PUBLIC Seeking Partnerships

August 14th, 2015

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PUBLIC is expanding in many ways and shapes. We’re looking for short or long term partnerships with merchants and creative retail spaces, especially those located in California and the Western states, but we’ll consider other major cities in the U.S. If you are a potential partner or know of one, send an email over to  partner@publicbikes.com.

Below are a few examples of successful partnerships we have now or have had in the past.

PUBLIC SHOWROOM COLOCATED WITH A PARTNER

Earlier this summer we set up a showroom in Portland inside a building co-occupied by apparel company Marine Layer. We were able to set up our showroom in roughly 800 square feet to showcase our bikes for customer test riding. We’d love to set up other showrooms around the country in 800-1,200 square feet spaces in popular retail corridors fronting bike-friendly streets.

FULL PUBLIC STORE COLOCATED WITH A PARTNER

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One of our longest pop-up shops was in Harrington Galleries, a boutique furniture and antique shop in San Francisco. We subleased 1,200 square feet of retail space to operate a full PUBLIC retail store.

SHORT TERM POP-UP PARTNER COLOCATED WITHIN A PUBLIC STORE

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In the past we partnered with coffee company Saint Frank Coffee, who ran a pop-up shop outside one of our former locations and recently with espresso machine manufacturer La Marzocco who set up a pop-up shop over one weekend in our PUBLIC Hayes Valley store. Our retail locations in San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and Oakland could serve as short-term pop-up opportunities for indie designers and other small businesses looking for exposure.

VISUAL MERCHANDISE PARTNER

Currently our bikes are featured in select Banana Republic stores as part of their Fall campaign, What Moves You? For their Fall collection, Banana Republic took inspiration from Amsterdam and our dutch-style, step-through bikes were a natural fit.

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We have also partnered with GAP during the holiday season for a temporary PUBLIC Bikes holiday pop-up shop in one of their flagship stores. This pop-up served as a showroom to showcase our bikes.

Please share this post out with potential partners or drop us a line directly at partner@publicbikes.com.

PUBLIC Bikes Opens in Portland

June 9th, 2015

We’re elated to announce that we’re coming to Portland. The first-ever PUBLIC Showroom is now open in Northwest Portland inside a beautiful old Craftsman at 828 NW 23rd Ave, shared with our friends, Marine Layer.

Marine Layer is an apparel company known for impeccable style. With their absurdly soft shirts and our ridiculously smooth riding bikes, laid back Portland just got even more comfortable. Anyone who orders a PUBLIC bike from our Portland Showroom can get 15% off any full priced apparel from the Marine Layer store located upstairs in the same building.

Our PUBLIC Portland Showroom (entrance above) will feature our entire collection of PUBLIC bikes for test riding where we can place an order for you to ship directly to your home or work. During the summer months we’ll be open 11am-7pm everyday. Our friendly staff will help you customize your dream bike with their expert knowledge of our bike accessories. Meet our new Portland Showroom Manager Elly Swope.

With the opening of our PUBLIC Portland Showroom there are now two options for purchasing a PUBLIC bike in Portland. You can still purchase a PUBLIC bike from Crank, our excellent bicycle shop dealer across the river in Southeast Portland. Crank carries many PUBLIC bikes in stock and offers PUBLIC bikes at the same price as us. We recommend Crank to service your PUBLIC bike and you can rent a bike from them as well.

The number one reason we want to be in Portland is simple. We want to be part of the city that consistently ranks #1 or near the top of every list of top bicycle-friendly cities. These days, 6% of Portland residents regularly bike commute to work, making it the leader out of all major US cities. Interestingly, the 2000 Census found only 1.8% of the city rode a bike to work, so Portland’s huge growth in bike commuting is inspiring. Another fun fact is the percentage of bike commuters per capita in Portland is twice as high as San Francisco’s and 10x the national average.

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More reasons why we are pumped to be in Portland include the personal and professional connections we have to the city. Several PUBLIC staff members hail from Portland. We’ve juried at the Oregon Manifest (shot above) where the country’s best custom bicycle builders team up with top-notch design firms to collaborate on envisioning and designing the ultimate “utility bike.”  Many of our vendor partners and friends are based in Portland, including Nutcase and Portland Design Works. And local groups and blogs, including Bicycle Transportation AllianceBikePortland, and SHIFT serve as effective advocates, organizers, and resources about livable streets and celebrating bicycle culture.

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Also, Portland’s indie bike building community leads the US and the world. The leading industry technical school, United Bicycle Institute, has a campus in Portland and has trained some of the best people in the industry. There are 40+ amazing custom bicycle builders based in Portland, including the well-known and well-loved Tony Pereira, Sweetpea and Vanilla. Chris King Precision Components (shot above from our 2014 tour of Chris King) hails from Portland and has an international reputation for their locally manufactured gear.

