Friday, April 30, 2010

so, how'd ya do this week?

i proposed a question on monday to see if you would try to trick that voice in your head that tells you "no, i can't," to flip it and ask, "why not?"

the past couple of weeks i've been taking page street home, as opposed to "the lazy," (aka the wiggle) as coined by a friend of the blog. i don't think the camera phone does that hill justice, but, meh, you can sorta see why people avoid taking it in large numbers.

Turn up the page

and just last night was butter lap. i've had a little bit of a cough and crapola allergies lately, so breathing has been rather hard. and breathing is sort of important while going uphill. and last week i had some tire chorro and wasn't able to complete it even though i had started it.

enough with the excuses and other issues i told myself. i have got to finish it this week, and that's that. august is only getting closer, ya know?

on my way to the ferry building, the wind was so strong i almost got knocked into another bicyclist. he was rather kind about it, and we both just went sort of slow down market street since the wind was relentless the whole way.

the little voice in my head kept nudging me telling me i didn't have to do butter today cause it was gonna be hard.

you know what? it was hard with the headwinds, sidewinds, everywhichway winds. but then if i hadn't i wouldn't have been able to see this along crissy field:

Butter views

or this at the 2nd stop:

Buttery views

hard, but still did it. so worth it. and...after work i love just riding along the flats looking at the bridge in the distance, watching it wax and wane as i travel around it. its firey orange never ceases to amaze me with its stunning beauty sitting majestic among the headlands greens, ocean grays and skies blue.

and yah, that is why i am glad i flipped it.

so, dear readers, on this day being sunset of the week, i wish you a happy great weekend. may it be full of riding and bikes and stuff. ;)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Don't call me. Page me.

Because you will find me on Page street.
Silky smoothness, one of the latest additions of the buttery streets around our beloved wigglelands, here in SF. And many more to come.

Smooth pavement makes a ride very pleasant and great sunset light reflect up from the surface on your ride home now that the sun stays out for a tad longer. Have you been on a recently paves street? got any pictures? send them over :D
-happy riding!

Page street.

Promises me I'm safe as houses


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Here Comes The Sun & I Say......

The rain won't leave Northern California (a blessing, to be sure), but in between showers, we are getting some simply spectacular weather here in SF. It is bringing out the best in us.

Skateboard Parking

Soon the skaters will be demanding more parking, and we will have to consider it.

Corner Life

It is open season for corner conversations.

Where Should We Get Coffee?

We grab a friend and hit the road. There are cafés to be conquered! Let's conquer them together! Grab your bike and lets go!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bless Me Father For I Have Biked

'Tis the season to bless your bike! Everyone seems to be getting in on it. NYC held theirs in April.

Los Angeles will be holding theirs at Good Samaritan Hospital on Wilshire Blvd. on May 18th from 8-9:30 AM (I may be there for that one). This will be conducted at the hospital by the on staff clergy and is a multi-faith event.

Jacksonville, Florida is getting in on the act, ride to follow.

Blessing of the Bikes Jax '10

Jackson, Michigan will be holding theirs on May, 8th.

If you are in Italy. you can drop by the shrine of Our Lady of Ghisallo, that patron saint of bicyclists. My guess is they will bless you and your bike there just about any time. You can even pick up a little medallion of the saint to put on your bike like our friend Eric did.

No matter what your belief, a few good thoughts thrown your way can not hurt. So go get your bike blessed!

Monday, April 26, 2010


lately i've been rather enamored of the wnyc show, radiolab. i've been listening it to sporadically at work, despite the interruptions involved.

the most recent episode is called "limits." physical limits, mental limits, that sort of thing. the second story in the below segment highlights the RAAM, or race across america. 3000 miles. 10 days. think you could do it? what about going into it with "minimal" training? would you even want to do this? where does this desire to test oneself come from?

the RAAM segment starts at about 16 minutes in.

(i personally recommend that you listen to the first story too, about a woman who discussed completing the 4th ironman triathlon...)

the radiolab page for this show also has a link for a documentary about the race, bicycle dreams.

so as we venture into another week full of commuting, training, living life, working, whatever, try to think of something you previously thought was impossible and then tell that voice in your head, "no."

see what happens.

have a great monday everyone.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gloating Cometh Before the Pride

Just a short post here- on Sunday, James (aka Hubby the Bike Man) completed the SF Randonneurs' Russian River 200k ride. He finished DFL and thus retains his place on the semi-official CYLRAB Back of the Bus team.

It turns out that all you need to do to ensure back of the bus status is to ride a completely untested bike twice as many miles as you have ever completed previously after doing NO training.

