Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Visual Wednesday: Bikeaistan

Found this photo essay via the RSSreaders, from GOOD
Skateistan /by Into the GOOD Wide Open »

Links: Bike and build.

Have you heard of Bike and Build?
If you are a fan of what Habitat for Humanity does around the world, you might be interested in this post. Read more at Dave's blog here:

"The purpose of Bike and Build is twofold. To raise money for organizations like Habitat for Humanity, and also during the ride across country, the cyclists take a break from riding from time to time; to actually lend a hand, in the form of offering their labor to help build homes." Read more»

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Who Can Hook Me Up?

While riding around the lovely closed streets of Downtown Oakland this weekend, I ran into this cute guy all wrapped up in wood. I noticed he was riding a bamboo bike, as was his friend, and they had a whole bunch of bamboo tubes with them. So, because I am nosy as hell, I asked if they built their bikes.

Cutie On Bamboo

They did! They are the guys behind "Bamboo Bike Works" in Oakland. They provide the materials, space and instruction to get you making your own bamboo bike over the course of a weekend.

My Next Project?

Now, I like me some DIY and I have tried to contact them in the past (didn't realize it was the same guys when I ran into them) but their website won't let me email them. It has one of those silly numeric verification systems and it keeps telling me that 19+5 does not equal 24 and thus will not pass on my message.

So, if anyone out there knows these guys, I want to do a story about their classes and take some pictures and maybe even make a bike. Hook me up, people! There is free advertising here just begging to be used!!

Monday, June 28, 2010


The closing of streets to car traffic for a few hours from time to time is getting more and more popular all around the world. San Francisco has had the ever more popular Sunday Streets for the last few years, and now Oakland has Oaklavía, which debuted last Sunday.

Middle Of The Road

The event had to compete with the 40th Anniversary of San Francisco's Gay Pride Parade (among a whole bunch of other things like a Giants/Redsocks game, the Mexico/Argentina match...) Despite the absolutely stupid amount of things to do this weekend, there was a good turnout for the lovely, quiet streets of Oakland. It is not terribly surprising, after all, when you get rid of the cars life springs up everywhere!

Imagine All The People...

I Trike Oakland

What was great for me was that it wasn't super packed so I could appreciate all of the people and the thing that makes Oakland a really great place- the diversity and openness of its citizens.

Hella Bubble Oakland

Why So Worried




Straw Fedora

I took a whole bunch of pictures which will take me awhile to edit. Check in to the set in a couple of days to see what comes up!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I Can't Do This!!


I wish I could do panda's this good! "Sweet Olive" always shoots great pandas, but this one is my favorite.

Can you do better? Give it a try and send it into the Flickr group!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sticking Together

We have talked about it before, the Wednesday Night Butter Lap. It can be a pretty strenuous ride if you are not ready for it, and a lot of people show up for it thinking it is strictly a social ride. It is social, but the comradery is based quite a bit in the challenge of the hills. Not everyone loves the freedom of a long, steep, fast fly down the side of a mountain in questionable light (my favorite part!). That said, if you do come out for the ride, and you can appreciate the challenges, Butter Lap is a blast.

This is Leah.


Leah just moved here from Austin, TX and this was her first Butter Lap. One of the first things she said to me was "Austin is flat". I know how she feels. The first few times I did this ride I had to work super hard to finish.

I Will Get There

Sometimes all you need is a little encouragement and someone who knows the way to stick with you. Most of the time, that is all you need. I wasn't in a hurry so I decided to stick with Leah so she wouldn't get lost and she would know how much farther there was on each hill (it helps so much just knowing how far you have to go and I almost quit after being left behind in the past). We had a great talk and I was super happy to see her get to the end of the line. I hope we see her on the ride again!

Then there was Amanda. I didn't get a good shot of her face.

Amanda's Purple Jacket

Her bicycle was in terrible shape, and wasn't shifting at all. James (yay, Hubby the Bikeman!) took a look at it and was able to get her a few gears. Despite the fact that she wasn't used to the hills, her bike was stubborn and she kept dropping her chain, James stayed with her. Amanda declared him to be her new "Bicycle BFF", which he is to everyone and is why I love him. James likes to jam up the hills and is very competitive with me about who gets down them faster (me, BTW), but he stayed with her the whole ride to make sure she didn't get left behind and she made it all the way to the end. It took some work, too, but she didn't give up and I was really proud of her for sticking in!