Portland has made us believe that American cities can become just as bike and pedestrian friendly as our favorite cities in Europe. We look forward to joining Portland’s diverse community to inspire new people to think differently about how they can use a bike more in their everyday life.

Meet Elly, Our New Portland Manager

June 9th, 2015

Portland, hello! We’re so excited to have made our way to this vibrant and bike-friendly city. On Friday, June 12 we’ll open the doors to our first ever PUBLIC Showroom in Portland at 828 NW 23rd Street (adjacent to awesome Marine Layer). Read more about our Portland Showroom here.

We had a chance to catch up with our PUBLIC Portland Showroom manager, Elly Swope. She’s a fun loving individual who works at PUBLIC by day and fronts a band at night! Read on to learn more about Elly and her band, Focus! Focus! and make sure to swing by our PUBLIC Showroom and say hi to Elly and the team.

EllyPORTLAND SHOWROOM MANAGER, ELLY

PUBLIC: Tell us a little about yourself.
ELLY: I’m originally from Missouri, and I moved to Portland in 2010. I’m a musician and I had heard great things about the PDX music scene. After a few years here, my partner Vikki and I moved to LA to learn more about the music industry there. But it wasn’t long before we missed beautiful Portland, and we moved back in Fall of 2014.

PUBLIC: Where did you work before?
ELLY: I’ve been in music retail for about 9 years. Most recently, I worked for Guitar Center in sales and management.

PUBLIC: What do you like best about Portland?
ELLY: I love how inclusive this city is; about passions, about identity, about career dreams. In Portland, you are given the space to be whoever you are or want to be, and you can usually find other people like you. Also, the beer and coffee are great.

PUBLIC: Tell us some fact or background about yourself that might surprise people.
ELLY: I’ve been playing music for almost 20 years. I started playing drums first, when I was a kid, and I learned guitar later on. I started writing songs when I was in college, and quickly realized I wanted to make a career out of it. So I spend most of my time writing, recording, and performing with my band, Focus! Focus!

PUBLIC: What’s your experience riding bikes in Portland?
ELLY: I love biking here! I biked in LA, and it was terrible. The drivers didn’t want you there; the air was hard to breathe. In Portland, I feel safe and I feel like I’m part of a community.

PUBLIC: What are your favorite routes or places to visit by bicycle in Portland?
ELLY: I like biking on the Eastside, where I live, scoping out the houses, and daydreaming about owning one someday. One of my favorite rides is from my neighborhood in outter NE, down to a coffee shop called Crema in inner SE, down Ankeny to 28th. The big craftsman houses on the route are gorgeous!

PUBLIC: What are you looking forward to in leading the new PUBLIC Portland showroom?
ELLY: I’m excited to help connect PUBLIC to the Portland biking community, and to help new riders connect to the community as well!

Bi-Rite + PUBLIC Bike to Ice Cream Fundraiser on May 20

May 10th, 2015

In celebration of Bike Month, Bike to Ice Cream Day will be co-hosted by Bi-Rite Divisadero and PUBLIC Bikes to tie together three things San Franciscans love: celebrating safer, bike-friendly streets and culture, supporting local youth with great local jobs, and delicious, organic, small-batch ice cream! Win-Win for all.

Bi-Rite Grocery and Creamery on Divisadero.

The fundraiser will take place at the Bi-Rite Divisadero Scoop Shop at 550 Divisadero. This promotion is limited to this Divisadero location ONLY (will not extend to our Bi-Rite Creamery on 18th Street). The event will be on Wednesday, May 20th from 5pm to 8pm. You can RSVP to this Facebook event & invite your friends.

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Non-profit bike shop, Pedal Revolution.

The event is a fundraiser for Pedal Revolution, an amazing non-profit bike shop that, with their partnership with New Door Ventures, has provided local youth with local job training and opportunities for 15 years. For entire month of May, the Bi-Rite Divisadero Scoop Shop will collect donations for Pedal Revolution to support their youth work.

The event will feature a special day-of sundae, called “This Little Piggy Rode to Market”, featuring Chunky Pig’s Bacon Caramel Popcorn, with Bi-Rite Creamery’s Brown Sugar with ginger caramel swirl ice cream, Vanilla ice cream and our house-made fudge sauce. Folks who come with their bike helmet with get $1.50 off their sundae – $6.99 for bike riders with helmets and $8.50 for everyone else!

The event will also have a raffle featuring sweet prizes, including PUBLIC Bikes gift certificates, PUBLIC Mini Kids Balance Bikes and Bi-Rite swag and sweet treats. A donation of $1 gets you a raffle ticket and all raffle sales will benefit Pedal Revolution.

Pedal Revolution will be on-site at this May 20 event. Folks can learn about their mission, meet their youth and participate in a mini-bike clinic.

