Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy, Bikey Christmas!!

Eat a bunch of Christmas pudding, then go ride it off with the people you love!

Happy, Bikey Christmas

From us to you, Happy Chriskwanzicha!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

bike your city

Bike Your City
bike your city

seen in justin herman plaza.

"pushing pedals is patriotic"

sure. why not? :)

happy wednesday all.

much love,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Origami for the Holidays

Do they know there are ful on racks in the parking basement? Maybe they're just running quick errands.

Little origami inspirations around the Japantown area in SF for the rainy, snowy or sunny days, depending on which side of the globe you are. Things are starting to slow down and everyone is getting ready for the end of year and a well deserved break, that's a good thing =)


Friday, December 17, 2010

Thinking inside the box

Green boxes. We want more of them.
One size fits all
At the corner of Scott and Oak. October 2010.

 Green box. Green jacket.
At the corner of Scott and Oak. May 2009.
Seems at first, riders took quite a little bit of time to adjust (to get into the box, to then ride in the middle of the street)

And a before image, just for kicks.
Color makes everything better, this is from google maps [link] I suppose sometime ago, before the box innaguration.
How often do you think about positionin and street street structure in your town or city, and at the corner of places you stop the most, throughout your daily or popular routes?! Here in SF, the wiggle is a highly used and fave route amongst riders and I know that most of us are huge fans of the colored bike lanes and box --- and we want more!!

k happy Friday! Go ride a bike already.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hope For The Future

You know there will be a future for bicycling when you see children's bicycles lying about, waiting for their owners return. I saw a little piece of that hope on my way home the other night.

Hope On A Poll

Two kids bikes locked up to a parking meter with Mom's (?) mixte waiting for the morning to come. Two tiny bicycles being kept outside so they can be used the next day to get somewhere.

It isn't just me seeing this, either. Fellow bicycle lover, Ian, sent me this lovely sight in my email.

A child's bike locked up outside a local school long after the school day was done.

Bicycles. They are not just for playtime anymore!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Change your lungs, ride a bike.

I was pretty happy to hear from this personal story about trading the pack of smokes, for a a pack of tubes. As a previous smoker myself and still fighting the jumping demon on my shoulder quite often, I enjoy hearing from others and how they left the habit and turned it, in his case into a cycling obsession (name of his blog!). From Iowa, we have received his inspiring story:

From one of Courtney's previous posts
Well this is the 3rd Anniversary Smoke-free (Feb 23) but since I'm on night shift this week I am a day ahead of everyone else. So a little background is in order I guess for people that bore easily just tune out now.

 For some stupid reason I started smoking in Highschool. I then continued this till I was 27 and 100lbs overweight. In 2006 it was late July I had some car troubles and was working 100+ hours that week. It was a 3 hour break in a 16 hour shifts and the oil pump went out of my Jeep. I thought about it and decided I only live 3 miles from work or so I'll go to my parents and get my old mountain bike and ride to work. So I got a ride over there and air up the tires (5 years or more since I rode) and took off home. I took 8th street too work. I really had a great time doing 12 mph and not able to breathe. Upon arrival at work I sat down in the smokers room and lit up my prework smoke. 5 different people asked if I needed medical attention I was pale white and couldn't breathe. After 45 minutes I recovered enough to work the night. After the next 2 weeks of riding it was getting alot easier and I felt a bit better. I had decided to keep riding since my Wife had done the weight watchers thing and I was feeling the push there, I thought if I keep riding I can skip the diet. Some time around February I decided to trade off smoking for a new bike (trek road bike). I lost 85 pounds haven't smoked in 3 years and went from a new road bike to ride to work to 10 bikes, racing, joining a race team.

 So I think even though cycling cost far far more than smoking (at the moment double) I do have some cool bike to show for it after 3 years and am in the best shape I've been in since freshman year in high school. All I had to show for the years of smoking was nothing. My original goal was to not gain anymore weight and be able to walk up 3 flights of stairs without resting at the top, and to save a couple hundred dollars a year in gas. I now have done a 200 mile ride (13.5 hours) Many 100 milers, 5 crit races, 2 mountain bike races, 1 cross race, A lot of rides, 2 running races, and many miles to go. My goals have changed a lot I'm starting mountain bike racing this year (jumped in head first) and still would like to hit 10k miles in a year.

