Monday, May 30, 2011

The Road Not Yet Travelled

Are you like me? Do you have wander lust that rarely gets relieved? There has yet to be a trip proposed to me that I would say no to. Going somewhere is something I have always loved. Usually, I have to content myself with wondering where other people are headed.


I used to watch airplanes and wonder where they were off to, now I watch bicycle tourists. How far is the ride? Where did it start? What is in the panniers? Are the roads better here or there? What have they seen and what is ahead?

One day. Someone will watch me and ask themselves the same questions. I will smile because I will have the answers.

Over Achiever

It's Monday. Time to go back to work.

Bet it isn't half as exciting as what this guy did!

Found here. Thanks, Veronika!

Friday, May 27, 2011

well-respected man (and woman)

and he's oh so good
and he's oh so fine
and he's oh so healthy
in his body and his mind.
he's a well-respected man about town
doing the best things so conservatively.

so the other day i parked bikes at a bikey-themed wedding. as the guests filed out of the church i saw this man:
Well-respected man

his partner was taking his picture when i went up and asked if i could take one of him.

later on, i caught up with their behinds while the procession was about to cross market street:
well-respected couple

they both reminded me of the kinks song. here's a video for you. enjoy! happy friday.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Freakin' Yuppies

Yep. He is riding in a cargo bike playing on an iPad.

Freakin' Yuppies

The best part- two women in a minivan pulled up next to us with three kids in the back seat. When she saw Declan playing on the computer, she conceded defeat.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Take Pride In Your Ride!

It is almost here. The first Friday of the month, June 3! June is the month when San Francisco lets it colours fly! Time to take some pride in where we live, who we are and why we are here. So jump on your bicycles and come celebrate San Francisco (school is out, the winds will be mostly gone, love is in the air!). Stay tuned for details.

And remember, everyone looks good in rainbow! It is very slimming.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Declan Storms The Castle

Every time I turn around the kids are ready to do something new. You would think I would be ready for this after so many years of kids, but it always catches me by surprise. With an unexpected day off from school it became apparent Declan had reached one of those points.

Declan is now just a bit too big for me to carry on the Bat. His height sets my balance off quite a bit and these days his knees end up under my butt. He likes using the pedaler because I do all the work when he is tired, I like it because he helps on hills. It can be difficult to park safely and it is heavy. The Metrofiets is always an option in these cases, but I wanted Declan to get some exercise and my knee is not ready for the extra weight, yet. We needed to get across town and there was only one option left, Declan would have to take his own bike!

Bike Lanes For All!

Our neighborhood is in no way street friendly for children (there are days when I wonder if it is safe for the adults) so we headed to the BART station on the sidewalk. I hate riding on the sidewalk, but you do what you have to.

Why Won't You Work

We took the train because we couldn't ride our bicycles into the Mission from our home (a ride of about a mile, all downhill). The City & County of San Francisco has deemed it necessary to separate the two neighborhoods with an under utilized, 6 lane, 45 MPH freeway with a dinky little bike lane on the side that is the bicycle infrastructure equivalent of throwing a toddler into a professional Roller Derby rink. Declan likes riding the train, anyway.

BART Commuter

Declan is an old pro when it comes to balancing his bicycle on a moving train. We didn't have to go far, just two stops. We will be using the BART system quite a bit this summer to get around the Bay Area with our bicycles as we try to visit some of the 70 state parks that have been slotted for permanent closure in September.

Just One In The Crowd

Once we hit the streets again, Declan blended in with the rest of the crowd. At this spot he was asking me if we were stopping for coffee (that's my boy!). As we were on a mission for dinner groceries, I decided to just push on.

Lock It Up

Declan is a lock pro. He takes it very seriously and I never have to worry about him forgetting to do it right. Of course, he thinks that if the bike thieves come along they will hit his totally awesome bike first.

Door Zone

After mastering the fine art of riding in the Door Zone (our lanes are just wide enough to give us a generous 8ish inches of door free space to ride in),

Never Too Young

Declan was given the opportunity to experience his first bike lane parker. I have decided that instead of a comprehensive bike route what we really have in San Francisco is an amazing extension of the airport's cell phone parking lot.

