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Bike The Vote: Tuesday, Nov 4

November 3rd, 2014

At PUBLIC we believe as strongly in civic responsibility as we do in bikes. On Tuesday November 4, the country takes to the polls. We encourage all to get out and bike the vote.

In our hometown of San Francisco there are three transportation measures in particular that need your vote. We encourage Yes on A, Yes on B, and No on L.
Our friends at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition explain why.

If you care about bicycling and need information about pro-bike positions and candidates, you might consider finding your local bicycle advocacy organization to learn about their positions and even get involved. You can find resources here.

For quick reference, here’s a list of several bicycle-advocacy groups around the country and their election guides:

PUBLIC Warehouse Sale on Sat, Nov 8

October 31st, 2014

PUBLIC Warehouse Sale

Winter is here and we’re holding our Winter PUBLIC Warehouse Sale at 205 Alice Street in Oakland on Saturday, November 8.

We’re selling our test ride bikes, sample bikes, and bikes with slight cosmetic blemishes. We’ll have over 80+ bikes to sell. A handful of them will be for sale as low as $199, but most of these bikes will be priced 30-50% below full retail price.

The warehouse sale features a variety of PUBLIC bikes in all sizes, colors, and models, including TWO Large PUBLIC D BionX Electric Bikes in Black and Green colors for only $999 (reg. $1,999).

Warehouse sale bikes go quickly, usually in the first few hours. Come early to get your first pick. It helps to do your research on which PUBLIC bikes you might be interested in so we can point you in the right direction when you arrive for the sale.

WHEN: Saturday, November 8 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
WHERE: PUBLIC Warehouse, 205 Alice Street (@ 2nd), Jack London District, Oakland
WHAT: Bikes Up to 50% Off

Also let your friends know about the PUBLIC Warehouse Sale via our Facebook event page. RSVP to the Facebook event to receive a free copy of our PUBLIC Works book collecting the original artwork of our PUBLIC Works design project.

No early viewings on any bikes, nor inquiries ahead of the PUBLIC Warehouse Sale. Keep in mind our PUBLIC Warehouse Sales are quite popular so please be patient since we want to give customers, on a first come first serve basis, the attention they require to help select the right Warehouse Sale bike for them.

ALL SALES FINAL. NO RETURNS ON WAREHOUSE SALE BIKES


Our Picks: Best Bike Halloween Costumes

October 29th, 2014

If you have a bike, you have the makings for a great costume. We found some hilarious and creative examples of people who incorporated their bikes into their Halloween costumes with total success.

1. Inspired by the 2014 Burning Man theme Caravansary, we had an artist friend of ours transform a PUBLIC bike into a desert-worthy camel.
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2. You’ve heard of the Headless Horseman, right? Change up the myth by transforming into the Headless Biker.

3. 3…2…1…blast off on your rocket-powered bike. Transportation to and from your Halloween destinations is a breeze.

4. All you need is a red hoodie, a front basket and a cardboard cut-out of your favorite alien.

5. If you loved the Neverending Story, then this is the bike costume for you.

6. Transform your bike into a four speed: Walk, trot, cantor or gallop.

7. A grey suit, bow tie and red bike are all that’s required for this classic Pee Wee Herman costume.

8. Make a political statement like these Latvian cyclists. Erect a bamboo structure in the shape of a car and wear it while you ride to demonstrate how much more space cars take up versus bikes.

9. Eschew candy in favor of pac-bites and make sure you go everywhere in a maze-like fashion on your Pac Bike.

WeiWei Good

October 27th, 2014

Every now and then a person or an event comes along that makes us appreciate just how profound and provocative the combination of art and public space can be. Usually it’s an artist that shapes that vision. I have had a few peak experiences in my life to support this, like when I saw Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington DC and Donald Judd’s works in Marfa for the first time. Both of these installations have made permanent impressions on me.

Just a few weeks ago I had a similarly profound experience on Alcatraz. Artist Ai Weiwei was recruited by Cheryl Haines (SF Art Gallery owner and FOR-SITE founder) to use Alcatraz as a location for his artistic and political expression.

Ai Weiwei is well known internationally for his art installations. He has used the bicycle as a metaphor in these installations in Tokyo, Taiwan and Italy. This amazing exhibit, currently on display at the Palazzo Franchetti in Venice is a great example.

The installations on Alcatraz do not incorporate bikes, but they contain many of the fundamental themes relevant to bikes, freedom being at the core of this.

Much has been written about this phenomenal show in the media, including the thorough article from The New York Times “Art Man of Alcatraz: Ai Weiwei Takes His Work to a Prison” that includes a terrific slide show as well.

There are seven installations total on Alcatraz. They range in scope and depth from porcelain flowers in toilets (shown left) to sound systems in jail cells. All must be experienced first-hand to be appreciated. They are not easily summarized.