 If you think you can't then don't try, because success is for the positive. Stop talking about goals and just go win.
- - - -
From his blog is: 
Thanks for sharing Courtney and ride on!!


This evening, on the way home from a fun evening out with KT, I had what just may be the ultimate bicycle experience. I was t-boned by a rat! It ran out of nowhere, hit my shoe, ran between my wheels (as I was moving!) and continued into the bush at my side. It was a big sucker, too!

I wonder if it took off because it was uninsured?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Keep on rolling

Change your tire. Get back on your bike.
The other day two of us here, calitexican and I, joined a number of our wheelwomen friends and their peeps to learn more about our bikes and some tips for maintenance. It was very simple but super helpful.
So we can keep on rolling.
Often times it helps to know how or why things do not function or can possibly be fixed, before heading to the bike shop and not knowing how to explain something that is wrong or has not been working properly for you.
I forgot mi camera this day, but so lucky for me I have one of those shiny smart phones =) so here is some evidence. We started with basics and helpful tips here pictured is our clinic guy fellow riding bike buddy Trystan, working on Calitexican's bike: Joanie. He was very professional and throughout sharing his tips and general rules of thumb for various scenarios.
It also helped that we had various levels and multiple bike users in the group from mixtes, road, and mountain. A few of the ladies will or have participated in the annual AIDS Lifecycle ride, so too much knowledge or clinics about tips will not hurt any of us.
We continued the evening with info and tricks about brakes, brake pads, cables, front+rear derailleurs.
It was nice to have case-scenarios and how we have gotten to know our bikes throughout our experiences and share them with the girls.
I'd never thought I'd hear Shannon say that bibs rock, but hey well, if they are comfortable. I can't help myself but to think of Borat's yellow bib, but that's just me. I guess it could work with a pair of tights and some boots and wear it with a dress.... mmmh.
Oh, HAAY. All the ladieeeees (well and me, taking this) with Trystan at the all women-clinic. Wooot

Anyway, have you attended a clinic at a local bike shop, or company? do tell.
And what was most fun of it!? Here we learned we were ALL guilty of having the blackest, non-lubed chains evarrrr (sorry bikes!!...)
A special thanks to Klaw for organizing, and to Trystan and the folks at Marin bikes for the space on a late Monday night

Being savvy and super-efficient with our bikes is super sexy and powerful, bike clinics rock!

Give a bike, change a life! -Hans Rey

I recently received a note from a fellow blog-buddy to post, and decided to also post it here, because it is so very close to our collab blog here, and it is what this blog is all about, changing our lives for the better as citizens of this world and our planet. Thought I'd share.

*cross post from Bikes and the City
I had not heard of Wheels4Life before. I enjoyed reading about the goals this group has formed to contribute and fundraise for a great cause, providing an efficient and access to school and multiple othe locations for everyday use indeveloping countries. I thought it was a nice cause for change and benefit of this planet and us as citizens of this world, so thought I'd share it with you all

(From Josh's email) Founded by mountain bike legend Hans Rey, W4L is hosting an auction selling off 10 dream mountain bikes to raise money, which in turn will go toward buying bikes for developing nations. Wheels4Life is a great charity that provides much needed transportation to closed off pockets of the world, but for more information check out their website at 

A link to this video was also included in his note:

From their page: About Wheels4Life
Wheels4Life is a non-profit organization that provides bikes for people in developing countries who really need them. Often these people live in very primitive and remote areas with no access to public transportation. The closest school, doctor or work-place might be 10 or 20 miles away. In developing countries, children use bicycles to get to school, adults use them to get to work, and health care workers use them to access their patients. Without a bicycle, children can end up uneducated, families can be without enough income to survive, and illnesses are left untreated. Wheels4Life provides the life-altering mobility of a bicycle to make the daily necessities accessible. The gift of a bicycle can work miracles.
So, there are a few auctions left this month to participate in, if you are interseted. Not sure how many of you are into Mt. bikes, but these look pretty sweet.
Auction 4: 12/6 - 12/12: Focus First XC and Titus El Guapo
Auction 5: 12/13 - 12/19: Focus Raven and Titus Rockstar 29

