February 13th, 2019

Finding alone time as a couple once you have kids is hard. Finding alone time when you have three kids and a wife who is in surgical residency is almost impossible. But spoiler alert- we make it work!! We definitely don’t get date nights out as often as we would want, but we’ve learned connecting with one another doesn’t always have to be a super fancy or meticulously planned date.

In a beautiful way, having children has grounded us- mentally and physically. We have been forced to hang more locally and explore our own backyard. One of our favorite ways to do this is with our Public Bikes! Maybe it’s just me, but there is something about biking places that just feels so European and I love it!

We recently up leveled our biking game and got Public Bikes and we couldn’t love them more. Micaela selected the C9-AL its super light and feels very zippy. The straighter handle bars almost make this feel a bit like a road bike but it definitely still has a relaxed ride vibe to it.

I’m such a sucker for bright colors so I got a more cruiser style bike and went with the C7. I love my covered wheels so I don’t have to worry about water and dirt flying up not to mention my amazing grip shift! This was a totally new feature to me and I am a HUGE fan!

Aside from the sleek design and trendy color scheme, these bikes just ride SO SMOOTH. And I mean smmmmoooth!! We seriously felt like little kids cruising around on these beauts!

Quality time is definitely one of our shared love languages and when we get out for a simple ride, I always feel a strong sense of connection. And that’s what connecting is all about right?! Finding moments that work for YOU guys, no matter how frequent or infrequent they may be! What’s your favorite way to connect with your loved one? Let me know in the comments below!

ABOUT RAFF // Hey There! My name is Raffinee, but most people call me Raff. My wife, Micaela and I are Bay Area locals and mom to three toddlers born 7.5 months apart. Want to know more? Just head to RaffOutLoud.com 🙂

December 6th, 2018

bicycle wheel wreath

We’re so excited to share this incredibly clever holiday DIY Bicycle Wheel Wreath from Maren at Larch & Loon. Not only is it bike-themed (but, of course!), it’s easy and quick to assemble with beautiful results. Happy crafting!

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I LOVE the holidays. My favorite traditions include decorating the tree, drinking eggnog lattes and watching Love Actually on repeat. I always love this time of the year for crafting because nobody can judge you for covering everything with glitter!

This year, I decided to focus my holiday crafting attention on creating a bicycle wheel wreath. It’s super easy to make and adds a unique touch to your holiday home. I created two different versions, one a more traditional style and one that’s a little funky!

Ready to create your own? All you’ll need is a bike wheel, some garland and a big red bow.

bicycle wheel wreath

Step 1: Make some hot cocoa and start blasting All I Want For Christmas to get in the mood.

Step 2: Use a glue gun to attach the greenery. Warning: You will use a crap ton of glue sticks!

Step 3: Add some pretty little pinecones and berries to dress it up.

Step 4: Attach your bow. Mine came with wire on the back so I just wrapped that around the wheel.

bicycle wheel wreath

Cute, huh? The reindeer approve.

For the next one, I wanted to try something a little edgier so I used gold leaf paint and some florals I picked up at the local craft store.

bicycle wheel wreath

Step 1: Paint the wheel gold. I used quick dry spray paint so I wouldn’t have to wait too long to start decorating.

Step 2: Lay out the greenery pieces and choose the shape you want to create. I ended up trimming a lot of pieces off mine since they were so bushy, but it’s all personal preference.

Step 3: Attach the greenery with glue or wire. I found that the glue didn’t stick quite as well after the wheel was painted so wire came in handy here.

Step 4: Hang your beautiful new wreath near your stockings with care!

bicycle wheel wreath

I hope this inspires you to break out the glue gun and get crafty this holiday season. Enjoy!

October 5th, 2018

#DoPublicGood is a project highlighting people or organizations that do good by bike. Each month we’ll be shining a spotlight on those who enrich communities all over through their two-wheeled advocacy. You can read our past #DoPublicGood profiles here.

If you have a nominee for #DoPublicGood, please let us know in the comments and if selected we’ll send you both a PUBLIC gift certificate.


