A picture is worth a thousand words...
Even if you're just riding for transportation, you are getting a workout. My commute to and from work gets my blood pumping for at least 60 minutes/5 days a week. And when you go out on weekends, you burn off a little of your evening's indulgences on your way back home.
Biking gives you some basic fitness that you won't get by driving a car or taking the bus. Just remember, you won't have calves like this by sitting on your ass.
However far you want to push it is purely up to you.
Whether you are taking part in a group social ride, like last weekend's Clitoral Mass... or simply going from point A to point B... or out taking a joy ride... taking your bike there proves that getting there is half the fun! You see, when you choose to ride a bike for transportation or recreation, you can ride with your friends... or you might just run into pals in the bike lane... or make new friends! And thanks to social media, you connect with friends around the world who love their bikes as much as you do. What's more, riding your bike is not just a great way to have fun with friends. The exhilaration you feel also transports you back to being a kid again. So what are you waiting for? It's time to enjoy your summer! And if you're not convinced yet, here are some more reasons to ride your bike, from Iva Jean.
ride together - May 12, 2013
Last year was the first CycloFemme ride, on May 13, 2012. As soon as I heard that someone was organizing a 'national' ride for women I got interested. But I wondered what kind of ride it might be - lycra and toe-clips? Cyclocross sweat and mud? Pretty bikes and pretty outfits?
Well, it turned out it was all three and more. Sarai Snyder, CycloFemme's organizer, had the great idea not to try to prescribe a specific ride - instead she just wanted to facilitate getting everyone to plan and start rides on the same day. That was enough for me, and with help from a lot of friends, we did a Portland CycloFemme ride.
Sarai must have done something right (think excellent temporary tattoos, and in the case of Portland's ride, funky blue balloons with the sleek CycloFemme logo and the cake you see above) because 163 separate rides took place, in 14 countries.
Our ride in Portland was actually a trio of rides that came together for a one-mile parade. Women on Wheels riders showed up, Sorella Forte riders did a 30-mile ride to the ride, and a score of family riders from Kidical Mass helped make our parade on Sunday Parkways car-free streets fun and multi-culti friendly.
California currently is the state with the most rides registered for this year's May 12, 2013 ride. Strangely there's no San Francisco ride yet registered. When I co-organized last year's CycloFemme PDX ride I was a little anxious, and it WAS a little chaotic for me on the day of the ride. I forgot to enjoy the cake and I was so busy helping people with the temporary tattoos that I actually missed the ride, only watching as the beautiful bikes headed out in the May sunshine.
But the warm feeling of seeing so many women - and so many different types of riders - pull together for a bike ride that really just celebrates that women do bike - has had a positive lasting effect. So register a ride - even if it's just you and a friend.
(Contact me for tips for organizing - and thanks to Kristin for letting me guest post firstname.lastname@example.org)
That moment you realize your commute to work is your favorite part of the day. And a photo reflecting that I'm not alone. BTW - I'm wearing my custom-made B. Spoke Tailor knickers and kitty cat knee socks!
I wish I could clone myself, but alas, I am but one cyclist, one blogger, one filmmaker, and one hard worker all wrapped up into one body. I've been stretched lately, and though I have a lot of ideas, I have little time. I will be back to regular bike blogging soon, after I take a little snooze and make a full recovery. Feels good doesn't it? Stay tuned and don't forget about me.
There are so many reasons why I like to ride a bike as my principal form of transportation. And there's really no pecking order to my reasons; they are all equally important to me every time I put my butt in the saddle and start pedaling somewhere. So, because I was reminded just yesterday of one very important reason, I'm going to start this series with that very reason: RIDING A BICYCLE IS GOOD FOR THE PLANET Yesterday, I joined judy b. and approximately 1,000 protesters at the corner of Broadway & Divisadero to remind President Obama that the Keystone XL Pipeline is NO solution to our energy crisis and downright BAD for the environment. Plain and simple. Just days after the horrific photos of the pipeline spill in Arkansas were released, I pedaled to the top of this hill in the chic neighborhood of Pacific Heights where Obama supporters paid $32,500 a plate for dinner at the Getty mansion. I felt a sense of pride that no petroleum products brought me to the protest against the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. It was just me and my bicycle, and my own energy fueling my ride. I know where my fuel comes from. It comes from the food that I eat and my own personal commitment to creating a better world for me, my community and future generations of humans, animals, plants and other forms of life. By choosing to ride a bike instead of driving a car, you're creating fewer carbon emissions, and you're not using fossil fuels, whose production, distribution and consumption all contribute to the destruction of the environment. So do the right thing! Even if you start small! Start by making one trip per week by bike instead of using a car. Then make two trips per week by bike. You'll notice a few things - your gas bill will go down considerably, and you'll ride with pride in knowing that you are less dependent on dirty oil.
