Treehugger Picks: Best bikes for city riding

I'm not alone in my quest to find the best bike for riding around town. Treehugger has posted this great comparative analysis from its own staff on which bikes they think are the best urban bikes, and why.

Read on|Ride on!


Take me home, Jamis!

The search for new wheels continues with the pearly white Jamis Commuter 4.
jamis test ride 3

You'll no doubt look very sleek flying through town on this angel. In addition to its stylishness, the other features I liked were its zippiness, the dynamo lights, fenders and step through frame.
jamis test ride 2

It wasn't so smooth over bumps. I still felt a tad jolted, but suppose I could change out the seat post to add more suspension.
jamis test ride 4
It was also missing a kickstand, which seemed odd for this style of bicycle.

The way the Jamis Commuter 4 handled hills was impressive. With 8 speeds, I could ascend hills with about the same amount effort as taking a power nap. Fun!
jamis test ride 1
And for about $700, this bike won't burn a hole in your wallet.

And as an added treat, the Tretorn Wellie Wagon was parked right in front of Mojo, so I got to test ride some rubber boots on the same afternoon. Very comfy and cozy with microfleece lining. And the Strala model even has a reflector on the ankle for us cyclists.
Tretorn wellies
The wagon's making rounds in SF neighborhoods this month so keep your eyes peeled for these rubbers.


Say Hey Panda!

It feels like it never ended...

Willie Mays Spokecard

It goes on and on and on and on!
Let the games begin!

(I'm at my first preseason game at the Giants ballpark tonight! F*ck yeah!)


Femme Fatale

Check out Riding Pretty's fabulous entry in our Potiche Photo Contest. You still have a few more days to submit your photos. What are you waiting for? Dépêche-toi!


Velo-City Sevilla theme song!

Jumpstart your Friday with this cute and colorful video from Velo-City Sevilla - a conference being held now in Sevilla, Spain about how cycling makes cities healthier, safer, more enjoyable, more sustainable, let's face it - BETTER, M'KAY?


Potiche Photo Contest region extended - California wide!


Thanks to the folks at Music Box Films, we can now offer movie passes to select California theaters to our winners (not just San Francisco)!

Win a pair of tickets to a VIP Gilt City screening of Potiche in San Francisco taking place 3/30 (one winner).


Win a pair of tickets for regular theatrical Mon-Thu screenings at select California theaters (two winners).

Here's a list of participating theaters with Potiche's opening date:

4/1 - Clay Theater, San Francisco
4/1 - Laemmle Monica, Santa Monica
4/1 - Piedmont Theatre, Oakland
4/1 - Rafael Film Center, San Rafael
4/1 - Plaza de Oro, Santa Barbara
4/8 - Shattuck Cinemas, Berkeley
4/15 - Crest Theater, Sacramento
4/15 - Hillcrest Cinemas, San Diego
4/15 - The Nickelodeon, Santa Cruz

Submit your photo to our Potiche photo pool today!


now, in other news...

A fun round-up of bike related news I've crossed this week:

1) 6-pack holder from Bless This Stuff (clearly the most newsworthy, so it's first on my list).

2) The dream is still alive in Portland (the city that really knows how, duh)!

PDX Mayor says bike infrastructure cost the city about the same as one mile of highway

3) Ewan McGregor and his dog are adorable.

Enjoy the reads!


Giddy up!

Streaks of red light up the bike lane as ciclo-fashionistas go from here...
colored streaks

to here!
colored tights and cowboy boots
Riding tights and cowboy boots on into the sunset!

Stunning on and off their bikes - Lisa Marie, Kristen and Melyssa - three goddesses of SF bike lanes go out for a sunny Sunday afternoon party! Lisa Marie is wearing a form-fitted, pocketed, hooded jersey mini-dress with bicycle insignia from field day.

Photos by *Honeychild*


VV Photo Contest: Potiche & that 70s Thang

Do you shop thrift stores for that perfect retro smock? Do you ride a 10-speed or Mixte from the 70s? Francophile? If you answer "Oui!" to any of these questions, you could be a winner in our next photo contest (but you must live or be in the Bay Area to redeem prize)!

This time we're teaming up with Music Box Films for the release of Francois Ozon's new film Potiche, starring Catherine Deneuve - a stunning love letter to 1970's fashion and design, and what it means to be a woman in the era of ERA.

The young Catherine Deneuve on a Velosolex (as close to a bicycle as I could dig up, source unknown).

1st Prize: Win a pair of tickets to a VIP Gilt City screening of Potiche in San Francisco taking place 3/30 (one winner).

2nd Prize: A pair of tickets for regular theatrical Mon-Thu screenings at the Clay Theatre after film opens Friday 4/1 (two winners).

Upload a pic to our Bike to Potiche Flickr Group in your best retro look on your bike and tag it Vélo Vogue Photo Contest and let me know how your bike liberates you as a woman. Need some inspiration? Here's an old post with me posing in my favorite dress designed by 70s fashion icon Diane Von Furstenberg:

be a cyclist, wear a dress!
Be a cyclist, wear a dress!

