3 Years ago today, we launched what I can audaciously describe as CommuteByBike.com’s version of a GoogleX moonshot. The project was christened J.O.Y.B.A.G.® (That’s, Jump On Your Bike And Go). Our mission was to figure out what it would take for a bicycle to be as convenient and user friendly as a car.
Given that we are not quite as liquid as Google, our moonshot attempts are more liken to seeing how high we can toss a destroyed customer return in the parking lot. The J.O.Y.B.A.G.® concept launch followed a similar trajectory, entertaining our team for a short period, but basically ending up in the trash heap of ideas.
But J.O.Y.B.A.G. did have one thing going for it ion that it was simply an idea. It was not constrained by the gravitational business reality that other failed ideas have been crushed beneath. In the last 3 years, J.O.Y.B.A.G. has lived on (for me at least) as an ideal. I’ve looked at bikes and accessories through J.O.Y.B.A.G. tinted lenses.
As I’ve been observing the various trends in bicycle design, I cannot say I’ve seen the killer app emerge. As Ted put it, the O-Bike has not yet emerged. If it had, perhaps we would all be riding one.
A few months ago, I realized that it was time to stop just thinking about J.O.Y.B.A.G.® and to begin putting experimenting with real stuff. It was time to get myself a new commuter bike. I got myself an Xtracycle Edgerunner.
Publishing a blog and running an Ecommerce bike shop, I don’t find myself having a shortage of bicycles. But what was coming up short was that feeling you get when you setup a bicycle perfectly to your specifications. I’d been getting making casual acquaintances with quite a few bikes, but it had been a long time since I’d been intimate with just one bike. In my nuptials with the Edgerunner, I vowed to give it all the J.O.Y.B.A.G. love that I could.
So far, the union has gone well. My Xtracycle has delivered not only a great ride a platform for experimentation in accessory configuration. I have a checklist of criteria to transform this bike into becoming my default vehicle. That’ll be a topic for another post, but in summary J.O.Y.B.A.G.® is back!