VV Profile: Duby

Name: Adam Dubinsky, aka Duby

Occupation: VP of San Francisco Yellow Bike Project, lawyer

Raison d'être: Is there one? I figure I am here, so I'd might as well find some good and useful ways to pass the time. That is my way of the ninja. (But given that: Getting more people on more bikes on the streets of San Francisco. Cycling has been such a wonderful addition to my life that I am motivated by increasing access and reducing barriers to cycling so that more people can enjoy its benefits. Same re access and barriers to legal knowledge and empowerment.)

Hometown: N/A. I moved around too much growing up. Best approximation is Worcester, MA.

Current city/Neighborhood: Western Addition, San Francisco

Favorite city to ride a bike in in the world: San Francisco!

Describe your personal style: "Oh dear." Or "Goofy Goodwill Dapper?" I swing wildly between the extremes of relying on a single, practical, bike friendly outfit to playing dress up with an absurd pastiche of whatever I can find in my closet. But I do love ties and vests (though it's hard to find vests that are both slim and long enough for my lanky, stickly figure), stripes, and fun socks--and fall fashion in general. And I'm almost always wearing my custom "Duby" Nike sneakers. I tend to get infatuated with certain pieces or outfits and then wear he hell out of them for months. I've been so smitten with my Levi's Commuters lately that these days you're most likely to spot me in my Commuter Canadian Tuxedo. Whatever I'm wearing, I try to make sure it's an outfit I'm ready to dance in. In the words of Flynt Flossy, "Did I mention I like to dance?"

Helmet or no helmet: Helmet. I hate riding without one. Plus I think my Bern is damn gorgeous!

Type of bike: Blue 63 cm 1984 Cannondale ST 1400 roadie named Aarigaa, which is Inupiaq for Wow!/Wonderful!/Good! After moving to SF from rural Alaska in 2008, my first adult bike and entry into urban cycling was a Trek hybrid named Kiita, which is Inupiaq for "Let's go!"

Describe what you like best about your bike(s): That it gave me, for the first time in my life, the hint of a butt. (Just kidding. Sort of. Not really.)

Riding a bike has been so wonderful and empowering for me that I don't know that I can narrow down to a singular best. Getting anywhere in the city easily and within 45 minutes? Getting great exercise just by going places? (That one is a big one for me since I have a congenital heart defect and had open heart surgery about a year before moving to San Francisco.) Meeting a wonderful community of diverse and passionate people who have become dear friends and inspirations!

Describe your urban cycling experience: If by experience you mean my urban cycling CV, I started when I moved to SF in 2008. I was so terrified to be riding on city roads that the first time I went out on my bike to meet a friend, I was actually shaking. But he showed me basic urban cycling technique and etiquette on a ride through the Mission, along the wiggle, through the park, to Ocean Beach, and I was hooked. It took me a little while to get over being nervous and hesitant around cars, but I began commuting from Glen Park (where I lived at the time) to SOMA every day for work. Riding a bike turned out to be the quickest and most reliable way to get from point A to point B in SF, so I found myself biking more and more for all sorts of errands and events. I was initially reluctant to consider myself a part of the "cycling community." I was an impostor--I just happened to be a guy who rode a bike.

Calitexican from Change Your Life, Ride A Bike became my first bikey friend, and she's the one who introduced me to the lovable, loving, skilled, talented, diverse, passionate, inspiring, growing group of misfits in our little corner of the bike community. From there, little by little, bit by bit, I started getting more involved. At this point, my bike is my primary interface with the Bay Area, not just in terms of transport, but also fitness, recreation, and social connection.

Favorite time and/or place to ride: I'm not one for favorites--how can I rank in preference all of the wonderful rides, whether biking to shuck-your-own oysters in Drake's Bay, or up Mount Diablo, or up Twin Peaks, or along the Embarcadero, or even the simple joy of riding home with panniers full of groceries. They exist in relation to each other and are all special to me, like the colors across a spectrum.

That said, Wednesday night ButterLap (an 18-ish mile group loop around the city, starting at the Ferry Building) is particularly dear to me. It's moderately hilly, so if you do it regularly enough, it's like training--you're well equipped to handle longer rides outside of San Francisco, and tackling hills on your rides in San Francisco is much easier.

And while Masonic St. is a horrible, dangerous mess for cyclists, coasting down Bush St. from the Masonic intersection late at night is such unadulterated joy. The lights are timed just right!

