Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In A Nut Shell

Here at the blog, we are all about bikes. We love 'em. We ride them everyday. But there is something else that drives us...

Get out there and ride off your coffee jitters, people!

bikes only.

view it large. you'll see this couple walking/ pushing a baby stroller in the middle of the bike lane. :D
bikes only.

James and Adrienne
palm trees

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday Injection of Fun: Clothing optional

All roads lead to - your imagination. ;)

As long as we know who is wearing the trousers.

Getting interbike updates is easy nowadays. Photos are great. We love photos. Thanks Richardlicious for emailing the link, and to everyone that has made it easy to surf the Flickr world to look at gadgets and the likes.
We all know that all you really need is a bike, but I give props to all the vendors who are out there doing and sharing their products.

Now, if I was to actually wear pants at some point, other than the figurative way, I'd wear these:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lego Disaster

Lessons from the Lego world, sent in by the Calitexican. At least he was wearing his helmet : )

Got anything else you think we should share? How about a story about where you go on your bike on Saturday night? Send it to us so we can share it with the world!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Deep Is The Word

Meet Deep. Full name, Amandeep Jawa. Owner and operator of the loud and playful "Trikeasaurus". Creator of the always fun "Flashdance".

Trikeasaurus? Flashdance? What are these strange things? you ask. Well, they are cool, which is enough said as far as I am concerned, but for those of you out there who require more info, here it is-

The Trikeasaurus is Deep's trusty tricycle/ movable sound feast. He rides it all over town, blasting the soundtrack of a completely awesome bike party you would not be able to help yourself but join in on. The "Flashdance" is a "flashmob dance party" that happens in various parts of San Francisco and there have been several since the first one in 2005. I tried to go to one a few months ago, but it kept moving faster than I could catch up to it (cops! urgh!).

Now, the music is bumpin' (I shouldn't try to sound current. It does not work for me.), and the energy Deep throws out to the Universe is amazing (he is also on the Board of Directors at the SF Bicycle Coalition, President of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco League Of Conservation Voters, all around nice guy...), but what impresses me most? How the hell he gets that behemoth around SF! He works hard for our entertainment! This day, only 2 of the 3 gears were working!

San Francisco has a long tradition of interesting people making a difference in unique and wonderful ways. Deep joins the roster. Not a bad thing to be able to put on a resume. I'd hire him to brighten up my day, any day!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Silly Is As Silly Does

Meli and I got to hang out on a fine, sunny, lovely San Francisco Friday. We haven't had a chance to just wander around and hang out for awhile, so today was pretty damn good in my book. While there were many pictures from the day, I will share this particular series with you for now.

My son, Declan, loves Meli. They are huge goofs together. So when she tagged along to pick him up from preschool with me, he was delighted with his "surprise". I had fun just watching.

Moments like this are what make me love riding my bike. Wandering around with my family and friends, stopping to climb on public art, taking pictures... It is a good way to get around.


dude's beyond awesome. watch.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cross-Country Cyclist's gets a sour taste of bike thieves.

*[dual post from BATC]
Cable locks in the city of cable cars=bicycle gone.
That is so fucked up. Riding thousands of miles, raising money for hunger and get your bike stolen. Not the place or time to recommend ulocks, but ummm. mean streets, call for them.
SF bicycle thieves are crafty as hell.

I don't know how to embed these news-video links
Please watch here: KTVU/ Cross-County Cyclist's Bike Stolen In SF

View the video then spread the word. Hope he finds his bike!
He is such a positive guy and his mission is great. Was wonderful to hear that he has raised money to feed 16,000 people.
Don't give up Drew, you are an inspiration!

Drew Marinelli's website here: One Man, One Bike, One Fight
*Tip hat to Ratta.

Help Wanted

Re-posted from Cycleicious . If you can help, get out there and teach some kids how to bike to school! -

I have a Bicycle Roadeo schedule for Oct. 10, 2009 from 8:30am-2p.m., and yes, that is a Saturday. I have put an email out to my usual volunteer list, and have had NO OFFERS. I am down to two weeks before the event, an I'm starting to panic. I need at least 6-8 volunteers and have one possible. The great thing about this particular Roadeo is that we had heard the Principal at this school, Noddin Elementary, would not allow any students to ride their bikes to school, because she had deemed it unsafe. She agreed to a sit down meeting with me to see what Street Smarts and DOT had to offer. When I explained everything, she agreed to a helmet giveaway, series of safety presentations, and a Bicycle Roadeo; students will now be allowed to ride to and from school.

