Drive That Bike!

Longtime reader Phil of Bike When You Can sent in his revamping of The Beatles’ classic “Drive Your Car”…reworded in the wake of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and a fitting song for National Bike Month:

Asked my girl what she wanted to be.
She said Daddy, can’t you see?
I wanna be healthy,
Have planet that’s clean,
But you can do something in between…

Daddy you can ride a bike.
Pedal power’s what I like.
Daddy you can ride a bike,
and we can be car free.
Ding ding a ling ling, yeah!

Told my girl that my prospects were good.
She said Daddy, it’s understood.
A clean environment is more than just fine,
It gives me a chance to live a long time.

Daddy you can ride a bike.
Pedal power’s what I like.
Daddy you can ride a bike,
and we can be car free.
Ding ding a ling ling, yeah!

I told my girl I can start right away
When she said listen Dad I got something to say
Just one less car is a fantastic start,
and lets get our friends to take on their part.

Friends you can ride a bike.
Bad balance? You can get a trike.
Friends you can ride a bike,
and we can be Oil free.
Ding ding a ling ling, yeah!

Check out more good stuff at the recently-resurrected Bike When You Can…Phil and his family are devotees of the Xtracycle, too, which always brings xtra love from the team!

Playing Tourist in my own town.

I took a day off from work and decided that I can spend a good portion of my morning pretending to be a tourist. I live in Fullerton, Ca. and apparently we have a bit of history in this place. The city’s website lists about 16 historical buildings that my daugther and I wanted to hit up. I printed out a map and packed some water and a few snacks, then we got out my trusty Xtracycle. We then loaded up the bags and headed out for our adventure.

When we started our ride, a bit of drizzle was kissing our faces as we rode. But by the time we got to our first stop, the rain was starting to come down pretty good. Our first stop was Hillcrest Park. As long as I’ve lived in my city, this was my 3rd trip to the park. There are many points of entry to Hillcrest and the side we rolled up on had a memorial for fallen soldiers who lived in Fullerton.

We then rode to Hetebrink House and the Plummer Auditorium.

The rain wasn’t letting up, and we saw a car accident happen right in front of us. For some odd reason, Californians don’t know how to drive their cars in the rain.

Our next stop was an old church building still used for service today. It was built in 1909.

Fullerton has an old train station that Metrolink and Amtrak stops at. The Union Depot is now a Spaghetti Factory restaurant. It was encouraging to see that the station had at least 10 bike lockers being used.

Then we headed to a place called the Elephant Packing House. Just the name alone got us curious to see what it was. I’m sure my daughter thought that’s where they packed Elephants…well I actually thought of that too. But we came to find out it was a packing house for an old brand called Elephant Orchard, a citrus grower and exporter. Apparently Fullerton has a long history of Orange groves in which the city was known for its awesome Valencia oranges. However, the Elephant Packing House is now home to a billiards dealer.

Our tenth stop was the Fullerton Police Dept. This building used to be City Hall from 1942-1963. Since then the PD has called it home.

The Tour of Fullerton (our own version) took us about 2 hours to do on bike. My daughter had a great time learning and seeing all the great buildings that make our city an interesting place to live in. If you ever get a chance, I’d suggest you do the same for your own town. Who knows what you’ll see and learn!

My Xtracycle is back in business

A while back I found myself not using my Xtracycle setup as much as I would like.

Rather than letting my bike sit in the garage collecting dust, I dismantled it and used the parts to build up a single speed bike for mountain biking. Even with that I found myself not riding the SS as much since I started doing some downhill racing.

So for months my Xtracycle frame hung off a hook in the garage…collecting dust. After a while my I started thinking about all the memories I have created with this bike setup. I’ve taken this bike commuting numerous times, loaded it up with groceries and have used it thousands of times chauffeuring my kids to and from school the last few years.

Instead of using the original Ibex RSR frame, I decided to go with my other favorite frame, a Sette Reken. I also upgraded the wheel set and threw in a few new things.

One problem I had with this frame was the fact it didn’t have a kick stand tube that goes between the chain stays. I was too cheap to purchase another Front Attachment Plate (FAP) from Xtracycle, so I found this thick aluminum seat post bracket and made it work.

I also splurged on a new Nitto bar and pink ODI grips for my daughter (my main passenger).

The fork was upgraded; it’s a Spinner Season 100mm fork. Check out my wheels — I purchased those at a bicycle swap meet for $30! The rims are red anodized, laced with Formula Hub (front) and XT in the rear. I am using Kenda Karma tires.

Red Oury lock on grips, with Mr Dirtz end caps. 1.5 riser bars, pink Jagwire der cable housing.

My final piece of bling that I got for the Xtra — Planet Bike Freddy Fenders.
xtracycle planet bike freddy fenders

Though my setup isn’t anything extravagant, this setup will work perfectly for me. Oh one more upgrade soon to come, full disc brakes. All I need is an 8″ rotor for the rear, and we’re ready to stop on a dime. I’m sure you’ve noticed that this Xtracycle looks more like a long mountain bike; well, it is. I plan on using this bad boy on many mountain bike rides, and all that cargo space I have in the back can carry all the beer and lunch we’ll need.

My Xtracycle is in pieces

A while back I disassembled my beloved Xtracycle. Below was the last rendition of the bike.

I’ve since used the red Ibex frame as my off road single speed. I had stopped using the Xtracycle because I was testing out the Torker Cargo T. As great as the Cargo T is, I missed how much load I could carry on the Xtra.

Well, now that I’m really missing this rig, I’m thinking about how I could assemble it again. But I wanted to make it different this time around. I have my old Gary Fisher Tarpon: it’s a steel frame, the color scheme on it matches the Xtracycle, plus I have a Nuvinci rear wheel that could be mated with the setup.

What do you think should I go with — the steel GF or should I look for an aluminum frame?

Please Vote For Our Friend Derek Pearson

Longtime reader and friend of Derek Pearson wrote in to ask for our help…he’s been nominated as one of the top photographers in western Washington, and in order to “seal the deal”, he needs us to vote for him!

Derek is a champion of the Xtracycle platform…with a garage full of Xtra cruisers tricked out with all manner of Down Low Glow lights, longboard decks and other goodies. You may remember him from the photography/cycling blog “Bike Rubbish” (now defunct, but may return) which was a mainstay on our blogroll for a long time.

Anyhow, please visit the Best of Western Washington voting area and vote for Derek. A simple registration with valid email address is required, but the process takes about 30 seconds.

And now for a little taste of Derek’s work…and fleet of lovely ladies on bicycles:

ladies night
(Click here for a bigger version)

Thanks in advance…Derek deserves this! Also, please check out Derek’s online portfolios at his site Derek Pearson Photography.