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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Fashion Friday: Euro Style in the City by the Bay

Whether you’re cast as an extra in a video set across the Atlantic or nostalgic for that trip you took abroad, the answer starts with classic pieces in a neutral palette. Accent the look with sleek boots, wrap it all up with a big big scarf and hop on a Euro-style city bike and you’re there. Oh, and don’t forget the umbrella.

Euro Office Worker
Before I chose this outfit, I reviewed my video of a busy street in Amsterdam to get the look down.

About Fashion Friday: Inspired by a 2011 Bike to Work Day challenge sponsored by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, this series highlights the broad range of “dress for the destination” bicycling fashions.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2013 in Cycle Fashions

 

A Closer Look: 2011 Viva Juliett Dutch Bike

I’ve never believed in love at first sight. Interest, yes. Attraction, yes. But head-over-heels love? I think not. But sometimes the interest is so great and the attraction so strong that you can’t shake it, even if you aren’t looking for love. That’s how it was with my husband; interest and attraction turned quickly into a crush I couldn’t deny.

And that’s how it was my Viva Juliett. I first saw Juliett at the San Francisco Bike Coalition‘s Winterfest where Mike’s Bikes had donated her for the benefit auction. She was cherry red and luscious cream and shiny chrome and I was smitten. But I certainly didn’t need a beautiful but impractical bike so I didn’t bid on her.

Still, I couldn’t forget her. After two test rides and much consternation, I took the plunge and brought her home. Now, two years later, I can’t imagine how I didn’t see her practicality along with her beauty. I love this bike.

Viva Juliett 2011
Juliett came equipped with almost everything I needed for my short commute and for errands all over town.

It’s been two years and I’m still in love. Do you have a bike that you’re head over heels in love with?

Viva Juliett Rear View

Location: Gamble Gardens, Palo Alto, California, USA

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Bike Gallery

 

My Little Runaway Bicycle

It’s another sunny clear day here in San Jose, and I’m stuck at work in a windowless office trying to work on something I don’t particularly feel like doing. I wish I could hop on my bike and ride away to a carefree, beautiful place with the breeze on my face and the sun on my back. Somewhere where I can be free like a kid again.

I want to run away to the beach town of Santa Cruz like my mixte did last weekend, sadly without me.

8459151185_33978ff490_b

My friend Richard borrowed my bike for the Bike Snob NYC video shoot, and kept her for the weekend at his home in Scott’s Valley, just up the hill from Santa Cruz. When we met for the handoff I said, “If you ride her anywhere interesting, please take a photo for my Where’s My Bike Today? series.”

Little did I know that he would take dozens of amazing photos of my Susie Q PUBLIC all over town, including a few favorites below. Quite an adventure for a sweet little bike, one that I know I could do with a short ride to the Diridon station and a bus ride over the hill. If only I didn’t have to do this adult thing called work.

If you could run away for the day–today–where would you go?

All photos in this post were taken by Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious and are used with his permission.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2013 in Around Town, Travel

 

Extra, Extra! I’m an Extra for Bike Snob NYC

I skipped work last Thursday and snuck off to San Francisco instead. Never fear, I had my boss’ permission and I worked on the train, in a coffee shop and at home much of the day. I just needed a few hours to be a movie star. Well, not exactly a movie star, but it was a chance to be in a video that’s likely to be viewed by more than 21,825 people, which is the count for my most viewed video to date. And my mom is really the star, not me.

The role was as an extra in a trailer for Bike Snob NYC‘s third book, A Bike Snob Abroad: Strange Customs, Incredible Fiets, and the Quest for Cycling Paradise. I read about the casting call on my buddy Richard’s blog. The requirements: “look and act northern European and be on a bike that can fiet on a Dutch street.”

Richard complained that he needed more “euro” bike, so I loaned him my mixte and griped that I had to work. I somehow weaseled my way out of the office just as he reported that he needed to work that day after all. So I was on my own. Well, except for a small crowd of bike folks braved the wet and reported for duty, including two Melissas, bloggers from bikepretty and calitexican, plus a group from Chronicle Books, Bike Snob’s publishers.

Chronicle Books Extras 4

So what does an extra do? Mostly stand around and wait while the directors and crew and stars decide what to do. In this case, that’s three people. Not that I’m complaining, director Robin Moore has produced some great videos, like “Performance” and “Get Dirty”. So I was sure it would be worth my time. And Bike Snob? Everyone loves rubbing elbows with a star, even a shy one whose aloofness suits his “snob” moniker.

