gang of wheels

OK, so it's not fashion on two-wheels, but the phrase the more the merrier applies here. I was having lunch with a couple pals, when one by one, this group of young skaters rolled in for a pow-wow in the middle of Haight Street. I know they're not cyclists, but they seem to love SF as much as I do. The sight of this group of young friends out enjoying the sights and sounds of The City made me incredibly happy to be a part of the energy that makes it so awesome to live here. And that they were gallivanting around in I [heart] SF t-shirts on one of the most touristed streets seemed like a fantastic public relations campaign for more car-free zones in our city.

The message? Let's take back our streets.


Weird Vehicles on the VTA Lightrail

Bike fashion is different in San Jose than the City. Bikes are more rugged. You see a lot of mountain bikes with beaucoup de suspension. I ride in San Jose too, and the roads I use are smooth. So, the explanation is either differences in fashion, differences in routes or people are using their bikes for off-road recreational fun as well as commuting.

The following photos support the fashion theory. This guy souped up his regular mountain bike with crazy handlebars, fenders and a purple velvet seat. Yowza. I'm wondering if Elvis is lurking nearby.

Who knew you could commute by unicycle:

I like this photo because it shows the unicycle, a skateboard and the sign about where to put your bike. It goes to show you how resourceful people can be.


Guest Photos: Holly from Bangladesh

My friend Holly has been shooting a documentary in Bangladesh and sent me these photos and commentary about bicycle culture in that country.

Since Bangladesh is the most densely populated country on earth and also has the least cars per person (fact told to me by my ever interested in statistics father), you will understand why Bangladeshis have a close relationship with the bicycle. One of the most common jobs is to be a rickshaw driver, as you can see from the examples here.

Rickshaw drivers maybe make $50 a month. If that. You can catch a ride for
less than 30 cents. are many forms of the rickshaw, from the one we most commonly see with the "two seater and shaded back" which is always highly decorated. They also come in forms with two benches on the back so that up to six people can sit facing each other.

Or of course you can use them to carry anything from goats and eggs to the common hay bushels as seen here.

I have to say that Bangladesh must be the most Vélo Vogue country in the world. The rickshaw drivers manage to climb over male style bicycles in the lunghi which is a male style skirt.

They effortlessly get on the bike standing with one foot on a peddle and swing the other knee up and over as if they all are yogi masters with flexibility and agility.

Their calves are made of steel and they would give Lance Armstrong a run for his money if they were to race. Although Bangladesh is mostly flat countryside, but I think after hauling such loads, they would take to the hills effortlessly as well.


Former Leather Tongue

I have a prejudice against this place because it used to be the venerable Leather Tongue Video store where I did not get my videos but liked knowing it was there. Now, it is an upscale jeans store, and they put a bicycle in their window display.


it's only rock and roll...

but I like it!

The Stones fan that I am, of course my head turns every time I see a Rolling Stones tongue. And apparently mine wasn't the only head turning! I could be wrong, but I believe this is a design that I've seen at Upper Playground in the Lower Haight. Take a moment to take in this cute young hipster lounging on his fixie, killing time, probably just waitin' on a friend.


Cycle Chic Pali-style

KT and I were discussing VV chez moi the other day while surfing the net when I noticed the new Cycle Chic banner for the first time. It reminded me of this photo I recently snapped at the Palo Alto Caltrain station.
If you've read our blog before, you know that I am a bike/train commuter to the Valley. If you've done that before, you know that the Palo Alto Caltrain station has more bikes than anyone knows how to store. They have a bike station, racks and lockers and still there are bikes chained to every pole and tree in sight. Meanwhile, cyclists are also frequently getting bumped from the train because there isn't enough room for them all on the train. Is the solution just more of everything? A bike share program? What do you think?


next gen voguettes

My last installment of LA inspiration: my gorgeous nieces love to cycle be it on a big wheel or mini-cruiser. Cloey wears a pale yellow sundress and sandals, and Fiona, the redhead, a floral sundress and flip-flops. Don't you wish they all could be California girls?


ankle allure

I just found out about these ankle purses by Chanel. The perfect accessory for Friday night cruising on the town! Nice alternative to velcro straps and rubber bands if you want to protect the pantlegs. Great for disco-dancing too!