Models Needed – Helmet Photo Shoot

April 3rd, 2015

We’ve got a slew of new helmets coming in 2015 and we need some fabulous heads to show them off to their finest. And by fabulous heads, we mean yours! We’re hosting an informal helmet photo shoot on Thursday, April 9th and need models (adults of any age and children between the ages of 1 to 6) to be photographed in these helmets. The images taken will be used on our website and social media. Examples here.

This is an informal, casual photo shoot to showcase our customers and supporters with our products. There is no compensation for this shoot. If we end up using your photo, the reward is you’ll get to tell your friends and family that you’re an official PUBLIC model!

Our helmet photo shoot will take place at our Hayes Valley Store at 549 Hayes Street in San Francisco. We’ll have two time slots, one for children and one for adults. From 10am – 11am we invite children between the ages of 1 to 6 years old to get their picture taken in a helmet. And from 11am – 1pm, adults of any age are encouraged to swing by and pose with a helmet.

While you’re welcome to drop in, please shoot us a quick RSVP at
models@publicbikes.com so we can get a rough headcount.


THE DETAILS
Date: Thursday, April 9 2015
Two Time Slots:
10am – 11am – Children ages 1 to 6-years old
11am – 1pm – Adults of any age
Location:
PUBLIC Bikes on Hayes
549 Hayes Street b/t Octavia & Laguna
San Francisco, CA

We’re Hiring In San Francisco & Seattle

February 7th, 2015


We are a small team of urbanist bike lovers quite serious about our mission to change the world and quite serious about having fun while making that happen. Now in our fifth year we have plans to expand our business and we could use your help. Maybe you fit one of the job descriptions below or maybe you know someone who does? If you lead us to someone who meets the qualifications for any of the full-time positions we’ll give you the PUBLIC C7 or V7 of your choice. Job summaries and links to full descriptions below.

Thanks,
Rob Forbes, PUBLIC Founder

Director of Merchandise – Full Time (San Francisco)

For this position we’re looking for a hands-on team player with 5-10 years of product management experience, specializing in web centric retail businesses. We’re looking for someone who will oversee all aspects of merchandise, product development and inventory. If you’re a visionary with an entrepreneurial attitude and a good sense of humor, please drop us a letter of interest at jobs(at)publicbikes.com. Learn more about the position on our website.

Retail Store Manager – Full Time (Seattle)

Yup, we’re hiring for Seattle because we’re expanding this Spring and opening our first store outside of California in Seattle, Washington. If you’re a talented and enthusiastic leader, with 3+ years experience in specialty retail management, we’d love to meet you. Send over a letter of interest to storejobs(at)publicbikes.com. Learn more about the position here.

Bike Light Up Your Holiday

December 18th, 2014

Why stop at trimming your tree with lights? Your bike is a prime candidate for a little more glow this holiday season. We amassed a few shining examples of festive bikes below and we’d love to see yours! If you’re decking out your bike with lights this holiday, send us a picture or tag us @publicbikes on social media.

1. Cruiser bikes get a nighttime makeover with neon lights

2. A vintage bike makes for a sweet holiday light show

3. An amazing bike “tree” blinging with Christmas Lights

4. A simple way to get festive, wrap colored lights around your bike basket

5. Transform an old bike by wrapping it in white lights and turning it into a planter

6. A long exposure and LEDs make a great bike light show

Supermarket Street Sweep 2014

December 15th, 2014

Riding a bike is a great way to become more connected with your community, and during this time of gift giving, it’s inspiring to see the many ways that people are using bikes to give back to their neighbors and cities.

One local effort that we think deserves special attention is the Supermarket Street Sweep event in San Francisco, which recently raised its biggest-ever haul of food and donations for the SF-Marin Food Bank. Every December, hundreds of riders bike up and down the city following an alley-cat route of supermarkets on all kinds of bikes, picking up more and more food along the way to drop off at the finish line: the local Food Bank.

Since 2006, the Supermarket Street Sweep has raised thousands of dollars and delivered over 120,000 meals to the SF-Marin Food Bank. This year 132 riders brought over 12,000 pounds of food on bicycles. This fun community ride grows bigger every year, and was inspired by the Cranksgiving ride, started in New York and now held in cities around the country. It’s an amazing sight to witness these bicyclists racing around the city collecting food and hauling heavy loads on all kinds of bicycles. This year’s winner carried 1,745 pounds on his own wheels – that’s almost an entire ton of food!

We love events like Supermarket Street Sweep and Cranksgiving because they use bikes to connect people with each other and with their communities and cities in a spirit of giving and fun. If you’re looking for a way to give back to your city this year, check out local benefit rides in your area, or better yet, organize your own! You might be surprised how a small thing like a bicycle can make a big impact on the people around you.

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:

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.