If you or ANYONE you can think of would be so kind as to help me out, it would be so appreciated!!! If you're not familiar with a Roadeo, there will be four stations that groups of kids at a time will go through, and each station teaches a simple safety technique. For example, there is a station to learn avoiding objects in the street, or learning to check over your shoulder for cars. It's fun, and very rewarding. It just is impossible without help! So again, if you know any bike enthusiasts, people who need community service hours, or if you're bored, please let me know!! Thanks in advance.

p.s. we will probably pack up way before 2pm! And I'll provide lunch!

Tara Jones
School Safety Education Coordinator
Department of Transportation
City of San Jose
200 East Santa Clara Street
San Jose, Ca. 95113
(408) 975-3296

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Just the other day, this blog was approached (along with several others, I suspect) by Chrome, maker of very nice bike related gear, to possibly try and then review their new line of shoes. I was flattered by the offer, as it means that we are enough of a presence as a blog to garner some attention out in the bike world (meaning, people read our blog!!!! Hurraaayyyyy!!!!). My initial response to the offer was "Sure! Why not?"

Before I could hit the respond button, I started to think about it. Chrome is a great company, and I would recommend their products without reservation. If I needed a messenger bag, I would seriously consider purchasing one of theirs. But is that the direction this blog should take? Should we be reviewing products targeted to the cycling community and does this impinge on our ability to get our message out- namely, that all it takes to ride a bike is a bike?

There are a lot of bloggers out there in the cyber world that review goods at the request of companies. We have all read those reviews and used them to make purchasing decisions. Some have reviewed things they have purchased or simply been given, which I think is different than solicited endorsements (which I am not sure I have a problem with, BTW). Thom, of The World Awheel and I have talked about the pros and cons of sponsorship and product endorsement. We both question whether or not one can be objective when money or goods are part of the deal. Then again, is there anything wrong with reaping the benefits of all of the work that goes into creating a blog and its content?

Like all things, it depends on perspective and intent. What is the intent of this endeavour titled "Change Your Life. Ride A Bike!"? When Meli and I first started this project, I was just about to be unemployed and was looking for something new. We talked about the possibility of this being a profitable venture, but how that took shape was something we were not able to describe. We agreed that our greatest desire would be to support local business if we were to delve into sponsorship or advertising, but we both felt that our primary goal was one of advocacy and story telling.

Meli's take on it is this-

Having things sent or offered is nice, however as the blogger or exposed to an audience that follows your thoughts and daily posts, you have the power to accept or decline, as you feel like so, if that is the whole purpose of your writing/posting.

Adrienne and I do this for fun, we are not paid, nor expect any stipends, free stuff or sponsorship at all, anytime. We do it for the bicycle advocacy, the impulse to change your life around and get out there to discover the benefits of riding the bicycle in your city. We are both visionaries and we practice daily what we preach. Over at Bikes and The City I have been sent numerous things and they have always been highly appreciated, primarily because they have been from other fellow bloggers. That aspect of connecting globally by exposing your local efforts to make the world better, in my opinion is powerful and priceless.

Now because I praise coffee and coffee shops all the time does that mean that I would expect getting free schmuck from them? Not at all. I do it because I love my coffee. I post about coffee because it is part of my life and I don't have any expectations from that. Now if I walk into a cafe and the barista recognized me, Adrienne or my peeps, and has nice things to say about bikes, the photos or how they have found inspiration from our daily sharing, then yes - now that to me is awesome & very cherished!

What do you think about sponsorship and advertising? Would it change how you view this blog? Do you think it would compromise our simple message? We would really like to know what you think about this!

The Freeway Ride II

A reader sent me this for me to post over at Bikes and The City though, I'd like to share it here too.
I really liked the idea, need to demonstrate, make a point. What are your thoughts?

Tuesday Injection of Fun: Ride bike...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Riding With My Mom

The last time I remember riding a bike with my Mom, I ended up slamming into a huge pothole at 25 MPH and permanently damaging my ribcage. That isn't why we haven't been out on a ride together since 1989, just the facts of our last two wheeled adventure.

Over the last few years, my Mom has not been out on her bike very often. When I head down south to see my folks, I usually end up cleaning the bikes off a bit, they are usually covered in cobwebs and pine needles.

This last trip to Chatsworth, I was able to go without the kids, and Mom and I were able to hang out together for a bit. Mom decided she wanted to ride to the café with me (my regular ritual no matter where I am in the world). I was delighted to have her along for the ride, and even more so when she threw on a skirt and decided to forgo the helmet so she could have her picture taken for Vélo Vogue (not a requirement, BTW).

The best part of the ride, other than just riding with my Mom, was when she decided to go run errands without me (I was too hot to ride). She uses her bike for errands more, these days. I had to laugh when she out biked me! Go, Mom!!

