Past & present
Way back in the 20th century, we started with a dream for a better world, full of longtail cargo bikes for everyone—especially those in need. Thus Xtracycle and Worldbike, our sister charity, were born.
It’s all about you (no, seriously)
We’re not a bike company. Weird, huh? But let us explain.
Our mission is simple: Xtracycle works to empower people with transformational tools that move the body and spirit. We’re here to serve you. All of you, everywhere. We mean it when we say everybody needs an Xtracycle. We want to give the world a transcendent experience, one that brings more joy, health, peace, and multipurpose utility into your life via a simple, humble, beautiful machine: the cargo bike. This has been the dream from day one. And we figured we could have some fun making our dream come true by helping others fulfill dreams of their own.
Xtracycle started with an epiphany: bikes are fun and healthy, but if you add some utility by enabling them to carry the precious cargo that helps make a life, they’re fun and healthy and really useful, too. Cargo bikes can do everything gas-powered vehicles can, just without the same costs: cash costs, environmental costs, health costs… But this isn’t a guilt trip; it’s an invitation to the party. We ride together.
We know what it feels like to be sick and tired of the grind, the traffic jam, the status quo, the stress and the anxiety and the pressure and all that. So we choose to go by cargo bike, making cycling—with family, friends, pets, or just our thoughts—a very central and essential part of our lives. It solves a bunch of our problems in one fell swoop, like magic.
Our customers just get this. They slow down, smell the flowers, and relish the gift of their lives more, moment by moment, rolling along and getting stuff done in a fresh, new way. In fact, they often buy one of our cargo bikes for one thing and then end up using it for everything. They find themselves empowered and transformed. Maybe that’s a fancy way of saying that their lives get better. Because of us. Which is a pretty magical feeling.
The Xtracycle & Worldbike origin story
In 1995, an idealistic Stanford engineering student named Ross Evans landed in war-torn Nicaragua. There, in a tin-and-cinder-block shed, he took a welding torch and built what he didn’t realize at the time was a revolutionary invention: a longtail cargo bike designed to empower farmers to pedal their produce to market.
After returning home to California, Ross founded Xtracycle and the charitable organization Worldbike, sharing his vision for transforming global transportation: give people a powerful, practical tool for vitality and connectivity and watch them grow and thrive. Together with countless early riders, Xtracycle ignited the cargo-bike movement. Around the world, Xtracycle’s message of utility cycling as a smart, sustainable solution for personal and economic development has gained incredible momentum.
You can watch one of the TED Talks that Ross has given on all this:
More than a billion people worldwide lack adequate access to transport. Most live in rural areas cut off from markets, clinics, and schools. Worldbike designs and distributes low-cost bicycles for programs that increase economic opportunity, improve health outcomes, and boost enrollment and gender equity in secondary schools among the rural poor.
Read more about Worldbike’s work at worldbike.org.
Meet the team
Alternate Title: Progenitor of Awesome (formally, Cargobike Evangelical Optimist)
Birthplace & Hometown: Tucson, Ariz. (my parents have lived in the same house my entire life)
Current Digs: Nevada City, Calif.
3 Passions: Great books: reading and studying, reflecting and sharing. Food: cooking, health, nutrition, sustainability. Personal growth: bird-dogging peculiar and authentic ways I can make a lasting contribution to others’ lives.
Birthday: February 27th (Pisces)
Wild Card: i live to awaken (and be awakened by) Holishift, an ongoing adventure to find the unique intersection of our personal passions, purpose (genetic encoding), and ways we can be of service. The “i” is crucial—you/me/we pivot at the intersection of love and change.
Birthplace & Hometown: Berkeley, Calif.
Current Digs: Emeryville, CA (I left and came back; I love the Bay)
4 Passions: Delicious food (collecting, cooking, and eating), getting in touch with my scavenger side (gleaning fruit, looking through free boxes, hunting scrumptious mushrooms, Dumpster diving, art-making with found materials), being outside (walking, biking, playing in dirt, climbing trees, etc.), and growing businesses that are working for positive social change
Birthday: May 30th (Gemini)
Wild Card: I don’t like canned tuna, so I once put chocolate sauce on top of some canned tuna to try to make it delicious. It was a total failure. Chocolate doesn’t make everything better.
Birthplace: Chicago (there was an earthquake in Illinois the day I was born)
Hometown: Willowbrook, IL (45 minutes SW of Chicago)
Current Digs: San Diego (two blocks from Balboa Park and some amazing trails)
3 Passions: Cycling (road, MTB), playing guitar, and running
Birthday: June 10th (Gemini)
Wild Card: I will always consider pizza a vegetable.
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Hometown: Ottawa, Canada
Current digs: Mill Valley, CA
3 Passions: Traveling, running, and surfing (but I really suck)
Birthday: July 26th (Leo)
Nickname: Zorro… but that was a long time ago
Wild Card: Super-proud to be Canadian, and, no, I never put a flag on my backpack. My favorite film is Rocky. I always cheer for the underdog.
Ashley, Customer Happiness
Birthplace: Hanford, CA
Hometown: Towns in Cali, Florida, Hawai’i, and Maryland (military family)
Current Digs: Tallahassee, FL
3 Passions: Camping, backpacking, home(un)schooling
Birthday: April 6th (Aries)
Wild Card: I love fossil and crystal hunting, I’m obsessed with the Four Corners region and can’t spend enough time in the desert, and my favorite flicks are Alien, The Thing, and You’ve Got Mail.
Birthplace: Iowa City
Hometown & Current Digs: Lincoln, NE
3 Passions: Cycling, loving people, cooking/hosting
Birthday: Christmas Eve! (Capricorn)
Wild Card: I once lived in an all-male dormitory in Japan while working for Kawasaki Motorcycles.
Shannon, Keeper of the Flame
Birthplace: Sacramento, CA
Hometown: Northern California
Current Digs: Nevada City, CA
3 Passions: Storytelling, expedition learning, and the pursuit of happiness
Birthday: June 30th (Cancer)
Wild Card: I love authentic humans and creating treasure hunts. I’m also currently working on a 20-foot, floor-to-ceiling collage of my family’s life in photos.
Birthplace & Hometown: Memphis, TN
Current Digs: Portland, OR (a.k.a. Velo City)
3 Passions: Books, music, and adventure travel by bike
Birthday: May 28th (Gemini)
Wild Card: Always on the lookout for a patron who’ll pay me to read books, listen to music, paint, travel the world on a bike, and talk about it all around a campfire while enjoying dark, hoppy beer.
Birthplace: Born in Delaware but moved to West Virginia at three months old, so I’m a mountaineer at heart!
Hometown: Later moved to Philadelphia, where my family still lives. Philly will always feel like home to me.
Current Digs: Oakland, CA
3 Passions: Pizza, adventure, and all things bicycle
Birthday: January 19th (Capricorn), shared with Edgar Allen Poe and Dolly Parton!
Wild Card: I once met the Muppets and saved Gonzo.