TED2010

At TEDActive, Ross Evans' bikes make mobility for good

Posted by: Matthew Trost

Ross Evans met the TED Blog to talk about the Worldbike and Xtracycle bicycles that TEDActive attendees have enjoyed on their early-morning rides through the streets of Palm Springs.

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“The Worldbike is the genesis of this. When I was a sophomore in college I took some time out to go to Nicaragua to help some guys learn how to weld. They wanted to make a cargo bike, and we were trying to figure out the simplest way to do that. Now, 15 years later, that is a reflection of a lot of development effort to see what’s the cheapest, simplest way to make an impact in a poor person’s life….”

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“The Xtracycle is an extended, wheel-based cargo bike or ‘long-tail,’ as we call them. It’s built around an open-source standard that we developed and put out on a Wiki.

… The idealist in me asked, ‘How do we inspire people to use their bikes every day?’ I had grown up racing, BMX riding. But I came to have a tremendous amount of passion, probably from my experience in Nicaragua, for just day-to-day riding. … I started having experiences carrying passengers, getting my groceries, and then carrying kayaks and going on expeditions.”

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“One thing I like to talk about is how the functionality meets frivolity. The utilitarian and the play — how we can do that and merge those two together.”

(Photos: TED / Michael Brands)