Recently, as part of a media project we’re working on, I was reflecting back on our design history at Xtracycle. While we have invented and developed many different bikes, conversions, bags and accessories over the years, it struck me that the Hooptie may have been our most significant contribution.
Because as much as Kipchoge and I thought that self-supported whitewater kayak adventuring (which we dubbed “slowboating”) might jumpstart the cargo bike boom, it was the kids that did it.
Before we committed to the full kid-carrying “Junior Co-pilot” accessory system and built all the pieces, only the very most extreme families would even consider replacing a car with a bike. The options for safely carrying two or more kids – before entrusting them to ride to school on their own – left a huge gap. The “gold standard” at the time, bike trailers, have an upper limit of age and size, after which most families reverted to car use.
And while I love to nerd out on design discussions, the point here is that I cannot imagine my life as a father without our Xtracycle. We ride together everywhere. It fills my need for adventure, exercise, connection, and plain ol’ getting stuff done. I truly wish more dads could have this experience!
Happy Father’s Day and happy trails to all you fellow fathers out there.