The Lego installation has received a lot of media attention. It features over 176 Lego portraits of many “prisoners of conscience” that have been jailed, tortured or like Ai Weiwei, prevented from escape (like the inmates of Alcatraz). It includes people like Edward Snowden and many other less well know “dissidents.”

I found this installation particularly powerful upon learning that Ai Weiwei intended this to not only be impactful to adults, but children as well. Many children visit as tourists with their parents. Ai Weiwei hopes to get inside their little minds. How many artists take on the challenge of provoking thought in adults and kids alike?

Alcatraz is a legendary prison with an inherent comment on public space that’s compelling to visit on its own. But these installations take the experience of being there up to another level. It’s worth coming to SF just to see this show. Kudos to Ai Weiwei and Ms. Haines for pulling off the San Francisco event of the year, in my humble opinion, that rivals the Golden Gate Bridge in drama.

Ai Weiwei’s installations are currently on display on Alcatraz through April 26. Tickets aren’t easy to come by, but you can book yours here.

Vote NO TODAY: Walk/Bike Toll on Golden Gate Bridge

October 24th, 2014

Today at 10AM PST, the Golden Gate Bridge District is voting on a proposal to collect a toll on anyone who walks or bikes over the Golden Gate Bridge. Please join us in opposing this short-sighted scheme by signing a petition here (it’s a simple, under a minute process) and tweeting @ggbridge with your opposition.

The Golden Gate Bridge is a beloved international landmark that is a tourist attraction for locals and visitors alike, with an estimated of 10,000 people walking the bridge daily. It’s also the only bikeable bridge into San Francisco and as such it’s a thoroughfare for an estimated 6,000 daily bikers who reduce car traffic and pollution by riding their bike to work instead of driving.

We urge transportation officials to take a page from the city of Lillestrom Norway, where the government recently handed out a “reverse toll,” giving each bike and pedestrian commuter up to €12 for choosing not to drive a car that day. After studying the fiscal impact of biking and walking on the national health care and transportation systems, they found that the average 4km bike trip saved the government €12 ($15) and the average 1.7km walking trip reduced government spending by €11.

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most cherished public spaces in our country, and it should remain free for all people to walk and enjoy. And as a critical bike route into the city, planners should be finding ways to increase bike traffic on the bridge to maximize the social benefits of biking over driving, rather than deterring bike ridership with unnecessary fees. For more information you can visit the SF Bike Coalition, listen to a discussion on KQED’s Forum program, and join us this morning in opposing this backwards idea.

Go Big And Go Chrome – Our New PUBLIC D8i

October 22nd, 2014


When we caught a glimpse of our brand new PUBLIC D8i in Chrome for the first time, we all got a little giddy. There’s something about the sheen of chrome when translated into bike form that looks downright sexy. When you see the bike for yourself, we think you’ll agree. Our Chrome PUBLIC D8i is one elegant set of wheels.

It’s constructed of high-quality, light-weight chromoly steel and features a premium eight-speed Shimano Alfine internal hub. This bike is guaranteed to turn heads.

We’re offering this bike in two configurations:
1) The PUBLIC D8i in Chrome, with a sporty white city saddle and matching white ergo grips retailing for $899 (List $1249)
2) The PUBLIC D8i in Chrome Special Edition, with a Brooks B17 Saddle in antique brown leather and our matching PUBLIC Ergo Grip, retailing for $999 (List $1394).

As we enter gifting season next month, we think this bike would look radiant wrapped with a red bow and/or positioned near twinkling lights. We only produced 50 of these Chrome bikes so get them now before we sell out.

Our Rudy’s + PUBLIC Bikes Giveaway Winner

October 16th, 2014


The lucky winner of our Rudy’s Barbershop + PUBLIC Giveaway is Jeff Gang from Boston.

Jeff is a regular commuter who bikes almost every day, including through most of the winter. He’s a big supporter (and former board member) of the Boston Cyclists Union.

We’re excited to hear Jeff’s perspective on bicycling in Boston. He says, “The Boston Cyclists Union is an awesome group – one of the biggest reasons that bike culture and community are really taking over here in Boston. I’ve been here since 2011, and it’s amazing how much things are changing for the better for cyclists. I started biking everywhere in college. I was lucky enough to spend a summer with Climate Summer, a bike-powered summer of grassroots action against climate change. When I moved to Boston, I knew that biking was the best way to get around.”

Jeff says, “I strongly believe that more people would bike if it felt safer, and if they didn’t feel like they had to buy a whole new wardrobe.Now we’ve got lots of events like the Boston Bike Party and city-focused shops like Bicycle Belle. Change is happening, and it’s bike-powered! I got involved with the bike community here more than two years ago because traveling the city by bike made me so happy and free — and I wanted to help more people get out of cars, off the crowded subway, and onto bikes. We’ve already got our first cycletracks taking shape in Boston! I am looking forward to riding an upright PUBLIC bike.”