Diane Von Furstenberg is one of my favorite designers. Why? Because her dresses are kick-ass, and are ultimately feminine while the bold colors and patterns make you feel supremely confident and at the top of your game.

So I am modifying her slogan from the 70s, "Be a feminist, wear a dress" for all you ladies who feel like you can't express your individual style on a bicycle. As our 44th President is known to say, "Yes You Can."

Put on a dress. Get on your bike. Rock your world.

Bonne chance, Véloistes!


she looked good!

there she was just a walkin down the street...
sequined skirt

snappin' her fingers and shufflin' her feet
sequined skirt
doo wah diddy diddy dum diddy doo


The Cycletrope!

Just about the coolest thing I've seen since the zoetrope at Pixar. "A simple mechanism comes to life!"


slovenia does it better by bike

I have no clue what he's actually saying, but the images and humor come through loud and clear.

Biking gets you chicks.

A humorous video comparing cars to bikes from Slovenia. Thanks to Bike Lane Diary for sharing!


VV Profile: Laura J. Lukitsch (Mind The Gap, Please!)


Name: Laura J. Lukitsch

Occupation: Documentary Filmmaker

Hometown: New Berlin, Wisconsin (suburb of Milwaukee)

Current city/Neighborhood: San Francisco, Mission

Favorite city to ride a bike in in the world: Hirakata City, Japan (it’s rural and beautiful and fun to ride as a passenger on the back of a friend’s bike); and San Francisco. I hope to ride in more cities soon.

Helmet or no helmet: Helmet – I was so happy to have one on when I got caught in the Muni tracks and took a big spill.

Type of bike: Marin, Stinson Comfort Series (cute, comfy commuter bike)

Describe what you like best about your bike: I used to mountain bike and after a neck injury was afraid I wouldn’t be able to ride again – my comfort bike has given me the freedom to ride again. I see it and it makes me happy. I’m hoping to get a steel touring bike soon because I’d love to go on longer, multi-day rides.

Describe your urban cycling experience: I ride my bike to commute to work, but also to meet up with friends in the city and recently I’ve started taking longer out of city group rides, exploring other parts of the Bay Area. It’s a great way to exercise and socialize.

Mind The Gap? What's that? Tell me more! Mind the Gap is a documentary project about sustainable urban transit. I’m working on a feature length film, examining the ground breaking climate initiatives in California that are shifting our priorities around transit to greener, less carbon intensive, more pedestrian/biking/transit friendly alternatives. The project also includes a webisode series giving tips on how people can reduce their transit carbon footprint, including tips for urban biking. The film project actually got me back on a bike.

Favorite time and/or place to ride: I really enjoy exploring on my bike on the weekends, with friends in San Francisco or on group rides in other parts of the Bay Area.

Tell us a funny story that happened to you on your bike: At one point I thought I could only ride about 10 miles at a stretch. I decided to bike with a friend to Sausalito, without first consulting a map, and realized only upon our return that the ride was 28 miles. That was a great day.

Describe your personal style: I love dressing up but hate shopping. My favorite outfits include a medium length full skirt and tall boots.
laura boots

Favorite color: Red or Yellow – depends on the day.

Vélo Vogue tip of the day: Support public transit. We need a strong public transit system and bike system to get people out of their cars. And transit is a good option if you are not feeling well enough to bike.


Fun and Sun in the Mission Fundraising event on SUNDAY

Help my gal pals ride to end AIDS, by coming out to their FUNdraiser this Sunday 3/13 in the Mission District of San Francisco! Held at Mission Workshop, we're talking raffles, food carts, drinks and the sexy and smart Biciclistas, Kristen and Shannon. For more details, click here.


Don't judge a bike until you've ridden a mile on its saddle

I've officially begun my search for new wheels! I stopped by My Dutch Bike this week to say a quick hello to Soraya. What better time to start test riding bikes than the present, I said to myself. I noticed that most of Soraya's bikes had suspension seat posts, which is what my Motobécane lacks and probably what caused me most of my tailbone issues.

The first bike I selected to test out was the Gazelle Chamonix. Watch the video to check out all its features.

What drew me in was the sporty look slapped onto a Dutch bicycle. Priced at $1,500, the bike might be out of reach for me, but with all the ergonomic features, I also believe it could be a good investment. The Chamonix also has front fork suspension for added comfort over the bumpy SF streets. Furthermore, this bike not only has that European look, but offers the stylish cyclist a chain and skirt guard to protect your clothing from ruin.

I took the Chamonix for a spin around the block. I intentionally rode over bumps so I could feel the impact on my tailbone. The verdict? Way better! This bike offers a smooth ride over potholes, manholes, train tracks and any other kind of uneven pavement. I missed the feeling of sitting directly on my sit bones that I get on my Specialized Ariel saddle though.