Group rides can be a whole lot of fun, but if one of the riders struggles or is slower, group riding can be frustrating. Never being able to catch up, not knowing the route and not knowing how to pace yourself can wear a rider out way faster than any hill or headwind. Just having someone stick with you, or ride back to check on you from time to time can be the difference between being happy to be challenged or quitting and never coming back. It is so easy to get caught up in the ride, but if we all remember the riders, the ride gets so much better!

Do you like group rides? Have you been too intimidated to try one?

Friday, June 25, 2010

The idiots.

A couple of weekends ago we went on to a ride up north of San Francisco. We were ready to ride at 8AM on a sunny Saturday and we all joined the now annual Fairfax Foray. For those of you outside the Bay Area, the weekend mornings at the Golden gate bridge are hectic if you are on a bicycle. Not because happy tourists attempting to capture a memory of a majestic beautiful icon. Not because of our splendid mid 50° degree summer fog. Not because of our views. Yes, as locals we can never get tired of that. But there is something that happens on the north end of the bridge – the lycra bullies.

The verbal abuse the daily, normal, typically everyday people like me and my peers, and perhaps most of you that read this blog, get on this bridge on the weekend mornings, is certainly abusive.

I have always say I have met nice folks with full-on lycra that are very nice and sweet. That does not apply 90% of the time when I happen to be with my friends, on our-OUR Golden Gate Bridge.

So here to share, some of the things that I overheard within 2 minutes. Mind you, as the photos below show, the bridge was rather calm.
Too bad we intruded for these people, to shave 3 seconds of their time and some use of their bitter spit, to let us know what idiots we are.

As we turned the corner (it is pretty sharp) it goes like this:
"You are all idiots"
"Stopping in this spot is DANGEROUS"
"Move out of the f***ing way"
"Riding bikes on the bridge is very dangerous"
In front of me: Matt and Melyssa aka Calitexican
in front of me

Behind me: Volker – laughing at 'danger'
behind me

I just have to laugh, and ride.
These *ssholes that go out of their way to insult us are plain out lame.

Do I see them riding butterlap everyweek?
Do I see them dodging doors day in and day out throughout the city on a daily basis?
Do they have fenders, because when you RIDE so much in the city, you *know* that was urine?
Do they haul their fancy road bike up and down Bart, Muni, AC transit or CalTrain because they commute, went to a party, or are so tired after you went bike camping 100 miles away from here that you are just trying to get home?
Are they having fun?
Certainly not.

So who are the idiots now?

AM bridge

We continued our ride, we can put up with the daily hussle in the city - these posers on lycra don't intimidate us one bit. Suckers.

They have no idea we rode to Fairfax, (about 18-20 miles up from SF) looking freaking happy and had a blast. There is no heart monitor to measure that nor energy bars to put up with us.

Of course, there are a handful that as fast and mean as they look, take a sec of their bridge experience to say normal things, like 'oh hello' or 'good morning'.
To remind you what idiots we are, here are some pictures of our ride.

Strike a pose

and also, don't they know we are doing a century in August?! :D
Thanks for insulting, but try again later.

say quesoooow
dat's rite!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer In SF. Pull On The Wool!

As with many Wednesday evenings, James and I decided to head out for the weekly ride known as the "Butter Lap". Meli writes about it pretty frequently. Now that I have a camera that works better in low light, I may have some pictures to use for a story or two of my own. Anyway....

When we left the house it was cold!!! Damp, windy, cold. Despite being the third day of summer, I had to pull out the warm clothes.

Wooly Butter

Wool hat, wool socks, wool vest, cashmere turtleneck. Boots! It is SF, and I have lived here my whole life so I should be used to it... but really? At the end of June? I think I think this same thought every year- who needs this much clothing in June in California, for peet's sake?


Summer Ride Wear

More on this ride tomorrow. We had a special guest from down south in for the ride and some super cute new riders and for once I got some good pictures of it all!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The writings on the wall.

