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Monthly Archives: June 2012

A Closer Look: 1986 Pro Miyata Road Bike

If it weren’t for this 1986 Miyata Pro road bike, I might never have found my true love. Five years after my ex abandoned this classic lugged steel bike in my garage, he gladly agreed to give it to my nephew. That meant boxing and shipping it to Louisiana, something I had no idea how to do on my own.

“Go to Chain Reaction and ask for Dick,” my friend Tammy said. There I met a man so intriguing I kept coming back for no real reason. After a weeks of engaging banter he asked me out for a bike ride. Our first bike date rolled us to bigger adventures: love, marriage and more bicycles. But this one holds a special place in my heart.


Builder of Japan’s first modern bicycle in 1892, vintage Miyata bicycles are known for their workmanship.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2012 in Bike Gallery

 

Fashion Friday: Fishnets, Baubles and Bows

Who says bold prints require understated accessories? The fishnet stockings, chunky bauble jewelry and feminine bow-tie shoes sing in four-part harmony with the bold print of my prAna knit dress.

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Posted by on June 8, 2012 in Cycle Fashions

 

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Golden Wheels of Change

“From the air, streets are the largest public space in our cities. Are streets for cars or can they build community?” So began Gil Peñalosa, the keynote speaker at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s Golden Wheel Awards. “As the city’s most valuable asset, officials must choose: streets for cars or streets for people.”

I had read how Gil Peñalosa and other city officials in Bogotá, Colombia had improved the lives of residents by building walking and bicycling paths, even in neighborhoods without paved streets. “It’s not a matter of money, it’s a matter of priorities,” he said. So I had to attend the Golden Wheel awards ceremony to hear him speak. And how could I resist an opportunity to dress up and ride my bike, and hang out with like-minded bicyclists?

Dick and I hopped on the baby bullet Caltrain and rode two short miles across the heart of San Francisco to the War Memorial Opera House for our first Golden Wheel Awards benefit. We had never ridden in San Francisco’s rush hour traffic before. But because of the bike lanes that the SFBC lobbied the city hard to create, we arrived comfortably and on time. At the War Memorial, volunteers valet parked our bikes right out front.

Even though we don’t live in San Francisco, Dick and I have been members of the SFBC for years. I’ve always admired their belief that cycling should be for everyone from 8 to 80, and appreciated their hard work to make it happen. And it shows. Twenty years ago when they held their first Golden Wheels Awards, the award was given to a downtown building owner who put a single bike rack in their garage.

This year they honored BOMA, the city’s building managers’ association, who wholeheartedly supported legislation that prohibits building owners from banning bicycles from their buildings, as well as Lower 24th Street Merchants & Neighbors Association for their support of the Sunday Streets program. And five of the San Francisco’s 11 supervisors attended the Golden Awards event. That’s progress.

In his address, Peñalosa stated that cities should be built primarily around pedestrians, but very close to the pedestrians are cyclists. To him, cycling is just a more efficient way of walking. “When we build bicycle infrastructure, it shows that a citizen on a $30 bicycle is equally as important to one in a $30,000 car.”

What does “streets for people” mean to you? Would you be willing to drive slower on city streets so that others can walk or ride more comfortably? Would you be willing to ride your bicycle slower in busy pedestrian areas?

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Posted by on June 7, 2012 in Issues & Infrastructure

 

Bike Commute Diaries: All Aboard!

My bike alone can only take me so far so fast. But when I take my bike on Caltrain my 10 mile cruising range grows to a 50 mile corridor from San Francisco to San Jose. I’m not alone: one in 10 Caltrain riders brings a bike aboard. Some days it seems like all 4,200+ daily commuters are getting on my fast “baby bullet” train.

About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve learned about bicycling for transportation.

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2012 in Commute Diaries

 

The Remembering Tree on the Bike Boulevard

Last Monday was Memorial Day, a day where Americans honor those who died for their country in military service. I am a pacifist. I hate the violence and the response to violence that escalates into war. Still, today I am wearing a dog tag for a solider I never knew. His name was Steven Bridges, a 33 year old father of four who died just a few days after he arrived to fight in Iraq.

While I have plenty of military veterans in my family, from my grandfathers to my dear husband to my nephew in active service in the Air Force, I’ve been fortunate that they all survived their tours of duty. Memorial Day only became personal when I stopped at those ever-blooming trees on the Bryant Street bike boulevard.

As I rolled up, I wondered if the trees that guard a car-free block were still decorated. Where were the perky bright spring colors? Then I saw the flags and on closer look the white peace doves in the trees. Finally, I saw the dog tags and accepted my mission: honoring a man who fought for his country and paid the ultimate price.

Have you ever been moved to honor someone you’ve never met? Who are your heroes?

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Posted by on June 4, 2012 in Around Town

 

Arrive by Bike: Street Fairs and Festivals

With June upon us, we’ve entered a new season: festival season. Where we live, it seems like every suburban city has an Art & Wine festival and there’s a festival for every rural town’s pride and joy, from artichokes to pumpkins to garlic. These festivals draw huge crowds and are wildly popular with everyone. Except me, that is.

Between the huge crowds, the predictable crafts and the overpriced food, I’d usually rather stay home. But this weekend there were three festivals that piqued my interest, so I hopped on my bike and went for it. Dick came along for two of them. He’s surprisingly a bigger fan of street fairs than I am.

I survived the weekend with enough energy to bang out this blog post. What I learned: festivals are a lot more fun when you arrive by bike. You avoid the bumper-to-bumper traffic and the long walk from the parking area or the long wait for the shuttle buses. You just roll right up, lock up and you are in on the action.

Are you a fan of street festivals? What draws you there: the food, the music, the arts and crafts? Which ones are on your “do not miss” list for the season?

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Posted by on June 3, 2012 in Around Town

 

A Closer Look: WorkCycles Secret Service Mens

With a city bike, like most finely crafted things, the devil is in the details. The best city bikes have everything you need built into the bike. You just hop on and ride. As much as I love my Dutch bike and my mixte, I have to admit that Dick’s new Dutch bike beats both of mine hands down in terms of these important details.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Bike Gallery

 
 
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