*Currently, over $2.3 million raised (and counting)!


This month we’re spotlighting Bicycle Angels, an organization that has made it possible for people across the nation to raise $2.3 million (and counting) towards charities close to their hearts. Bicycle Angels loans road bikes for free to people that want to participate and fundraise for an eligible charity cycling or triathlon event, but don’t have a suitable bike to use, and can’t afford one. The bicycles are loaned to motivated and committed individuals who are passionate about charity fundraising but are not financially capable of owning a bike suitable for endurance cycling.


How did Bicycle Angels begin?

BA:  Bicycle Angels was started by three Team in Training cycle team staff members, in order to help facilitate more fundraising. We found that some first-time endurance cycling participants didn’t have an adequate bike to complete an event, and couldn’t afford one either, or were not ready to make the investment in a road bike of their own. As the idea took hold, we decided that we wanted to branch out to support other charities as well.


How does the program work?

BA:  It’s easy! We have offices in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, and Salt Lake City, where you can come check out the bike, sign our paperwork, and get fitted. All you will need is your ID, a valid credit card (which is only charged if the bike is lost or damaged), and proof that you are enrolled in an eligible charity event.

We currently work with 12+ eligible charities, listed on our site, and are always expanding. If you are looking to add a new charity to be included in our bike load program, you can contact us here.  We work with secular, non-political non-profit organizations.

The amount of time the bike is loaned out depends on the length of the event – Riding 30 miles in a triathlon? You’ll get the bike for around 3 months. Riding 100 miles in a century? You’ll get the bike for around 6 months.

We ask that the loaner bikes are returned within two weeks of either completing your event, getting a different bike, or discontinuing your fundraising/training efforts. We need your loaner bike back ASAP so it is available for other fundraising events!


Training ride on bikes from Bicycle Angel!


What is Team Bicycle Angels?

Team Bicycle Angels is a recreational cycling group sponsored by Bicycle Angels. The group is open to all levels of road cyclists. Our Team participates in a variety of fundraising bike events, such as the Tour de Cure for Diabetes, MS Coastal Challenge, and Arthritis Foundation California Coastal Classic.  We also train and ride for fun, friendship, and fitness!  The Team acts as ambassadors to our Bicycle Angels program and provides a pool of volunteers for our needs.

You can follow the Team or contact us on our Team Bicycle Angels Facebook page.


Members of Team Bicycle Angels repping their jerseys on a ride.


Praise for Bicycle Angels

“Bicycle Angels is addressing an important need for our community’s health and wellbeing by making it possible for more people to appreciate the joys and practicality of cycling. We need more angels like Bicycle Angels.” – Jullian Dillon, Director Special Events, American Diabetes Association

“Bicycle Angels is an amazing group. They’ve helped eliminate one of the biggest issues that people have with charity cycling events… having a bike. Several people have participated and raised money for our event that would have been unable to do so. We are so happy to refer our constituents to Bicycle Angels, where we know that they’ll be taken care of. Thank you… for breaking down barriers and helping people help people.” – Amy Dittmore, Development Manager, Bike MS

“Bicycle Angels is tremendous organization with a selfless mission – to enable participants to complete fundraising and training programs for other charities. By providing excellent bikes to six of our team members, Bicycle Angels has allowed them participate in our program, which in turn means that thousands more was raised to help patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. We are honored to work with the Bicycle Angels family and look forward to many more seasons together!” – Rob Baird, Endurance Manager, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America

October 3rd, 2018

Boo! Halloween is right around the corner.  Your local stores have been showcasing pumpkins and candy for a month now, which means it’s time to start thinking about your costume.  If you’re like us, you won’t want your bike to miss out on the spooky festivities.  Thankfully, we came up with a list of costumes ideas that not only incorporate your bike but also are fairly easy to put together.  Follow our looks exactly or mix them with items you already own to better match your style – and your bike!  Let us know in the comments below how you rocked it – or share it with us on Instagram by tagging @PUBLICBikes.



A great costume if you have a small dog! Just ditch the ET plush toy.

