Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
We all talk a lot about those on bicycles looking like those on foot. We seem to have plenty of that going on.
Sometimes a book break is in order. A little sun in San Francisco and we want to be outside.
Uphill. Headwind. Reduce your drag, take off your shirt.
Grab your stuff and hit the road. Don't wait for the cargo bike of your dreams. Just go.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Thanks for reading and here is Alejandro's story, based out of Mexico City.
Mil gracias Ale
Hi this is me Alex, don't let the pic fool you as I'm a laid back cool guy. I've been full hardocore bike commuting for over a year now, to the point that I get dizzy if I have to hop in a car or a bus for an extended period of time, and as I enjoy having fun in everything I do nothing it's more fun than biking, reagardless to say I don't know how to drive or have an interest in doing it.
As I wrote this I was wondering how riding a bike change my life, and I can put an endless list of things, and I think THE most importan way it has change my life, I have made some really good friends and it's constantly making me a more patient, yoga, zen kinda guy, to the extent I can now summon AND talk to animals.
But enough about me I want to introduce you to a really nice associantion I sometimes roll with, they are call Bicitekas (refering to bicicleta and the aztecs) It's an association with over 10 years here in the city with one sole purpose, making it a friendly city through the bike. We get together on wednesdays at night to prove bike can be done all over Mexico city and can be done at night, but their activities don't stop there.
The activities of Bicitekas don't stop there, they have manage recently to change the transit law in mexico to put priority on the weakest persons using the streets (pedestrian in first places, cyclist second). Also they created a comunity program named "paseo a ciegas" that put people with some visual disability or full blindness in the back part of a tandem bike drived buy a person who can see, and last but not least they are building an open workshop downtown so people can go learn how to repair or modify their bicycle and also it's attempted to be a resident house for people from all over the world that are doing something on sustainable transportation and are staying in the city.
So well that's bicitekas an association really doing something for my city, and accepting anyone regardless what bike you are using, how you dress or even if you wear a helmet or not. If anyone readin this happens to be in Mexico city you are more than welcome to join us riding your bike!
Move by bike, it will be a good day
A punto de encontrarse
by By Quiltro Elemento
Monday, July 26, 2010
My Mom picked up the kids and took them to LA for a couple of weeks. This leaves me with time on my hands, and a bicycle without extra kid weight : ) I decided that all extra weight was unwelcome while riding today. My camera was left at home. Making the deliberate decision to not shoot gave me the chance to just watch the world as it presented its self to me today.
What I saw was a whole lotta people on bicycles! They are all over the place in San Francisco. Some streets I saw dozens of them at a time, some just one or two, but all of the places I saw people getting where they were going to on bicycles are places that saw almost no two wheeled conveyances just three years ago. It wasn't just young people, either. I saw people of all ages riding everything from recumbents to homemade long johns. Almost everyone on bicycles looked the same as the people walking down the streets. The bicycle parking was full everywhere I went!
I will take out my camera to document it all another day. Today, I was happy to just be a part of the flow. Just another San Franciscan on a bicycle.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Did you feel like a kid with an ice cream cone?
Friday, July 23, 2010
This is what we looked like at the end of this ride.
This is what we looked like while we were riding.
There were hills. We rode up them. There was heat. We drank water. There were trees. We appreciated them. When beer:30 caught up with us in Fairfax, we answered the call. This is what we looked like.
I wonder if they have a Cucuy dark.
Beer needs appropriate music. Good thing there is always a jukebox when you need one.
The latest in ride fashion is Flashdance style. What a feelin', keep believin'...
Some of us had better hair than others. I think he goes to a special barber who makes sure the wind always hits him at exactly the correct angle.
Thus endeth the ride report. Ride on!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
coming home from the 2nd anniversary of a the 100 mile radius potluck
It's hard to believe its been two years since we started going to the 100-mile-radius potlucks here in Richmond, Indiana.