In spite of the obstacles put in our way, we really had a good, clear, safe ride. At times I was a bit over aware of the density of my fine City. In reality, we spent a lot of time like this

14th Street

free and clear. Declan kept telling me "I am nervous, but I like it!". I thought that summed it up pretty well for his first big inter-neighborhood adventure. He must feel awfully small when he is out there like that. He is used to being surrounded by the rest of the family, like he was today on the way to lunch.

Off For Lunch

So many more adventures for us this summer! All of the kids will get to try something new on their bicycles- a little camping, some bike/train trips outside of the Bay Area... who knows? I can't wait!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

AIDS LifeCycle Series: Bad Babysitter

Next up in our AIDS LifeCycle Series is our butterlap friend, David.

foto by meli
oh hai there.

david, along with his team, bad babysitter, have been holding super fun events around san francisco in order to meet their goal of raising $14,000 (!!!) for ALC.

the following is taken from their ALC web page. 'tis very cute.

Welcome to Team Bad Babysitter.

4 midwestern transplants who moved to San Francisco and fell in love with biking in the amazing surroundings of the Bay Area.

While to my knowledge none of us are actual babysitters (good, bad, or otherwise), for some reason we rally round the somewhat bizarre/funny rap song "Bad Babysitter" when the legs start to hurt many miles into a ride. Just before the point we start seeing double and are compelled to eat another Clif Bar.

What started off as a group of friends riding around town in San Francisco and bike commutes to work, developed over the years into doing rides of 100 miles in Napa and Marin. The AIDS/Lifecycle presents a whole new challenge tho at 545 miles over the course of a week. It is sure to be the ride of a lifetime.

The ride is in June 2011, but there is much to be done before then. We have several training rides planned and as a team have committed to raise over $10,000 towards AIDS support and research initiatives.

While we aren't asking everyone to bike the 545 miles with us ;) you can still be involved in this adventure by supporting the team with a donation. Any amount is greatly apprecaited!

if you live in the bay area, they are having one last group fundraiser TONIGHT (5/20) in north beach at mojito from 7-close. GO THERE ALREADY. or at least stop by on your way out or in for the evening.

for more fotos and fun, go over to their team tumblr page! heh.



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ride of silence

it is rather fitting that today in many communities that the ride of silence is today, wednesday 18.

as my words are rather tough to come by at the moment, please take a minute and read the ride of silence mission statement.

The mission of the world wide Ride of Silence is to honor bicyclists killed by motorists, promote sharing the road, and provide awareness of bicycling safety.

let's go ride a bike's dottie had this to say, and since i can't say it better myself, i'll quote:

Then please take a moment to also add this honoree info here (which will be collected by official ROS organizers for possible inclusion on the memorial page, which hopes to soon include injured cyclists). To see a list of all cyclists who have already been memorialized on the ROS site, visit the “In Memoriam” page.

R.I.P. and today is a good day to honor those who have fallen next to their bike.

The Drivers Aren't Complaining!

The above title is my favorite line from the film.

It is a shame people have to create controversy where there is none. It makes it so much more difficult to get these projects out to the many places who need them. Like, all of San Francisco!!

Do you dream of lanes like these? What are the ones like in your neck of the woods?

Monday, May 16, 2011


Time for an update from the Flikr group! There is always room for more and we love to have new people join in!

We all love to see what goes on in your world so share with the group.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It Isn't Always Fun And Games

We spend a lot of time pointing out how much fun bicycles are. Mostly because it is easy. Bicycles are fun, but they are so much more than that. They are how so many of us get to the various places we need to be, how we carry our things, how we navigate our world.

Sometimes they are there at the end. Tienanmen Square, June 4th, 1989.

found here.

Sometimes they are how we feed our families. Hanoi, Vietnam
found here

Sometimes they are how we dream of a better world to grow up in. Slovakia
found here

Sometimes they are how we fight our wars. These soldiers jumped out of their airplane with their bicycles attached to them! Somewhere in Europe in WW2.
found here

Sometimes, a bicycle is the only way to feel normal when nothing else does.
I have no idea who to credit this shot to, but I will if given the info.

