As a person with a ruinous fear of heights, simply imagining pedaling a tall bike festooned with gear like this gives me the vertigo spins. But to Bobby Gadda, who is apparently and appropriately nicknamed, “Tall Bike Bobby,” the tall bike is the bike of choice for bike touring.
For one thing, you can strap a whole lot more stuff to it. Also, he claims, it’s easier to balance. Okay.
Gadda rode from Vancouver to Los Angeles, something like 1,600 miles, on this bike back in 2012, when this video was filmed. At the time, he worked for the LA County Bicycle Coalition. The tall bike was part of fulfilling Gadda’s curiosity quotient, but also he wanted to shake people up a little. Convincing bike agnostics to ditch a car for a bike sometimes requires that—a profound shift in thinking. Cars as a daily appliance is an ingrained part of much of American culture and it can take a “WTF” moment to shake us from our car and phone addicted stupors.
Seeing this dude pedaling down a backroad somewhere, or hanging out at a coffee place next to his giant bike can prompt a conversation, maybe germinate the seed of an idea: Right, life is supposed to be fun, I can do whatever I want, do I really need to be driving this car right now, am I being fulfilled doing that?
Who knows how many people Gadda touched (uh, metaphorically) on his journey, but if it was just one, mission accomplished.
Oh, also, since you’re no doubt wondering, he shows you how to get on and off a bike like this in his talk.
Big, hearty hat tip to the awesome folks at Bikepacking.com, where we saw this clip.