Everyone brings a dish ideally sourced from with 100 miles, but over time we've found there are some standard cheats: olive oil and salt.
In the photo above you can't see also carried two folding chairs like we did two years ago. (The prior photo is linked above). The two chairs are strapped to the other side of the rear rack. They were easily dropped into an 18-gallon Rubbermaid container which is there.
The major differences in the bike experience from two years ago are of course that the box bike has been replaced with this electric Yuba Mundo, and my wife is piloting it instead of me.
If we were going to load of the box bike with the baby plus cargo and needed to get some place quickly, that notably lowered the odds of the box bike being used, if we went by bike at all. That means that kind of bicycle use was more limited to the weekends, when there were two of us and we had more time.
Electric assist has been a game-changer-- my wife regularly choses the bike for trips with the baby plus cargo, even when she needs to get there quickly. As a result, we celebrated our 400th mile on the Yuba Mundo today, completed in about two months (including a week vacationing without our bicycles and some other out-of-town travel.) Most of those miles included carrying the baby, and were for short, around-town trips. It represents replacing quite a number of car trips. I'm curious now what percentage of trips that we take by car now. Perhaps I'll have the family record our transportation modes for a week and see what happens.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
If there's one thing everyone now knows after my recent accident, it's that I like to bike in Los Angeles. The City's landscape, climate, and neighborhoods offer a cyclist's paradise. Biking in Los Angeles should be a natural.
Unfortunately most of our City was built with cars in mind. It's time to recognize that bicycles also belong on L.A.'s streets.
We're working on enforcement of traffic laws and improving the City's bicycle infrastructure. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has reached out to the cycling community and is actively working to make the streets safer.
Last month the Planning Department released its latest draft of the City's bicycle plan update. While it's still a draft, it includes a citywide network and neighborhood network, to provide safe and convenient routes for both serious and casual cyclists. ...
Thanks for all the good wishes since my accident. I will be back on my bike as soon as I'm able, and I hope to see more Angelenos out there with me.
it's nice to hear that the mayor is not going to let his accident be a platform for the bicycles are dangerous crew, but rather for one that brings out into the open his plans for bicycle infrastructure improvements throughout los angeles.
imagine los angeles as a bikey city. i LOVE it. let's make this into the new l.a. story.
article via here.
Physical activity of the purposeful sort seems to make most people feel better. A good run, a challenging yoga class, an hour on the rock wall are all capable of making you feel good, but there is something about being out and about on a bicycle that adds to it. What that "it" is probably varies a bit from person to person. For myself, it comes down to something quite simple and, really, quite silly.
The only time I ever feel attractive is when I ride my bicycle.
There is something about moving through space, under my own power, viewing the space around me and how everything flows that makes me more attractive to myself than anything else I do. The time I am most content with being with me is when I ride and being able to combine that with getting somewhere is undeniably powerful.
Does that make sense to you?
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
That being said, I reposted a piece from last year over the weekend. I highly suggest you visit the comments section and then come back to this post. The conversation there is, currently, between Mexico City and Australia (Canberra and Brisbane) and Arizona and is about whether or not the current trend toward "cycle chic" is one that adds to or takes away from the total conversation of "bicycle culture".
Looking at the picture above, I can see it from a few different perspectives, not all of them my own. There are those who feel that so many pictures of young, beautiful women on bicycles isn't much different than endless pictures of young men in spandex pounding the hills of France. In both instances, there is the perception of exclusivity and judgment of those who do not fit these molds. It is felt that because the woman in these pictures don't look like the "average" person that they no longer "represent" the "average cyclist". To make that claim though, there has to be consensus of just what the "average cyclist" is and if that is even relevant. Do we need more of what is currently the "average" in most parts of the Western world? Isn't that what has brought us, in part, to where we are today- that "average cyclist" has become something other than the cute girl next door out for a little fun on a Friday night.
