have a fabulous 2009!

I just couldn't resist sending you all a holiday greeting straight from my heart!

Cloud and I wish you a creative and cuddly 2009!

Rouge et Noir Motobecane: Craig's List
Vintage Italian Accordion: Accordion Apocalypse
Black Velvet Dress: Nordstrom Rack
Red Boots, Fingerless Gloves, Black Fishnets: Various shops on Haight Street
Red Velvet Hand-Embroidered Purse: Boutique in Hanoi, Viet Nam (New Year's 2001 vacation!)
Pretty White Cat: Oakland SPCA


folding bike/business man

I saw this guy in full suit and tie snoozing on BART earlier in the year. He struck me as the perfect businessman/commuter. He didn't even loosen his tie before beginning his nap.


Barista in Black (Thomas Liebe, pt. 2)

We just can't get enough from the biking barista in black! Here's more from Thomas in Switzerland!

Favorite color: Black and Orange

Describe your personal style:
I’m a barista and designer, so I'm often in black because of working with coffee behind a bar.

Favorite thing about your bike: The little details.

Favorite time of year to ride: Spring/Summer/Fall in our beautiful area of Thun.

Thanks for making us jealous with these great photos of your beautiful hometown, Thomas. Looking forward to your next visit to SF.


Tour de Fat... a little late

Tour de Fat was last summer. So, I'm grossly en retard as KT would say. It's the end of the year, and I have a few days off work which gives me time to go through photos of the year. Lots of people say "Better late than never." At least, I have that going for me! I'm not never. Consider this a "year in review" post (among others).

This girl was adorable in her green with green bike and purple tights.

This guy with old fashioned bicycle needs no commentary.

Yay bikes. Yay pink. Yay cowboy boots.

Loved the mini-skirt and the socks.

I caught this lady post-fat texting a friend while waiting for another using the facilities on the panhandle which, incidentally, I don't recommend.


feeling free

The Panhandle is a great place to see kids freestyling on their bikes. This guy riding hands free is a case in point. There's a small patch of asphalt where people practice their tricks. Otherwise I wouldn't advise doing this on a bike lane, unless you are really well-balanced.


[busbozo] Cowboy Boots Are Great for Bikes

She pulled up right after I had already parked my bike. Her boots were really similar to mine, and we both have curly hair. I tried to get her attention, maybe take a picture together, but she was distracted. Oh well.


Here Comes Santa à Vélo!

And what do you think Ms. Santa has in that oversized messenger bag slung over her shoulder? I'm hoping it's designated bike lanes for Market Street, more stop lights with bicycle signals at busy SF intersections, bike racks on every corner, and of course stylish clothing for all! Hmmm, can you think of anything else that San Francisco cyclists need for Christmas?


First In - First Out

This is just a cool photo from my files. I shot it last spring. She's probably wearing something totally awesome too.


Another idea for your winter gift-giving needs: Bike-to-Work Pants

Bike to Work Pants from Cordarounds on Vimeo.

The Cordarounds Bike to Work pants are everyday khakis with inner brilliance -- the pockets and pant cuffs reflect while you bike or bound around at night. At the office, they're everyday workwear. To and from, they're anything but.

Bike to Work pants, like all Cordarounds products, are made in San Francisco and only sold online.

panhandle hang

Another typical scene of the casual life of cyclists in SF. Here's a group of friends hanging out on a sunny afternoon in the Panhandle. This guy is so cool from head to toe, from his white kicks to the feather in his cap and all black in between, leaning against his red bike, chatting with a couple cool chycks.


Last year's blossoms -- there's hope!

I shot this photo last spring, but I wanted to share it with you now to indicate promises for what is to come. The trees will bloom in about 2 months and you can walk your bike with your buddy/ies in stockings, crazy pigtails and rain boots. It will still be raining.


VV Profile: Thomas Liebe

This one's enough to make Meligrosa's heart go pitter patter - a barista...

who also cycles in the snow!

Thomas is an industrial designer from Thun, Switzerland, who is also one of the world's top baristas (I believe he told me he was rated 17th best barista in the world). He won a design award in Switzerland for a laser he invented, but he's also known for designing a machine that he claims brews the best espresso you've ever tasted, especially when he's behind the bar!