Sometimes, a bicycle is the only way to get away. Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo.
found here

So the next time you get on your bicycle, smile and enjoy the breeze in your face knowing that what you are pedaling could easily mean a great deal more in just a small change of circumstances.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Waste Disposal

We had a few used tires to get rid of.

When The Rubber Meets The Road

Happy to say, they are now gone. Good thing to, because old tires smell like cat pee.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

happy bike to work day!!

happy bike to work day!

happy bike to work day!!

two years ago i didn't have a "work" thing to bike to, so i volunteered with the bike coalition during BTWD. and i met some chica who took a picture of me and put it on her blog.


and now here we are. :) go get energized at a station! coffee!! free valet bike parking!

also, be sure to go to DNA lounge tonight for the bike away from work party AND fashion show. our girl gwen is styling and many of our friends are in the show! pictures most likely to come in the next few days.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Guest Post: Proposed Plans for Masonic Road Diet

My friend Alex has offered to do a guest post for CYLRAB on troubled Masonic Avenue. He normally blogs about music over at Thanks Alex!!!

In reaction to the latest pedestrian fatality residents of neighborhoods surrounding major traffic artery Masonic Avenue are asking city officials to take action in slowing the traffic on one of San Francisco's busiest streets.

photo by stephen dorian miner

Living close to Masonic first hand I am all too aware of the danger and intensity that cars driving double the speed limit bring not only to cyclists, but also to pedestrians. Blind intersections dot the area due to drivers not being able to see past the many small hills that run through Masonic. This poses a huge threat to cyclists not only riding on Masonic, but especially to cyclists and pedestrians trying to cross Masonic in areas where they are not protected by street lights.

A letter written by Elizabeth Stampe, the Executive Director of Walk San Francisco, to the San Francisco Metro Transit Authority explicitly outlines their support of the boulevard design to help improve the safety of Masonic.

With permission I have copied the letter in this post:

May 10, 2011

To the SFMTA:

Walk San Francisco is writing to strongly support the “boulevard” option for Masonic Avenue.

Today, Masonic Avenue is tragically unsafe. Just last Friday, 61-year-old James Hudson was killed by a speeding car while walking in a crosswalk. The circumstances were similar to those of Nils Yannick Linke, killed there last year on his bike. Last month, a woman was hit by a speeding car on Masonic at Grove and very seriously injured.

In our city, 100 people are seriously injured or killed every year. One of the most powerful things we can do to change this is to reduce traffic speeds on our arterial streets like Masonic. These wide fast streets are where the worst crashes occur, and where we have the most potential to save lives.

Some say that, because the two recent deaths on Masonic were caused by drunk drivers, that redesigning the street will not help. We strongly disagree. Design drives behavior, and the design of this stretch of Masonic Avenue encourages speeding, whatever the condition of the driver.

Last year there were four pedestrian injury collisions along Masonic: two were at Hayes and O’Farrell, and the other two were just outside the study area; at Oak and at Haight. Many other collisions occur along this stretch that do not involve pedestrians – Bike NOPA reported two serious collisions at Masonic and Hayes just in the last four days.

The boulevard option for redesigning Masonic will narrow the street, calm the traffic, and reduce speeding. This will make the area safer for pedestrians, and in fact, for all road users.

Walk San Francisco supports the boulevard option because it includes:

• A road diet, removing lanes to narrow the street and reduce speeding
• A tree-planted median; trees visually narrow the street
• Expanded sidewalks (bulb-outs) at corners and bus stops to shorten crossing distances and improve pedestrian visibility
• More visible crosswalks to improve pedestrian visibility and encourage yielding
• Separate cycle tracks to provide a buffer between cars and pedestrians

Walk San Francisco encourages you to lose no time in moving forward to rebuild Masonic to safer speeds with the boulevard option.


Elizabeth Stampe
Executive Director
Walk San Francisco

Reprinted with permission.

