Thirteen minutes of 2000

When Xtracycle president Kipchoge Spencer was last in Portland he arranged to show Selling the Revolution, a thirteen-minute documentary from 2000 about launching their then-new product. While most of the story was familiar to me, I really enjoyed the short as a reminder of some of the things that got me to buy one in 2001, and some of the sense of mission that has sustained me in making an accessory for it. I also liked the new sense of appreciation the Xtracycle owners in the audience seemed to come away with. I asked Kipchoge about pushing it to a wider audience via the web, and here you go:

Where do you suppose we’ll all be in 2014? I’m pretty sure I’ll still not be driving a car, and I have Xtracycle to thank for that probably more than any other single party.

10 thoughts on “Thirteen minutes of 2000”

  • fred

    Thanks for a great video! As a stokemonkey-equipped velomobile owner, I can appreciate first hand just about everything promoted in the video. “Have you heard about the “sport utility bicycle?” I wasn’t surprised at the responses he received, only dismayed that so few cared to learn about the Xtracycle.

    That was balanced by the lady pedaling away with her groceries on the back, though. That sort of thing brings me hope for humanity.

    I’ve seen a quote attributed to H.G. Wells: “Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.”

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  • Mojoe

    BEAUTIFUL!

    I’ve been lovin’ my Xtracycle for many years. Like they said, it still rides like a bike.

    Mojoe

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  • Mauricio Babilonia

    Thanks for putting this up, Todd. Any idea how they feel things are going for them? I don’t have quite the stake you do, but I hope they’re doing well. I very much like the Xtracycle concept.

    For the second year in a row, I hauled everything I wanted to sell at the Madison swap on my Free Radical. Quite the hoot riding in the back door of the venue and right up to my table:

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  • Todd

    Mauricio, I should let “them” answer, but in my view things are looking better than ever for them, on maybe just a somewhat protracted, semi-geological timescale perhaps not clearly foreseen seven years ago. I think the youthfully exuberant social vision that started the company has sustained them through more lean years than would have carried more typical businesses. My working assumption (literally) is that the enterprise (social and economic) will be much more resoundingly victorious in 2014.

    The fact that Quality Bike Parts/Surly is embracing the design with the Big Dummy frameset and will be carrying Xtracycle parts in its catalog is pretty huge I think: it’s a platform.

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  • [...] Todd at Clverchimp has posted quite an old video showing Selling the Revolution, a thirteen-minute documentary from 2000 about launching the then-new product, the Xtracycle. [...]

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  • Ian Hopper

    Totally f*cking awesome! Inspired me to post my own blog entry linking to yours… the Xtracycle has done more to change my world than any other thing I’ve ever bought, bar none. Truly, you do have to “ride it to believe” though… once you start seeing the potential, it blows up your mind forever, but most people reading this blog already know this. :)

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  • Martina Fahrner
    Martina Fahrner January 22, 2007 at 1:09 am

    When Todd brought the first Xtracycle home years ago, I thought of it as the “monster” and I was so apprehensive to use it.

    It took a long time before I learned how to load it properly. Then came the first shopping trip with 4 bags, the first with 6 bags, Target runs after moving (all those closet organizers a woman just needs), a wicker love seat and table that I bought at a yard sale… I got used to different handling, the wobbling and now, now I just think: ‘Bring it on — I can put that on my bike!’ … I guess it’s like a woman driving a pick up for the first time…

    I abandoned my regular bike long ago — it is either the couch (Todd’s custom-built longtail with Xtracycle panniers) or my trusty old Brompton (my “clown bike”).

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  • Todd

    I remember reading somewhere on Xtracycle’s early site the suggestion that some households might want two or three Xtracycles. How ridiculously cheeky, I thought, when one seems so excessive. Well, that was then.

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  • Mauricio Babilonia

    Happy to report that ours is also a two-Xtra household. Not as much in the winter, but during the other three seasons at least.

    It seems to me also that the number of Xtracycles is increasing here in Madison as the concept seems to be catching on. The design really is a foreign concept to many people until it’s explained a bit, so it doesn’t surprise me that it’s taken time for it to root. I really have to respect Tricky Coyote & Co. for hanging in there, youthful exuberance notwithstanding.

    I agree that the Big Dummy has the potential to spark something bigââ?¬â??perhaps not as big as the 10-speed boom or mountain bike ‘splosionââ?¬â??but I’d wager big enough to boost the longbike into the edges of the mainstream.

    Reply
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