Here's what Thomas told me about where to find the best coffee in SF:
My last day in SF I visited a Blue Bottle coffee shop. I enjoyed a real delicious fresh brewed long coffee. The blend was The Three Africans.

Maybe next time Thomas visits us, Lilia, Meli and I can take him on a Tour de Café de SF. Any suggestions for our itinerary?

photos submitted by the subject


Outlier Pants gift idea

Made in New York City these pants are designed for life both on and off your bike, all winter long. It might be freezing as you cross the bridge, you might need to dodge a couple taxis and of course you'll pass your coworkers trapped in traffic, but when you walk into the door at work you'll be feeling and looking great in your OG Winterweight Dry's.

Crafted with care and the classic Outlier attention to detail, they are styled to work everywhere from your office to a night in the city. The OG Winterweight Dry's are made with a hardcore technical fabric that will keep you warm and dry no matter where you ride. They have a 40% stretch so you can move freely. Yet hold up to the repetitive motion of cycling and still look sharp and refined.

The Dry treatment is directional. It pushes water in just one direction, away from your body. It wicks away the sweat and moisture, breathes as well as you do, and is seriously water resistant. Most rain, snow or slush just beads up and rolls away. It's a softshell so eventually it will saturate in intense conditions but when it does get wet, you'll find yourself dry in 10-20 minutes when safe from the elements. The fabric includes cordura grade nylon for major durability. The weave is such that the tough nylon is concentrated on the outside, while the inside is a fuzzy heat retaining fleece for warmth and comfort.


Bicycle Jewelery!

After a month of searching in vain for truly interesting and inspiring cycling jewelry Portland, OR designer, woodworker George Ramos decided to travel the DIY route. As a former antiques dealer he'd come across some beautifully crafted sports medallions in the past and knew they must exist for cyclists. "I love old bikes and vintage things in general" so these 5 designs, all based on originals from the 1910's - 1930's were reproduced in thick, lustrous sterling silver. They have a great heft to them and feel great in your hand or around your neck. The Guardian Angel design, a bestseller, is shown here. For this and the other designs please see www.ciclismodesign.bigcartel.com

The perfect stocking stuffer awaits.

VV fantasy

Sometimes I dream about just this: a handsome man rides up on his bicycle on a beautiful fall afternoon, takes a bouquet of fresh cut flowers he bought at the Farmer's Market out of his messenger bag, and offers them to me with a smile.


shades of grey

I felt like I was watching an old Italian black and white film when this stylish cyclist pulled to stop in front of me at Market and Van Ness, her grey pumps scratching the surface of the curb. Sometimes winter weather makes you dress in dark and neutral tones, even in sunny California.


winter wonder

At first I was taken with this gorgeous orange bicycle, and then noticed this woman has a wonderful winter look, with puffy parka, jean skirt, brown tights, and scarf. However you weather the winter on your vélo, get out and do it in style!


Hey, Pal!

These kids were hollering up to their pal's window one morning. White socks not withstanding, they looked pretty cool in mostly black. I was particularly taken with her red skirt.

Their pal saw me from the window. "A person over there is taking your picture," she yelled to them below. I waved, and she waved back.


VV Holiday Gift Guide

Santa's on his way, and so we decided to be one step ahead of him by presenting you, our dear readers, with a few Vélo Vogue gift ideas.

Jonny, the Chief Executive Big Banana of Zero Per Gallon offers great stocking stuffers with his collection of unique and creative stickers that come in many colors. I must say that this is the perfectly priced gift in this harsh economy while giving your pal's bike some sticker bling ! (BTW, Jonny and I were hanging out at the VRC on Saturday, where not only his stickers are sold but bike friendly coffee cups and fun t-shirts.)

While you're at it, you should also check out the belt he has designed out of recycled tire rubber!

Ideal for biking in the winter is the Dry Bike Umbrella from the Netherlands. The country who knows about biking and about the rain brings us this innovative way to keep you dry on wet roads.

Lilia and I coveted the Joshu messenger style bag at 440 Brannan design studio, but it looks like you can also buy one online.

Lilia and I were also quite taken by Ribcap, a soft technology style accessory that's not quite a helmet and not quite a hat, but very fashionable and warm for those cold winter nights riding around town. Ribcap was a recent recipient of the Design Preis Schweiz.

