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Traffic Jams In All Forms

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Take a look at these eerie images of cars abandoned in a Belgium forest. These amazing, haunting images by Rosanne de Lange were actually taken at one of the biggest car cemeteries in the world – the Chatillion Car Graveyard in Belgium.

As discussed on this blog, “According to an urban legend these cars were left behind by US soldiers from World War II, who could not ship them back to the US so they decided to hide them in a forest until they could come back and retrieve them. The locals disagree and say that it’s simply an old car dump of vehicles made after the WWII”.

Click on the above images to share them via Facebook.

Traffic has been in the news a lot lately, including the 8+ hours to get to the playa of Burning Man’s Black Rock City to thousands of concert goers missing a Paul McCartney concert at the last event at Candlestick Park due to the Big Jam.

We’ve written about traffic before on our blog. More bicycles, better public transit, and improved walkable neighborhoods helps. But most importantly, we need to recognize that when we get in our cars, we’re not just stuck in traffic – we are traffic. Feel free to share this image out on Facebook.

Congestion and its effect on quality of life is an issue in almost every US city. We’re not going to solve this problem by building wider roads, at the expense of walkable, livable neighborhoods, or encouraging more cars on our already congested roads.

Even in a progressive city like San Francisco, there are people who are determined to reverse the city’s efforts to reduce car congestion and prioritize transit and walkable neighborhoods. In this November’s ballot San Francisco voters will be asked to weigh in on Proposition L. We at PUBLIC are encouraging our customers and fans to vote No on Gridlock (No on Prop L). Learn more here.


Internal Gears: What Makes Our Best Bikes Better

Friday, March 7th, 2014

PUBLIC Bikes C7i Shimano Nexus Internal Gear

When customers ride a PUBLIC bike for the first time, they’re often amazed at how much smoother and easier our bikes feel compared to the clunky old bikes they’ve tried before. 

One of the big reasons our bikes ride better and last longer is the Shimano Nexus internally-geared rear hub. Internal gears have become the standard in Europe and wherever people want seriously good commuter bikes for city riding. They are catching on in the US, and there is a reason for this.


With internal gears, shifting from one gear to the next is smooth and quiet. You can even switch gears when you’re sitting still at a stoplight, something you can’t do with a derailleur gear system. And because the gears are all sealed off inside the rear wheel, the moving parts are not exposed to elements like snow, salt, water, and other gunk on the road, making them very low maintenance. And there’s no annoying slack in the chain, so you won’t have to get your fingers greasy trying to put back a chain that’s jumped off the gears. Their simplicity also adds an aesthetic element too: they make your bike look really classy.

Our internally-geared bikes are great for urban commuters and everyday riders and they are terrific for someone who’s just getting back into biking. And right now every PUBLIC bike with internal gears is on sale – up to $300 off. That includes our dutch style step-through PUBLIC C7i, our PUBLIC M8i mixte model, and our classic double-diamond PUBLIC V7i 7-speed and premium 8-speed PUBLIC D8i. Shop our all sale bikes now and see how much smoother your commute could be.

PUBLIC C7i $799 $599 PUBLIC V7i $799 $599 PUBLIC M8i $1099 $799

A Smarter Bike Light: PUBLIC + Revolights Kickstarter

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

PUBLIC Bikes + Revolights Arc Kickstarter

We are excited to announce our partnership with Revolights and to support the launch of their third Kickstarter project: the Revolights Arc, a smarter approach to the bicycle taillight.

Revolights is an innovative Bay Area bike light design company, and we’ve been fans ever since they launched their first product on Kickstarter in 2011. So we were honored when they approached us to collaborate on a line of theft-resistant, commuter bike lights designed around the fenders that come standard on our PUBLIC bikes. This innovation alone is noteworthy, but they went even further to design a platform that could provide brake lights and turn signals as well. We think it could be a game changer for city cyclists.

You can watch Revolights co-founder Kent Frankovich appear on Shark Tank this upcoming Friday, March 7 at 9pm on ABC.

PUBLIC is proud to participate by offering our PUBLIC V1 and PUBLIC V7 bikes as special rewards for backers of the campaign. From now until April 22, you can order a PUBLIC bike (at a special Kickstarter price) with the Revolights Arc integrated into the bike’s fenders. And if you already ride a PUBLIC bike (thank you!), you can get the Revolights Arc as an easy addition to your current bike.

Watch their video below and support to their campaign to help make this smart new concept a reality. Leading the revolution to make bicycling safer and more fun is what both Revolights and PUBLIC are all about.


Our Medalists in Bike Style at Sochi

Friday, February 21st, 2014

While you won’t see bicycles on the official program at the Winter Olympics, all over Sochi this year there are bikes of every color proudly representing their home countries. Our unofficial judges at PUBLIC scored every country’s contenders, and we congratulate our 2014 medalists in Bicycle Style.

Gold Medal: Netherlands
Not only did the Dutch roll out a fleet of orange step-through bikes for their all of their athletes to get around the games, but the King and Queen themselves have been riding everywhere in Sochi with coordinated orange outfits. While some of our US presidents have been known for their bicycle enthusiasm, clearly we still have plenty to learn from the Dutch.