Send your message now for a Safer, Better; write "Public Hearing" in the subject line.

diagram provided by SF Planning Department and SFMTA via SFBC

Most recently the effects of a road diet can be seen on Valencia Street. Wider sidewalks and generous bike lanes and wide sidewalks have made the street much more pedestrian friendly and in turn also more commercially friendly. I believe that similar effects would happen on Masonic Avenue as well, though not a commercial corridor like Valencia, Masonic goes through many commercial districts of San Francisco where high pedestrian traffic is common. Other cities such as Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Palo Alto have used road diets to great effect as well.

Facts: 2 Pedestrian fatalities in the last 10 months, along with 30,000 vehicles on Masonic daily. Cost of the entire project would total $20 million.

You can also help by attending the public hearing Friday May 13th for the proposed boulevard redesign at 10 A.M. room 466 at City Hall.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

windy postscript

both ade and i rolled past this scene separately. talk about WINDY. tree was totally uprooted and fell on a prius and a saab. the prius was toast. crumbled like a rice krispie treat.

Duboce tree uprooted

in other news, someone tried to steal my bike seat yesterday while parked outside a cafe. the wind has blown away the best $0.33 seat protector i've ever had (shower cap, another ade nod). so my lovely honey brooks seat was a target. thanks to my paranoia and my boo's bike hack know-how, we made that seat hard to take. however, at first glance, it does seem like that joanie's seat is up for grabs.

how did i know that they tried? well, my pesky back light mount was WAY askew last night when i went back to my bike. looks like they thought they could just easily put an allen wrench under the seat, a couple of twists and it would be theirs. plans were foiled. mwahahahahaha.

now it's time to go to the drugstore and get more of my $0.33 seat protectors. hopefully the wind wont take them this time around.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

We Got Us Some Wind

Tie down everything, it is wind season in San Francisco. Contrary to what you may have heard, SF does have seasons- Bone Cold Wet Season (which is really late November through the end of January but is movable), Wind Season (now), Fog Season (you would call it Summer), Indian Summer (September & October and 2 weeks in January). While we do not have force factor 5 tornadoes, we get a good month or more of continuous 30 to 50 MPH winds that don't really let up. This is the time of year when we have to look out for falling trees. There is no part of San Francisco that is immune, and there is no use complaining. Even when the wind is so bad you have to get off and push, which is where I was when I took this picture. I was riding uphill, into the wind, pulling Declan on his trail-a-bike when we were stopped in our tracks in the middle of traffic. Time for the sidewalk.

Wind Is The Enemy

Note the hat. It stayed on the whole day without adjustment (and it didn't give me hat hair!) no matter which way the crazy wind was blowing. For those who choose to wear hats instead of helmets, it can be a challenge to find one that stays on well, so this made me very happy.

Friday, May 6, 2011

AIDS LifeCycle Series!

hey guys, this is the long awaited post. it'll be the first of three that i have planned, maybe some of you will be inspired to send in your stories too.

this post has been delayed because our lovely first person featured, kristen ("klaw"), broke her arm the day before the post was going to go up. she was on her bike and a pedestrian suddenly walked out in front of her.

but she's feeling better now, and we decided that showing that she's ready to get back on the bike might be just as inspirational as her ALC ride! now...on to the post! be sure to check out her "addendum."

This is your first time riding Aids LifeCycle. Why did you want to do this ride?

Yes! It's my first time! I've wanted to do it for a long time but was in graduate school out of state or starting a new job and could not put in the time. The primary reason that I am riding is because there are few opportunities in life to challenge yourself physically and emotionally for purely selfless reasons, I am so excited to be a part of this! Many people believe that HIV/AIDS are no longer an issue. Contrary to popular belief, HIV/AIDS has not gone away. Many continue to die of AIDS related illness and those who are lucky enough to afford antivirals are reminded each day about their communicable disease. HIV/Aids is a social justice issue effecting a disproportionate number of people of color and low-income people. As Stephen Colbert says the vaccine to HIV/AIDS is to be white and rich. I hope that the money I raise and the knowledge people gain because of LifeCycle will foster prevention and treatment for ALL people. Plus how cool is it that I get to spend my 31st bday (June 9) with 3,000 other people riding to end AIDS! Someday I hope we can all ride in celebration of ending AIDS!

photo by joel muller

Before you started training, did you consider yourself a long-distance cyclist? Why or why not? If no, what prompted you to start training?