Oh, and she crocheted the basket liner herself. She's making me one as I type!

A weak heat wave.

We are pretty weather-spoiled around here. I get to say this, because is just before the rest of you get a real winter, and us whimpy San Franciscans, claim that it gets 'cold' when really doesn't hit below the 40°s, if that...
Anyhow, here are some pictures of skin. I'm not the quickest at snapping pictures, so I missed some good eye candy, but you can imagine ;) This Sunday it go to the mid 70°s and there was also a nice breeze. Of course the fog lurked in and it was around 59° late night Sunday. Anyhow, is it Friday yet?!
Catching sun rays.
Catching sun rays.
Sun bathing on the go.
Sun bathing on the go.
sun umbrella and fender -2 in 1
sun umbrella and fender -2 in 1

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Foreign Film

You know, sometimes we need to have a good laugh at ourselves! After all, people on two wheels are just inherently funny (which is why I am one of them!). Enjoy this little poke at the racer in us all.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What's With The Unicycles?

I am seeing them all over the place, these days! Once, I saw a guy speeding down Topanga Canyon Road from the trail head into the canyon (I was driving, couldn't get a picture without hitting him)! As a departure from my recent rantings ( I am becoming quite the grump), I offer my own unicycle pictures-

This guy was actually part of a huge unicycle pelaton. None of the pictures came out!

The duct tape seat is impressive. As is the jersey. They were both really nice guys.

Don't drink and ride.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

People Amaze Me

What is it about cycling that makes some people completely lose the ability to think or behave reasonably? While reading over at Cyclelicious, I came across a car review of the Tessla, written by James Martin. James Martin is a professional chef, and from his writings, a bit of a wanker (he is a British chef, thus the British slang. In American, the word "jackass" could be substituted). In his review, he writes that his favorite aspect of the electric Tessla, was how quiet it was. It allowed him to sneak up on cyclists so that he could honk at them and terrify them into running into a hedge.

I should be screaming mad over this. But to be honest, I am just sad, because this crap happens all the time. There was the firefighter that shot a cyclist in the head for riding with a child. Or the drunk who plowed through a pelaton of racers in Mexico (called a "terrible accident"). We covered the hit and run of Andrew Bennett and his son, here in San Francisco.

This is the Bay Taxi cab driver that tried to push me off the road so he could make a right turn. His excuse- there was no bike lane, so it was my fault for being in his way. His boss at the taxi company felt much the same way.

This kind of thing happens all the time, to people on and off bicycles. With the proliferation of electronic communication we get wind of it way more often. So I find myself shaking my head quite a bit, these days.

Having written this, I would like to share a positive story, and I encourage you to do the same (after you contact Tesla about your feelings of the above review)-

I was riding home with my 40 lb monkey, the other day, and of course, this being San Francisco, I was riding uphill into the wind (cue the violins). I had started out tired and I wasn't getting any less so, which means a lot less stopping if I can help it. As I came to an intersection with a stop sign, I saw there was a couple about to start crossing the road in front of me, so I started to slow down to stop for them. The couple saw me at this moment, stopped crossing, and the man waved me on with a smile, yelling over the wind "Don't stop! Keep your momentum!". This was a couple of months ago and I still remember what he looked like and how greatfull I was at that moment of exhaustion.

Remember the good times and keep riding, people!

Monday, September 14, 2009

cruisers. ladies. cruising.




happy monday, you! :)

Getting Nowhere, Fast!

Just because it's Monday doesn't mean we can't have a good laugh!

Stop spinning your wheels! Go ride a bike rack! : )

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Adrienne!!

Adrienne and I met not even a year ago. Feels like way longer. We met via bicycles and without the internet, I don't think we would've known we had so much in common. Well, we are chatterboxes, and we are photo factories, so that probably would have happened even sans the interwebz, SF is a small city. Very small. Anyhow, I'm very thankful for meeting her and her loving family and it has been one of my favorite things that has happened to me from riding a bicycle in the city.

Her birthday is today and the day here in SF started off with a tremendous sound of thunderstorms, yes very loud ones (I know this wont impress anyone from Texas or the south, but hey, that's rather unusual out here) Because it's electric!!
Happy BDAY hot momma on wheels!! /♥xo.meligrosa

TGIF!! & rock on

Friday, September 11, 2009

How To Change Your Life

Stop parking your car!! I am not anti-car, in fact, I quite like mine. My car, however, has no right to exist. It is not a person, and its physical space needs can not trump what another needs to live.

Streetsblog, San Francscio has an article titled "When Parking Spaces Are More Important Than Homes". It brings up the idea of limiting the number of people in a neighborhood based in the number of parking spaces. Reading it, I was reminded of how much I hate the words "parking space"!

