Monthly Archives: February 2013

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


Fashion Weekend Edition: Down with Corduroy

Today’s forecast: 45 degrees at 8:00 am, 62 at noon. A puffy down vest over simple knit top, corduroy mini-skirt over funky sweater tights, and Robin Hood boots are perfect for running errands on a fickle Saturday morning.

Casual Weekend
When the errands are further from home and the load is relatively light, I hop on Ginger, my touring bike.

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.


Posted by on February 2, 2013 in Cycle Fashions

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