Directors & Bike Snob

We lined up, rode down the block on cue and did our best to meet Robin Moore’s two simple directions: “don’t look at the camera and look happy.” The first part was a little hard, but second came quite naturally.

Extras Lined Up

They did two group shots of us riding around the lovely South Park oval, which resembles a quiet European neighborhood, then I got called back along with two others for a shot of us riding in circles in the park. Turns out Robin Moore also produced a video of my Viva Juliett. I think he still has a crush on her.

I didn’t ask about the trailer’s production schedule so I have no idea how long I’ll have to wait before I see if my pretty red bike and I made the cut. And if we do make it, my bike, not me, will really be the star.

Have you ever been an extra in a film or video? How about in the background on the local news?

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Posted by on February 11, 2013 in Around Town

 

Fashion Friday: Menswear with Feminine Sensibility

Menswear styles on women jump ahead of the curve when cut specifically for the female figure. Slight adjustments make it her own: wider-legs on the pinstripe cuffed trousers, three quarter length sleeves on a slim fit pullover, and tuxedo pleats on the shirt, left free to peek out of the sweater’s deep v-neck.

Pinstripe Pants
While I prefer dresses, slim jeans or leggings on the bike, I do wear dress pants occasionally.

About Fashion Friday: Inspired by a 2011 Bike to Work Day challenge sponsored by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, this series highlights the broad range of “dress for the destination” bicycling fashions.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2013 in Cycle Fashions

 

Bike Crafts: Decorations to Keep the Holidays Rolling

In late January years ago I visited my friend Molly at her flat in Brooklyn, New York. As we strolled through her neighborhood I noticed that rowhouse after rowhouse was decorated for Valentine’s Day: red electric lights, heart cut-outs in the windows and roses. “It starts at Halloween,” Molly explained, “and then it’s Thanksgiving and Christmas, then it keeps going to Valentine’s, St Patrick’s and Easter. It’s a Carroll Gardens tradition.”

While I have always decorated for Christmas, I chuckled at the over-the-top holiday exuberance. But that was before I bought my city bikes. Now it seems I’m weaving streamers and mounting lights on my bikes with every holiday, including pseudo-holidays like Superbowl Sunday. I guess my bikes bring out the kid in me.

SF 49ers

The decorations don’t have to be elaborate or expensive, but they have to stay on when the bike is moving without endangering the rider. So far I have 100% success in that department, unless you count ripping the crepe paper woven in my spokes when pumping my tires.

While decorating a bike is like a kid’s craft project where almost anything goes, here are my top tips:

  • For virtually free decorations, grab images off the internet and scale and print them on card stock.
  • If you shop at a party store, set a budget before you go in. It’s easy to overspend.
  • If you ride after dark, battery operated lights punch up whatever else you do.
  • Zip ties are the #1 way to attach things, but sticky backed Velcro, rubber bands and ordinary tape work too.

If you want the full how-to and great ideas, check out Sophie’s 12 Ways to Gussy Your Bike. Need a reason to decorate after Valentine’s, St Patrick’s and Easter? Cycle SF is having a costume contest on April 28 as part of their organized ride on vehicle-free streets around San Francisco.

What’s the best bike decoration theme you’ve seen? What’s the most innovative or unusual decoration you’ve added to your bike?

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Posted by on February 7, 2013 in Bike Crafts

 

Bike Lane FAIL: Construction for the America’s Cup

The America’s Cup is sailing into San Francisco this summer and the city is scrambling to get its waterfront ready. When Dick and I took our anniversary bay cruise on New Year’s Day we saw the preparations firsthand.

Americas Cup SF

Construction spread from the piers across the sidewalk and into street. Since it was a holiday, no one was working and yet the bike lane was blocked needlessly. Couldn’t they move the signs closer to the curb before they went home? Such a small thing, but so considerate to the streams of people that ride there every day.

Embarcadero SF wide

I was back in San Francisco the other week to meet with our ad agency and cruised the Embarcadero again. The workers were on duty, construction was in full swing, and the bike lanes were still out of order. And I was left wondering what the waterfront would look like after the America’s Cup sails away.

Location: The Embarcadero near Piers 9-29, San Francisco, California, USA.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Bike Lane FAIL

 
 
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