Check out more info on the auctions and bicycles here: Bid on a bike. Change a Life»

OK, that is all for now. Now off to riding a bike =)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

reader submission

just a programming note, we'll be taking more submissions for the yehuda moon alleycat bikeku until the 13th. keep commenting away guys. i'm laughing while reading some of them, while others are pretty sweet and heartfelt.

here at CYLRAB, we love getting emails from our readers and friends. one of our friends, the schweeners, sent us a picture he took while he was on his way back from austria recently.

ya, okay. This was in the lufstansa terminal of the frankfurt airport which also featured a rad toy store and a solid ramen bar. The dudes on the bikes are airport employees, and the bikes are totally official, they're numbered and have little baskets for carrying papers on the front. which is adorable. so, rather than those motorized cards they have in US airports, there are these little bikes littered all over the place.

this would indeed be a welcome sight in US airports, and airports all over the world frankly.

thanks for sending this in sweeney, and if you guys have anything else to send, please do!

Best of the Baiku!

Wow! Thanks to all who stopped by on the Yahuda Moon Alleycat! Your baikus were great and we all enjoyed reading them. Some, of course stood out from the crowd-

dcdouglas said...

cranks spinning fast
not watching while typing hard
fell and broke laptop

Alan from EcoVelo #5016

Clandestine bike race
At work but having some fun
Oops, there goes my boss.

New Girl #8706

I arrive in style
with a wave of the hand
and graceful dismount

This one made me laugh out loud.

Des #4970

Ride every day
Rain, cold, snow, wind, sun
My wife makes me

I will throw this one in because I have no clue what it says and I kinda like that.

Veloflanell said...#4023

Nej men ser man på

titta där under snöhögen

min cykelsadel

(in swedish)

We also received a lovely baiku in the original Japanese. Very classy!

Alleycat keely #4440

じでんしや きろい
と じでんしや しろい
together  すごい

ji-den-shya ki-roi
to ji-den-shya shi-ro-i
to-ge-ther su-goi

yellow bike
and white bike
together great

While there is no clear winner / loser in this little "contest", honorable mention will be awarded to Sean for not only referencing previous posts, but for also noticing that the Beastie Boys brought baiku to hiphop!

Sean #4911

my chrome is shining
just like an icycle low
rider bicycle

This designation will also be given for good use of the word "Nerdlinger".

#812 DK

No fixies or beers?
An alleycat...this isn't.
Nerdlingers unite!

To read them all, OR TO REGISTER YOUR ALLEYCAT VISIT, just visit the alleycat comments page! Keep 'em coming racers so we can pick the best next week!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Small Adjustments

Just a little tweak

Tow Truck

and you can make someone's day a whole lot easier!

Sorry. We Are Out Of Turkey Legs.

But we can offer you a little check in status, should you be so inclined : )

You've found the checkpoint! The 2010 Kickstand Cyclery Virtual Alleycat Powered by Cyclelicious

All about the Alleycat

Leave a comment in your best Baiku form (5-7-5 like a regular haiku, but all about the bike). We will post the best ones on Tuesday!

Friday, December 3, 2010

friday fun times: ode to la frenchie

joanie baby tries out being frenchie for a minute.

Ode to la Frenchie
ode to la frenchie

with a familiar face in the background that is...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

If your bike is gone while getting a coffee in Brooklyn..

loveeeeeeit =)

found via

You spin me round round baby

I think I would have more fun seeing this being set up than actually coloring the circles.
Actually I would probably end up eating the crayons.

