RFA: Cass Gilbert Shares His First Impressions
I’ve always loved the self-propelled joys of the humble bicycle, whether it’s to move me around town, travel across a continent, or lose myself on local woodland trails. But if you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll have likely noticed how much I’ve fallen in with love electric-assist cargo bikes… both conceptually (in that all e-cargo bikes are inherently cool) and with this one in particular – the Xtracycle RFA – thanks to some touches that work particularly well for my lifestyle. This includes the following: the fact that I don’t own a car, the kind of cargo I carry (one living, breathing 7-year-old Sage + one furry Bodhi-Ewokdog), and the terrain I ride most (bike paths, New Mexico-style bumpy paved roads, a few sharp inclines, and some dirt).
As far as I can tell, after just 75 miles and a few days living with the RFA (aka Ready For Anything), this bike is a complete GAME CHANGER! And there is no doubt in my mind that for many people (and I’m talking about people in general, rather than just zoning in on those we call ‘cyclists’), this type of bicycle has the power to transform lives in a way that no other bicycle can.
I’m learning how best to use it – what cadence to ride in, when to kick it into Turbo Mode (and when Eco and Tour will do the job just fine), and how to maximize the range of its powerful Bosch battery. I’ll go into all the bits I particularly like (and any quibbles should they arise) when I’ve covered more mileage.
In the meantime, this is our current setup for a typical 15 mile round trip into and around town, half of which is a gentle climb. It’s seen here loaded with Bodhi (safely secured in the PorterPack), Sage (sitting comfortably astride the top deck), our shopping (stowed in conventional panniers), all our plastic-free accouterments (stashed in feed bags), and lots of winter layers for the sub-freezing, winter temperatures we’ll be facing here in Northern New Mexico.