Of course, after doing this it helps to have a wife to come home to at the end of the ride who treats the over used knees of weekend warriors for a living. Although said wife does get to gloat over the sore knees while she works on them. Especially when said wife usually only sees this husband's rear end in the distance as she tries in vain to get up any hill with some sense of dignity and before the following Thursday.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

black & white saturday

walk, walk fashion baby...

happy saturday, everyone! :)

Which Bike Today?

Over at EcoVelo, Alan has arguably one of the most drool worthy private collections of bicycles of all of the bicycle bloggers out there. He has articles on his Country and Commuter bikes. This has inspired me to share my own, impressive fleet.

First up, My Commuter-

My Commuter

You have all seen my Batavus Socorro. After my old commuter proved to be wrong for me, Hubby the Bike Man presented me with this wonderful bike. When I was still working, I used this to get me to work- 18 miles round trip (without child pick up) with a 20 mile train trip in the middle. I wore professional attire while riding it, and that basket in the front was perfect for carrying my purse, my lunch, my jacket... Where I worked in Richmond, CA , there was no car parking on the facility premises and the surrounding area was rife with crime. There was always space in my clinic to keep my bike, which meant no slashed tires or broken windshields.

Next, My Country Bike

My Country Bike

With my heavy duty frame and front suspension, my Bat is great on rough terrain. I can use my bike on just about any road out there (except for maybe Downieville, but that's OK). Fire roads are no issue for me.

Now, we move onto my Kid Hauler.

My Kid Hauler

Pick up at the preschool is easy. I pull up to the school, unfold my Bobike Junior, put Declan on the back and off we go. The seat has a folding rack in the back so I can carry the boy's backpack on it. It will carry him until he is 70 pounds, assuming I have not booted him off to his own bike by then. Because the Bat is so damn stable, I am able to carry my very wriggly boy home without feeling like we will tip over (although I am convinced that he wants to see if he can do the whole Thriller dance back there). I still have the Burley trailer hitch on there if I need to carry more than one kid or a big screen television.

Last, but not least, is my Everything Bike.

My Everything Bike

While I do not work these days, I am always out running errands, meeting people, working to slow traffic in front of my home.... and usually put at least 10 miles of errand riding on it daily, filling up the front basket as I go. After that comes picking up Declan. His school is a 6 mile ride from my home. We usually need to stop for groceries on the way home and pick up as much as will fit on the back rack (we go through half a gallon of milk a day and about 60 pounds of produce a week).

I would be lying if I let you think I have only the one bike, I do not. But I could. It is telling that this bike has about 5500 of the 6000 miles I have logged in the last year and a half. All it takes is one bike that you love to get you riding- until I was given my Bat I couldn't dream of riding like this because I had the wrong bike (too big, not appropriate).

However, if you are looking for a fleet, I can recommend Alan's as one to wish for!

Friday, April 23, 2010

"hey, i know that bike"

one of my favorite things about riding on market street during the morning commute (a short list to be sure), is talking to friendly people on bikes. another one of my favorite things is running into people i know. san francisco is so small, that the chances are high you'll see someone familiar on the bikeway.

today's installment was one omar. friend of meli. on way to werky times.

"omar" by meli

i was getting ready to pass someone and thinking how i like how my new shoes are on my pedals when i heard, "hey you." i turn and i see mr. omar. i was running super late to work, but there's always time to say hi and chat it up a bit.

you just can't get that in a car. or on muni/bart (for the most part). nice start to the day.

happy friday!

Red, Bike & Green

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We talk about getting more women on bikes all the time, but how often do we talk about getting people of colour out in the bike lane? That's what is going on at Red, Bike and Green in Oakland, CA-

"Red, Bike and Green, a community-building collective of Black urban cyclists, seeks to improve the physical health, individual economy and local environment of African Americans by strengthening the relevance of bike culture within the Black community"

This Saturday in Oakland is going to be great! Click on the flyer to learn more and someone send me some pictures!!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bike Your Kids To Earth Day

It is Earth Day. That came as a shock to me, but then I have all but given up on the news and I never know what day it is anymore. Instead of showing you pictures of decimated rainforests and drowning Polar Bears, I think that what we all need is a reminder of why being more kind to ourselves and the Earth is so important.

video by Xander@416style

image by Spiderleggreen

Panda With The Boy
image by Dickdavid

Ocean Swim Bikers
image by ibikenz

Shadow Panda TrailGator
image by Baudman

Compartiendo y disfrutando la ciudad con su hija
image by Quilto Elemento

You do not have to have children of your own to see that the children of today are the ones who will have to survive the sins of their fathers. There are things we can not fix, but we do not have to make it worse. We can lessen our load and lessen theirs. We can teach them how to live more by using less. We can take off the training wheels and bike.

Make today the first day of the rest of your Earth Life.

Spot on.