Now go make something creative!! a bikey note sent snail mail to a friend from out of town, is guaranteed to make them smile. =)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"i ride around town on my lowrider bicycle, bicycle, bicycle"

"my chrome is shining just like an icicle, i ride around town on my lowrider bicycle..."

oh yah, he sure does.

seen a couple of months ago on valencia street. ssssssup homie.

bay area sports fan

"don't touch me, cause i'm electric, and if you touch me you'll get shocked shocked shocked..."

and just for's the song containing the lyrics above.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

smiles and independence

a couple of weekends ago four people, including myself, gathered together after months of emails and changed plans for one purpose: to teach an adult how to ride a bike.

i was merely a spectator-cheerleader, yet the instigator, of the happenings that weekend. we met up in a deserted area near a great indian place in berkeley, chose an empty parking lot and let the teaching take its course.

my phone being at near capacity, i could only get two photos of the awesomeness that occurred that weekend.

n + j

n + j

but rather me tell you how it went down, i got permission from the new bike rider to use an email she sent to us after the fact. who better to describe how she felt than the person herself?

the email was edited a bit, but you'll get the idea, of that i'm quite certain.
from: JT
to: NA

cc: MM
date Mon, Nov XX, 2010 at 9:57 AM

and for real for real ginormous armfulls of gratitude for each of you. you each helped me jump a huge hurdle. i was so down and out. learning how to ride a bike really helped my spirits fly a lil higher when they were ready to sink. thank you ak for loaning your green bike to learn & now the white bike to practice on!!! and thank you mm for connecting us to na - learning how to ride a bike=best present ever!!! and thank you na for being the best bike instructor ever!!! i couldn't have asked for a warmer, supportive and patient group of people to help and witness me learn how to ride a bike. =)

my parents were in disbelief that i learned after all these years. and my brother said he was proud of me =) i can't wait to bike to work & everywhere else & go on bike rides around oakland and sfc!

with lotsa love,
now if that is not the definition of the title of this blog, i don't know what is.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Boy And His (Future) Bike

Nature being what nature is, Declan is growing out of his bicycle. Unlike the older kids at the same age, Declan rides his bicycle a lot. He has managed to wear out the rear tire with all of the skid stops he performs. He sees his bicycle as his ticket to "Big Boy". Even though his school is only three blocks from home, he wants to ride there because his siblings ride to their schools everyday. Because of that, his bicycle isn't like the bicycles his friends have- his bicycle isn't a toy, it is a tool.

Batavus Kids bikes - Dragon 20"
This is the kind of bicycle I wish I could find for him. It is a Batavus Dragon 20" with lights and a rack and fenders and a chain case , and most importantly, a 3-speed internal hub with coaster brakes.

Declan is only five years old, and hand brakes are not a good option for him at this point. It will be a few more years before he has strong enough hands to use hand brakes, especially when we are beginning to teach him how to ride in bicycle lanes and how to ride between neighborhoods with us.

I have looked around and have not been successful in finding anything like this in the US. Forget the bells and whistles, I can put lights on a bicycle and Declan isn't quite ready for cargo so a rack is not necessary at this point. He does need some minor gearing to make the hills around our neighborhood more easily negotiable (the typical 7 speeds with external derailleur you find here are too complicated for someone so young) and he needs reliable coaster brakes that will keep him from flying into traffic. This is not a combo that you can find here in the USA.

Un Coche Menos Of The Future

The smile Declan is exhibiting in the above picture is the result of him riding the whole way from our home to the Farmers Market almost three miles away. We were able to ride in the street the whole way there including crossing three very busy intersections. He was so proud of himself. He was also a little disappointed that he could not ride home. Because his bicycle is a little small for him, hills are that much harder for him and it was uphill a great deal of the way home.

So now, I find myself looking for a needle in a haystack. I could have a bicycle like the Dragon shipped to me, but the price would be so hugely prohibitive it would be silly. I don't mind the shipping, but the bicycles themselves are pricey. Had I been able to buy one with my first child to pass down, the expense wouldn't be so bad, but Declan is the last one. I have looked on Craigslist in several regions with no luck. Ebay has been a bust. All I have found is a larger version of what he already has, a single speed with coaster brakes ranging from $50 to $500.

You Gotta Keep 'Em Separated

With the City opening up to more and better cycling, and with the future of Declan's world being one where he will need to be independent of oil based transportation (much like me at that age during the OPEC oil crisis in the 70's) we need better options for children's bicycles.