I didn't test out the adjustable handlebars yet, because I wasn't aware they existed until I watched the video. There are 8 gears so that would make it easy to attack the SF hills on the Chamonix.

In the long run I might be looking for a ride that's a bit more sporty than a Dutch bicycle so I can bolt around The City, but I plan to go back and give it a longer spin around downtown and test those handlebar positions, and also check out Soraya's Workcycles, a sturdier and heavier model that would certainly turn heads. The German Retrovelo models she has in the shop are pretty badass and worth checking out too.

To be continued...


café avec vélo

Your bike smells good
Recently I was interviewed by MSNBC about bicycle-themed cafés here in San Francisco. The article was published today and follows the transmigration of the bicycle café from Europe to spots all over North America. A great read by writer Tanya Mohn. I told Tanya that bikes and cafés go hand-in-hand. You get hungry and thirsty and want to stop for a refresher. It seems natural. Also featured is Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious.


pedicabs in paradise?

Just got back from Spring Training in Scottsdale, Arizona where pedicabs champion the streets...

... as well as the parking lots in front of the ballparks (in case the walk to your car is toooooo long, God forbid)! Only in America!

Lesson #1 - biking to the ballpark would keep your bod looking like a baller's!


BCN Dudes on Bikes!

This Tuesday, I give you some Chicos Guapos a Bici straight outta Barcelona!

Buzz me in, I'm downstairs!
dude on fixie

Look both ways before crossing.
hot catalan dude on bike

Women and children first.

BMX'ers do it better.

This guy I got from both angles because the hat...

with the bike were just awesome. Fact. (nice Yankee cap!)

So nice, I'm posting it twice.


Cargo Shoes

When hauling cargo on a bicycle, shoe choice is important.

Cargo Shoe

Shoes should always match the environment.

chillin with the bici

Sometimes your bike simply takes you to a quiet place where you can relax with friends...
Chillin at BCN beach

or gives a brief pause in your busy day...

to contemplate your existence...
Sunning at BCN beach

and then write down your thoughts.
cool dude with bike on bench

I often experience inspirations and visions while I'm riding my bike, the endorphins electrifying my mind and soul.

Where does your bike take you?


Mind The Gap - Biking in the rain

Just in time for some more rainy weather here in SF! Check out the video, guys and gals, and pick up some biking in the rain tips from yours truly* and some very knowledgeable and practical gents.

This segment will be included in the documentary work-in-progress Mind The Gap, by filmmaker and fellow urban cyclist Laura Lukitsch.

*Yes, I have a flat tire. We realized that after filming. This has been corrected in real life.


Bike Wardrobe Remix: What's New?

News, new faces, new clothes, new bikes in this edition of Bike Wardrobe Remix.

Panda shot!

I love this picture of myself. Shawn and I took out our Raleigh 3-speeds (mine is a lady's "Sports" Roadster, his is a Wayfarer) and meandered from our place in SE Portland to North Portland and then Vancouver Washington for wine before making our way home.

This bike is fifty years old as of this year!! I'm pretty sure of the date of this bike, the Sturmey-Archer hub has "61" engraved into it, and the bike itself matches images I've seen of scanned catalogs of the era. Of course, this bike's design hardly changed for years. Why mess with what works?

Until yesterday (when I took this picture) I hadn't been on this bike in almost a year. I forgot how awesome it really is.

For the "bike wardrobe remix" folks:
Hat that you can't really see: randijofab.com
Black wool base layer top with a hood: MEC (aka the REI of Canada...or is REI the MEC of the USA?)
Red skirt: American Apparel, bought at a warehouse sale
Brown wool tights: B.Ella, bought at Sock Dreams
Socks: Sock it To Me, the "Portlander" stripe pattern, probably also bought at Sock Dreams (this is the second pair of these I've owned, when the last pair wore out I bought more!)
Shoes: Crocs. No, really. Bought on their website.

Simply Bike
11 Weeks Pregnant
11 Weeks Pregnant
We're thrilled to announce the news of our baby - due July 2011! Here I am at 11 weeks, cycling and trying to stay fit. I will be documenting my pregnancy and attempts at running and bike commuting with baby at...


Plaid button down - Zara
Skinnies - Old Navy Maternity (yes, I've already succumbed to the elastic waistband!)
Boots - Dillards
Cardi - H&M
Bike - Mongoose

Biker Pleat
Biker Pleat

* pleat vintage blouse from Platinum Mall
* pleat shots from side walk market

blue dress
blue dress

Dress: Vintage from Tokyo!
Glasses: Oakley
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Purse: Thrift store special

Adrienne Johnson SF
June Cleaver Rides A Metrofiets
June Cleaver Rides A Metrofiets

Today is supposed to be the last day of our false spring, so on with the sundress!

Cardigan- Target
Shirt dress- Brooks Brothers (thrifted)
Shoes- Indigo (Thrifted)
Cargo Bike- Metrofiets