As I am feeling profoundly unprofound and we have been a bit blank around here this week, I present some of my past photographs for your consideration. I like shooting cyclists almost as much as I like riding. People on bikes are such natural subjects and I like action photography. Tripods are quite foreign to me but I will squat in the mud to get a shot without thinking.
Wagon Wheel Bikebyshooting
4:57 to 5:09 PM Valencia Street
Wild Hair, Wild Pants
Iced Coffee Rider
They May Ride, But They Are Still Cops
Brothers In Cycling
Hop On Up, Baby!
Old Truck, Two Bikes
Red, White & Black
Richard & James
Send us some of your shots! We would love to see them!
There are more and more riders on my street everyday. These are not recreation riders, they are people on their way to class at City College or State University. Sometimes they are west side San Franciscans on their way to work. It is a good route to get to the Zoo or the beach. There are 3 public schools along the way. This provides me with the opportunity to stalk cyclists right here in my own front yard. I am quite sure my neighbors think I have gone nuts, but a year ago I could count the number of cyclists on my street in a day in the 20's. Now, I usually stop at 100! It has slowed down a bit with the tremendous winds (although the rain doesn't make as big a dent if the wind is down), but my fellow two wheeled compatriots remain. It makes me very happy.
The Vatican has declared that Catholics, especially the clergy, should start blogging about faith. This has come as something of a surprise to some, especially as the Vatican is not exactly the center of hip modernity. I thought it was a good idea.
It would have never occurred to me back in the 80's to write about my bicycle. There would have been very little to say about it had I done so. These days, though, it makes perfect sense. The people of the world are beginning to realize that something that seems fundamental is starting to shift, that we all need to become more self sufficient. Riding a bicycle is a very public way of doing just that. Writing about it is a way to formalize this experience and give others a language and network to express that formalization.
What will we think of all of this in 10 years? Will it have made a difference to do all of this writing? Will we have shared enough information? Are there enough people who read it and think about it and act on it to make writing about bicycles and how they shape the way we live worth it?
I think yes. I see it in my own life. Everyday, I experience something I would never have before had it not been for my bike, my camera and this blog. The fact that writing about riding my bicycle has brought such amazing ideas to my door from all over the world, not to mention the amazing people who think this stuff up, is a modern day miracle.
Onward bicycle bloggers! Ride and write on! Sorry there are no pictures this time.
Alright. I hate these ads. They get stuck in my head and make me grumpy. However, this one at least does not show us in a terrible light. When he gets denied credit, it is at the bike shop, not the car lot. This means that those of us on bicycles here in the USA are finally making an impact. It may not be the best ad, but we are not portrayed as idiots or freaks and we are encouraged to keep riding. I'll take it!
this weekend, i went into a big chain store to get an umbrella since i lost mine during this week of rain & theirs are cheap and sorta girly cute. when i got there i saw some of this phenomenon of bikes as marketing i believed we've talked about before a bit.
here is a smaller store using the same technique.
i notice that while both seem to be using the "cool" card since "cool" sells things, each store seems to be saying something different. i think the big chain store is saying, hey ride bikes, look cute, get exercise, get fit, get skinny, look good in clothes, buy lots of (our) clothes. the other store seems to be saying, hey, bikes are utilitarian. see, you can put our rugs in a bakfiets and transport it from our store to your store/home/whatever.
anyway, those are some things i've seen in my everyday life of bikes as props. aside from television commercials, i haven't seen it too much around, but i think that's because i don't normally go to stores so much.
also, as an aside, i believe that the display people may have had this display in mind while creating the newer one. ummhmm.
The break in the rain came! Thank goodness because it was getting a bit grim around here. All of the cliffs along our coast are eroding as a result of the onslaught of both rain and pounding surf. As a result, the Great Highway's southern lanes have been closed to traffic. These are the lanes that front the beach and sand dunes.
San Franciscans decided that "Road Closed" signs are only directed at vehicular traffic : )
I utilized the time to learn a new skill.
Then I decided to kick back in the middle of the road and see what came by.
Some people zoomed by, happy for the clear road ahead...
Dads out with their kids got off the path and took the road.
Cameron decided to play road kill.
Declan wanted to just get on the beach. So much so he couldn't be bothered to take his helmet off.
We took over the road for our own purposes.
In the end, the beach takes it all back. How it should be.
We have been talking and thinking about doing some bike camping soon and draggin friends with us. Can't wait for the spring and see what other adventures we might get into, including perhaps a century... oh yea. Thought I'd share this sweet painting by Kevin Cyr, based out of NYC. Neat stuff. Have you gone bike camping? if so do tell :D Happy Sunday!
A homework assignment for you all this weekend! I want you to each imagine what your part of the world would look like if more people used bicycles for transportation. After you get that picture in your head, try to think of one thing you can do to make it happen. Next, share it with us here! We need to start giving each other ideas on how to create the world we want.
In the mean time, here are some pictures from our Flickr group to start you down the path of inspiration.
San Francisco is wet. And windy. And cold. And our coastline is collapsing. And the potholes are now little lakes. And the lightening breaks over my home in the middle of the night rattling the windows and keeping me awake. And the hail is sharp and cut Cameron's hand while he was walking home from school.... I miss my bike. There will be those out there who say "but Adrienne, it is only water!" and I will reply "Have fun!". Fact is, I am not much of a rain rider, and there are a lot of contributing factors, the least of which is getting wet. When the rain is coupled with 50 MPH winds and hail and lightening and traffic that can't see me through their fogged up windshields I hang it up until at least one or two of those factors are no longer in play.
There have been a few hours here and there when the storms have taken a break and I have been able to get out to run some errands, but for the most part it has been a bike free week. Now, I have cycling withdrawal and need a cup of coffee that was made by some hipster in a Mission café.
