Sunday, February 28, 2010

On The Road Again

S.A.M. is back on the road. He does not look that much different, but he is!


I was going to do the work, but it ended up with Hubby the Bike Man doing just about everything (we have a different work style involved primarily with me liking to have a cup of tea at 10:30 PM and James liking to go work in the garage until midnight).

S.A.M. has a new bottom bracket (sealed), new pedals (MKS), new chain rings (Hubby knew I needed different gearing although I was oblivious), new wheel bearings and a repacked head tube.


All of the recycled parts required overnight soaking in orange oil prior to being scraped clean. That is some serious, long standing, baked on grime. It was worth it, though. James was able to salvage the derailleurs.

The paint is still shot. The paint that is left is strong and a really pretty soft metallic blue, but so much has been scraped off. I was worried the new V.O. fenders and the Axiom rack would really make the paint look baaaaad.

Scrapes & Sparkles

I was pleasantly surprised to find the new shiny bits do not make the paint look worse. S.A.M. has an air of shabby chic now that was not there before. The addition of the Peterboro baskets to the back end are perfect.

Shabby Chic

Today, I got to take him for a nice, quiet ride to the Farmer's Market. It has become obvious that the freewheel needs to be replaced, but other than that, everything rides so much better! Nothing grinds anymore. Everything is quiet and smooth. The fact that it is well tuned and 25 lbs lighter than the Bat, 65 lbs lighter if you factor in the weight of Declan, means that I don't end up as tired at the end of the ride. It makes me happy.

Quiet, Solo Ride Panda

It is not easy to put an old bike back together. There is a lot of trial and error involved. I am lucky to have a husband who enjoys building bicycles (I hate to think how much it would have cost to have a professional do it). If you have the interest in this kind of thing, you should do it. Having a bicycle with history and character is wonderful. Being able to make it exactly what you want it to be makes riding so much better.

Go fix a bike! You will like it!

Friday, February 26, 2010

I Read Your Blog!

This last year has brought a number of new people into my life. I am amazed at how interesting and involved all of them are. Every one of them has something intelligent to say. Every one of them is talented and accomplished. When I spend time with them I am reminded, pleasantly, that I need to step up my game so I can keep up. Each of them challenges me in a different way and I walk away from our time together full of ideas and inspiration.

While all of the women in this picture have many talents and interests, what they bring to the big picture of American cycling as an everyday activity of normal life is immeasurable. Each of them has found a way to shatter the myth of bicycle as sport toy and brings that knowledge to the world everyday.

Some of these new people got together to celebrate our lovely Cali's birthday. This is them-

A Whole Lotta Girl Power

From left to right-

Lisa Marie of Hambone Designs.

Calitexican- this chic can write.

Meligrosa- My first partner in bicycle blogging crime : )

Kristen- Just a day after Meli and I decided to start this little project of ours, Kristen asked me to join her over at Vélo Vogue.

Gwen- A recent addition over at VV. Gwen is also the fire behind the fashion shows for the SF Bike Expo and SFBC's Bike Away From Work parties.

Lilia- Her thoughts are provoking. Her sense of humor is silly. She looks better in pink than I do.


Ramona- another of the VV women and the brains behind the "Bike Wardrobe Remix".

Made In San Francisco

I raise my glass to you all, my fellow SF bicycle bloggers. You have all made an impact and I am honored to know you all!

Click Your Heels Three Times...

Riding Shoes

Ride what you got.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Canary Is To Coal Mine As Tree Is To Traffic

For a nice change, we bring you this interesting view of the road from our frequent commenter, Val! We all have a road like this in our communities (unless you are reading this in Denmark or Holland or Japan or Sweden or.... in which case we give you this opportunity to see just what you are missing out on!). How do you see yours?

The neighborhood I live in is a somewhat isolated suburb, on top of a steep ridge. There are only three routes up or down this ridge, and all are crowded and challenging to ride. Here's one:

It doesn't really show, but that's a 10% grade there, with a 40mph limit that almost all the traffic exceeds. This is a section where I frequently use the sidewalk, especially coming up (and, yes, if I'm doing that, I'm going at pedestrian speed, yeilding to people, and smiling as I pass them - politeness always helps).

Further down the hill, the street is lined with cherry trees:

It's very pleasant for those of us not sealed in high speed boxes, and you can see that February is turning out to be quite nice here in the Puget Sound area. As we proceed along this stretch, however, we see that not all of these trees are standing straight:

In fact, quite a few seem less than vertical:

What could cause such a thing? Perhaps this is a clue:

Or, if that is not enough, how about:

If the sight of a truncated trunk lying on the ground with its bark torn off still doesn't tell the tale, I direct your attention to my final exhibit:

That's right, what we are seeing here is automotive damage. The combination of a steep hill, crowded road, and people in a hurry leads to motor vehicles going off the road in this area with alarming regularity. I shudder to think of anyone who may have been walking when these things happened. The trees, at least, can adapt and survive, usually. There are several blank spaces in the row that have been left by trees that were too damaged.

