Live from TED

At TEDActive, Ross Evans' bikes make mobility for good

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.


“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….”


“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.”


“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)