Blog

Father & Son Bike Diary – Part One

2014-04-27 11.07.27
Xtracycle Edgerunner

This is the first post in what I hope to be a series. All about the adventures my son and I have together riding bicycles. Hopefully an illustration of how we can be healthy together now and into the future. First a little background information.

Recently I moved to Durham, NC. Previously I lived in Chapel Hill. While we loved our bike centric Towns, both Chapel Hill and Carrboro, we lived down in a valley. Combine this with two very steep and busy streets as the sole arteries to get into downtown Chapel Hill and downtown Carrboro. We biked and walked in occasionally. But not often. It was so bad we kept our son’s bike in the car so we could take him to a safe place to ride.

Now that we’re in Durham we live in a city street grid system with lots of ways to get places. Yes, there are hill. But they are on more narrow roads with somewhat slower traffic. Maybe even less congested in places. Plus there is more cool stuff nearby to motivate us to ride. Like the grocery, bars, the bus station, school, etc.

So I resolved to use the disruptive energy of moving to make a change in my life. I bought a Xtracycle Edgerunner 27D cargo bike and pledged to haul my son and lots more around Durham. Basically I started living a lifestyle I had only dreamed about and watched from afar in Carrboro.

Our five year old son has had his own bicycle for a few years. Recently when I upgraded his helmet I got him flashing light to go on back. I think it’s one of his favorite things about riding bikes. All the cool flashing lights that he controls. He has one and the Xtracycle has two.

This past week we took the Xtracycle out for a first ride together. It took awhile to get to this point. First I had to get a stoker tandem bike stem and handlebars.

Stoker Stem

This was an idea I had seen a few other Xtracycle riders use to help passengers hang on. As this isn’t a standard part sold by Xtracycle it required a bit of work. I hope to have a how-to blog post about this soon. Something I had a hard time finding online.

I took the Xtracycle with the tandem bike stem attached to Bullseye Bicycle for some advice, handlebars, and grips. Thanks to Tyler Kober for the help and encouragement.

Once I had the handlebars for my son to hold on to we took a ride. This first one turned out to be pick up at school. That day my car broke down on the highway. I got home in time to arrive on my bike by pickup time.

This weekend we took some more rides. Sunday we hauled a bunch of laundry, detergent, and lunch. First we stopped at a local park then went to get the laundry done. Fun and very practical first adventures.

5 Books to help you discover successful business models

When I was in the thick of it as an entrepreneur I was fortunate to learn about the customer development methodology pioneered by Steve Blank. One of the benefits of Coworking is being around a lot of smart people you can learn from. Fellow coworker Dante Cassanego told me about Steve Blank’s book The Four Steps to the Epiphany. Reading that book and learning about the new concepts of Lean Startup totally changed my perspectives on business. There really are clear paths to success. It’s not that they are any easier just more logical.

So last night I had a great conversation with a friend. I recommended using customer development ideas to create a business model hypothesis and to test it. I sent him part of this list of books. So I figured I should share it here for others and to augment my poor memory.

(The words in all caps are my short descriptions of what these books are. There are no affiliate links in this post.)

Thanks again Dante!

BIG PICTURE
The Lean Startup, Eric Ries

A PRACTICAL HOW-TO
Running Lean, Ash Maurya

ORIGIN STORY – “Customer Development methodology, [book] which launched the Lean Startup movement.”
The Four Steps to the Epiphany, Steve Blank

A VISUAL MANUAL
Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers, by Alexander Osterwalder

LOOKS AMAZING haven’t read it …
The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company, Steve Blank

Documentaries of Famous Photographers

This is a growing playlist of documentaries about photography and interviews with photographers that I admire. It includes Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Alfred Stieglitz, Sally Mann, Walker Evans, Annie Leibovitz, Ansel Adams, and more.

Thank you copyright holders for allowing all these fine works to be on Youtube. Without these videos freely available young people, who where not alive when these films where originally  released, could not learn from the masters.