Some would say that in those places where helmets are mandatory, that the idea of a "chic" cyclist is not possible. The helmets make cycling seem too dangerous, and thus, not attractive to people not already on bicycles. While I make no secret of my personal dislike of helmets, I do not believe that they have all that much power to deter and that the problem, instead, is the rhetoric around them that makes cycling less attractive to some. There is no doubt that in places where helmets are mandatory that cycling numbers have dropped tremendously, it has been shown repeatedly (go Google it). However, how often are people shown in helmets actually portrayed attractively?
If more people saw images of what wearing a helmet could look like, in situations that do not involve speed, steroids or jerseys, I suspect that helmets would become less of a deterrent (and yes, infrastructure is what really counts, but we are not talking about that here). If we stop focusing on the fact that the woman in the picture (our own Meligrosa) is young and on a road bike and fashionable and oh-my-god-I-could-never-look-like-that what we could see is a person who has chosen to embrace her surroundings and ride her bicycle her way and not the way we see people in bicycle catalogues. I know I will never look like this on my bicycle, but it shows me that I can look my way, even with a helmet.
The chances of the woman in the picture above being out and about in Denver, Colorado are pretty slim. People who ride bicycles for transportation in the vast majority of the US just do not look like this (people who ride bicycles for transportation in the vast majority of the world don't look like this). It is easy to dismiss this as "cycle chic" and leave it at that. More is required to see it for what it could be- not a judgment about what we each wear but a reminder that we can ride our bicycles with authority and confidence even in heels. There is nothing here that says you have to look like this to ride, only that looking like this doesn't mean that you can not ride.
When looking through photographs, I picked this one out specifically because it is a bit over the top. We have both ends of the spectrum here- chic/lycra, cruiser/road bike, heels/clipless... each rider completed the Tour de Queens (40ish miles). If they can ride together, then all those that fall in the spectrum between them can do the same. Each can just be who they are and ride.
The rest of us just need to start seeing in a broader perspective. When we worry about "chic", who has the best "infrastructure", hipsters, bicycles without brakes, high heels, vintage, carbon....we forget that the common denominator are the people who ride all those carbon, mixte, speed machines from 70's era Amsterdam. We can continue to worry about what the people look like, or we can celebrate all of the wonderful new people on bicycles, no matter how they got there. At least, it seems to me.
Addendum: I was just about to re-write this post because it wasn't coming across the way I wanted it to. But then I saw The-Most-Stupid-Bicycle-Article-Ever (two words- titanium chainguard) and some of the silly comments that accompany it and decided to keep it as is. 1 Girl, 2 Wheels probably puts it all together better than I do.
Monday, July 19, 2010
More to come this week :D
Grace on flickr By TyrellVoightKampff
from the article:
The mayor was riding in the bicycle lane on Venice Boulevard in Mid-City at about 6:50 p.m. when a taxi abruptly pulled in front of him. The mayor hit his brakes and fell off the bike.
He was transported to Ronald Reagan/UCLA Medical Center, where he was treated for [his] broken [elbow].
By 10 p.m. he had been released and was resting comfortably at Getty House, the mayor's official residence.
The mayor's accident comes as bicyclists in the city have increasingly been complaining about safety issues and pressing city officials to do more to make cycling safe.
now i hate to speculate on the unfortunate events of another, BUT, i wonder if this will bring about change to bicycling infrastructure in los angeles? one can only hope that if it would, if it can soften the blow literally brought upon the mayor.
do any of our los angeles readers have any insight as to what is going on down there?
get well mayor villaraigosa!!
article found here.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Just who represents cycling? There are discussions about just that going on all over the place, these days. I was thinking about this as I rode around on Saturday.
Is it my family? An urban, international, professional, 30 something couple with three kids looking to find better ways to live our lives?
Is it the legion of young people who fly around the streets in the latest indy fashion and vintage bikes?
The DIY contingent could lay a claim to the title. Would they be right?
How about the stunt riders and BMX lovers? Are they less representative?
The messengers have been out there since the beginning, but they don't always get the credit for it. Are they less "cyclist" than anyone else on a bike?