We at PUBLIC look forward to seeing Jeff riding his new PUBLIC!

Meet Our New PUBLIC R16 Road Bike

October 14th, 2014

Our brand new PUBLIC R16 City Road Bike is our latest take on the classic steel road bike: lightweight, has 16 hill-ready speeds, and is now available at the special introductory price of $699. We don’t think you’ll find such a well constructed and good looking drop bar road bike with these features at this price point anywhere else.

Planning a weekend adventure that includes light touring and overnight trips? Looking to out pace the commuter bus and speed across town? Or maybe you’re looking for an affordable alternative to your expensive carbon fiber road bike for everyday city riding? We designed the new PUBLIC R16 road bike with you in mind.

Our Thoughtful Upgrades

Secondary Inline Brakes


We added, secondary in-line brake levers, also called “cross” or “interrupter” brakes. These are incredibly helpful when navigating city streets because you no longer only have to be in the drop position to brake.


Downtube Shifters


Previous models had bar-end shifters, but the 2014 model moves the shifters to the downtube. Shifting is more ergonomic and this allows for easy swapping of handlebars.


Polished Silver Fenders


We’ve also swapped out the color-matching fenders for polished silver and we think this lends a more classic “touring” vibe to this vintage-inspired bike.


Available in both Cream and Green and in three unisex sizes, for people ranging from about 5’5″ to 6’3″.

We highly recommend adding a PUBLIC Slender Rear Rack in matching British Racing Green or Cream to maximize versatility without compromising style.

The Cities That Play Together Stay Together

October 7th, 2014

By riding a bike, you instantly become a more connected part of your community and a little happier. It’s the reason why one of our taglines is “Ride a Bike. Smile More.” Since the concepts of fun and urban engagement are important to us, we took notice when a recent article on the importance of “play” in cities passed by our monitors.

The article from The Guardian entitled “Playable Cities: the city that plays together, stays together” makes the case that our culture is becoming increasingly more isolated by technology. So by cultivating activities in your city that bring joy – like “Zoobombing” every Sunday on a zany bike in Portland – you create an environment that’s active, happier and paves the way for a more cohesive city. This article specifically highlights quirky, city-wide events like those illustrated above and below.

Play in cities takes many forms. Here are a few we found and a few we snapped with our own cameras.

Open Streets: NationwideAn increasing number of cities around the world organize Open Streets, which opens public streets for people to walk, bicycle, play, and connect with each other. They’re called Sunday Streets in San Francisco and Berkeley, CicLAvia in Los Angeles, and Sunday Parkways in Portland, Oregon.

Bring Your Own Big Wheels: San Francisco, CA – Adults don costumes and zoom down one of the curviest and steepest streets in San Francisco on big wheel bikes every Easter.

ZooBombing: Portland, OREvery Sunday night adults on kid’s bikes and art bikes careen down a hill near the Oregon Zoo.

Art Installation: Chicago, ILA water art installation geared towards children (but clearly adults were having fun too).

Break Dancing on the Streets in BarcelonaThe simple act of dancing in the streets is a sign of play in the city of Barcelona.

 

Reading, Riding + Arithmetic

October 2nd, 2014

 

You don’t need a high IQ to see why bikes and colleges are a good fit. Colleges are places where higher education and progressive thought flourish, so a transportation form like biking that’s simple and affordable, environmentally-friendly and cultivates a sense of community and connection, just makes sense. Plus, because most campuses are flat, relatively car-free and with buildings significantly apart from each other, zipping to and from via bike is a logical choice.

Occidental College in Los Angeles has been partnering with PUBLIC bikes for a few years now to provide PUBLIC bikes for their free student bike share program. We’re pumped to see how much the Occidental Bike Share Program has grown over the years and it’s so cool to see our bikes being put to such good use on a daily basis.



Occidental College is a great role model for other campuses interested in starting a bike share program. They started small in 2011 with just four aging and poorly maintained bikes to rent. Now according to their head mechanic, Charles Deffarges, the program has grown to include over 24 well-kept PUBLIC bikes, in orange and cream to match the college’s colors.

In addition to well maintained bikes, they now have a dedicated and fully stocked bike workshop where as soon as a bike rental comes in, someone is waiting to ride it out. “Right now our fleet is fully rented,” said Deffarges. “Demand is through the roof and we’re looking to have 30 bikes available to rent by 2015.”

We have years of experience customizing PUBLIC bikes for organizations. With enough quantity and lead-time we can even create bikes in the color of your college or company. If you’re interested in partnering with PUBLIC to create a custom fleet, please get in touch.


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