1. PUBLIC Metal Basket, 2. White Blanket, 3. Red Zip-Up Hoodie, 4. Blue Jeans, 5. PUBLIC R16 in Black (does not fly – sorry), 6. ET Plush Toy





Warning: This outfit may cause you to ask a friend to ‘hold your beer.’1. Nutcase Americana Helmet, 2. Evel Knievel Replica Jacket, 3. White Boots, 4. White Pants, 5. PUBLIC C7 in Cream, 6. Red, White, and Blue Socks



Why limit the fun? Group rides are a great way to socialize and exercise simultaneously, which is why a group-based costume is so great.  If your group is looking for something strange to happen Halloween night (or you’re super stoked corduroy is coming back into fashion), give these Stranger Things-inspired costumes a try.





Want to head out on bikes with the family? Wear out the kids with real life Mario Kart! There are characters for everyone, even the littlest bike riders, and biking around the neighborhood all night is sure to make memories that last a lifetime.




September 6th, 2018

#DoPublicGood is a project highlighting people or organizations that do good by bike. Each month we’ll be shining a spotlight on those who enrich communities all over through their two-wheeled advocacy. You can read our past #DoPublicGood profiles here.

If you have a nominee for #DoPublicGood, please let us know in the comments and if selected we’ll send you both a PUBLIC gift certificate.

This month, we’re featuring a cancer survivor, Giovanni Doemeny, and his girlfriend, Melanie Luther, who are biking the coast of California to raise money for their holistic wellness business and Testicular Cancer Awareness.


PUBLIC:  Where did this journey start for you?


GIO: I spent the first half of 2018 traveling literally around the globe. I was in a small surf town in Portugal when I noticed some alarming symptoms, and upon my father’s advice, I was on a flight home the following Monday. On Tuesday I was diagnosed with Testicular cancer.

Luckily I received immediate medical treatment and was able to overcome this health battle.

This experience has given me an entirely new perspective; a new appreciation for life! My health and wellness are now a top priority.

I have created Ikigai Global Wellness, a holistic wellness community with the mission to inform, inspire, and empower those in our community to live our healthiest and most fulfilling lives, and to redefine conventional perceptions of success.


PUBLIC:  Tell us more about the Bay2Border Bike Ride and its goal.


MEL:  Gio and I are biking from San Francisco to the border of Mexico on Sept 10 – Sept 25 to raise funding and awareness for our startup and testicular cancer non-profits. The goal is to raise $10,000 with 10% of funds going to established testicular cancer non-profits and the remainder will go towards developing educational content and online classes for Ikigai Global Wellness.



PUBLIC:  What kind of content can be found at Ikigai Global Wellness?


GIO: IkigaiGlobalWellness.com is an online resource for holistic wellness. We are working on developing our content to educate and inspire our community on health, happiness, meaning, and success. With the funding raised during this initiative, we hope to also develop comprehensive online courses.

The long-term vision of Ikigai Global Wellness is to be an online leader in holistic wellness; create an international network of health practitioners, coaches, and experts; and open wellness centers all over the globe!



PUBLIC:  How can people get involved and follow you along on your journey?


MEL: We will be giving live updates throughout our bike ride on our Instagram @ikigaiglobalwellness

You can join our facebook community here:


You can learn more about this initiative through our website:


And support our cause through our crowdfunding campaign:



September 6th, 2018


We understand that local bike shops have long been at the heart of the cycling community. Beyond a bike, you can find knowledgeable staff and group rides with potential new friends. Although we sell our bikes mostly online, we are still a strong member of that community and want to help you be a part of it too!

More than 140 bike shop locations across the country are currently a part of our Partner Store Program. With this program, PUBLIC bikes ordered online from us can sent to your local store and professionally assembled, zero hassle. Our partner store will notify you when you bike is fully assembled and ready for pick up. You will also receive a walk-through and basic fitting upon pick-up.

We are proud to spotlight our partnership with SloHi Coffee + Bike in Denver as part of our Assembly Partners program.