OK. Whining over. I leave you with this hardy soul, who took advantage of the (relative) dry hour yesterday to witness the onslaught on our beautiful coast.
i'm sure we all have some minor accident stories and whatnot. i've had a few, a memorable one was with a car in brooklyn, a couple were completely all my fault, some were near misses.
the following pics are from my last one that falls into the completely my fault category. (hi mom!)
this fall didn't even result from me riding my bike, but merely walking around. when i mentioned this to the doctor at the hospital, she immediately asked if i was wearing my helmet. i told her i wasn't, but repeated that i was walking on the sidewalk and hit the bottom of my face. she had this funny look on her face after i said that.
suture day: they sewed me up on the inside because i bit through my lip,
day three: swelling is down a bit. can eat a little better.
day 8: i can sort of smile, but the scar tissue is building up. ouch.
sigh. i still have that scar on the outside of my lip, i still have scar tissue on the inside where they sewed me up. (and i bit around the inside scar rather hard the other day i might add...ouch)
how about you dear readers? did you learn anything from your experience? for example, i learned that wearing helmets on the sidewalk is a good policy and is a good and insightful question for doctors to ask. i'm joking. oh, and to not trip while walking home. while tipsy. over that, i'm not joking.
This is Sisely (I hope I got her name right! I am very bad with names). She passed me while I was riding on Valencia street. Her bright green bike (a Specialized Langster) was noticeable enough, but it had very unusual steel fenders that caught my eye.
When I saw the bike parked near me a few minutes later I had to take a look! I love how they are cut out to accommodate the brakes. The bolts are a wonderful touch!
The best thing about this? Sisely made the fenders herself! She works in a metal shop and decided to do some DIY . I love that a woman fabricated bike parts for herself and look forward to more woman following suit!
In 2003, I had borrowed about 3 bikes in 2 months. Figuring out that it was the fastest way to get to school, run out to get food, get to my two jobs and make it on time back on bart (living in Oakland to save money, saved me NO MONEY at all...) 2 of them came from the same source, one of my good friends that was able to live close enough to school, so he had no use for his 'extra' bikes. So there I went. While saving up for a bike of my own, I borrowed his bikes, of course they broke down quite a bit so I had agreed to fix them as needed, a type of thank you-return. At the time, I had no idea how to even lower a quick-release seat post.
Well anyhow, in 2003, the mean, fast and furious skinny cool city kids were in full throttle and I was too out of the loop to know which shops were snob-free. Walking down south Van Ness one day, I spotted two guys smoking a cigarette outside this bike shop I had never gone in. They were both about 5'1 and I ask them to borrow their lighter. I no longer smoke, but that was also how I met plenty of interesting random people. They told me they were waiting for their bikes to be finished so they could go to their jobs in fisherman's wharf area. The bike was faster than any nite-owl muni bus by the time their shift ended, they told me. Our small smoky chat, all in Spanish, ended and I went in to check out the place. "I'll be back tomorrow" I told this man, I didn't have my bike because I had snapped the chain. I had a 35mm camera and I probably looked like a very dorky art student taking pictures of random stuff. He asked me why I was taking pictures, I said I liked bikes. I don;t think he was too happy about that, but didn;t say much about it.
I'll have to dig in my old boxes from art school to dig those out because I'm sure I captured his grumpy energy. After a couple of days, I returned, he fixed the chain and told me that I take better care of the chain by lubbing it up. Fair enough I said. After that repair, for some reason I just never returned. I enjoyed the fact that the shop didn't carry those trendy bags every cool kid had, I also enjoyed that the place was kinda beat and cluttered and all of its mess, I was perfectly fine with it. I plain and simple, didn;t find him very warm or friendly. It is a fix it and move on, functional place. I ended school a couple of years after that, and the shop was really not in my vicinity to stop back again at all after 2003. Didn't expect him to make friends with me, but maybe a friendlier approach would have made me return to give him more business or recommend him to my peeps. Or maybe that is not his goal. Who knows.
At any rate. That is my experience with Don Rafa's shop, the only Spanish speaker bike-repair in the mission that I really wanted to like. I had the writing crazies and thought I'd share the video regardless, as well as a little bit of my bike learning experiences. It wasn't always pretty. However I enjoy the interviews of not only bikes, but a vast amount of interesting topics from the community and businesses in the mission district posted over at by missionlocal.org – Enjoy
in december a couple of local san francisco blogs told a story of a young man getting aboard a MUNI bus after having put his bike on the front of the bus. he sat in the front by the driver, and then suddenly jumped off the bus. his bike had been stolen from the rack.
i personally get very paranoid about either of my bikes on MUNI. i don't like to do it, and definitely go out of my way to not put my bike on the bus. however, sometimes you just need to.
i talked to a few SF people and asked them how they felt. one of them was someone you know, meligrosa. she claimed a certain bus line was worse than others and generally agreed with my paranoia while on the bus.
i also talked to a friend of the blog, *honeychild*, and she also expressed a paranoia, along with a potential solution:
HC: oh man
yeah i've never put mine on muni but i put it on the ac transbay bus
i've locked it to the rail before but the bus driver doesnt like that
because it takes too long
he honked at me
yeah, it sucks
HC: so now i put my u-lock on the front tire and down tube before the bus gets here
me: i was more paranoid about my road bike
i only did it cause the tire got flat
HC: it's not going to stop that but it's something
and yet another friend conveyed his thoughts on the matter: i'mambivalent. i always wonder what's stopping someone from just taking it.
so what about you dear readers: if you are a multi-modal commuter, do you feel paranoid about leaving your bike on the bus rack every day? what would make you feel comfortable taking your bike on the bus?