I went down to the bike shop to stray… studyin’ about the good ol’ way…
Tuesday I got email that the Transport was in, and since I was hitting the road Wednesday I called Instant Lunch Hour and left.
http://www.cyclelicio.us/2010/transport-a-longtail-from-trek/ has some technical commentary about it… yes, it is a derivative work but I do remember reading on the Xtracycle site that they were fervently *hoping* that the longtail concept was taken up by “The Industry” for the good of huperoffspringkind. I felt like they had made a good attempt at addressing some issues independently, too. The drive train isn’t as long as the Xtra; from the cyclelicious comments that might mean it’s prone to wheelies, but I would want to try that out and see; it *is* set back some. On the other hand, the Stanford engineers who designed the Xtra probably did more of those math problem things that would predict the behavior. The kickstand seems to be superior (and includes a spring to keep the front wheel from flopping around when it *is* in the air on the stand). The side mounting surface folds up to take less room… the back deck is metal, not wood so the “what’s that cool surfboard thing?” factor isn’t there — but it doesn’t fade, either.
We were perplexed as to why no back fender was included, tho’ it was set up to have it. And, of course, it doesn’t have a blender. If Trek were to let me ride one for a month or three, I would be **glad** to blog a lot about it — and I get seen. I wasn’t the first Xtra rider in this town, but I know I’m responsible for several subsequent ones… and the Transport is Ready To Ride, *and* I do think the culture is more ready for it.
Speaking of culture!! NPR did a little blurb on “riding to work” that was highly indicative that cycling is getting more “normal.” http://www.npr.org/2010/11/23/131539669/switching-gears-more-commuters-bike-to-work (I had to search for “bike to work,” since it didn’t show up under “bicycle.”) To my amazement, “helmet” and “safety” were not uttered. While the comments do include the typical “I hate bicyclists: they want rights and NONE of them obey the laws!” it’s one or two people and the cyclists are well represented in the responses.