Xtracycle erumpent

Another EdgeRunner!

Another EdgeRunner!

Last week I spotted the first EdgeRunner I’d seen in the wild. I did a double-take last weekend when I saw it again at the Botanical Gardens. Except that it had different stoker bars. Given that stoker bars aren’t an accessory that people swap out casually, I realized it was an almost-identical EdgeRunner. This bike has been available for what, a month? And I’ve already spotted two? Evidently I’m not the only person who found it appealing. I think this one is a Rosa Parks bike, as I either saw it again or there is a third (!) EdgeRunner in our usual haunts–yesterday morning when I got to school with my son there was yes, a black EdgeRunner parked in the school yard. What’s more, we had dinner with friends last weekend, and the mom, who is in the market for a new family bike, is coveting the EdgeRunner as well.

On Monday, when we were walking with Matt’s parents to brunch, we spotted another Xtracycled bike heading up the hill the other way. Although it was moving fast, I realized it was a Cargo Joe, the folding Xtracycle, and given the speed it was ascending Mt. Sutro and the low hum it made as it went, it was clearly an electric-assist folding cargo bike. We puzzled over that one for a moment, but realized that here in San Francisco, there are thousands of people living in apartment buildings that lack dedicated bike parking (or any kind of parking) but do have elevators. In a hilly city of small spaces, there is evidently a previously untapped market for an assisted folding cargo bike.

We have missed our Bullitt sorely the last few weeks that it has been in the shop.  With it, we don’t need to organize our lives around not having a car. Riding the bike is always better. But not everyone can manage the parking demands and expense of an assisted front-loading box bike, and in San Francisco, which has so few families, the advantages of the front loaders are less widely relevant anyway. As I watched that Cargo Joe glide smoothly to the top of the hill, I couldn’t help thinking that I was seeing the future.

4 Comments

Filed under car-free, electric assist, family biking, folding bicycle, San Francisco, Xtracycle

4 responses to “Xtracycle erumpent

  1. I love the bike forensics in this story. Do you find yourself scoping people in the area to try to find the owners?

  2. Lee

    Hi. RE: the untapped market for folding (e-assisted) cargo bikes like the Cargo Joe, I wanted to share that we just purchased one (no e-assist) in January. We chose it over the EdgeRunner exactly because of space limitations. We have a home-concoted mid-tail in Puerto Rico (like a Kona Minute), but wanted a bigger bike to use when in Miami so I could lug the three kids for longer outings and use the bus if necessary without having to secure and manage a multitude of bikes. The cargo bike sizing options for a 5’1″ woman are more limited and, though I love the Edge Runner, needing to secure the bike in our small 4th floor apartment, which meant getting it into a tiny elevator, was the deciding factor. The fold sealed the deal. And though there is barely a mound, much less a hill, in this part of Florida I could appreciate an e-assist when the weight of my 3 kids combined outweighs me :). And if you think you find it amazing to see a few EdgeRunners popping up in SF, imagine the looks on people’s faces in carbon-racer-BB-or-beach-cruiser-only South Florida when I go by loaded with kids and groceries (and the dog).

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