A love of cycling, which verges on extreme at times, runs in my family. My dad still drops me every time we start out on a ride together, my mom hammers it out on the bike trainer nearly everyday, and my brother has turned his love of cycling into a successful business.
For me, it all started as soon as I could balance on two wheels. My older brother Josh and I spent a lot of time as kids tearing around the dirt roads and trails of our neighborhood. Most of my first cycling memories involve my brother making suggestions (read: dares) on different tricks and feats of bicycle skills that I could attempt. As an impressionable little sister, I willingly complied. I have one particular memory of tearing down the dirt road in front of our house and launching myself off a jump made from a pile of bricks. I totally landed that shiz.
As a teenager, Josh was drawn to mountain bike racing. This was during the alleged “height of mountain biking racing” in the mid-1990′s. I remember going to watch him race when I wasn’t even quite 10 and collecting “baseball” type cards of all my favorite pro riders. It’s no wonder I was drawn to mountain bike racing myself, and in ultimate competitive sibling one-upmanship, I totally went pro and he didn’t.
Alright, alright, he had stopped racing well before I started, and he’s due a great deal of credit for encouraging me to pursue and helping me succeed in the sport. But still…I showed him.
While I ventured off to focus primarily on cycling as a sport, Josh had ventured off to focus primarily on cycling for transportation and utility. Ever the inventor – he created his first “bike trailer” from leftover plywood at the age of 10ish – he had this wild idea, as an adult, to take a bike trailer and turn it into a traveling bike case. Hence, the Cello was born.
Although the Cello never really panned out, his invention eventually morphed into a healthy business. Meet Bike Shop Hub. Bike Shop Hub includes a number of online niche stores that focus on different aspects of bike commuting and touring: Bike Trailer Shop, Bike Bag Shop, Bike Kid Shop, and Bike Tech Shop. It also includes a number of blogs, among them Commute by Bike, where I write on occasion, Utility Cycling, of which I am the editor, and Bike Trailer Blog. Last, but certainly not least, it includes the Wandertec line of products, amongst them real bike trailers – as in those not made from leftover plywood – designed and manufactured by Josh and his crew.
Recently, Josh and the Bike Shop Hub crew launched a new bike trailer called the Tuba. The Tuba is the second bike trailer model in the Wandertec lineup, the first of which is called the Wandertec Bongo. Oddly enough, I was the musician in the family and played the violin pretty seriously until I went to college, whereas Josh is a terrible singer (sorry, dude, it’s true) and didn’t play an instrument seriously. However, all of his products are named for musical instruments, which I think is pretty awesome.
Ok, I’m slowly getting to the point of all this rambling. The Wandertec Tuba, which is designed as a bike trailer that is meant to make leaving the car at home an easier decision, especially for busy families with lots of things to carry around, is currently being launched through Kickstarter. To get a better sense of what the Tuba is all about – as well as get a glimpse into how goofy my big brother is – watch the video below.
If you are so inclined, you can pledge on the Tuba through Kickstarter. There are a number of pledging levels, all of which at $25 or more include a sweet t-shirt. Supporters who pledge at some of the higher levels have an opportunity to get a new Tuba at a price that is lower than anticipated retail.
Obviously, but in the interest of full disclosure, I have a vested interest in the Tuba’s success. Regardless, whether or not my brother created it, the Tuba helps to fill an important niche in the realm of bike trailers and can serve as a tool to make taking the bike easier than taking the car in day-to-day life. The Tuba can carry your “life-sized” loads – like groceries, sports equipment, home improvement goods, and more – easily and effectively. No gas required.
I’m one proud little sister, and ever impressed by my big brother, but just so you all know, I can still drop him on a ride.