Monday, October 31, 2011


I find myself in a strange position. At this point in the game, I think I can safely call myself a "bicycle advocate". To be effective as such, I strive to "normalize" the act of bicycling everyday. As I live in North America, part of that "normalization" is showing people what riding a bicycle has looked like all over the world for most of the last century.

Part Of The Crowd 6

I take pictures of people moving through an urban environment just as they would on foot or by bus or car. Hopefully the pictures show people on bicycles, not bicycles with people on them.

Part Of The Crowd

The small moments are what make the act of cycling "normal". Interactions between people, small movements, eye contact... these are what make anything we do seem familiar and attractive.

Pedi Family

By now, in San Francisco, bicycles are just part of the scenery. We don't notice them, except in their numbers.


The conversation continues in the bicycle lane, just as it doe sin a car in the fast lane. Those who participate in it do not think anything about it. A normal conversation in every way.

Part Of The Crowd 5

We watch the world go by and the world pays us little attention back.

Part Of The Crowd 3

We blend in like anyone else.

Part Of The Crowd 2

Even in those more flashy, broken down moments we are just a part of the environment.


There is still so much work to do, not just in San Francisco. Not everywhere has achieved what we have here, and we have a long road ahead. But for today, I want to think about what we have made happen to this point- we have become ubiquitous, normal, part of the scenery. Go us!

Friday, October 28, 2011

powered by the people

we over here at the blog think that bike-powered things are pretty cool. if you've ever ridden a bike to power something, you really notice how much energy it takes to do something via electricity. whether it be powering some light for an art exhibit, to make some blended smoothies, or even to power amplified sound, all of it takes some muscle power and sweat to do.

in that vein, i've been seeing some bikey powered things that are popping up at occupy protests in SF and at the one that started it all, wall street. i also heard from friends of mine that were in oakland on tuesday, that there were a LOT of people on bikes. presumably to quickly get away from the chaos.

Low cost generator created by Rock The Bike's electrical wizard Jake, donated to Occupy SF
foto by RTB

i also recently found this video on the spacebooks interwebs about the occupy wall streeters talking about how they need bikes to power the movement in order to be off the grid. word.

have a great weekend y'all!

in solidarity,

Coffee Break

It is getting kinda serious out there, folks. Time for a coffee break.


Make sure you take your own seating. Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

in what world is this ok?

oh, in nyc i guess. my former home for 8 years. work has been nuts for me lately so i can't completely go into what i would like to say to this, but perhaps the quote below will suffice.

from gothamist

In April of last year, 18-year-old cyclist Jake McDonaugh was killed in a collision with a van at the intersection at Flatbush Avenue and Beverly Road. Witnesses say the driver of the van, 28-year-old Michael Oxley, ran a red light and was speeding when he killed McDonaugh. "He got stuck under the van, and the van [dragged] him about half a block against the asphalt," witness Brian Lorde told the Daily News after the 9:30 a.m. accident. Oxley was driving with a suspended license, and the NYPD took the rare step of charging him with criminally negligent homicide! Yesterday, some sort of "justice" was served.

The Post reports that a jury acquitted Oxley of homicide, and his attorney says a video from outside a restaurant "seemed to sway the jurors that Oxley had the light." But the jury did find Oxley guilty of speeding and driving with a suspended license, for which Justice Raymond Guzman sentenced him to 10 days in jail. Driving over the speed limit and killing somebody while your license is suspended? Slap on the wrist, as long as you have the right of way!

i would just like to know in what world is that ok?! ugh.........ok, back to work for me. please let us know what you think in the comments.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

return of the tandem cargo bike

i saw this tandem xtracycle over at sf bike party and the bicycle music fest a few months ago. i thought it was awesome. they are often seen schilling for a local politician who is running for mayor.

well, looks like they get around town, and definitely make a statement...OF FUN!


and look, they've got roller skates! and they are locked to the frame! heh. cause you never know.

Lock up them skates

so this party of two or three certainly gets around sf. i also love that you can take two people around and also just carry things. practical! do you all see some practical party bikes all around your town?

Friday, October 21, 2011

guest contribution: with my own two wheels

this was a post passed on to us over by KT over at velo vogue. thanks KT!!

For many Americans, the bicycle is a choice. For countless others across the globe, it is much more. For Fred, a health worker in Zambia, the bicycle is a means of reaching twice as many patients. For Bharati, a teenager in India, it provides access to education. For Mirriam, a disabled Ghanaian woman, working on bicycles is an escape from the stigma attached to disabled people in her community. For Carlos, a farmer in Guatemala, pedal power is a way to help neighbors reduce their impact on the environment. For Sharkey, a young man in California, the bicycle is an escape from the gangs that consume so many of his peers.