Calitexican and meligrosa's road bikes getting some spanking fresh artsy wall love. Right.
For once we left our beloved basket red and bleu mixtes asides, and we decided to take our road bikes for a quick spin the other day. (that quick turned out to be, ummmm, 3-4 hours...) And face the mean hills in the face. Y qué?! here we go.
Of course I could not agree to do anything, for that fact, without a serious caffeination session before hand. More to come soon.


Bikini bike
Both photos taken on Linden – Hayes Valley.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Why Today?

Why do you ride a bicycle? That is a pretty common question, and there are a lot of answers that you can give. I suspect that in most cases, the reasons change pretty frequently. They do for me.

I like to watch people.


Meet Up

I like to do things on my bicycle that others need minivans for.

Riding On Sunflowers

Fancy Luggage

The Bat and the Burley

I like spending time with my family doing something purposeful and fun.

Kwik & Convenient

Today, though, I ride because the Gulf of Mexico is being chocked to death. I ride because there are whole swaths of the ocean that have no oxygen. I ride to try to change my own life so that I am not contributing any more than necessary to the disaster that oil and power and corruption and greed and ignorance and apathy have in killing the Gulf.

Why do you ride today?

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Little Something

Another weekend has come and passed and I have nothing pithy to write about and not enough photos dealt with on any one subject to cobble something together with. So I'll just throw up a few random shots of happy bike life in San Francisco from last weekend and try to do better tomorrow.


Bicycles in front of cafés is pretty much the "fish in a barrel" shot in these parts.

Road Safety Class

The City was awash with adult Bike Ed classes from the SFBC.

Railroad Crossing

It is easy to stop at intersections if you get something interesting, like one of SF's historic trolley cars, to watch.

Lawn Bikes

Sun Bathing

When the signs say that bicycles are not allowed on the path we try our best to comply and head for the lawn instead.

Happy Hour

And if it all gets to be just too much in the City, we can head to Point Reyes and leave our trusty steeds outside while we get a beer.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Quest, The Joy and The Commitment

Story submitted to us, by Mark / OwlBoogie
♥Gracias + RIDE ON!!!!!
- - - - - - - - - - - -

About 3 years ago, I started looking for my Rosebud, my Eleanor, my
unicorn: The 1993 Bridgestone XO-1. The search at that point was
really more of an appreciation for other people's XO's. With little
budget I ended up buying a lower end 1994 XO-5 which I named Grapes. I
rode that bike for about a year and a half. About 2 months ago I set
aside a budget for the elusive XO-1. One showed up on Craigslist but
the seller said it was too small. Bummed, I searched on. An 1992 XO-2
showed up but was sold right before I called. A few days later, the
XO-1 seller contacts me and said he measured it wrong and that it is
indeed my size. I got excited!

Emailed him back… And emailed again… And again… Yet again… Nada.

*sigh* The search went on...

Then about 2 weeks later on a Monday morning, I check my bookmarked
“bridgestone” craigslist bike search and the magic words “BRIDGESTONE
XO-1 / 48cm (oakland west)” shows up. It’s priced above my budget, but
this opportunity doesn’t come very often. I immediately email and I
get a call from the seller about 2 hours later. A quick pitstop at
the bank and by lunchtime I was an XO-1 owner.

Upon receipt
Upon receipt

Funny thing is, at the time I picked the bike up I didn’t realize that
it would change my life. It was more than just buying a bike. I made a
promise to myself that if I ever found an XO-1 that I would ride it on
an AIDS Life Cycle ride. So in 2012, my best friend and I will be
doing that. She is now looking for a suitable road bike. Time to start

Also, I want to ride this thing all the time! So now I’m making a
commitment to ride into work at least twice a week. What deters me
from riding is - work is in Potrero Hill, I live in Twin Peaks and I
am not a good climber on my bike. This will be my exercise. Since
starting my new job, I haven't been working out as often. So why not
kill 2 birds with one bike? (no offense to birds, I'm an owl)

Here I go!
Here I go!

I have my dream bike and I'm gonna be cycling a lot more. If you see
me in the city on my little orange bike: ring a bell, say "Hi!" or
tell me to take the lane! Ha!

Thanks Change Your Life Ride a Bike for letting me write about my experience.

