so long and thanks for all the good times... for now

kt @ valet bike parking
I went to my last Giants game of the season on Monday night. Parked my bike at the valet bike parking for the last time in 2011.

kt, liam & the germans
Liam and I ran into a bunch of Germans while getting beers.

kt having a good time as usual
Giants were winning, so I was in an especially good mood.

ade, george & kt
So were my pals, Adrienne & George...

kt & laura
& Laura.

My last game of season
It's always a party when you have record-breaking attendance.

My sister-in-law, a Red Sox fan said to me last night, "Red Sox Nation hate the Yankees more than they love the Red Sox." I told her that one of these days she needed to feel the Giants love!

Then this morning, my dad sent me a message. He went to the last game of the season yesterday, as the Giants waved goodbye to a few players, who might have just played their last game.

This is how Giants fans say goodbye:

"Big ovation for Pat Burrell yesterday when Bochy took him out, applause all the way to the dugout. He disappeared into the team, but the ovation got louder and he came back out for a curtain call and tipped his hat. At this point it got really loud. He stood there for a moment to this standing ovation, then bowed his head and headed to the clubhouse. It was pure love. I think it got to him."

Ta-ta for now, Gigantes! Until March...


Clash of the Helmets

Let's lay off the great helmet debate and simply say that if you so choose, the options abound.

Bike Commute SF

Bike Commute SF

Bike Commute SF

Ride safely and stylishly!



Runway diversity abounds.

Bike Commute SF
Keds & leggings.

Bike Commute SF
Stilettos & legwarmers.

Bike Commute SF
Pumps & tights.

Bike Commute SF
All in one bike lane!


The Sidewalk Dilemma

Sidewalks are for walking.
lunchtime bike walk

So take your bike for a walk.
lunchtime bike walk

In San Francisco, it's actually against the law to ride a bike on the sidewalk. However, there are some city streets with neither bike lanes nor sharrows where it's downright scary for a cyclist to ride alongside cars (I live at the corner of such a street).

Providing no bike lane on highly car-trafficked streets therefore gives the cyclist no options - one must stop, dismount and walk - defeating the very purpose of being on a bike!

In these situations, what's a city cyclist to do? Abide the law or defy it?


blockbuster bikes

It was bound to happen - bikes are everywhere now, and have made it back to the big screen and Hollywood.

Enter Premium Rush - The Matrix meets The Messenger. Here's the synopsis:

“A New York bike messenger is given an envelope by a young woman at an uptown Manhattan college and is told he has 90 minutes to deliver it to an address in Chinatown. Complications ensue when an undercover police office appears and demands the envelope on special grounds. The truth, hidden motivations, and the life-and-death stakes on all sides are revealed through a series of flashbacks as the cop and the messenger engage in a length-of-Manhattan chase, racing against time after the messenger discovers the precious nature of the envelope’s slender contents."

Not my breed of cycling, and definitely not a film that will give cyclists a good name, nor inspire a non-cyclist to get back on a bike. But kinda badass nonetheless.

So when the "cycle chic" film comes out, will it be more like "Sex and the City?"


How to Choose a Bike - a webisode from Mind The Gap

With so many bikes to choose from, how does a new cyclist make the right choice?

If you've got a friend who's thinking of buying a new bike, please send him/her this video produced by my friend Laura, director of the upcoming documentary about public transportation Mind The Gap.

Her webisodes are always quite insightful, so I can't wait to see her completed film! In the meantime, she's offering us these entertaining and useful videos while we wait til the film makes it to the silver screen.


gain momentum

The Sep/Oct 2011 issue of Momentum is out, and this issue focuses on women and biking - one of my favorite topics!

Momentum conducted a survey last month - What Women Want - asking women what were the most important issues that might influence more women to get on a bike. The results of the survey are presented in this issue, starting on page 10.

On page 58, I even wrote an opinion piece in defense of cycle chic, whereas Elly Blue of Grist takes the opposing point of view.

What do you think? Is the cycle chic movement elitist or liberating? Does it alienate or entice women riders?

If you flip through the pages, you might catch a few more familiar faces, with a feature on Mikael of the Original Cycle Chic on page 64 and some insightful commentary from Julie of the Julie Blog on page 35.

And my pic is on page 3 (hee hee!).


next gen voguette

This just in from my friend Andrea in San Diego - her adorable daughter Capri.

Capri is over the moon about her new bike!! Blue bike for my pink girl. Note the skirt with lace cuffed leggings-- pink please.


Taking another year by STORM

It's my birthday, so I got myself a new bike.

I got the perfect name for my new bike

I bet you can guess what I've decided to name it.

(Go ahead - guess!)