My friend Tamra in LA sent me this short film about one man's experience about how biking changed his life. Though he's building an electric bike, I think his sentiment of reconnecting with our surroundings is something we as cyclists all relate to, no matter what type of bike we ride and no matter where we ride it. Enjoy and ride on.
We've met our minimum goal, but The Spinster campaign is not over yet, so let's make the MOST of the next few days. We are aiming to meet our second goal - DVD production before the holidays. Let's keep on riding towards success and hit the $10,000 mark before Sunday morning. Please come one and all and celebrate with us at our Kickstarter Wrap Party on Friday 3/29 at Nooworks! 395 Valencia St/15th, SF 7 - 10 pm Come see exclusive clips from the film (the famous BAR SCENE) Meet cast & crew Music by DJ Precious Cargo Photography by Jillian Betterly Food by MamakSF Drinks from Lagunitas Brewing Co, Cerruti Cellars and Numi Tea Silent Auction includes Nooworks, Po Campo, Hotel Carlton, Animal House SF and more! https://www.facebook.com/events/119897938197703/ Check out this little teaser for you all: Try on some clothes, eat, drink and be merry and support independent, local, bicycle film! Invite friends and keep sharing The Spinster! See you there! Ding Ding!
Name: La Phoebe Occupation: Bike Mechanic at Huckleberry & Martial Arts Instructor Raison d'être: Ass-Kicking Current city/Neighborhood: SF/Alamo Square Favorite city to ride a bike in in the world: Budapest - especially the Pest side. Along the Danube is cool too. Type of bike: Surly Cross Check Describe what you like best about your bike: The flipped mustache bars with bar-end shifters! Describe your personal style: Practical yet stylish - think prêt-à-porter/work & social combined into one. Favorite accessory when riding: Brass-knuckles come in handy, as does my cozy Chrome hoodie when it's cold in SF. Favorite time and/or place to ride: Midnight on a moonless night. Tell us a funny story that happened to you on your bike: When I was training for the Olympics (Tae Kwon Do) in Korea, I was biking along a bridge and couldn't understand the warning sign. I kept speeding along & before I knew it, I flew off the bridge ( it had collapsed in the middle). Luckily, it wasn't too high & I landed in a deep part of a river below. Unfortunately, it ruined my competition but I survived. Vélo Vogue tip of the day: Don't be a douche! Bring La Phoebe to life by pledging The Spinster today!
Name: Karla O'Connor Occupation: Marketing manager for a small fashion company Raison d'être: Make people look good and feel good, starting with myself Current city/Neighborhood: SF/Lower Haight Favorite city to ride a bike in in the world: I love biking in Paris. My best friend Phoebe and I went there a few summers ago and had a blast with the Vélib rentals. So easy and fun. I love Paris for everything. Except I guess vegetarian food. Helmet or no helmet: Riding around town, I wear a hat with a brim to hold my hair in check and keep the sun out of my eyes. Type of bike: Civia Twin City Describe what you like best about your bike: I love the step-through frame: so easy to hop on and off in a skirt. I also love the smooth ride and easy handling. Civia makes solid bikes that look great too. Describe your personal style: I find that if I wear what I like, people like what I wear. Favorite accessory when riding: Po Campo purses because they strap right onto the bike - don't have to carry it, don't worry about losing it or someone swiping it. Favorite time and/or place to ride: I like riding to dinner in the evening, after work, with my husband, Todd. Tell us a funny story that happened to you on your bike: I met my husband, Todd, online, and our first date was a Critical Mass ride. I was sporting a super cute Nooworks dress with a very flouncy skirt. So flowy in fact that as we were riding along the ridge above Fort Mason a breeze blew it up in my face. Todd still thinks I did it on purpose. Vélo Vogue tip of the day: Always wear cute unders when biking in a skirt. You never know who might see you -- or what they might see! Please bring Karla to life by pledging The Spinster today! You could take home the very same Civia Twin City bicycle that she is raving about, plus the satisfaction of supporting an independent bicycle film!