Not everyday I see a dalmatian and a bicycle together. Cheers

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Follow The Yellow Bike Road

Dr. Oz, the guy from Oprah has "Ten Things (He) Knows For Sure". Around here, #8 comes in as #1. If we get the community we deserve, then we better get working for better right now! I bet there are a few more stair cases out there we need to get around.

8. If you want a healthier community, fight for it. I used to ride my bike across the bridge from New Jersey to Manhattan every morning. I noticed that many bikers stopped riding during the winter, in part because you had to haul your bicycle up and down a flight of 50 stairs on each side of the bridge. So we petitioned for a new bike path that didn't involve stairs—and got it. We all have the power to improve the health of our community, whether it's getting better bike lanes, more sidewalks, or a farmers' market that sells fresh produce

What is there to work on where you live? What can you do to make it better?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Birth Of The Bicycle Nation

This was too funny not to share! Thanks to Amsters@m The Wicked Reflectah for letting me put it here!

Life In Amsterdam - We Are Family

"If you have ever been to the best city in the world, you'll know that we do almost everything on our bikes...we travel on them, we eat, we drink coffee, we smoke...sometimes we even make love on them and give birth to the occasional bike-baby, like the one you see in this picture...those bike-babies usually get born directly into the tiny extra-seat attached to most bikes and spend their first years firmly strapped into it, only to learn how to walk and survive in non-bike situations many years later...and that is why the King of Amsterdam spends so much time rolling through Amsterdam, watching over them, ensuring their safety and correct tire-pressure :))"

He has a really cool book he put together of his photos. You should take a look.

Monday, April 19, 2010

it's monday! time to mixte it up!

it will not be a surprise to long time readers of the blog that the SF crew of CYLRAB are mixte fanatics. in fact, i like them so much, i've had two. just one now :(

exhibit a:

Mixte Parking Only
calitexican's bici #2, meli's frenchie and ade's S.A.M.

exhibit b:
Mixteing it up.
(the same usual suspects)

and finally, we have the most recent installment of the mixte lovin', a lil piece i like to call...


Mixted Up
cali's joanie baby, ade's S.A.M. & meli's frenchie.

friend to the blog, eric, upon seeing the above picture jokingly asked,"is there a law in sf that says all mixtes must have wire front baskets? just wonderin'... "

the three of us SF CYLRAB members of course had to respond to that..separately of course:

cali's response:
yes, it is codified...."upon whence you procure a vintage mixte, which was found by various means, but never through a bike store, thee shall place upon the front wheel a large basket. after basket is attached to aforementioned predetermined location, a back rack is optional, but a bungee cord and a ringing apparatus of some fashion is not."

ade's response:
it is actually the 11th Commandment.

Thou shalt adorn thy mixte with those things that make it pleasing to the Lord and practical for carrying the Holy Beer.

and, finally, meli's response:
Mixtes and the lady owners must stay hydrated from either barley or caffeine beverages. Repeat daily from either one.
For further reference please consult the HH handbook, beer:30 ext. happy hour.

now, i hereby call a very friendly and totally benign mixte competition. how many english beats (bicis of english heritage) do you see compared to french presses (velos of the french make)?

GO! ;)

on another note, do you notice the people you like/like to ride with tend to have the same bikes as you? road bikes, vintage, fixies, MTB, touring, steel, trikes? i feel like the answer may not be as easy as it could be at first glance. this may be because the people you know may have more than one bike. maybe not.

have a happy monday Y'ALL.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ketchup and mustard.

As a visual person I loved this red effect all around. As an audience, it's meh. All I kept thinking about was about french fries, which could be resembled by the guy's skinny legs, some ketchup and mustard. and a beer. Maybe also throw that flirty stink eye to some skinny boy on a fixie. Soon, very soon.

Happy Sunday to all of us, not in the PDX. yay.

An AEPDX Meeting from Juliet Zulu on Vimeo.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Revolution Will Be Blogged

What is revolution and how do you know you are a part of it? I was thinking about this while I rode to pick up Declan from school. When you do something that makes people look at you askance, something that makes them think about how things are done, something that makes them uncomfortable you are on the path of the Revolutionary. When your actions challenge the status quo without destroying the individual you are on the path of Revolutionary. When it becomes obvious to you that the path you are on is the only one you can take because it will lead to the world you want to live in, you have started to become a Revolutionary.

When you see others do the same things, speak the same words, work for the same world, you have joined the Revolution.

From my place in it, it will look something like this-

Be revolutionary.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It takes two.