About SloHi Coffee + Bikes

SloHi Coffee + Bikes is a small business located in the Sloan’s Lake – West Highlands neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. They are half coffee shop, half bike shop, all in one shared space. They believe that coffee and bike shop culture go hand in hand.

All of their coffee is locally roasted locally in Denver, Colorado by some really awesome roasters. They care about serving quality coffee that supports companies they believe in. The same goes for their bikes.  They only sell bikes they have personally put through the ringer. Although mountain bikers at heart, they are have grown to geek out on all things bike – including commuter, gravel, fitness, cargo, touring, road or bikepacking bike.


About the SloHi Family

They believe in the power of bikes to transform neighborhoods and lives. Their bike family is everyone at the trailhead, commuters who leave their cars behind, kids who are growing up on two wheels, families who spend time outside together, and anyone in West Denver (or beyond!) who wants to make the world a better, happier place. They know that everyone’s bikes are also a part of this big family, which is why they want to provide the best products and services possible for those family members.


August 28th, 2018


A bike bag or basket might sound like a frivolous addition to your bike, but think again. A bag or basket can transform your wheels from merely good-looking to a utilitarian force.

There are lots of different types of bags and baskets out there and a few factors you need to consider when choosing one. We break down the factors and offer a quick quiz at the end to help you identify your type.


Bags vs. Baskets


Baskets are great for instant accessibility. If you’re looking to have your cell phone nearby so you can document your ride on Instagram, a basket could be right for you! They also look nice. People love the aesthetic of a bike basket; however, they can become a problem when the weather turns nasty. Bags are great for both weather protection and the ability to quickly disconnect from a rack on your bike so you can take your gear with you. If you’re looking to bring your change of clothes with you to your destination, a bag could be right for you!


I’m Going to Bring…


Will you be lugging your laptop to and from the office? Do you fancy transporting bags of groceries? Or just looking to have a space for your phone and wallet? Asking yourself what you want to carry with you will quickly narrow down your bag and basket options. A lightweight basket that attaches to your handlebars or small saddle bag that latches on to your seat post will be great for carrying lightweight items like your purse, wallet, or jacket. If you will be carrying heavier options, you want to make sure to get a bag or basket that really does the work for you. Looking for something to carry your heavy laptop and other work supplies on your commute? Go for a pannier that can hold it all easily. Want to take your puppy to lunch with you? Consider a basket that directly attaches to your bike rack.


Business in Back. Party in Front.


You will want to think about how much you’re going to carry on your bike. Along these same lines, it is important to think about where you want your weight distributed- in the front or in the rear of your bike. Generally, your rear rack is a better place for heavier items, as most rear racks can accommodate 20-50lbs. So, if you’re looking for a bag or basket that can really load up, consider one that mounts or attaches to your rear rack. A front basket will add weight to the front of your bike, but when carrying lighter items that weight will be negligible. Front bike baskets put items within arm’s reach, so whatever you are carrying is easily accessible while riding. If you like the look of a front basket and still want to carry heavier items, consider getting a bike basket that actually mounts to a front rack instead of hanging off your handlebars.



What’s your type? Take this quiz to find out!



What will you primarily be carrying?

A) Laptop, notebook, change of clothes

B) Quart of milk, bag of apples, veggies, and granola

C) Wallet, keys, and cell phone

D) Small dog


What is the style of your bicycle?

A) Professional

B) Urban

C) Functional

D) Cute


You mainly ride your bike to the:

A) Office

B) Grocery Store

C) Park

D) Café


Mostly A: PUBLIC Carryall Single Pannier

Called “carryall” for a reason: load it up with your laptop (in the interior laptop pocket), coffee tumbler (in the exterior side bottle pocket) and change of clothes (in the roomy interior), and watch it take you from work to work-out to after-party. Generous haul handles and shoulder strap make for easy carrying when off the bike. Crafted of sturdy cotton canvas base and color-contrasting interior.


Mostly B: PUBLIC Metal Basket

Simple, lightweight wire bicycle basket with a spring-loaded quick release, so you can easily attach and remove it from your rear or front rack. It instantly clamps onto most standard racks and sits flat when not on the rack. A comfy carry handle makes it ideal for taking into the grocery store. The durable steel construction with a silver epoxy finish ensures you will use it for years to come. It is truly a bicycle basket you can take with you, or simply remove, in a few seconds. It fits on either a front or rear rack.