We are surrounded by cars everywhere we go. We are swamped by the noise and the fumes and the speed. We chose where to live, where to work, how to get places, where to shop, where to camp, which school our kids should go to.... based on our cars. Even when we think we don't. The quiet neighborhood is chosen because there are fewer cars. We work 50 miles from home so the kids can play in the street without getting hit by a van.

I spend my time teaching my kids how to avoid being doored or hooked, instead of taking them off trail to learn how to bunny hop dirt bikes.

The biggest event in San Francisco this year is Sunday Streets- a car free event where miles of street are blocked to cars to the delight of tens of thousands. People in the City act like children at Christmas simply because there are no cars.

When the cars are gone, the people grow.

I know we are learning. I preach patience all the time. Tonight, I am impatient.

Change your life! Ride a bike! Stop parking the damn cars!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Berlin Story

Ändern Sie Ihr Leben. Mit dem Fahrrad! (our beloved blog's name in Deutsch!)
This was sent to CYLRAB via electronic correspondence. It comes from (almost) across the globe and where bikes and gray skies are commonly simimlar to our San Francisco days here. Thank you Jonathan, for sending you beautiful photographs, captions with a nice story – and sharing these with us all!! /♥xo.meligrosa

Beriiners love their bikes.

Well, Berliners sometimes love their bikes.

I'm a California native, San Diego is my hometown, and San Francisco is my home, but I have been living abroad in Berlin Germany for the past year. I have always been attracted to Europe, feeling very comfortable within the cities that hold so much history and casual living, which is probably one reason I consider San Francisco my home. There are many parallels. Growing up in San Diego, I was never one to ride a bike. My father was a cyclist when I was a toddler, and would often drag me to the velodrome as kid to watch the practices. I couldn't stand it, and found guys riding in a counter clockwise circle to be insanely boring. Bikes were never an interest, or desire growing up, even though there was plenty of contact with the sport.

Easy to see where you should be riding.

That changed the day before I moved to San Francisco. I sold my car the night before, and had plans to buy a road bike off my friend. I didn't know a thing about bikes, but knew that was how I was to get around from now on. I didn't bother with shifting, and had to take it to the bike shop just to get a flat fixed. Of course, being embarrassed of not knowing how to change a flat, I learned how to work on the bike and would take apart various parts to try and see how they worked. What started as a simple way to get to and from class became how I traveled everywhere in the city. Exploring on the weekends and breaks at midnight to wake myself up for a few more hours of work. Riding became a lot more frequent.

Some places Berliners get a more room than the cars.
And usually have great bike paths off the main road.

Cruising down Brunnenstrasse. The only obstacle are the cobblestones streets,
but what's European riding without a little pavé?

With a landmark like the TV Tower, it is very hard to get lost.

Then I learned about a track bike that was on being sold on commission at the Freewheel Hayes location for an old messenger. I picked that up, and slowly rebuilt the whole thing. Then did the same with another track bike, and then another. I got involved with some bike projects in SF, and rode the bike nonstop. Every day, every night, it was track bikes 24/7. And as the riding got more quicker, gears bigger and rides longer, the transfer back to gears came in the form of a steel road bike. Taking that bike places I had never ridden in the Bay Area, I knew I had been living on the tip of an iceberg, and I had just caught a glimpse of the rest. Soon, it was cycling 24/7. Not just track bikes, but anything (mainly road) that I could watch, study and learn from. Bike Nerdology 101. I can't get enough.

Berlin by bike is the only way to do it, and you will love it.

Waiting near Mauerpark. (Probably to head across the street to the best Cafe in town)

I owe much of the past 4 years of my life to the bicycle. I have met most of my closest friends because of riding a bike. It has taken me to Japan twice, Austin to ride with an idol, the chance to ride the Tour of California, and a tour on the West Coast and one from Berlin to Milan to watch the Pros end their season. And besides the opportunities to has brought me, it has been the one constant thing in my life that always makes me happy. I can not help but forget the rest of the world and smile when riding a bike. It is something I know I will not give up for a long time to come.

Too many bikes for normal locking up, if you actually want to lock to something. Trees at Mauerpark do the trick.

Berlin itself has a great cycling culture since it is like many European cities and so ingrained in the lifestyle and city planning. Bike lanes everywhere, aware drivers, and the luxury of it being lock optional (at times). Much like cars in the US, the bike is barely a thought and just how everyone commutes, shops, and transports their kids. Mtn. bikes are hugely popular, road bikes not so much, there is an Olympic velodrome and there are so many cruisers around I think they outnumber the population 2 to 1. For me personally, the only thing missing is some mountains to climb.

Change your life, ride a bike.