- Marc aka OwlBoogie

Grand View panda
Grand View panda

Friday, June 18, 2010

friday fun times: biking to watch the game

on the first day of the world cup, KT and i met up at a cafe to watch the mexico v. south africa match. they didn't have sound at the cafe, so we relocated to the irish bar nearby. oh did they have the sound. and lots of south african fans. errr..?

anyway, here's her video of her arrival

England vs. England - Si Se Puede from Kristin Tieche on Vimeo.

as you know, that game resulted in a draw. BORRRRRRIIIIIING. but not yesterday!

stay tuned for more world cup that is what i like to do in the mornings. bikes and futbol. what could be better?!

Win Stuff

Vélo Vogue is having a very simple and fun "Bike to Bar" contest where one can win some quite nice stuff from Chrome. What do you have to do, you ask? Take a picture of you and your bike outside the bar (or café) of your choice and send it into the group along with a description of your outfit and bike. My example is below-


Hat- Goorin
Shirt- Dana Buchman
Knickers- Calvin Klein
Shoes- Earth
Bike- Batavus
Place- Samovar Tea Lounge

You have nothing to lose and some nice stuff to gain! Go do it!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stolen bike alert: Lynne's Specialized, stolen from 3rd +Minna

**Lynne's Specialized bike - was stolen**
I photographed Lynne and her Specialized on May 8th in the Presidio.
•• Any info and your eagle eyes out there would be much appreciated!!••
2009 Specialized Sequoia Elite Serial Number 08216670 Stolen yesterday (6/14) between 11:30AM and 3:15PM where it was locked on a railing at 3rd and Minna. (police report # pending)
· 52cm
· black/silver
· Pinhead lock system on wheels, headset, and seatpost
· women’s Dolce 2009 seat
· mount for wireless cyclocomputer on headset, magnet and sensor on front wheel
· hood mounted black bell on right hood
· mounting hardware for light on left side of handlebar
· tree shaped black and white sticker on seat tube
· orange “Ride Free or Die” sticker on left lower fork
· blue “Pedal Revolution” sticker on right lower fork
· black/white SFBC share the road sticker on front of the head tube
· Spoke-lit green lights on both wheels
· Shrader valve tubes
· two water bottle cages, silver
· portable pump
· Kryptonite lock mount on right side of down tube
· Topeak rack attached to seatpost
· Downtube has SFPD and National Bike Registry stickers
Owner: Lynne Howe
I have the Pinhead key as well as the original purchase paperwork to prove ownership. Reward and my undying gratitude if recovered.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Better Late.

So it turns out the "Change Your Life. Ride A Bike!" is over a year old. Our first year has come and gone, and in true Meli/Cali/Caryl/Adrienne style, we were all too busy going to cafés and breweries and taking pictures of people to notice. As they say, better late then never, so we'll just tip our hat to our birthday now.

This last year has been a transformative one for the bicycle world. So many more people all over the world are embracing the idea of a bicycle as a part of everyday life. Bicycle companies are starting to understand the need for bicycles that everyday people can use for everyday life. Bike shops are booming, bike blogs are proliferating, bike lanes are popping up.

The way we all think about transportation and personal ability is adapting.

I hope to speak for all of us here at the blog when I say how honored we all are to play whatever small part we do in the whole process. We started this project to highlight the people of this next generation of bicycling, and it is safe to say no one has ever learned a damn thing about chain rings on this blog. This is what I am the most proud of when I look back at this last year. The connections that our bicycles and our keyboards have made (not just ours, but all the bikes and blogs out there) are what will ultimately help bring the changes we want to see in the world. If this last year is any indication of our future, then this next year will bring some amazing things to experience and write about.

So stick around to see what comes next. I have no idea what it will be, but the four of us are pretty good at making fools of ourselves whenever there is a slow news day, so I am sure we will have something to entertain you!

tuesday injection of fun: red and roger

i was talking to someone earlier today about the name of my red bike.

Happy bikes with baskets

some of you may know my red bike is called joanie baby. half of her namesake comes from this:

if you watch mad men, you know that this character's name is joan.

if you watch mad men, you know this character's name is roger. roger's nickname for joan is "red."

and i guess roger, or rather the actor who plays roger, john slattery, rides a bike while holding what appears to be a script. meowwwrrrr. oh heeeeey there roger. nice bike.

so now you know part of the story of the name behind my bike. :)

via here.