Mostly C: BikeSmart Saddlepack 2.0

A saddlebag is an incredible handy item to have, and this well-crafted bag from BikeSmart is a reliable choice. It easily fits all of your flat changing essentials with some room to spare. It features a spare compartment for extra storage and easy to access to the essentials you put inside it; like phone, wallet, and keys. With a durable construction to hold up to the trials of riding, this saddlebag ensures you’re prepared to rude as long as you want. Reflective piping enhances visibility and a sturdy rear taillight strap ensures you’re prepared if your ride outlasts the sun.


Mostly D: PUBLIC Bike Basket

This beautiful, classically styled bicycle basket is handcrafted by the Peterboro Basket Company, who has been producing fine American-made baskets since 1854. It easily attaches to your handlebars with two adjustable leather straps on the back. It also comes with a stabilizer that you can tie to your head tube for additional support. This basket is big enough to be useful without requiring additional structural support from your bike.






August 3rd, 2018

#DoPublicGood is a project highlighting people or organizations that do good by bike. Each month we’ll be shining a spotlight on those who enrich communities all over through their two-wheeled advocacy. You can read our past #DoPublicGood profiles here.

If you have a nominee for #DoPublicGood, please let us know in the comments and if selected we’ll send you both a PUBLIC gift certificate.



This month we’re interviewing Amy from Denver Food Rescue about how they are using the sustainable method of bicycle power to save good produce from grocery stores, farmers markets, and distributors that would otherwise be thrown away. They then redistribute it to people in their community who need it most by partnering with those communities to create a range of programs. Amy tells us more about this process and the programs that are helping to not just feed the hungry but to increase their health equity.



Your tagline is to ‘Decrease food waste. Increase health equity.’ Can you tell us more about what this means?


AMY:  Well, 30-50% of edible food in the US ends up in the landfill. A lot of what goes to waste from grocery stores is fresh fruits and vegetables. Due to their short shelf life it can be a challenge for traditional food banks or pantries to transport and store them. Historically food banks offer mostly nonperishable (boxed, packaged, canned) items. These foods are often high in calories but low in nutrients in addition to being high in sugar, additives, salt, and other by products of highly processed foods. These foods fill bellies but don’t really nourish minds and bodies.

For people experiencing poverty, purchasing fresh foods is a challenge due to their higher costs and families must often choose to pay the bills over buying healthy food for their families. Also many low income neighborhoods around the country lack full service grocery stores which contributes to barriers to accessing healthful food. When you add up all of these barriers there is a system that creates a health gap between people, particularly low-income people and people of color and they disproportionally experience a higher rate of diet related illnesses.

There is no blanket solution to improve the health of our communities. While getting some of these otherwise wasted fruits and veggies into the homes of those who need it is important, it is also important to create a sustainable system of health which includes education around healthy eating and job opportunities that allow people to afford the cost of healthier food, which is really the root cause of hunger.



How does your organization increase access to food for those who need it?


AMY:  We increase access by addressing identified barriers to access. In Denver we found that pantries were not usually located directly in the communities where they were needed most. This creates a transportation barrier that could be avoided if they were more strategically placed.

In addition to location barriers traditional pantries are frequently in more affluent neighborhoods, they require IDs, proof of income, and might not be culturally competent which creates stigma and less participation. That’s why we do direct distribution (from food donor to food recipient) and have all of our grocery programs led by residents of the neighborhoods themselves at existing community organizations! This increases participation, decreases stigma, and involves everyone in the process. Instead of an older nonprofit white savior top down model. We are all in this together to solve this problem.

In 2017 we rescued and redistributed over 500,000 lbs of food – over 75% of it whole produce. 99% was perishable foods. Out of 36,000 people that utilized our programs, 80% didn’t access other no cost food services.



What about the rest of your formula for healthy equality?