My Own Two Wheels weaves together the experiences of these five individuals into a single story about how the bicycle can change the world - one pedal stroke at a time. Find out when it airs at

ViewChange: With My Own Two Wheels Airdates

(Times in Pacific time zone)
Friday, October 21st
05:00 pm
Tuesday, October 25th
08:00 pm
Thursday, October 27th
02:30 am
Saturday, October 29th
05:30 am

DIRECTV Channel 375 | DISH Network Channel 9410

crossposted over at velo vogue

Thursday, October 20, 2011

the is a'changin'

i'm sad to say it's that time of year when the light above hangs noticeably different in the sky.

a few sundays ago this was pretty apparent after i stood on this corner to get out my bike lights.




soon we are going to be forced to change our clocks and wake up to the dark. i don't like it, but it happens every year. can't do anything about it...

so i guess this means is time to work on bike projects in the comfort of the garage as we await rainy season to hit us full force.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

2 Wheels > 4

Getting kids on bicycles is a lot of fun. They get to explore the world under their own power, simple tasks turn into little adventures, they get stronger and more confident... As anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, my kids spend a lot of time on their bicycles, especially my youngest, Declan.

Silly Beans

Declan is quite the monkey.

Lean Into It

Not long ago, I posted about Declan's first real foray into the bike lane on his own bicycle.

14th Street

Even with all of the benefits that I see that come from my kids riding everyday, sometimes I am surprised by something new I hadn't thought of. The first thing on two wheels that ever changed my life was my motorcycle. I haven't been on my Honda in 11 years, mostly because the kids were too young to ride on it. Now that all of the kids are older, and everyone is either self sufficient in the transportation arena or is big enough to ride whatever I show up on, I have been able to start riding my motorcycle again.

Declan asked me if he could ride with me over the weekend. He had never been on a motorcycle before, so I had to give him a lesson in how to be a good passenger- don't wiggle, don't stand on the pegs, don't grab my shoulders, don't panic when the bike leans into a turn... "you mean like when I am on the back of the xtracycle?". Exactly!

Blurry Firsts

So there he is! I was worried about putting him back there thinking he would be frightened or do something silly. I thought I would have to start him out in a parking lot or something like that, until he got used to it. As it turns out, we have been teaching him how to ride a motorcycle for a long time already. He was a perfect passenger, and now we have a way to get to his doctor's appointments without taking a 90 minute long (one way) bicycle ride or having to spend 30 minutes finding a parking space when we get there.

One more step toward car freedom, all because I put my kids on bicycles. Pretty cool.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Take Your Posse

When you go riding you should always take a repair kit for those unexpected moments.

Overexposed Roadside Repair

It does not hurt to have several people who know how to use the kit along with you, too.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mother, Can You Hear Me?

Installment 2 of my personal perspective on the silly things people do on their bicycles that can make things hard for everyone.

Not long ago, I was riding along Valencia St. when I noticed the rider just ahead of me was a woman I know. She was about 50 feet ahead of me, so I sped up and called out to her. She didn't hear me, so I picked up the pace a bit and called again. Nothing. I gave her my New York taxi yell (it is quite impressive, you should hear it). Nothing. Finally I caught up to her and passed to the left and said "hi!". She just about jumped out of her skin and nearly crashed.

"Don't sneak up on people like that!' she yelled at me.

"I didn't! I have been yelling your name for half a block!"

"I have my earbuds in. I can't hear anything."

"Then why do you wear them?"

"Well I can hear stuff, just not you."

Time To Cross
Not my friend. Just someone with earbuds.

And there you have the issue that we will address in today's "How To Not Ride Really Badly" lesson. If you can't hear me hollering 50 feet away, you can't hear anything.

Coffee Rider

This guy above was a really nice guy I ran into one Bike To Work Day. His music was so loud I could hear it on my bicycle over the traffic of Market Street. He was quite startled by my presence, too. Entirely because he couldn't hear me next to him. I am pretty sure he was lip reading when I took this picture.

Plugged In

Just before I took this picture, this woman was passed by a frustrated bus driver. I am not convinced she heard the bus next to her as she flinched and swerved as it passed her. I am not sure how anyone would be comfortable not knowing a 60 foot long bus weighing 31,500 lbs (unloaded!!) with a frustrated driver who is late is coming up behind them.

She Has Tunes In Her Pocket

In California, wearing headphones or earbuds in both ears, while driving or riding a bicycle is illegal (CVC 27400). Over an above that, it is stupid. When you can not hear anything other than Lady Gaga or This American Life it means you lose the one sense that can warn you ahead of time there is trouble. How many times have I not hit someone passing me on the right only because I heard their squeaky chain coming up behind?