Why the Jamis Commuter 4? I test rode a bunch of other bikes (Linus, Globe, Trek, Masi, PUBLIC, etc.) and this one just felt right. It also has most features built in, with the exception of a kickstand which I'll add later.

Also, all I ever heard about this bike were strong praises, and my pal Remy who owns Mojo Bicycle Cafe also owns a Jamis Commuter - the men's version of my whitey. He couldn't stop beaming about how much he loves that bike. He also speaks French. I was sold.

May the Force be with me and my new ride.


Words To Ride By

Good afternoon, Students! Welcome to the first in a series of articles on some of the basics of courteous, and safe, urban bicycle riding. I should probably mention that this is a set of guidelines that KT of Vélo Vogue and I are hashing together and that they are 100% biased and based in our desire to no longer be more frustrated with our fellow riders than we are with the silly drivers who insist on getting behind the wheel with a latté and an Iphone and a lap dog after getting 2 hours of sleep each night for a week. When we realized we were complaining more about bicycle on bicycle interactions lately than we were about vehicular traffic we decided it was time to write something about it.

Today's lesson is about my biggest frustration with other riders on the road; passing on the inside. One of the things that those of us who took Driver's Education learned early on, before we were allowed behind the wheel of a car, is that it is illegal and dangerous to pass another vehicle on the right. This applies especially to bicycles in the bike lane. 

The usual configuration of a bicycle lane in the United States is to the right of the car lane and to the left of the parking lane.  In San Francisco, where there are many one way streets with the bike lane on the left side of the road, this could also mean passing on the left so I will just call it passing on the inside.  Most bicycle lanes are not wide enough to ride two abreast. To pass a rider who is ahead of you, you should make sure it is safe to leave the lane and enter the car lane to the left. From there you can accelerate to pass the forward rider and then re-enter the lane ahead.


The rider with the green backpack is doing the right thing.  He exited the lane, entered traffic when safe and accelerated around the riders in front of him before reentering the lane. 

It is NEVER acceptable to force your way forward by squeezing between the forward rider and the parked cars! This is a guaranteed way to push someone into traffic.  The female rider with the polka dot helmet would be in the wrong if she tried to pass the rider with the black backpack on his right.

In this bicycle lane above, just don't pass.  Unless you can safely get into the traffic lane yourself, trying to squeeze through in the bicycle lane will push the forward rider into traffic.  This is not OK.

In the above picture, you see something really common, and really awful, that happens all the time in San Francisco.  The guy in the white shirt is riding on the inside of the lane.  If he decides to overtake the woman in the brown jacket she will be forced to move to the left into traffic.  Especially if she does not know he is there.  If she is  an inexperienced rider she will most likely overcompensate and swerve quite far into the car lane without looking.  Many times I have found myself actually being touched by the shoulder of someone suddenly passing me on the inside!

Enough for today.  I think you get the picture. 

cross posted at Change Your Life. Ride A Bike!

would carefree bikers = carfree bike lanes?

Can a cyclist, chic or un-chic, really be footloose and fancy-free biking on our city streets?
Valencia Polka Dot Vogue

I would love to believe that San Francisco has a bicycle culture as evolved as Copenhagen's or Amsterdam's, but alas, we do not. Our bicycle infrastructure, even with the incredible giant steps we've made this past year, still forces us to battle cars, parked in our lane like this:
Valencia Polka Dot Vogue
and thereby forcing us to move to the left and into car traffic, which many would-be cyclists may not feel comfortable or empowered enough to do.

Alternatively, we often confront the ominous car door, as illustrated by this clever animated gif from SF Streetsblog.

After I retweeted the above Streetsblog article, we had a short conversation with some friends overseas, notably my pal Marc from Amsterdamize, who says the solution is simple:

solution is decades old, really: road<>parking<>buffer<>track<>sidewalk.

Why, then, do we continue to create the same kind of infrastructure over and over, and not improve upon the concept? Isn't there one neighborhood in San Francisco, where drivers, residents and business owners would be cool with a brand spankin' new kind of bike lane - the kind that safely welcomes cyclists of all ages, genders and dispositions like they do in New York, Paris, Copenhagen and Amsterdam?


Breezee One Does Detroit

Girlfriend's got a lot of bikes and boys (props to the beardie weirdie with the baby blue SF hat drinking from a garden hose - RAD).

She's badass in my book.


c u @ the game

C U @ the game

Behold proper cell phone use while biking.

Having been a victim of someone else's poor biking manners lately (knocked over by a gal with headphones on who had no idea I was next to her), I highly suggest not multi-tasking while biking. If you need to make a call, send a message, update your status or tweet, you'd best dismount and walk it.