AMY:   Creating access to the education each person needs to make informed health decisions is a big one. It is important for both food insecure people as well as food secure folks to understand the current system and pressure to eat foods that contribute to diet related illness. For example some of our programs have cooking and nutrition classes that go along with our food at distributions.

We have Fresh Food Connect, a program developed in partnership with Denver Urban Gardens and Groundwork Denver that picks up and redistributions local gardeners extra produce to food insecure areas. We are able to employ community members to do these pick ups. Another program we are just starting in partnership with a business called Copia will allow us to employ folks with barriers to employment to do prepared food rescue pick ups!



Why use bicycles to deliver the food?


AMY:  Glad you asked! We use bikes to deliver food for a few reasons. For one it’s much cheaper, which makes it so that we can afford to do more quick, direct deliveries. This enables us to deliver more healthy food like fresh produce rather than canned foods, etc. Also, some of the communities we partner with are some of the most polluted in the country. In 2016 we saved an estimated 8 tons of CO2 emissions by biking! And also biking is more fun! It makes volunteer solicitations and outreach easier because people are looking for a fun way to volunteer (and is a great work out at the same time!).



What are some ways people can get involved with your organization in the Denver area or in others like it in their own area?


AMY:  Education and awareness are still the most important. If you are interested in anti-hunger work, healthy food access, or reducing food waste try to find out what systems are in place that are either not addressing the root cause of these problems or actively harming smaller independent food rescue and pantry groups. There are smaller food rescue groups similar to us all over the country, find yours and volunteer! If one doesn’t exist, create your own with help of the Food Rescue Alliance, which is set up to help people begin community centered food rescue and re-distribution in their own community.


August 2nd, 2018

Our “Cities By Bike” Series explores some of our favorite places by bike through the eyes of a local.

Roll along with us as we follow them through their favorite neighborhoods, sharing the must-visit sites, restaurants, happy hours, and more.

Our guide in New York City is Jackson Isaacson. Jackson is a digital strategist at Endeavor, but more importantly a coffee and whiskey enthusiast and adventurer who is always looking for his next favorite thing. Follow along as he shows us some of his favorite places to ride to around the city. If you just can’t get enough Jack, or want to know more about him, check out his instagram @JackIsaac.


Pebble Beach across the Brooklyn Bridge



The best part of warmer months is the parks. One of my first apartments in NYC was in FiDi near the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge, and my go-to hangover cure became a large cold brew coffee and a crisp ride on the footpath of the bridge to Dumbo. Pier 1 and Pier 2 were the first parts of the park to open, right around the time I moved, and I feel like it’s a brand new part of New York that I’ve been a part of from the beginning.

Every year something new is added to the park, from sports and recreation fields to a pop-up public pool. My favorite spots are the cafe tables and tiered seating tucked away throughout that offer a perfect view of downtown Manhattan with an intimate vibe that’s increasingly difficult to find in the city. My ideal day in the park starts with a cold brew and reading on Pebble Beach in Dumbo, a brisk ride down the waterfront bike path to Ample Hills for a scoop of my favorite ice cream (Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, obviously), and a short ride to Pilot for a cocktail and some oysters aboard their schooner.


Fort Defiance in Red Hook, Brooklyn



Not every brunch is going to be memorable. If you do it right, half of them won’t be (hello, bottomless bellinis). But Fort Defiance is worth going out of the way to visit. Tucked away in Red Hook, Brooklyn, it’s not a spot most will stumble upon accidentally. It may not look like anything special, and that’s part of the charm. Modestly decorated but thoroughly inviting, their menu is seasonal and seemingly inspired by the south and feels like comfort food in the best way. Rounding out a solid Brunch/Lunch/Dinner spot is a robust cocktail menu with perfect pairings for any time of day. My pick? The Bourbon Milk Punch. Head over on Thursdays for a special weekly celebration of all things Tiki for their Sunken Harbor Club.

Getting there is becoming increasingly difficult by public transit – the nearest subway is a solid 12+ blocks, and the Ikea ferry stopped running to Red Hook in 2017 – but it’s the perfect distance for working up an appetite on an easy bike ride from my apartment in Soho.