Why post this here? For me, this street is a constant graphic reminder of some of the contrasts between bikes and cars. When I am riding, I can appreciate the cherry trees, which are barely noticeable from a sealed environment going 40-50mph, and I know that no matter how out of control I get, I will never knock one over. We hear about illnesses caused by exhaust fumes, we read the statistics about deaths in traffic, and we know that driving increases stress in drivers, but constant visible damage like this has another sort of impact. Every time I see these trees, I am glad to be riding.

Do you have a ride you would like us to see? We would love to view the world through your eyes. A favorite road? A place that leaves you wondering? Something that makes you want to become an urban planner? Share with the world!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

wednesday whispers of sundays past

a few sundays ago, friend of the blog *honeychild* and i went for a ride up twin peaks. there was a break in the rain and all i wanted to do was be outside.

Steady steel steeds

i had a new steel tool at my disposal, new gearing, new fears. with *honeychild*'s encouragement, we went up. and up and up and up and up. and then when we got to the top, we saw this.

Twin peaks

we busted out the bagels we had gotten at the cafe at the bottom of some hill or another. as we were nomnomming away, i spied some young man bounce off his fixie and jump and sit on the stone wall overlooking our gorgeous city all in one move like it was taking a breath of fresh air.

Twin peaking

not to sound too SF or anything (ok, i am anyway...), but his energy was really nice and youthful and carefree. these things i have on my mind as about as i turn another notch on the odometer.

so to twin peaks, awesome friends, achieving new goals and pushing oneself. all things i have chosen to do in this new year of my life.

happy hump day to you and happy new year to me!

Happy Birthday Calitexican!!

From the girls of Change Your Life. Ride a Bike! & your bikey friends. Hope you have a great time with us all, your loved ones and everyone around you. We wish you a super happy birthday!
To a wonderful year !!!!!

by busbozo
Woo Woot WOo
by meligrosa

by busbozo

by ericm

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rain, steel and pizza.

A number of weekends ago, a few of us had planned to get together for the afternoon with coffee, bikes and good company. The weather was a tad moody and most didn't make it. We missed Adrienne and her crew, but the two steel pizza coffee enthusiasts, went on to do some roaming around the city.
Eric is a good friend of the SF bloggy, bike, and coffee crew and he knows he is much love by all of us. With his affinity for vintage bikes, I decided to take him to North Beach's only bike shop, Citizen Chain. Sasha and him talked frames for a bit and I was off looking around for cute things, they are the spot to check out for little trinkets and beautiful accesories. ding ding.
I want.
This will really flaunt your stuff in the trunk...
Oh mickey donde estás?
Oh mickey donde estás?

Then we biked in a little bit of rain, and decided it was time for pizza. Why not, as if San Francisco lacks any gourmet pizza spots, we stopped at Piccino's in the dogpatch.
pizza stop
pizza stop

After we roamed around some more. At that point I was quite convinced that my knee would start to feel funny, and it did not, which was a huge confidence boost. This would be the first time I rode the road bike, a steel frame Italian beauty since early November. It was more of a test to see where my cranky knee stood. Good, pretty good, for the most part. My conditioning, yea not as good, but riding with Eric is always a mellow-no pressure experience so everything was chill.
We stopped by one of my favorite in/outdoor retail spaces around, Flora Grubb. This place is a must for all things plants, house trinkets and if I say is a must, then there must be coffee correct?!… I've blogged/posted pictures about this place many times, but I can never quite get tired of it, you know!?
Hola flower bike.
Hola flower bike.
Everybody luvs this wall.
Everybody luvs this wall.
due italiani
Here are our two Italian beauties. Smooth operators they are.

After riding around some more, of course it was time for coffee stop no.4. Yes. Four as in Four Barrel. Eric was happy to finally be in the place Adrienne and I spend many mornings and afternoons with our peeps. I learned some cool geek facts about the copper used for certain pieces and we ended the afternoon with some delicious cup of coffee.
Caffeination station.
Caffeination station.