In fact, they'd go really nice with one of those $12,000 Chanel bikes.

While we're on the subject of ankles, I saw these fabulous ankle cuffs at a fashion show/martini party at 440 Brannan last week.

They not only look great with high heels, but I imagine they'd be a great alternative to rubberbands and velcro straps when you need to protect your long pants.



This woman was at a stoplight when I crossed on foot. I loved her green leggings and bike with her dress and red flats. That brown cloth on her backpack was a cartigan she took off before I had time to snap the photo. The helmet is cool too.

Some people I see biking en vogue in the Mission all the time. I wonder if we should give Velo Vogue awards to repeat impressers?


Main Street - Main Event

One of my favorite things to do in LA is going to the Farmers' Market on Main Street in Santa Monica on Sunday morning. It's the place to see and be seen, good looking Westside boys and girls lounging on the lawn, eating omelettes and sipping fair trade organic coffees. And of course, many of these beautiful people come to shop on their bicycles.

One handed cycling avec latte. Let's hope she doesn't get a phone call!

Riding double = fun in the sun!

A new addition since my last trip to LA is the free valet bike parking in front of the Farmers' Market provided by the City of Santa Monica. I volunteer at the San Francisco Farmers' Market at the Embarcadero, and wonder why something similar to this isn't provided by our city (does Santa Monica need to show The City That Knows How, HOW?).

Your friendly neighborhood bike valet, ready to protect and serve

And a plethora of pretty bicycles parked up and down the street

All of my shots from Venice Beach and Santa Monica are available for viewing on my Flickr photostream.


Bow Tie en Train

This man is my new favorite person in the world. Not only is he wearing a bow tie while bike-train commuting, but look at that smile!

...Alas, I also see a ring on his hand.


angels in the sand

Los Angeles, The City of Angels. Nowhere does LA live up to its name better than at the beach, particularly when you're watching the beautiful people roll by on the Venice Boardwalk. What could be more picture perfect, the sun, the blue sky (yes, even in smoggy LA every once in a while), the palm trees, and good looking healthy people spending their afternoon on a beach cruiser.

Vogue-ing in black and white. Sunscreen required.

Who needs clothing when you have clear skies and a bikini?

Or for those a bit more modest--blue coverup, blue cruiser, blue skies.

Promenade with your baby. The sun provides Vitamin D, and the ocean breeze lulls them to sleep.

Here at the waterfront with Angelenos and Angelenas cruising by, you'd never know that cars were sitting in gridlock on the 405 just a couple miles away.


a little LA inspiration

When one thinks of Los Angeles, the city usually conjures the usual images of 6-lane freeways locked in gridlock, smoggy skies and shopping malls. Yet the adjacent havens of Venice Beach and Santa Monica are LA's bicycle Promised Land. Over the next few days, I'll be posting images of vogueurs and voguettes from my recent trip down there, and the existing inspirational infrastructure that these cities offer cyclists.

Abbott Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach is one hotspot to witness a very vibrant bicycle culture and community. Everyone was out on their bikes the morning I went for brunch there.

Ride up and check out the German-inspired menu at Three Square Bakery.

Or share a casual coffee with a friend on the side of the road.

Or pedal off to yoga class!

Cycling around Venice is so popular, people even simulate it in gym class!

If you don't have a bike, you can test ride this gorgeous red Strida folding bike from A+R store!

By all means, in a place like Venice Beach, get out on your bike and celebrate the sunny weather!

More photos on my Venice Beach Flickr Photostream. Ride on!


Bicycle Music Festival, part 3

A new spin on the bicycle built for two, these ladies look great sharing the ride in skirts.


And then we arrived in Dolores Park to enjoy more music.


Bicycle Music Festival, part 2

Great bag and dress:

See the blanket on the back of her bike? She's also illustrating the gear you may need for an event like this. A social event of the season:

I don't think this guy was even with the event. Why was he in business clothes on a Sunday afternoon?

You will remember that my first photo of the event was of this magnificent red tiger outfit. Here she's even making music and biking at the same time here.

I wonder if that lovely Russian-style hat is hiding a helmet?