Can we leave the beach kids, the ones without a care in the world, out of the picture?
Is it in the use, or not, of a helmet that represents us all?
When you look at it, we all represent cycling. It makes no difference if we are weekend road warriors, or utility cyclists, or single track riders, or bike messengers... when we are on our bikes, we each represent the rest, because it isn't about the bikes. It is about the people, the lovely, diverse, brave, pedaling people who ride, and they can not be pigeon holed. Nor should they be.
Ride on my fellow representatives! Show your pride. Shine with it. Ride with it.
Friday, July 16, 2010
the image with the orange(y) bike was taken outside of the middle east in cambridge on an afternoon ride i took.
the image with my black bike was taken while i was doing some site research in chinatown.
the red bike with the flowers the this amazing store called 'pod' in brookline. that is her open sign. i work upstairs from her. there is a shop dog named tulip who is the grumpiest and my #2 favorite dog on the planet.
dcadriel, via our flickr pool
thanks for the visual great bits of bike artsyness.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
It was a great time, and this weekend, we do it again! This time, we have the Calitexican to keep us company, along with several other friends and 120ish others! There were 35 people on last year's ride, many of them were experienced long distance riders. This year, there are a whole lotta new-to-distance riders that have signed up and I can't wait to see all their bright, shiny bicycle faces on Saturday morning!
Who knows? Maybe this year we won't be dead freakin' last, just among the dead freakin' last.
The Season of Biker Chic
These are old-fashioned-looking bikes with heavy frames, strong, wide tires and handlebars high enough to let the rider sit upright.Well, my frenchie is that. Melyssa's bike is that. And most of Ade's bikes are that. But they certainly did not cost over $1,800 USD. The article does offer information from bikes in the range between $300 - on. I am all for exposure of bicycle city riding of all kinds, not only the uber cutesy marketing that has recently sprung out (not that I am against it either) but all choices. People should ride as they please. And also support new companies that make an effort to be locally active (ie, Public bikes has participated in many events here in San Francisco)
The article also mentions the various companies, targeted at getting more women to ride, which I think sets the tone for a thumbs-up in my books.
My favorite part of the wsj article, which sounds like a story cut for our story blog here is:
"My ride to the office is 7.2 miles, mostly downhill. As I cruised to work, I saw Los Angeles from a new purview. The city is badly in need of bike lanes, and the streets are littered with hazards like glass.
But generally, I found L.A. surprisingly easy to bike in. To avoid car traffic, I tried to stick to quiet neighborhood streets. Being near to the ground allowed me to discover several new shops and restaurants along the way, and the ride made the city community seem closer and smaller. I arrived at work feeling as energized as I do after a morning yoga class. I even made a mental plan to do this more often."
(this excerpt and the quote above from wsj.com by Christina Binkley: The Season of Biker Chic)
So to put out the question out there, how much would you drop on a new bike? (from publicbikes.com "Our bikes are designed in the United States, by us. They are built and assembled in Taiwan...more") or would you rather fix an older bike yourself?
And I'm curious that if design and colour would influence you to drop almost 2K on say, those juicy citrus orange mixte public bikes? If I had spare money I'd be tempted because they are quite irresistible, but to be honest, if I had 1500 to burn on a bike, I'd probably do so on a touring bike like a Surly LTH.
Here is our Change Your Life, Ride a Bike - post for riding on the greeway.
At any rate, here are our photos. We have all (synchronized, not kidding) immediately texted each other the second we came across this. And since then, riding on the green lanes, makes you wonder - how come the whole city is not painted like this.
In the meantime, here are some of our green pictures.
So you can imagine the thrill. Here are some pictures of this green milestone. Cheers!
Sunday Street dates and he has had tons of fun with them. I asked if he was scared of everyday traffic, he said he was hit by a car shortly after his European trip, and that since then he became a happy pedestrian. Anyways, thought I'd share that story.