So here it goes, a raise a cup of coffee for what became a tiny confident shove to no longer baby the leg and keep going, slowly but surely. One day I will slowly conquer you again giant hills, one day.
Double troubles.
- - -

Check out his blog at: Classic lightweight bikes & rides.
I also cross-posted today, a collection of his awesome wool sweater collections at Bikes and The City.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Growth Industry


San Francisco has growing numbers of cyclists. The latest numbers for 2009 are wonderful, especially when you take into account that until the last couple of months, there has been zero increase or improvement of bicycle infrastructure in San Francisco in years. We are still under a partial injunction that allows us to only complete projects that the court has deemed "potentially reversible".

Back Around

While some intersections where cyclists were counted showed very small gains, and in some instances drops in usage, several spots in SF showed triple digit increases (!!!!)- Great Highway and Sloat 110%, 23rd & Potrero st. 111%, 7th. & 16th St. 202%, Alemany & Geneva-222%, Embarcadero at the Ferry Building 104%, Stockton and Sutter 205% and Randall & San Jose (my personal nemesis and daily spot) 150%.


San Francisco has a 53.5% increase in the number of bicycles counted in San Francisco since 2006 when the count started. We have not been (insert city here)-ized in any way. We have been blocked by the courts to make anything better for ourselves. We have had to carve our space out with nothing but our bicycles for help. We have taken to the streets with our fixies, our cargo bikes, our Wal-Mart bike shaped objects, our child trailers, our tricycles and proven that all it takes to start the change is to get out and ride.

Bikes At The Co-Op

So we have said it before, and we will say it a million more times- get out and ride, people! It makes a difference. Every ride, every time. Make sure you have some fun along the way.

Friday, February 19, 2010


I hearts this picture.
This has become our parking spot for Chilango's on Church st. which is the spot to be for filling Mexico City bites. Ade, Melyssa and I try to go at least once every 2 weeks. We bring the girls and occasionally our good guy friends. This was a couple of Fridays ago.
Park and party –Rock on :D
calitexican and selby. ssssssup

Thursday, February 18, 2010

thursday thoughts: bikes as installation art?

UPDATE--late wednesday evening:

so i had a post written out from a few days ago regarding the below pictures. but then i checked in with another fellow SF blog, mission mission, and they have also seen the cords, literally hanging around town. turns out marketing: it can haz some hazy powers over the calitexican (and apparently over other bloggers). along the same lines, now that i know this is advertising, this is NOT an endorsement, just merely an observation. kthx.

to keep with the integrity of the post, i will keep it as is, because it may be interesting (to some) my initial reactions. but my honest one was, why waste all that material on a bike like that...

(tuesday during the day)
i'm not quite sure what the intentions of this person behind this bike seem to be, but this bike just could not be functional. i also apologize for the iphone at night picture, but the best camera is the one you carry with you, right?

wrapping every spare pieces in pink corduroy. except the brakes and the bike light. seen outside of ritual coffee roasters in the mission.

Pink corduroy
Pink corduroy
Pink corduroy
Pink corduroy

i also like how the bike is completely locked up. you know, just in case someone wanted to score a pink present.

KT over at velo vogue has noticed them too.

is this the beginning of springing into action in springtime, or just arting around town? what is the purpose of them, or do they have no official stance? or do they just mark "hipsters reside here?"

does anyone know? please share in the comments.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Mikael posted this quote over at Copenhagenize.

I propose an updated version

People of the world
you have traded your birthright
for a world poisoned
by cars

Rampant spread of cars has
stolen the streets from your children

Belief that a car is the only way
kills our women, and men, and children, and pets, and environment.

People of the world
Rise up and claim your birthright-
a world not ruled by machines and fear.
Reclaim your power to be strong
without destroying all there is around you.
Reclaim your power to be self-sufficient
without endangering others.

Look to yourself to be what you want to see in the world.

What's you version?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Found this awesome story/video trailer of the amazing Californian rider and Compton's finest and couldn't help to share.
The Williams sisters, dr.Dre & I hope soon American cyclists other than Lance, become as influential as the inspirational Bahiti is. Ride on!!

Found/From here.

Tuesday Injection of Fun: colorful

Monday, February 15, 2010

You Want Fries With That?

After taking a lovely ride to Daly City to see Avatar (way better movie than I was expecting), Declan declared "I want a hamburger and a toy!". We haven't been in a Burger King in eons so we decided to give it a go. If nothing else, Declan would be so happy to get his chance for a free toy there would be little complaint about the chilly ride home.

On receiving said child's meal with hamburger and Spiderman toy, I received a little gift of my own. I never dreamed I would see this printed on the side of a Burger King food bag-

Fast Food Surprises

Say what you want about fast food and what it does to us all. A company that makes huge profits out of drive-thrus, whose entire history is wrapped around the American car mythology, is telling people to stop driving and start riding a bike!

Things are changing! In places we would never expect.