[See end of story for updates.]
I can remember a time not too long ago, when Xtracycles were an oddity. They first started showing up at bike industry trade shows in the late 1990s and they were a novel, fringe product that only true bike geeks really knew about. At that time, the industry was still completely enamored with cliff-hucking downhill bikes and road racing machines (Lance was just getting started).
Fast forward to today and not only has the bike industry (finally) fully embraced the commuting and utility markets, but Xtracycles have become a hot product. At one point earlier this summer, you couldn’t even buy one new in Portland — all local shops were plain sold out.
According to recent Xtracycle fan, veteran Portland bike advocate and co-owner in the Citybikes Cooperative bike shop, Beth Hamon, the group had its first meeting in Southeast Portland last night. I’m sure they hatched plans to take over the city, but what caught my attention about the meeting was this photo of the parking lot outside the pub taken by Ms. Hamon:
UPDATE 1:58pm: According to commenter Hollie below, all the bikes in the photo above are owned by ladies:
“…it might be worth mentioning that every one of these bikes is woman-owned. For being so otherwise underrepresented in the cycling world, we\’re rocking the cargo bikes!”
More updates: I can’t help but share a few other pieces of Portland Xtracycle lore…
How about an Xtracycle’d Bakfiets — compliments of those cargo-bike masterminds at Clever Cycles:
(Photo: Todd Fahrner)
And of course Portland is home to an Xtracycle tall-bike. This one was made by Michael Jones: