Spotted in the Wild: Folding, Electric, Xtracycle, Wow Bike!

Hey, Good Looking! Over here at Riding On Roadways International Headquarters we've been working hard to learn all we can about e-bikes, e-assist and e-everything as part of our ongoing mission to Know Everything About Useful Bikes and as part of our Super-Secret Upcoming Project. (More on that soon! Really! Keep your anticipation building, especially if you live in Seattle. It is gonna be awesome!) Anyway, considering my growing interest in e-bikes and my abiding interest in folding bikes and any right-thinking person's interest in and admiration for handy DIY solutions you can imagine why I turned around and pulled over the moment Little Oil and I spotted this little beauty parked on Alaskan Way.

I'll just show you some pics, and narrate as we go. Some of the details are easy to miss. All of them are nerdy. Feel free to ask for clarification in the comments. I tracked down the owner and he's a great guy. I will invite him to introduce himself and offer his own additions and corrections as well.

"Is that an Xtracycle?," Little Oil asked me.

"Is that an Xtramotorcycle?" I asked right back.

Well, Dear Reader? What do you call this fabulous machine?

Let the nerdfest begin! Enjoy!

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  • Homemade-looking windscreen serves as a mount for homemade super-bright looking LED lighting and some other stuff.
  • Another generator light mounted under the rack.
  • A huge, high-capacity Dutch-Style front rack, coupled with a standard milk crate provides all the tossing-things-in-and-pulling-them-out-en-route joy a rider could hope for.
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  • Oh, it's a Montague folding mountain bike, as popularized by Little Oil's favorite musician, and my assigned role in our games of "House," David Byrne! Cool.
  • Bar Mitts, for the cold hands, are attached to the bars.
  • Abus Bordo fancy fold-up lock.
  • Its's an Xtracycle! What's with that funky rack bolted to the deck? Is that for mounting a kid's seat? 
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  • No way! That's a battery mount! With some custom plastic work right up in front of it! What's that for?
  • And what's that hitch hanging off the back of the Xtracycle FreeRad frame? I have no idea. 
  • And what's that plastic sheet in the back? Does that diffuse a homemade light?
  • There are so many electrical cables and wires running along this bike. Wow.
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  • See? This person must be a genius!
  • Note the Ergon, super-comfy ergonomic grips peeking out from those Bar Mitts.
  • And the incredibly tall stack height of the headset on this bike, giving a more relaxed and comfortable position for the rider. This might be the most customized bike I have ever seen.
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  • Is this some kind of homemade sidecar attachment? It looks like it is attached to the bottom of the Xtracycle with a quill stem! This person is a mad genius! Or is this what the official Sidecar looks like? We already know that the folks at Xtracycle are mad geniuses.
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  • Daaaad! Could you stop nerding out on that bike and take me and my doll for a Napride?
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  • It folds. In half!
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  • And to top it all off, it tells the temperature.

I think I am in love.