I will be presenting tonight at the Bicycle Art Salon in Oakland. We'll show some exclusive clips (scenes from the bike shop) from the film and have a Q & A avec moi, the director. Location: 1600 E. 31st Street Oakland, CA 94602 For more information, please visit (pledge & share) The Spinster's Kickstarter Campaign! Please RSVP if you are in town and interested in attending. Or share with a friend!
Scene from The Spinster [Thank you readers for taking the time to read about my other passion, filmmaking. My new film unites my passions of bikes, film and women in the media/women on bikes. Let me know what you think and I'd love your help and support.] I’m writing my director’s statement for my new film on International Women’s Day in the year 2013. President Obama just re-signed into law the Violence Against Women Act. It seems odd to me that in the 21st century we need a law to remind us that violence is wrong. Regardless, I am glad that this law exists in my country. As an American woman, I continue to enjoy legal protections and freedoms that don't exist in other parts of the world. And yet, my new film, The Spinster – a horror film – is violent. I know the adage – an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. But taking revenge upon men is not the reason I decided to make a horror film about a woman with a dark side. When I first started telling people about the film, there was some immediate backlash regarding the title. Some women said that, based on the title, they already knew they would hate it. They wondered why a woman director would want to make a film that might portray women in a negative light. When I asked my long-time friend to play Phoebe, the lead character in the film, and then told her the title, she was apprehensive. Why would any woman at our age, especially a single woman, want to be associated with a term that Webster defines as “an unmarried woman past the common age for marrying”? Why? Because all the unmarried women in my life defy the insinuation that they are somehow lacking. Today, a woman's worth isn’t tethered to her age or to her marital status. You don’t need me to tell you that unmarried women are smart, ambitious, healthy and outgoing. We seek deep meaning in our lives. We refuse to be taken for a ride. We set high goals for ourselves. We won’t settle for less than what we know we deserve. So the old implications no longer hold water. It’s time to give the spinster a fresh new look. I wish I could say that I decided to make this film as a feminist statement – that as a woman director, I wanted to provide more complex portrayals of women in film, especially in horror films, in which women are usually the victim. But that’s not really the truth. To be honest, I wanted to make The Spinster because I thought it would be a fun film to make, plain and simple. Since I was a girl, I’ve always liked horror films, and in my 20s I was a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The horror genre has always appealed to me, especially as a filmmaker, because it is intensely dramatic and imaginative. It’s a genre that pushes metaphor to the extreme. Your lover sucks your blood and all the life out of you. The dead burst from their graves and walk again. That shadow behind you could be your maker. Fear of the dark leads to your untimely death. As humans, we cycle through extreme emotions that take us to dark places. I often let my imagination deal with my dark moods. That I am a woman and a filmmaker is what lead me to write The Spinster. My female perspective inspired a screenplay that flips the horror genre on its head. In this film, The Spinster is no victim. She is strong. She is athletic. She is capable. She is independent. She is fun and funny. She is fierce. She is at once the protagonist and the antagonist. You love her and you fear her. She is single, and she rides a bike, hence the title. In this film, being unmarried and riding a bicycle are normal lifestyle choices for smart, urban women, just as they are normal lifestyle choices for real women in real life. Ultimately, The Spinster is a fantasy, as all horror films are. As the filmmaker, my hope is not to make you fear women or cyclists. My hope, simply, is that you enjoy Phoebe’s wild ride to the dark side. Oh yeah, and if you’re a dude, you’d better get your butt on a bike.