For those of you who can still afford haute couture during these foul economic times, the Bebe or Chanel ankle purses which I've written about before are incredibly chic and--whether you like it or not--your girlfriend will be the talk of the town when you cruise down Valencia on a Friday night. If anyone knows where to buy them online, please let us know!

Fancy panniers are all the rage, and so if you're shopping online, we found this pretty one: Basil Blossom Waterproof Pannier. Otherwise, look for other kinds of pretty panniers at your local bike store!

I have had nothing but compliments from everyone from fellow cyclists to drivers leaning out their car windows shouting at me about my Nutcase Helmet. There are so many fun styles, so check out their site and you can find one that shouts out at you too!

For a style a little less wacky, there's also Bern Helmets. I've seen these helmets sold at some bike shops in SF and I find the colors, styles and textures of these helmets to be very elegant.

And for a little inspiration from across the pond, how about the Copenhagen Cycle Chic 2009 Calendar!

And last but not least, a San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Gift Membership is the gift that not only keeps on giving with all the discounts at Bay Area shops and restaurants, but you also have the satisfaction of supporting an organization that is working to make cycling safe and fun for all of us.

We wish you the most fabulous of holidays, and that you roll fashionably into 2009!


Bikeman Ben

Kathy, Lindsey and I were headed on our bikes out towards the beach (and the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit at the de Young Museum) when Lindsey announced troubled gears that needed attention. We planned a detour to one of the shops on Stanyon until we nearly rode into Bikeman Ben set up mid-panhandle for just this kind of crisis.

Lindsey explained the problem, and Ben also fixed about 3 other things on her bike for just a small fee.

This sort of thing makes me love San Francisco even more (if that's possible).

No one wore anything fashionable, but you can reach Ben for your mobile bike repair needs at bikemanben at gmail dot com.


shorts, thigh high socks and cap

I caught the tail end of this woman pulling her thigh high tan stockings all the way up to the hem of her grey shorts before she blasted off onto the Embarcadero. There are so many alternatives to pants! Here's another great VV look, with her lime green bicycle, cute cap and turtleneck short sleeve sweater on a gorgeous fall afternoon.


Art Break

Fernand Léger (1881-1955)
Huile sur toile
H. 129 ; L. 161,5 cm
Musée national Fernand Léger, Biot.

Aux cours de plusieurs voyages aux Etats-Unis entre 1931 et 1939, Fernand Léger avait été impressionné, par New York, qu'il qualifiait "de plus formidable spectacle du monde". Exilé aux Etats-Unis pendant la seconde guerre mondiale, il enseigne à l'université de Yale, puis à Mills Collège, il croise les jeunes étudiantes qui s'habillent sans conformisme. La jeunesse adopte alors une mode osée aux couleurs criardes. Le mauvais goût est une caractéristique de ce pays, le mauvais goût, la couleur forte peut donner ici le plein usage de son pouvoir. Les filles en short, habillées comme des acrobates de cirque. Si je n'avais vu ici que des filles habillées avec goût, je n'aurais peint ma série des cyclistes... Les Cyclistes font partie de la série de peintures, appelées La Belle équipe qui se termine par La Grande Julie (MOMA, New York). Léger nous restitue plus exactement le choc des couleurs que la provocation de la jeunesse, il impose un style brutal, incisif qu'il préfère au "goût" sophistiqué français. Les Quatre cyclistes posent au cours d' une fête sportive. Le balayage des projecteurs, lui donne l'idée de séparer la couleur du dessin figuratif. Dans les rues de New York, il avait déjà été impressionné par le jeu des projecteurs publicitaires "je parlais à quelqu'un, il avait la figure bleue, puis vingt secondes après, il devient jaune.... cette couleur-là... elle était libre, elle était dans l'espace. J'ai voulu faire la même chose dans mes toiles