Bike lane conversations are certainly the best way to catch up with your pals, or meet someone new, chat about the weather, make a hill seem less steep, transform traffic into a chatty obstacle course and share a laugh or a frustration. My last conversation was with a stranger (well after we chatted no more) over the invasion of cupcake stores in San Francisco with a bikey guy that had a super flamboyant air to him – queens and I get along quite well. He also mentioned he needed some teal tights like mine. How did we go from tights to cupcakes, maybe a frosting color linear similarity. It lasted for about 5 minutes then he was gone. I'm sure we will run into each other again, we have the potential to talk about colorful things for hours. Have you had any interesting random chats lately on the bike lane?! Funny enough I had started this post last week, and saw Adrienne's post on the boring encounters. The bike lane offers it all, that is the beauty of exposing ourselves on two wheels.

Here are some duo bike lane shots from our pool:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Time To Bedazzle!

Sometimes you look at your bike, and as much as you love it, it just looks a little bare. The time has come for a little personalization. I have never actually owned a Bedazzler, but I would and I would use it on my bike!

Instead, I have added a very strange, Japanese, cupie doll thingy as my masthead.


I wanted to see what other people are putting on their bikes. Some have taken the same, slightly disturbing, doll themed route that I have-

Come on Barbie
image by ibikenz

Others have gone for a more naturalistic approach. Perhaps a little floral arranging contributes to a more pastoral commute?

having a rest...
image by LO:ci

When you ride with a giant bucket in front of you, a little visual distraction could possibly come in handy. A few Tribbles could be helpful for morale, and possibly inspire a little Broadway dance movement.

Not Jazz Hands-- Simply Sporky Imitations
image by fullhands

If all else fails, try using a man in a beret. It adds a little weight, but the conversation possibilities are endless.

image by Metrofiets

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday Injection of Confusion: Driving on chairs?

Zero emission? but you have it RIGHT THERE
dear dude:
pick up your bike, you will remain to have 'zero emissions' and have even more fun with your friends around town, seriously. Oh Nissan, why even bother putting the bike there, it aint no trophey, that beautiful machine is to be ridden - no need to reinvent the wheel.

Three Trimetsers Of Justice?

Despite what you may think, justice in America, or at least in San Francisco, is a painfully, and I might add ridiculously, slow process. I found out today that when you lodge a complaint against an SFPD officer it takes about nine months to go through the system. If there is a lot of information or there is disciplinary action to be meted out or the officer in question has multiple complaints against him... it can take over a year!!!

With that kind of sluggishness I can see why so many people never lodge complaints against officers- by the time it, potentially, gets addressed you could easily be looking for new digs in an Assisted Living Facility because you do not want to be a burden on your Grandkids.

I find it interesting that allegations of threats and intimidation against a woman on a bicycle by a police officer can be dragged out for ages when it is a certainty that had I driven my bike at the same police officer and then told him I would knock him down with that bike I would be looking for bail and a lawyer having been taken from the scene in handcuffs.

What comes as further food for thought is that this story has spurred a really silly discussion about just who rides around with a gun. This is not the discussion I was hoping would come from this, but I have yet to become the Supreme Leader of the Interwebs so I will just have to go to my happy place. This becomes somewhat more necessary when I read comments at places like SFGate.

In the mean time, I seriously hope that the next person that this officer threatens/intimidates/hits... lodges a complaint as well. It is a slow system, but eventually it has to spit out something.

Bike To School

Bike To School Day

Bike to School Day is almost upon us (April 15th). Like last year, I will lead a bike bus to school. I see more kids being taken to school by bike than ever these days, and I know that more will come in the days to come, but it gets me wishing nonetheless.

Other places get that cars and kids don't mix, so they do something about it. In Japan women ride their kids to school in droves (it is illegal to drive a child to Kindergarten there).

In Ontario, Canada they have started a public school where it is against the rules to drive your child to school except in very specific circumstances. The kids either walk, bicycle or take a school bus to stop cars from building up around the school (story via Treadly and Me).

Of course, there is the Dutch paradigm that we all wish we had. This video from David Hembrow shows kids traveling from one town to another to get to school. Now, before we get into the discussion of "we can't do that here! There isn't room" I would just like to say that my stance is "yes we can do this, if we choose to" and I am sticking to it.

Mostly, I just wish people would think about what they can do to get their children out of cars and into the world. There has become such a culture of group think about how dangerous and horrid everything is that we are all believing are own hype. Our children suffer because of our unevaluated fears and paralysis in the face of change.

I wish we would all just get out there and ride our kids to school! You know you can do it. Really, you can.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I was going through pictures and I had to put this one up. I may have posted it before. Too bad. I like it!

Break Away

Muddy waters.

Recently I have been diggin' the mud photos in our flickr pool. Here in SF we are between rain, super nice days, and windy days. Not a bad combo at all, I love it.
Here is a nice beginning of the week - dose of mud, because they are all RAD. Enjoy!