Silver Medal: Finland
The Finnish men’s hockey team is a strong runner-up this year, sporting blue step-through bikes and bright blue team hoodies. While scoring a little lower in elegance, they earn strong marks for generosity by autographing and auctioning each of their bikes for charity. With two weeks of bidding left, national hockey star’s Teemu Selänne’s bike has already raised over 5,000 euro.

Bronze Medal: Sweden
Sweden’s men’s hockey team earns an honorable mention this year, with high scores from our judges in both the formalwear and fun categories. How could you help but smile when you’re riding your bike in a sharp suit and shades?

Romance in the Bike Lane

Friday, January 31st, 2014

We’ve seen many recent reports about the continuing decline of driving in the US, especially in younger generations. A recent story from National Geographic reports that the number of people under 25 getting drivers’ licenses has dropped dramatically, to its lowest point ever in the past 50 years. Whether due to rising gas prices, or the rise of technology and social media connecting people in new ways, as we’ve written about before, we think it’s a good trend.

As February begins, it looks like more and more Valentine’s Day dates will be picked up by bicycle instead. Who could deny that a carefree ride with your sweetheart promises a lot more romance, fun and freedom than sitting in traffic or circling around looking for parking. In generations past, the automobile once represented freedom and sex appeal, as we discussed in a previous PUBLIC Opinion piece.

Tommy and Ngoc's PUBLIC WeddingBut these days a lot more people think the bicycle is the sexiest form of transportation – and the most common feedback we get from PUBLIC customers is that when they’re riding their PUBLIC bikes, they get so much positive attention and love from friends and strangers alike. 

We’ve highlighted couples who have even made their PUBLIC bikes part of their wedding ceremonies and engagement photos. And we’ve actually heard several customer stories from couples who wound up falling in love after chance conversations about their PUBLIC bikes. True story. Bicycles create conversation and sometimes even a bit of love connection.

For the many of us who are currently unattached we know it’s definitely a lot easier to strike up a conversation with someone cute in the bike lane than out on the highway. Social rides and bike community events happening in every US city are always a great way to meet new people of all kinds. Whether you’re looking for the perfect creative date idea for this Valentine’s Day, or you’re treating yourself this year to a stylish new ride to meet some cool new people around town, we’re launching a special Sweetheart Sale on some of our favorite models of PUBLIC bikes. Find out more.

Traffic Jams. Open Streets.

Friday, January 17th, 2014

You are not stuck in traffic. You are traffic.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, has been in hot political water over information that suggests his top aides intentionally caused traffic jams by closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge as political payback. It’s a hot mess of a scandal that you can follow here.

We’re particularly intrigued by this scandal because people seem to be upset that there was a deliberate, orchestrated effort to create unnecessary traffic jams. And yet in most cities, traffic congestion is an ongoing reality because we’ve unfortunately built lifestyles around the car. Every time we read about traffic jams, we’re reminded of the adage: “You are not stuck in traffic. You are traffic.”

At PUBLIC, we’d rather spend less energy thinking of lane closures and traffic jams, but more energy thinking of ways to open our streets to people, bicycles, and other things that bring people together. This Streetfilms video on the “Rise of Open Streets” articulates this concept beautifully, and includes cameo appearances from some of our favorite urbanists such as Janette Sadik-Khan and Gil Penalosa.

Hot New Single-Speeds – $299

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

For the past few years, we’ve had many customers ask us to design and offer an affordable single-speed PUBLIC bike that doesn’t compromise on quality and design. Voilà: The new PUBLIC C1 and PUBLIC V1.

Single-speed bikes have a great tradition going back 120 years, when all bikes had only one gear, and you’ll see them in classic films like The Bicycle Thief. They continue to be ridden today both for track racing and as city bikes around the world. Our new PUBLIC single-speeds come out of this tradition, foregoing multiple gears in favor of an economic and efficient drivetrain. (But unlike track racing bikes or fixies, on our single-speeds you can stop pedaling and coast whenever you like.) They are simple, lightweight, stylish, affordable, and fun.

PUBLIC V1 Single-Speed Bikes in Gold and Royal BlueThe PUBLIC C1 comes in Yellow and Turquoise and the PUBLIC V1 comes in Gold and Royal Blue. Ideally suited for trips around town, casual riding with friends and weekend jaunts through the park – these bikes are intended for a flat or moderately hilly terrain. We have carefully selected the ideal gearing for rolling hills as well as flatter routes.

We challenge you to find a better single-speed city bike at this price point that features strong dual pivot caliper brakes on both front and rear tires, durable steel frame, kickstand, matching painted inside rims, fenders, and chainguard.

Limited Supply at Introductory Price of $299 (Retail $449, Save $150)

Our new PUBLIC C1 and PUBLIC V1 bikes are now available for pre-order purchase for a special introductory price of only $299. We will have them ready to ship to your door, or to be picked up at one of our Bay Area stores in early December, right in time for the holidays. We think our new single-speed bikes are an ideal gift for yourself or for a special someone who wants an entry-level bike or a seasoned rider who wants a simple, around town ride.

We only produced a few hundred of these single-speed bikes for the holidays so pre-order now because we anticipate selling out very quickly.

