use it for getting groceries and having fun. Cars Suck!” @xtracycleTony
- Actually, the most frequent question I get is: “Did you make that?” To which a yes or no answer isn’t easy. @gauch0
- “It’s a sport utility bike, kind of like a bicycle pick-up truck.” @jasondcrane
- “Xtracycle: A hitchless trailer puts me at the center of gravity, making the ride smoother, even with up to 200 pounds behind me.” @jamcycler
- if I have time I put the footsies on and show them what it is! @redfieldbikes
Thanks everyone for sharing their tactics for spreading the LongTail revolution. Please share any responses you might have in the comments below. My personal favorite response to, “I like your bike!” is, “My bike likes YOU!”
Have a great commute, ride, spontaneous adventure this week!
Xtracycle Trickery, c/o CarFreeDays.com
Princess always rides sidesaddle - photo c/o carfreedays.com
We’d love to pin down the neurons that fire happiness in people when they see passengers being carried on an Xtracycle. Without fail, we manage to lift spirits around us when our friends, loved ones and strangers are straddled on, or surfing, our SnapDecks.
Last week, we asked our twitter buddies what tips they had for carrying passengers, here’s their do’s, don’t's and heck’yeahs!
- Stand up, surf and feel the wind in your hair!
- MagicCarpet pad very worth it; made foot pegs with chopped straight handlebar, bar ends & brake cable holding ends in. see most recent 4 pics here
- Don’t ditch the granny gear! 100+ lbs. of person makes a mean hill.
- Left hand under the handlebars, right hand gripping the stoker bar attached under the seat. Always w all cargo removed first.
- Some folks are shy, but it’s really better if they snuggle up close to pilot. Less sway.
- Side-saddle an option 4 short folks/kids/skirt wearers and readers too!
- The drunker you are, the harder it is to do. Admin Note: We do not advocate drinking and riding. However, we do advocate riding and then drinking.
- When you’re carrying three little ones, put the smallest one in the middle, and the most experienced rider all the way in back
- Side saddle is my GF’s preferred orientation, skirt or pants.
Thanks to: @xtracycleTony, @coxn, @dandyerband, @loquaiciousD, @oninformation, @crunchysue, @sarahgilbert for sharing the wealth (of knowledge).
Please share your tips with your fellow longtailers by commenting below. Happy, and safe, riding!
We recently asked our twitter friends:
What tips would you recommend for carrying groceries in your #xtracycle? Bags to use, packing styles, glass awareness, etc.
They don't make pack cats, so an Xtracycle will have to do
Get a glint of LongTail knowledge below:
For big trips here in rainy Portland I use a pair of B.O.B. Trailer bags, for smaller/dry trips I just use reusable canvas bags.
Don’t tighten the straps down all the way when chips and bread are involved!!!! :)
pack your own bags at store (dense). Mix glass with bulk bags on the bottom. mini soft sided cooler for hot days & ice cream… don’t forget straps for TP on snapdeck. Turn bags sideways to fit 4+, longways to fit 3-. don’t put 6 packs on top-can pop out
heavies: rear axle, forward & low; delicates & smooshables: wayback & up; breakables: dubbawrapped , tucked in & around; leave gaps for access 2 flaps oh, and kid on SnapDeck-up top :-)
If you bag your own groceries, don’t put all the canned goods in one bag! Give each bag a mix of heavy and light items.
Thanks to Nate, Dave, Shane, Large Fella on a Bike and Kathleen for their tweets.
Comment on this post to share your grocery packing tips!