Knowing Paul Freedman, his past life as the rapper Fossil Fool, his growing company, Rock The Bike, his tall-tree sound system bike El Arbol, His festival-ready pedal powered sound systems and general good nature, I was intrigued to hear that he had created a new bike, a tall, bamboo, electric, cargo, adventure, tandem bike called BooLander.
Waaa? Yeah, right. But I knew that with everything Paul had pulled off in the past in the name of spreading the love of the planet through the love of bikes, that I would not want to miss an opportunity to check out his latest creation.
So yes, bamboo, not only because it’s beautiful and natural, but because that with bamboo’s easier learning curve, Paul could stay up late into the night, building by himself, without having to ask any favors of friends who weld steel. Bamboo ‘cause you can use your imagination.
Tall, because tall bikes can save the world. Google that, will ya? Not only is the view from up there fine and dandy, but the good will, good vibes, and good conversations that result from the spectacle of riding a tall bike are a priceless way to share the love.
Cargo because Paul does not drive a car, or at least he works very hard to avoid it. Ladders, lumber, and even windows have been hauled on the BooLander for Paul to build his off-grid cabin in the woods.
Electric, cause it makes the bike-only-car-free lifestyle that much more possible. The BooLander runs a Bafang system of 750 watts from E-rad. Plenty of power for the task. Easily installable on many bikes.
Tandem, because fun! Two is better than one! This photo is from the Climate Ride.
Then there’s the “Landers” that hold the bike upright while stationary. This is great for mounting and dismounting the bike, as well as stopping at red lights. Stomp the orange pedal with your foot and the landers activate for four-wheel stability. Flip another lever and the landers spring back into their tucked position for two-wheeled riding.
Time to ride…I have to admit I was a tad nervous as I climbed up into the cockpit. I’ve ridden tall bikes in the past, in fact, I own one, but with all the pulleys and ropes and mechanisms put together by my mad-scientist friend…well, I do trust him so off we go.
This thing is pretty hard to ride when the landers are planted, seeing how a bike needs to tilt a bit to turn on two wheels. This made it so you have to activate them just as you are stopping and fold them in just as you are taking off. I did get used to this and went happily along my way. Until I fell off. But that is another story.
So, yea, there is a lot going on here. But it’s all part of a much bigger picture. This guy Paul is seriously devoted and uses the BooLander as his transportation, 24-7, 365. Fuck yea. I asked him (via email) to speak to this:
“I’ve never owned a car. I think cars and car culture are f-ing up the planet, yet our mainstream culture continues to reinforce the idea of their normalcy. We cheer for low gas prices but the prices don’t come close to showing the true impact on our living systems and future generations. I use my own life as a way to challenge the norm and prove that you can live well without a car. To prove this to myself, I recently built an off-grid cabin using cargo bikes (including the BooLander) to haul in the lumber and materials. Some of the loads were really heavy or awkward, like my 6′ tall 250 gallon rainwater tank. But I only fell once!”
There you have it folks.
Non-watermarked photos c/o Rock The Bike.