We Wait

People use the example of the deaf being able to do things without hearing. It is a silly example. Someone who is deaf has adapted to their lack of hearing and has found ways to make sure they know what is going on around them. Those who are totally into the Tupac blaring in their heads... not so much. They are distracted by the very engaging music and usually forget that the rest of the world is still out there. The woman above is a prime example- she didn't hear the car in cross traffic running the red light when it was time for us to go. It could have been really ugly.


Pet Carrier

While there is the argument that driver's should always assume that others can't hear them, or that they may hit a vulnerable road user, I don't think that absolves road users from paying attention to their own, and others safety. It is illegal to drive with headphones in Portugal, Spain, Germany, but I could not easily find information about its legality on a bicycle. The Dutch ask us not to when we ride there-

big, readable one here

James and I were talking about the issue of hearing while riding the other day. We have both taken up motorcycle riding again, after many years away. We had both noticed the same thing- we were each disturbed by our inability to hear the cars around us due to our full face helmets, road noise and wind. We have become so accustomed to being able to hear everything around us while bicycle riding that we were disturbed by our inability to do this on the motorcycle. Neither of us realized just how much we had come to depend on our hearing while riding around and neither of us felt safe when it was taken away.

And The Band Keeps Rolling

So, if you want music on your ride, maybe you should just take the band along with you. Or sound up your bicycle and share the love! Hendrix is so much better when you can hear what is going on around you!

cross posted at VĂ©lo Vogue

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

PSA: ladies, pull your pants up

ugh. there was a sign going around the spacebook interwebs a couple of weeks ago that said pull your pants up.

well, that's exactly what i wanted to tell this young woman as i was riding behind her and her thong the other day. uggggggggh. i also don't want to encourage gross (i.e. objectifying) comments from anyone about it, but i just want to encourage her and others who may also have this problem to pull yr damn pants up.

PSA: pull yr pants up.

that is all.

Monday, October 10, 2011

"don't ride on handlebars...exexexcuse me"

what's the most important rule of all?

oh man, i found this in my RSS reader on friday afternoon. i couldn't help but to share!! heh.

via jezebel

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In Case You Didn't Know

Just because you have a bicycle hanging off the back of your car does not give you enough street cred to run me over as I ride down the street.

End of lesson.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Big & Small

Happy Friday, from those both near and far!

Art, Sun, Weeds

It seems to be that when I ride around I am always finding things to remind me of those I love. A good reason to ride!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

here comes the rain again...

falling on my head like a memory....

one of the things i like about riding a bike is the constant challenges it brings. if you are riding loaded, you have to think differently about all the junk in your trunk.

or if you are super late to work because you were looking for your keys AND THEN it wasn't raining when you were looking for them BUT WHEN YOU WERE READY TO LEAVE it was pouring out....and you have steel rims on your older bike...what do you do?

Rain In My Face
foto by ade, guest starring declan

one of my fears is going down a hill in the rain on joanie because one of the first times i did that, i crashed into a biker at the end of the hill. i was pulling my brake levers as hard as i could for most of the way down. so when i see rain and know i have to head out on my bike, i think i'd rather be doing this:

Waiting for the rain to pass - cycling with my daughter
foto by sibadd

on my new commute, i have a rather large hill i'm sort of nervous to go down when it's not raining. i'm mainly nervous due to the car traffic and because not everyone who drives a car signals when they want to turn, not because of anything else. i love to bomb that hill when i get the chance. WHEEEEEEEEE....

well, today was running late, so no better time than to face that fear. rain + joanie, round one. no time to really ride in a roundabout way, so i took the plunge.

and here i am. i just went slow and steady. per usual. joanie - 1, rain - 0.

for more tips for riding in the rain, please see this video over on vimeo starring KT from velo vogue.

all fotos taken from our flickr pool! we love to see what you guys do with cameras and bikes!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

do you remember when you CYLRAB?

this bike does.

THE date you CYLRAB

and the owner decided to write it out on the bike to celebrate. it's put on by black enamel paint, the kind you can find at any art store.

THE date you CYLRAB

and...take a closer look at this bike box hack job. it's pretty sweet.

THE date you CYLRAB

this person also recently told me their partner also got a bike recently. seems like riding around is contagious!

what about you? do you remember the exact day your life changed because you rode a bike?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Park It Here

Bicycle parking. It can be challenging to get a good spot and more often than not, you have to get creative. I have no problem taking up car spaces when needed.

Equal Parking

Neither did this rider! One very long recumbent with trailer needs just as much space as a pickup sometimes. Seen outside McDonald's in Sand City, CA. It is nice to see a little SF style guerrilla parking outside of the SF Bay Area.