South Street Seaport in Manhattan



One of New York’s literal oldest neighborhoods, South Street Seaport initially drew me in with its overt charm and historic architecture. When I moved into an office-turned-apartment on the corner of William and Fulton in 2014, I immediately began exploring the neighborhood. The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy was still very evident, and precious few restaurants, bars, and shops had reopened in the area. Since then, the city and countless groups have invested in the revitalization of the Seaport, and it’s finally poised to be the next destination neighborhood in the city. With a fresh crop of new spots to eat, drink, shop, and even see rooftop concerts from bands like Kings of Leon, there’s never a shortage of things to do in the area, and it helps that it’s just a breezy bike ride downtown, nestled at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. My picks: Jack’s Coffee for a cold brew, V Bar for Brunch, Fresh Salt for Happy Hour, and Cowgirl Seahorse for margaritas and anything in between!


El Luchador in Manhattan



If you know me, you know I’m always in the mood for a taco. And yes, Taco Tuesday is my favorite holiday. I think it’s half because of the ingredients and flavors and half because they’re inherently unpretentious. Name one person you’ve ever seen look poised whilst eating a taco, I’ll wait. Nothing? It’s because no one does. Tacos are a great equalizer, because everyone looks the same eating them (except the weirdos who eat them with a fork. Don’t sit next to those creeps). While New York has no shortage of great taco spots, and everyone will always have a differing opinion on whose are best, one of my personal favorites is El Luchador on South Street. Located on an unassuming corner that apparently used to be a horse stable, they’ve set up shop with a renovated Airstream trailer, bulb lights, and just enough tables and chairs to make it feel intimate while still somehow always having just *one* table left for you. No frills, no nonsense, they serve up slow-braised meats and fresh ingredients made from scratch every day, which is the only way to truly make good tacos. Pro-tip: crispy fish tacos and a lime Jarritos, every time.



July 6th, 2018

Our “Cities By Bike” Series explores some of our favorite places by bike through the eyes of a local.

Roll along with us as we follow them through their favorite neighborhoods, sharing the must-visit sites, restaurants, happy hours, and more.

Our guide in Portland, OR is Lauren Hartmann. Lauren is a freelance stylist and writer, but most importantly a mom and wife. Together with her husband, Craig, she let us in on some of her favorite spots to get around by bike in her town. If you want to know more about Lauren and all the little things she does, check out her blog at LaurenHartmann.com or follow her on Instagram @thelittlethingswedo.

When PUBLIC Bikes reached out about teaming up to create a bike-friendly city guide of Portland, I was so excited! I love getting to play tour guide, and doing it on a bike added an extra layer of fun. Biking is a huge part of the culture in Portland and our city puts a lot of effort into making sure that riding can be safe and fun for everyone…even novices like myself. So follow along as I share some of our favorite things to see, do, and most importantly EAT in our fair city!


Lauren’s Blush C7i & Craig’s Steel Blue V7


Portland weather can be a bit unpredictable, so I would highly recommend bringing an extra layer for your ride. A jean jacket, or a lightweight anorak that you can toss in your bag would be ideal because the weather here can turn on a dime. And don’t forget your sunglasses for when the sun peeks out from behind the clouds!

My husband and I have been Oregonians all our lives (OK, I moved here at age six, but still…), so it’s been fun to see our city grow and change over the years. One of the pitfalls to all the growth and influx of cool, new spots though is the ever-growing traffic. Getting around town in a car can be kind of a bear and there are fewer and fewer places to park in the city, so biking is a wonderful way to see (and eat your way through!) the city while saving time sitting in traffic.


SE Portland Bike Tour

When it comes to Portland, each area of town has its own unique vibe and offerings, but SE will be my forever favorite part of town, so we’ll be focusing our tour here.