Tell us a funny story that happened to you on your bike: This didn't happen to me while I was on my bike, but working on my bike. To be honest, it's just the fact that I was working on my bike. I'm the vice president of an infant community bike shop, but I only changed my first bike tire this December! I'm a total bike maintenance novice! To put it in another way, I'm not only a vice president; I'm also a client. You never know where life will take you. I'm grateful for the chance to build up my skills with San Francisco Yellow Bike Project, and I hope we help a lot of people do the same.

Where will your bike take you in 2012: Almost everywhere I go. Hopefully to an operational San Francisco Yellow Bike Project shop! I'd love to bike tour Ukraine (the Dubinsky/Schattner homeland), but that will be another year.

Tell me about your involvement in San Francisco Yellow Bike Project: Nathan Woody and Mary Kay Chin, two of my dear friends, approached me in the fall about helping them get SFYBP rolling. As noted, I'm just starting to learn the ins and outs of bike maintenance, so I thought it would be a great way to continue to develop while also giving back--both to the bike community that has given me so much, and to the community as a whole. What better project than to help share bicycles with more people? And who wouldn't jump at the chance to work with Woody and Mary Kay?

On paper, I'm a Vice President, the Secretary, and Director on the Board, but at this early stage in development, it's all hands on deck. And it has been amazing. We've gotten such wonderful and passionate support from our friends and the bike community. There are a lot of exciting developments in the works right now for SFYBP, so stay tuned. We can't wait to get more people on more bikes. So come be a part!

Vélo Vogue tip of the day: Learn to do basic maintenance and repairs on your bike. Believe me--I know it can be intimidating! I just started! But it's so much easier than you think, and you'll end up saving a lot of time and money (and heartache). You'll build an even closer and more rewarding relationship with your bike. Ask some knowledgeable friends to take you through it, watch the instructional videos on youtube, or find a local community bike shop, like Spokeland, The Bike Kitchen, or San Francisco Yellow Bike Project.


postcard from sf: waiting on the wiggle


I will be on vacation in Montreal and Toronto for the next 10 days, so please excuse me if posting and comment moderation is sporadic. See ya soon. Ding ding!


postcard from sf: if i told u


I'm launching a new series here on Vélo Vogue - postcards from the various cities I visit and bike in. Enjoy this "piece" of SF.


Jeanette and Darcy: Walking the Dog

How does a dog get excercise in the city?   There are dog parks, and there are dog walkers, and Jeanette has an even better trick.
She walks Darcy with a short fixed leash, that attaches to her bike and keeps pup at just the right distance by her side, like a canine sidecar .  There is some spring loaded action built into the device, so Jeanette and Darcy don't pull each other off balance.  Happy Pup!


VV Profile: Mikaela Rioux


Name: Mikaela Rioux

Occupation: Office Manager/Bike Partier Extraordinaire

Raison d'etre: I live to bike party!

Hometown: Falmouth, Maine

Current city/Neighborhood: Inner Richmond, SF

Favorite city to ride a bike in in the world: San Francisco! (Black Rock City is a close second)

Describe your personal style: Hipster fashionista on a budget! I love thrift store shopping and I've found amazing pieces at Goodwill. I almost never spend more than 15 bucks on any article of clothing. I buy everything with my bike in mind, so that definitely affects my style (I have 5 pairs of black leggings!), but I do love a good pair of platform heels from time to time, practicality be damned!


Tell me about the pink & black thing: It really started with just my bike. When I bought her she was maroon, gold and silver, and that just wasn't going to fly! I wanted something hot and girly, but with an edge, and I thought black and pink was a great color combination. Now it's sort of become a lifestyle. I am both a femme and a feminist and wearing pink has become a symbol of that for me. Still, it's a process. I aspire to be as punk rock as my bike.

Helmet or no helmet: I am a big fan of helmets, and not a big fan of head injuries, but I am also a big fan of hair styles (I'm currently perfecting the suicide roll). It's a constant dilemma.

Favorite accessory when riding: Right now I'm really stoked on my sigma micro bike lights in pink! I curate the shit out of this bike, trust.

Type of bike: Trek Alpha Series 2200, 47cm (yep, I am that short!) powder coated black.


Describe what you like best about your bike: She's the hottest girl I've ever had and she looks great right between my legs!

Favorite time and/or place to ride: I love riding through the city after midnight. It's enchanting.