I've always had pretty good endurance but never considered myself a long distance rider and I NEVER thought I'd be peddling around in spandex. LifeCycle prompted me to cycle more and the support and encouragement from my family and friends has helped a lot!

How is your training going? Do you train by yourself, with friends or with trainings provided by LifeCycle?

My training is pretty mixed. I like to do the training rides supported by LifeCycle. I've done a few rides with friends and will be doing my first long-distance ride alone this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes. I'll be riding from my dad's to Hornitos and back, it's about 60 miles roundtrip. Hornitos is a old mining/ghost town, can't wait to take photos!

Over the course of my training I have seen some amazing parts of the North and East Bay. I am feeling pretty lucky to be able to live here! Oh! And riding around the city is great training. I rode against the wind last night and avoided my "granny gears" to help train my quads. Oh and I do a spin class one to two times a week. My legs are getting HUGE!

$3,000 seems like a lot of money to raise in this economy. How has it been fundraising? Any special events?

I had three fundraising events. The first was at Mission Workshop. Together, Shannon Hinkle and I raised over $2,000! Thanks MWS and everyone who donated raffle/auction prizes and more importantly the people who came to support us! The second fundraiser was a wine pairing dinner party at Dadsky KLAW's house. My dear friend Mary Burroughs killed it with her amazing culinary skills and food donations. Attendees donated $20 a plate and brought wine to pair with an assigned course. This was a ton of fun and I raised $400! The last event I did was bar tending at Tonic Bar in San Francisco. This bar is amazing and so generous - they let us keep all the tips we made. Go there and support them, they support so many charitable causes! I raised close to $300 in three-hours of bar tending. Other than that my friends and family donated generous amounts! It is amazing to me how generous people are, many came out of the woodwork to donate money and others (Gwen Lutz, Alison Barahona, Patty Barahona, Kim Johnson, Darius Pearson and many others) donated time and raffle prizes to help us out! Thank you everyone!!!

Have you met any fun or interesting characters in the course of your fundraising?

MING! Through the lovely Caltexican (ed note: oh hai) I met Ming, my new tentmate and gemini twin! Although this wasn't through fundraising I am super excited about this new friendship, and we will be doing some foodie fundraising soon! I'm really excited to eat cake with him on our birthdays too! I also became closer to Amy Powell who helped me so much! I owe her tons!!! Without her dedication I would not have raised the money I did. Thanks Amy, drinks on me!

photo by volker neumann

Addendum: So it looks like I will not be riding this year. Unfortunately I have fractured the radius in my left arm. It is close to the elbow and not the wrist, which is better. I am still training in spin classes and raising money in the chance that I am healed and my orthopedic doc tells me I can ride. The silver lining is that all of the money I raise can be rolled over to next year when I will be riding with the CYLRAB ladies ;)

I would like to thank everyone for their support! This has been super life changing already. Look for me in the bike lanes in about 2-4 weeks! ding ding

Thanks so much klaw for sharing your story! hope you all enjoyed it! happy friday!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


this morning i rolled up on this scene. i went upstairs very saddened. i saw 3 police cars, one ambulance, one fire truck, one bent bike, one stretcher and an interview in progress.


needless to say, it was a very disconcerting to encounter this virtually first thing in the morning.

this year has been full of many bikey friends and loved ones getting hurt while riding. some seriously hurt, some not so seriously. be careful out there people. please. we can't have 2011 be the year of the battered bikey badass. :( you will read one of the stories here on this blog tomorrow.

how do you guys feel when you roll past a scene like that?

Mi Bici

There is a whole world of bicycle stuff out there! This from Spain in the 80's by the group Parchis. I am contemplating bicycle culture and what it means and this just fell into my lap. Why don't we get happy about bicycles like this anymore?