But first, coffee: at Water Avenue



Start your ride off with the most important meal of the day: coffee. While the options for a great morning latte are plentiful in Portland, ​Water Avenue​ will always have my heart. The baristas are friendly, always happy to talk shop, and their single origin espresso can’t be beat. I fell even more in love with them when I was pregnant and switched to decaf for a bit (I know!). Their decaf is literally the only decaf worth consuming and even though my husband roasts his own coffee beans at home, he would always make a special trip to pick up my decaf beans. That’s true love, people. They also serve breakfast and lunch so you can grab a bite to enjoy alongside your morning brew. Their egg sandwich is truly out of this world and my husband loves their baked goods…honestly you really can’t go wrong with any of it.


Stop for a sip at House Spirits Distillery



Just a few blocks from Water Avenue Coffee, you’ll find another one of our favorites: House Spirits​. While Portland is known for its beer, I decided that there are plenty of guides devoted to that, so I’m focusing on spirits, because I’m much more of a cocktail girl myself. At this stop you can take a tour of the distillery and enjoy a tasting of House Spirits offerings as well as a cocktail tasting (you know I was here for that!). They no longer have their delicious gin available on location (you may have heard of it…Aviation gin…as in the brand that was just snapped up by Mr. Ryan Reynolds himself), but they still make it and their White Dog Whiskey and Volstead Vodka are definitely well-loved at our house. My favorite from the tasting was the Rhubarb & Rose cocktail. Two thumbs up!


Act like kids at OMSI



If you’ve got kids along on your ride, OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) is a super fun stop, but there’s still plenty to offer grownups as well. Indulge your inner science nerd as you peruse all the cool exhibits, or better yet plan your trip around one of their ​OMSI After Dark events​, where they have adult-centric science themes (think: the science of beer brewing)once the museum closes down for the day.


Go by train! Oregon Rail Heritage Museum



We didn’t stop at the Oregon Rail Heritage Museum on our outing, but it’s super fun with kids and right up the way from OMSI, so I wanted to include it for good measure. If you’ve got a railroad enthusiast in your life, this place will be their jam. You can tour the locomotives and train paraphernalia in the museum and on Saturdays they do a 45 minute round trip train ride along the Willamette River and Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge (another great bike ride for next time!). We did this for my son’s birthday and it was a total hit, even for the adults! Also, the pale, pistachio green doors make for a nice Instagram backdrop. Just sayin’.


Cruise across Tilikum Crossing + See the sights from the Aerial Tram



Across the street from the Rail museum is ​Tilikum Crossing​: Bridge of the People. It’s the largest car-free bridge in the U.S. Utilized by the Portland Streetcar, MAX, buses, pedestrians and cyclists it’s a great place to transfer around to other parts of town, but it’s also just a handful of blocks from the ​Aerial Tram​ where you can get a 360 degree aerial view of Portland in all its glory. You can park your bike at the bottom (bike parking abounds) and take the tram up to OHSU (Portland’s world-renowned teaching hospital) where the views are stunning and you can take them in as you stroll through their zen healing garden.


Delicious Allergy-Friendly Eats at Bollywood Theater + Eb & Bean


Once you take in all the sites from the tram, you can head back across the Tilikum Bridge  and over to SE Division (my favorite street in Portland!) for some delicious eats. Honestly, there are SO many tasty things to eat on Division so you’ll be able to find anything you’ve got a hankering for (other spots we love there: ​Pok Pok​, ​Salt & Straw​, Stella Taco​, ​Lauretta Jeans​), but ​Bollywood Theater​ and ​Eb & Bean​ are my favorites. Bollywood Theater has delicious Indian street food and there are plenty of vegan offerings (this is one place that vegans and non-vegans alike can love…all my allergy friends and I choose this spot for our meet ups, because there’s something for everyone). Try the Vada Pav AKA, the “Poor Man’s Burger of Mumbai” or the Kati Roll! After your meal you can head next door to ​Eb & Bean​ to enjoy some froyo for dessert. As someone who can’t do much dairy (tummy troubles), Eb & Bean is a godsend – so many delicious dairy-free options. They also have a ton of vegan and gluten-free topping options and pretty much everything is local down to the cookie dough bite toppings!
This loop is perfect for locals OR tourists wanting to see the sights (and eat delicious things!) by bike. Hope you enjoy!