Tell us a funny story that happened to you on your bike: Men try to hop on my rear rack and go for a ride, while asking if they can "Holler at me." It's really only funny because it happens all the time. If they only knew how far up the wrong tree they were barking!

What is the Yellow Bike Project and what is your involvement in it? Inspired by the Austin Yellow Bike Project, the San Francisco Yellow Bike Project is a volunteer powered community bike shop that transforms donated bicycles, parts, and other cycling resources into functional bikes for the SF Bay Area. You can check them out here: http://www.sfyellowbike.org/. The founders are 3 of my closest friends, and I try to help them out by volunteering and spreading the good word whenever I can. When my bike was stripped of most of her moving parts last year (damn you, bike thieves!), they rallied behind me in ways that blew my mind. Mary Kay lent me a bike from her fleet and let me ride it for 3 months. Nathan helped me rebuild free of charge and got me rolling again, and Adam was always there for a dance or a laugh when I felt like crying. I am forever in their debt.

Vélo Vogue tip of the day:
Just keep pedaling.


DPT Beats Muni in Race Down Market Street

Well, it wasn't really a race, but I can pretend.   Here is a shot of a happy Parking Control Officer, riding alongside a MUNI bus down Market.  She confirmed that riding a bike for work is awesome, in case anyone is wondering.

Le jour de gloire est arrivé!

Busting out an oldie but goodie from two years ago. It's Euro Championship time, and the fever is rising. In just one hour France will take on England in a historic match, wearing their new Gaultieresque uniforms.

Who will claim victory? I can't contain my excitement.


What On Earth?

With all the focus on Venus this week, I thought I'd bring the conversation back down to Earth.

Signs of intelligence on Earth? Watch this film from 1966 to see how Earthlings eat, sleep, play together, and have “dispensed with sex to reproduce.”

Hmmmm... then I prefer being a two-wheeled alien.

More about this film here.


SUNday Streets!

Another Sunday Streets summer street party hit SF, this time on Valencia Street in the hip and happenin' Mission District.


It was a hot day, so of course hot dudes on bikes were abundant.


San Franciscans put on their Sunday best.



And PUBLIC Bikes held a sidewalk sale.


Dan says, "Wanna take a test ride?"


My friend Young said "YES," and ended up buying herself her first bike in years. (Congrats, Young!)


A sunny day like this one is a perfect day to hang out at a parklet!


So 'Deepistan was the place to see and be seen.


mamakSF was there serving up some Malay goodness.


And the LocalistSF rolled through on Pushbike's pink Bullitt.


But seriously folks, Sunday Streets in the Mission is boring. (heehee)


So do yourself a favor and don't come to the next one on July 1, 2012, from 11 am to 4 pm.



Looking for Cyclists in the Mission

Check out Ramona Wheelright and Kevin Lee's video made during a two day workshop with Mission Local. A video production first for this duo!
MissionLocal.org is a project of the UC Berkeley School of Journalism covering news and culture in print and electronic format, in english y español, from San Francisco's Mission District.  In the workshop, they not only teach  essential skills to shoot video on a DSLR camera and edit in Final Cut Pro, they also provide the equipment to learn on if you don't have your own. Recommended.


Open Your Golden Gates

Q: What do the Golden Gate Bridge and I have in common?

A: We are both San Francisco originals!


So on her 75th Anniversary, my lesser-ridden yet beloved Beurre et Sucre road bike and I paid her a visit to wish her Happy Birthday.


It was a day to remember. A day to share with your family. A day that SFers will be talking about for generations to come.


The Golden Gate Bridge not only connects San Francisco to the North Bay, but it is an iconic landmark that connects us all, a memorable link between visitors and residents alike.


No matter how many times you cross it, whether it's your first or thousandth time, whether by bike, by foot or otherwise, you experience the very same sense of awe each time.


The Golden Gate Bridge is that beautiful.


And smiles are guaranteed every time.


So on the Golden Gate Bridge's 75th Birthday, the heavens gave us a special gift of a golden sunset on a picture perfect evening...


and the City of San Francisco gave an unforgettable party.


The sky opened up over the Golden Gates, aglow with the light of the most incredible fireworks display I've ever witnessed, over and under one of the world's architectural marvels.


Happy Birthday to the Golden Gate Bridge, from one of your own. Can't wait for 100!

Here's a splendid take on the fireworks filmed from the Marin Headlands that I found on youtube.