We’ve compiled a list of great commuter products that could become the perfect holiday present for the commuter in your life. Since there are so many things on this list, we’ll be publishing a multi-part series to help you out this season.
Banjo Brothers Commuter Back Pack– $89.99This is the newer, bigger and better commuter back pack. I have the smaller version and I LOVE IT!
In just a few short weeks, John has rounded up over 130 unique and wonderful Xtracycles (mine is #116) to share via photos and brief descriptions. If you’re an Xtracycle fan, you should check it out; it can be a great resource to get ideas for mods. Bravo, John, for putting together this fun collection for the Xtracycle community!
The 2008 Bicycle Bash by the Bay was held today at Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. The weather was gorgeous, the crowds were thick and the enthusiasm for all things bicycle was strong and friendly. Of course, Bikecommuters.com was there to tell folks about our website, meet fellow commuters and give away some goodies provided by our wonderful site sponsors KHS Bicycles and the good folks at Xtracycle. We gave away literally HUNDREDS of flyers, “Gas Sucks” stickers, Bikecommuters.com stickers, KHS and Xtracycle catalogs, Hillsborough County Bike Maps and a variety of other pamphlets, pens and literature, and we spoke to hundreds of bike fans of all types. Great times were had by all!
For those of you unable to attend, I shot a bunch of photos and a couple videos to share so that you can experience this event “virtually”. Let’s proceed, shall we?
Check out some of the crowd — bicycles and bicyclists of all types…recumbents, roadies, fixed-gears, ratrods, choppers, trikes, BMX bikes and mountain bikers galore:
Here’s a wide shot of the enormity of this event — 70+ tents, thousands of visitors (estimated at 3000 or more):
Vendors were varied this year…everything from bike shops to component manufacturers, advocacy groups, regional transportation planning agencies, bike clubs and co-ops. Here we see the lovely ladies of The St. Pete Skirts, fixed gear badasses and incredible vegan bakers:
Right next door we have the Tampa Bike Co-op. The Co-op volunteers did seminars and demos throughout the day, from repairs to loaded bike touring. They were selling really incredible t-shirts to raise funds for the Co-op, and I was happy to add one to my shirt collection. Here they are fixing bikes and telling folks how they can do it themselves:
Here’s another one of the Co-op demos — this one the finer points of loading bicycle touring. This demo drew quite a crowd, and they had a sweet tourer to show off:
Manny Sierra of Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium chatted up passerby and did some bike tuneups of his own. CBE is my absolute favorite bike shop in the Tampa Bay area — they’re super-friendly, talented and knowledgeable. They have a really good understanding of the needs of bicycle commuters, as many of the employees there are out mixin’ it up with traffic every day.
Next to them, we’ve got the cool folks and ultra-badass wheels of American Classic. American Classic’s headquarters is right down the street from my house…too bad they don’t give “good neighbor” discounts!
Here’s the line for the St. Petersburg Bike Rodeo program. These folks gave away hundreds of bicycle helmets to kids in attendance today…each one with a personalized fitting. Bravo, Bike Rodeo!
The custom-printed Bikecommuters.com jerseys were a gigantic hit at the Bash. We were asked dozens of times if we had any for sale, and were asked to get some made pronto in sizes all the way up to XXL. We’re sitting on a fashion goldmine, folks! Here, the boys from Bikecommuters.com model these awesome jerseys…comfortable on a hot and breezy day — we’re bringin’ sexy back:
(Thanks, Moe, for the wicked “One Speed” socks…another big hit)
Speaking of sexy, my wife and son came over and spent most of the day with us. Leah helped out a bunch, chatting up visitors, fetching lunch for us and passing out stickers and flyers. She’s a dedicated bike commuter, too, so advocating for us came naturally:
I brought the Recycletron 1000 to display — man, the Xtracycle was a HUGE hit with this crowd. We gave away dozens of Xtracycle catalogs and literally hundreds of business cards. Folks had a million questions and most came away convinced to add one of these to their lives. Xtracycles sell themselves, really, but the real thrills came when I took my son out for loops around the park — we were being stopped every 20 feet or so to answer questions and we received lots of smiles and thumbs-up. One of the shops had a Kona Ute under their tent…and it languished all day in the shade. Xtracycle ruled this day! People were truly excited by the prospect of hauling groceries, children and anything else aboard an Xtracycle.
Toward the end of the day, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker made an appearance and spoke to the gathered bike throngs. This guy is SERIOUS about making St. Pete a truly bike-friendly city, and he’s made tremendous progress in getting things done there. I had a chance to speak with him during his tour of the event, and he’s very personable, passionate and dedicated to bicycling as a valid transportation alternative. Kudos, Mayor — you rock!
Here’s a Flip video I shot — one quick loop around the park. I’m calling out highlights as I see them, and you’ll be able to see what a huge event this was for the Tampa Bay area:
We’d like to thank site sponsors KHS and Xtracycle for sending goodies our way to distribute (we’ll be giving away some KHS “Gas Sucks” t-shirts and cycling socks soon…stay tuned for details) and Alan Snel and the shops of SWFBUD (Southwest Florida Bicycle United Dealers) for putting on this amazing event for its third year.
I hope you enjoyed this virtual “taste” of the Bicycle Bash. Perhaps we’ll see you next year?
You may have noticed we’re big fans of Xtracycle at BikeCommuters.com. Well, we are…but it’s not because we’re getting anything out of it. We just love their products so much that we feel compelled to tell everyone about it. Out of the BikeCommuters crew, I was the first one to get an Xtra and for years I’ve told Moe how much I love this thing. Wait a minute, I think Russ Roca might have been riding his Xtracycle before I have since he was using it for his photography business. But anyhow, my family absolutely loves my Xtracycle. My youngest daughter looks forward to getting a ride to school on her personal bike limo. She loves the attention she gets from her classmates as well as other kids in the school when they see her roll up in style.
Priscilla and I really dig the Xtracycle just for its practicality. Whenever we do any type of family picnic or bike ride, I’ll load up the bike with all of our stuff and haul it to our destination. We use this thing all the time to do groceries, errands and to pick up the kids from school. But one of the more fun things we’ve done with the Xtracycle was doing a bit of surfing with it.
Obviously I’m too heavy to try and surf, but Priscilla gave it a go and she was a natural at it.
So all in all, I’m basically saying that you should get an Xtracycle right away. You won’t regret it; actually I’ve NEVER met anyone that regretted buying their Xtracycle…
This morning Priscilla wanted to ride her bike to work, but knowing that our daughter needed to be picked up after school, she went opted to ride the Xtracycle since she can carry extra passengers as well as bags and what not.
Before she left, I busted out the camera and snapped a few shots of her getting ready to go. I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m running a steel rigid fork now. I used to have a 100mm Marzocchi fork since I would occasionally use the Xtracycle as a mountain bike. But since the beast hasn’t seen much dirt, I figured the new fork would be a better fit for the bike.
I filled up her commuter mug and had it ready for her to take to work.
Got the bags ready to go.
Putting the helmet on.
And she’s off to work!
I loved this photo…in a sea of cars, she’s the only bike on the road…sad, but cool in its own way.