If anyone out there would like to get a translation of the lyrics, or even the Spanish ones, I would be happy to add them to the post!

Put 'Em Up!

Knees hurt? Put up your feet for a bit!

Put 'Em Up

Yet another reason to ride a step through!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Would You Like Some RSI With That?

At some point in every cyclist's life, there comes a time when the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. After months of increasing pain in multiple joints and decreasing riding because of it, I am embarking on many measures to try to reverse that equation. While for most people, pain when cycling has to do with poor bicycle fit, my problems are from overuse, which to my mind is a more difficult thing to remedy. The only way to fix it is to ride less, and at this point I have eliminated ALL of my pleasure riding and only ride for my daily life needs like grocery shopping or getting to appointments. Even with that, until the last couple of weeks, I was avoiding my bicycle for many things I would never have thought twice about using it for before. This has been unsettling for me as being able to ride my bicycle at will is like being able to walk where I want when I want.

I have now been able to get most of my issues under control with the help of a reumatologist, a good supply of NSAIDS and a lot of stretching. Feeling better has opened up more ability to ride and... patellofemoral syndrome. Typical. When it became impossible to walk down the stairs, I gave up and decided to take a few days off and see what would happen. So far it is a mixed bag. Sitting for any length of time makes me knees hurt, but then just about everything makes them worse. Despite 15 years of treating people with RSI (Repetitive Stress Injuries) like this, I am still frustrated and I feel hamstrung and I can't wait for this to be over. I am a terrible patient and I do not listen to anything I say.

So, with that in mind I thought I would share some things I found interesting or funny from the Web about bicycle related injuries. This first one made me laugh.

Cyclist is male.

Cyclist is nine to 14 years of age.

Cycling in the summer.

Cycling in late afternoon or early evening.

Cyclist does not wear helmet.

Motor vehicle involved.

Unsafe riding environment.

Cyclist is from an unstable family environment.

Cyclist has preexisting psychiatric condition.

Cyclist is intoxicated.

Cyclist is involved in competitive mountain-bike racing.

I am not sure that my knees are effected by any preexisting psychiatric condition, but then again, denial is a prime component of most psychiatric conditions so I could be wrong. Also, if I were an 11 year old boy, I doubt my knees would be an issue.

For more useful information on pain related to bicycle riding, you just can not go wrong with the amazing Sheldon Brown. I will be taking his advice to see if I have lateral movement in my pedaling. It is certainly possible as I have a very wide q-angle and tend to ride with my feet right on the outer edge of my pedals.

If all else fails, I could resort to the age old remedy of my people. It has worked for generations!

How do you deal with the pains that come from human powered movement?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tow Your Living Room!

I have joked for many years that when I am old I will ride a purple mobility scooter that is covered in rhinestones. I will also have one of those reacher sticks with a grabber hand that I will use to poke people who are in my way. This is my long term plan and I am sticking with it. With this in mind, I present the QTvan, a small RV designed to be pulled behind a mobility scooter. Now, if I were to buy one of these today, I could just pull it behind my bicycle. When I am no longer able, on the scooter it goes.

At close to $10,000 USD, I think I will have to pass on it. Although, the fact that I could make tea in this makes it very, very attractive. Not that I need to carry a mobile home behind me while I am bicycling to the grocery store, but I have been thinking about disasters, lately. Not in a doomsday way, but just in a practical way. My family lives in earthquake country and the last big one was something else (and not that big, really). I find myself wondering about how to get out of town if we need to.

The reality of our situation is that we have an Xtracycle (carries 250lbs), a cargo bike (carries 300lbs), a Burley trailer (carries 150lbs) and a knock off Bob trailer (craps out with anything over 30lbs). If civilization collapses around us tomorrow, we will be able to get out with a pretty good haul of our stuff. We have seen it in Japan and the American South that it only takes about 30 seconds to make life where you live unlivable, so thinking this way isn't that far fetched.

Still, a rolling living room could be interesting. There are options...