Anyone out there have any ideas for a kid's 20" 3-speed with coaster brakes? Please share!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

happy thanksgiving

hopefully you are with your family, friends or doing whatever it is you feel thankful for.

this past month i was very thankful to be given a present to be back in the city i love so much.

i'm also thankful for bikes. maybe it all begins with this:

Bikey kids
bikey kids taken at adeline adeline in nyc

and always, thankful for you guys, our readers.

much love,
the crew here at cylrab.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


What do you on black Friday?!
I am a big advocate of buy nothing day on black Friday.
As a matter of fact I didn't shop much at all this year. A compulsive purchase were some awesome I'm-in-my20s-and-4inch-platforms-are-awesome boots, and the other on the other hand was quite necessary, when my saddle was totally done while riding. I can honestly say I rode that thing until it fell apart. That is all I can think of.

However, I do still purchase coffee. I am looking forward to chill at a coffee shop Friday morning with mi mom and enjoy some quiet beautiful serenity in the City.
Also really looking forward to have some time off work and eating lots. Like a teenager.
Happy Thanksgiving week!

Our longtime reader Val, shares some info for ride to those gigantic boots and hat, this Friday in Seattle, now that is my kind of photo-op!! =)
"Yes, indeed, it’s time for the last Cargo Bike Picnic Ride of the illustrious year of 2010!  You all know the drill by now, or if not, look here:   
We don’t guarantee much, but we do guarantee to ride, eat drink and have fun!  See you there and then!" -Val

Seattle cross.

Seattle Cross
"The devil made me do it."
-cyclecross love, sent to us by reader Michael W.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Dying Of The Light

According to the weather report, today was the last day of lovely light and long shadows. This last week has been spectacular, the kind of weather that makes you thrilled to live in Northern California. These may be my last pictures of Autumn.


Autumn Commute

When next you see me, I will be ready for near freezing rain.


Our Farmers Markets in San Francisco are year round. They may not produce quite so inviting a pannier tableaux by Saturday morning.


Here we go, people! The long, dark months are upon us! Get those lights on your bicycles (now! Stop reading this and go put some damn lights on your bike!), shake out the weather proof gear, make sure your panniers have adequate drainage, lube your chains and stop worrying about the extra weight and get some fenders already!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's All Greek To Me, Part 3

#3- You Can Not Teach Kids How To Ride In The City.

It is time for the last of the kids to learn the streets. Cameron and Úna both learned at about the same time and were older when we started teaching them. Between the changes in the City and getting our Xtracycle we have been able to start early with the wee monster. Declan is so proud of himself. He tells me it makes him feel like he is 6!


This last weekend was so lovely and quiet in the City we decided to give Declan a chance at a longer than usual street stint. We were able to let him ride with us for about 2 miles before we had to put his bicycle on the Xtracycle because of traffic. Declan was not happy about it, he wanted to keep riding. He gets very frustrated with all of the traffic in the City. He always points out when it is quiet out and the cars are absent. He always remembers which streets are the least trafficked and always asks that we use those streets.

To The Right

It is funny how something so simple could make something like teaching a five year old the rules of the road easy and convenient. Once we got through Stonestown and the crazy traffic, Declan was able to have his bicycle back to ride on Ocean Ave. I was surprised how far he was able to go and how positive the people who drove by were when they saw him riding his little bicycle.

Things Are Looking Up

Declan has been learning the rules of the road for a little while now. A couple of times a week we ride down to the library or the grocery store together. We have been riding on the sidewalk so that Declan gets the feel for his brakes and listening to directions. Doing this he has learned how to ride in a straight line, stop at intersections, stay with me at my side... by the time he is in 3rd grade I am sure he will be able to ride almost anywhere in the City with us without a problem.

We are not the only people in SF who are teaching their children how to get around. More and more I am seeing people get their kids out on bicycles. Even if it is just on the sidewalk it is the beginning of these kids learning how to be independent.

Everyday People

Meet Up

Mom & Daughter


Knee Pads & Training Wheels

Did you know you can sign up your kids for classes on how to become a bicycle commuter through the YMCA in San Francisco? A little myth busting group-style. Maybe by the time these kids are teenagers they will have a completely transformed city that riding a bicycle in will be simple fact of life and not something to blog about.