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Category Archives: Bike Gallery

Bike Spotting: Real Men Ride Pink Road Bikes

I spotted the ice pink vintage road bike on Caltrain, obviously too large and too old to be designed for women. “Who owns the pink bike?” I asked the group behind me. “It’s mine,” said Dean.

Dean’s no girly man, nor is his 1987 Schwinn Prelude a girly bike, as you can see in his feat of strength outside the station. Dean’s lovely pink bike was built lightweight for racing speed, and with a 25″ frame, built for a rider well over six feet tall. That’s 63.5 cm for you folks too young to remember when road bikes were measured in inches. In 1987, Schwinn still made their bikes at their headquarters in Chicago, you see.

Real Men Ride Pink Bikes

Dean isn’t the only manly guy I know who rides a pink road bike. There’s Ron who has a 1991 Diamond Back Master TG bike in a far less demure shade of pink. I found many others, like this 1972 Sekine, this La France, this Miami Vice inspired Centurion and these two by Francesco Moser. Lovely, lovely, manly pink bikes.

1987 Schwinn Prelude 25"

Location: Caltrain Diridon Station, San Jose, California, USA.

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2013 in Bike Gallery, Bike Spotting

 

Bike Spotting: The Intuit-ive Way to Bike Share

Bay Area Bike Share may be gearing up for its launch next month, but I’m seeing little reminders that bike sharing isn’t exactly new here in Silicon Valley. Like this lovely blue Dutch-style bike that’s been parked at the Mountain View Caltrain station for the past few days. A quick glance at the chain guard gives away as a campus bike for Intuit, the software company that brought you Quicken and TurboTax.

Campus bikes are perfect for company sites that grow so big that walking between buildings is tedious but driving is silly. With 1800 employees at their bayside campus, Intuit is much smaller than its neighbor Google who has higher-profile bike sharing program. Like the Google bikes, Intuit bikes are built tough and practical for short trips by Republic Bikes. And like the Google bikes, they sometimes show up far from campus. I guess what’s good for getting across campus is good for getting across town. Good thing there aren’t any late fees.

Intuit Bike

Republic Bikes specializes in sturdy fleet bikes that can be easily and colorfully customized for your business.

Location: Downtown Mountain View Caltrain Station, Evelyn Avenue near Castro Street.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Bike Gallery, Bike Spotting

 

Bike Spotting: Caution! Looooooong Load

My friend Irene saw a side-by-side tandem recumbent trike pulling another recumbent trike pulling a baby trailer pulling a flatbed trailer. The rig was carrying two garbage bags of who-knows-what plus something that looks like foam mattresses and more. It’s a good thing Irene had a camera. No one would believe her otherwise.

Maxi Trailer

Location: Palo Alto City Hall. Click here to see the photo at maximum resolution.

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Bike Gallery

 

Bike Spotting: Pointer Classica Typical Dutch Bike

If I were back in the Netherlands I wouldn’t have given it a second glance: a sturdy city bike locked up outside an apartment building with a heavy chain. But it was chained to a lamp post in Menlo Park, California, not Amsterdam, so I had to stop and investigate. I’ve never seen the brand before and I can’t guess its vintage, but I was pretty sure it was Dutch even before an internet search. How so? The evidence is in the tell-tale details.

Pointer Classica

Strip away a few accessories and this typical Dutch bike could pass for an American bike from my childhood.

Note: An internet search revealed very little about Pointer except that it’s a Dutch brand like Gazelle and Batavus. If you know more about Pointer bikes or what vintage this bike might be, please leave a comment!

Location: Linden Oaks neighborhood in Menlo Park, California, USA, near Stanford University.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Bike Gallery

 

A Closer Look: 2008 Lemond Poprad Cyclocross Bike

Way back in 2007 I was a triathlete, century rider and mountain biker who heard about this thing called cyclocross and was intrigued. Cyclocross is the steeplechase of bike racing, with barricades where you dismount and run, steep run-ups where you shoulder your bike, and loose corners, sand pits, and soul-sucking grass to keep you on the ragged edge. And in our local scene, doing all this in costume for bragging rights.

I had both skinny tire and basic dirt skills, I could run (not fast) and loved costumes and the irreverent attitude that comes with it. Races are 30-45 minutes of all-out effort I felt I could manage since the pain may be intense, but it’s mercifully short. So I bought a steel Lemond Poprad cyclocross bike and raced it. It was a blast.

The Poprad was replaced by a lighter steed who stole her drivetrain and her place at the starting line. Retired from racing and outfitted with low gears, she has been reborn as Liberty, the ultimate all-terrain touring machine.

Poprad on the Trail
Faster than my mountain bike but hardier than my road bike, Liberty is made for the dirt trails and gravel roads that criss-cross the hills around San Francisco Bay. She’s no stranger to off-road rides and has hauled overnight gear, but I have yet to fully test her strength. Where should we go? How deep into the wild can she take me?

Lemond Poprad 2008 b

Configuring the gearing on this bike was no easy task since I wanted low mountain bike gears with road levers. So I took it to Charles at Passion Trail Bikes. He and his staff found the right front derailer (Tiagra, no less) that would shift properly for this unconventional setup. Thanks, Charles, for doing what Sheldon said was impossible!

Location: Enid Pearson Arastradero Preserve, Palo Alto, California, USA

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2013 in Bike Gallery

 

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

 

A Closer Look: 1951? Världsmästarcykel Crescent

Hidden away in garages all over the world are beautiful bikes, barely used back in the day and never ridden today. Like my ex’s 1986 Pro Miyata that hung unused in my garage for years. Fortunately, many of these bikes find new lives in new homes with riders that cherish them. Like Erik, who I met one morning on Caltrain.

Erik’s bike caught my eye immediately with its classic lines and svelte steel tubing. It was his great-uncle’s bike from back in Sweden that he brought with him to San Francisco. Now set up for everyday use as a single speed with new handlebars, rear rack and fenders, I had to get a closer look.

Crescent Side View

Erik said this Världsmästarcykel Crescent was a 1951, but it doesn’t quite match the bike in that year’s catalog. Unlike the 1951, Erik’s bike’s fork and rear stays aren’t chrome and his has a nifty wheel lock that’s welded on. I searched the internet in vain for clues to its heritage and failed.

Can you help me solve this mystery? Is it likely to be before or after 1951? Did it originally have drop bars?

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2012 in Bike Gallery

 
 
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