Google/T: In the course of several trips to the United States between 1931 and 1939, Fernand Léger was impressed by New York, called it "the greatest show on earth". Exiled to the United States during World War II, he taught at Yale University, then at Mills College, he crossed the young students who dress without conformism. The youth then adopt a fashion bold colors garish. The bad taste is a characteristic of this country, bad taste, color can give strong here full use of his power. Girls in shorts, dressed as circus acrobats. If I had seen here as girls dressed tastefully, I had painted my series of cyclists ... The cyclists are part of the series of paintings called La Belle team that ends in La Grande Julie (MOMA, New York). Light returns us more accurately the clash of colors that the provocation of youth, it imposes a style sharp, incisive he prefers to "taste" sophisticated French. Four cyclists pose during a sports festival. The sweeping headlamps, gives him the idea to separate the color of figurative drawing. In the streets of New York, he had been impressed by the play of advertising projectors "I was talking to someone, he was found blue, then Twenty seconds after he became the color yellow .... then .. . It was free, she was in space. I wanted to do the same thing in my paintings. "

Thanks to Didier Couval


VV Profile: Caroline Ogez

Occupation: Designer
Hometown: Lille, France
SF neighborhood: North of Panhandle
Favorite time to ride: At night
Helmet or no helmet: Helmet
Type of bike: Hybrid
Like most about your bike: Found in the basement of my office
Favorite color: Black
Describe your personal style: Dark and neutral colors, edgy and modern
Describe your experience cycling in SF: I have to thank my roommates who invited me to bike all the time. Now I feel addicted!

Caroline is pictured here with her friend Christopher.


more pandhandle vogue

Like this woman, but unlike many of the cyclists we blog, I stop riding to talk on my phone. I loved her boots, coat, hat and skirt. It was an overcast Friday afternoon, and the panhandle is my favorite park in San Francisco because of all the old trees.


Holiday Greetings from Specialized

The Nutcracker Suite Performed on Bicycle Parts

spandex is cool (again)

Spandex has such a bad rep in some circles. Here are two girls dressed for the Indian Summer weather we were having in mid-November to show us otherwise. All you need is a cool pink cruiser and some psychedelic patterns, and you're ready to take on all the spandex naysayers. More power to ya!


Market and Octavia again

Makret and Octavia has been a dangerous intersection for cyclists. But this woman seemed completely unphased as she biked through the bike lane and chatted on her phone. She looked cool in hip white helmet and black clothes.


be bold

What's not to love about this look? Fishnet stockings are always sexy, but pink fishnets are something else! Eye-catching indeed! This color combination deserves an award of some kind - pinks, reds and blues, not to mention the fantastic gold rack and handlebars! Bold colors make a bold statement!


Davis Vogue

Occasionally, I am forced to leave my beloved San Francisco. Usually it's a family obligation. Davis has world-class biking facilities; so, it's not surprising that I saw this woman in long skirt, cowboy boots and yellow top waiting at a stop light as we left town.



Do not miss the 13th Annual Winterfest SFBC member party, auction, art show and fundraiser. VV will be there, will YOU???

WHEN: Sunday, December 7th from 6-10:30pm.
WHERE: SOMArts Gallery, 934 Brannan St at 8th St
Free Valet Bike Parking provided

$15/Sliding Scale admission for SFBC Members.
$40 for people joining at the door (Includes SFBC membership + admission)

Admission includes:

* Two New Belgium beer tickets
* Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages
* A sense of fulfillment knowing you are supporting San Francisco's most effective bicycle advocacy organization!

4th and King/Fluttery red skirt

Leaving the Caltrain station at 4th and King in San Francisco one evening, I rode along with this woman in a fluttering red skirt. She had someplace to go in that awesome outfit; so, it was a little work trying to capture her likeness without seeming like a total weirdo. (I sometimes thank my stars we're girls keeping the blog.)

A gentleman riding along side me asked me what I was doing. (I might have been creeping him out.) I explained. He tried to run interference for me, but alas, this was the best photo I got of her with more than 20 shot.


The Great Innovator: Gary Fisher

Gary Fisher, the inventor of the first mountain bike, has left the trails of Marin in the dust and has been seen voguing around San Francisco these days.

The Twins, Sarah and I were taking a spin around Golden Gate Park on Sunday and stopped to watch the cyclocross race when we ran into Gary. Check out his sweet pannier.

He wanted to demo his purple pants for me designed by a Japanese company that you can find here: CCP.fm.

Gary told me that from his racing days, he and his friends used to log their miles racing bikes. Now he says he's started logging his miles riding in street clothes. You look so fabulous, Gary, that I couldn't resist getting a photo with you.

Thanks for inspiring all kinds of folks to get on their bikes, Gary! And I hope to run into you again soon!