New Lower Priced Bike Shipping

PUBLIC Bikes $55 Flat Rate Bike ShippingAlong with our new line of even more affordable bikes, we’re announcing a new lower-priced bike shipping option for online orders. We’re calling it Find Your Own Mechanic shipping. For a flat $55 anywhere in the continental US, you can now choose to ship your bike in a smaller factory box without pre-assembly. Instead of our Ready to Ride shipping option, where our mechanics build and tune your bike in our Bay Area warehouse before shipping to your door, you can now choose to find your own local bike shop to assemble your new PUBLIC bike after it’s delivered to you. Learn more about all of our bike delivery options here.

Women, Bikes, and Freedom

Friday, November 15th, 2013

When we launched PUBLIC four years ago, we wanted to build a company that offered bicycles and products attractive to all kinds of people, especially women.

We’re proud that 60% of our customers are women – and we’re thrilled to see the growing number of women biking around the country.

In case you missed it, The League of American Bicyclists recently issued a report called “Women on a Roll” (PDF) that highlighted many of the trends we’ve been seeing first-hand. Bicycle Times summarized the report and noted that from “2003 to 2012, the number of women and girls who bicycle rose 20 percent, compared to a .5 percent decline among men.

In our blog, we’ve previously highlighted fifteen women who are making a difference in bicycling around the country. Our list was not meant to be comprehensive, but a conversation starter. Read the comments for other difference-makers, including Georgena Terry from Terry Bicycles, Mia Birk of Alta Planning + Design, or Renee Rivera of the East Bay Bicycle Coalition.

The good news is that more women are joining the ranks of people incorporating a bicycle in their lives – and they’re leading many advocacy and industry game-changing companies. We hope to do our small part at PUBLIC.

$500 Reasons to Get the Thief

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

We had an incident last week at our Valencia Street store that was unprecedented and not funny. A guy came in to participate in our Take One Home Tonight E-Bike program and never returned the E-bike. He went AWOL. He claims to have studied pre-law at UCLA. What chutzpah!

Help us Get this Guy. $500 reward.

We are reaching out to all of you through our online networks, to try to track this guy down. Can you help? He went off with a black Stromer ST1 Platinum. Here is a photo and the information he left with us (which may or may not be true).

Jesse Hanlin, e-bike thiefThe suspect went by the name JESSE EDWARD HANLIN who previously lived in San Jose & attended UCLA. (Go Bruins!) If anyone can help us locate him (and our bike too), we will offer you $500 credit to get your own e-bike. He’s either missing (which would concern us) or is a bike thief.

Please SHARE WIDELY with this Facebook link and help us locate him and/or the Stromer e-bike. Email customerservice@publicbikes.com with any tips.

Sadly, a lot of the problem with bike theft is that the police or prosecutors just don’t have the resources or incentives to go after bike thieves, so we’re using our own means. Many of our customers are tech and media savvy, so we’re hoping that one of you might have the skills to help us find him. Thanks for your help.

Bike theft is a truly sad fact of life, and it is as common in “civilized” biking communities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen as it is in the US. Almost all of us have had to cope with theft at some time in our lives. I personally believe that bike thieves are reason enough to reinstitute those stocks that Puritans used in colonial times to expose thieves to public shame. We have written about theft from various points of view in earlier blog posts:

Dear Bike Thief
Outwitting Thieves at PUBLIC
Bondage in Amsterdam

The subject has not been lost in broader modern circles. Vittoria de Sica’s 1948 The Bicycle Thief is rated as one of the greatest movies of all time, and happens to be Woody Allen’s favorite film. See it if you have not done so already.

The Bike-In Camp-Out with Alite Designs & PUBLIC Bikes

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

A few weekends ago we teamed up with our friends from Alite Designs for the Bike-In Camp-Out, our first ever collaborative bike-in camp-out overnight trip.

A group of 60 participants biked to Rob Hill Campground in the Presidio, which is the city equivalent of setting up a tent in your own backyard. For most of us, it was our first experience camping inside the Presidio with access to incredible beaches, views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands, and spectacular Pacific Ocean sunset. And for most of us, it took only 30-45 minutes to bike to the campground.

Alite Designs makes and sells some of the best and simplest to use camping gear, including tents, folding chairs, and bags. They offered their easy-to-use equipment to make life easier for all participants and recruited Rice Paper Scissors to cater dinner, snacks, and breakfast. And Halcyonaire performed music around the campfire after all of us finished bourbon s’mores and hot chocolate.

In many respects, we were “glamping” (glamorous camping) but part of our desire was to introduce customers to bike camping without any worries – and to inspire them to consider camping to even further and more remote places on their own. For some participants, it was their first experience pitching their own tent and sleeping outside. Our Alite Design friends even documented easy tips on how to bike camp.

If you’re interested in learning about future collaborative events, make sure to sign up for the PUBLIC e-newsletter and follow Alite Design too.

Check out some photos of the Bike-In Camp-Out from photographer Kurt Manley, who also guided a photography hike for participants.

And of course, you can’t have a proper camping event without s’mores. This photo was taken by Dan from PUBLIC.