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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Think The Unthinkable: Cities Without Cars

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

CicLAvia 2013

It is not a stretch to conceive of a time — a few decades from now — when people look back on the 20th century and the onslaught of cars into our cities, and ask “what were they thinking?” After all, who would knowingly lay out cities to prioritize the rights of cars over the rights of people? Who would construct surface level parking lots over precious real estate and not put parking underground?

Fort Mason Parking Lot, San Francisco

Here is an example from my neighborhood, a swath of underutilized asphalt in San Francisco that looks out onto the gorgeous San Francisco Bay. This decision is almost as absurd as putting a prison—Alcatraz—on one of the most scenic islands in the world.

But making the world a better place for cars was pretty much what happened in most US cities in the 20th century, all fueled by low gasoline prices, and the “modern” belief that car mobility was more important than community building. If we were designing cities from scratch today, wouldn’t we park cars on the outskirts, employ efficient mass transit to move people quickly and conveniently, and keep the city human scale safe and friendly for pedestrians and bicyclists?

This inconvenient truth is becoming obvious as cities cope with increasing traffic, congestion, pollution, and a crumbling antiquated infrastructure. The adage “you’re not stuck in traffic, you are traffic” rings true in almost every city where the car dominates our public spaces.

The good news is that major change is afoot all around the world.

Groups as diverse as CicLAvia in Los Angeles and the city fathers in Hamburg, Germany both give us examples of how this problem is being confronted. Hamburg’s “Green Network Plan” goes so far as to call for a phase-out of automobiles in the center of the city altogether over the next two decades. The Hamburg concept is especially noteworthy because Germans love their cars almost as much as we do in the US. Read more here.

CicLAvia in Los Angeles and Sunday Streets in San Francisco are also great examples of how change is occurring in the US. These groups stage events all over the city, open streets for people, and encourage us to rethink our public spaces. These “open streets” initiatives have grown dramatically all over the world in a few years. The concept started in Bogotá, Colombia over thirty years ago as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets.

You can support CicLAvia and Sunday Streets with a donations. We would love to get some customer pictures from anyone who participates in CicLAvia’s April 6 event on Wilshire Blvd. or Sunday Streets’ April 13 event in the Tenderloin.

The more you read about places like Hamburg and Open Streets groups like CicLAvia and Sunday Streets, the more you realize that the US is still playing catch up to most of the modern world when it comes to smart transportation design and Livable Cities. But perhaps our time has finally come as more people embrace Lewis Mumford’s ideal:

The chief function of the city is to convert power into form, energy into culture, dead matter into the living symbols of art, biological reproduction into social creativity.

Or as he put more succinctly, “Forget the damned motor car and build the cities for lovers and friends.”

Win a 3-Night Stay at a Kimpton Hotel

Friday, July 19th, 2013

We’re incredibly excited to work with another San Francisco-based company, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, to debut custom Kimpton PUBLIC bikes at all their 60 nationwide boutique hotel properties.

To celebrate we’re giving away a 3-night stay at any Kimpton Hotel.

It’s easy to enter the contest. All you need to do is get your friends to enter the contest by signing up for our newsletter. Deadline to enter is September 30, 2013. Click here for contest details.

You are probably familiar with many of their hotels that exist in many cities across the country. We’re big fans and customers of Kimpton for their shared emphasis on design, high quality food and amenities. We frequently put our guests in their San Francisco properties. Some of our favorite Kimpton properties are the Hotel Monaco in Chicago, the Amara Resort & Spa in Sedona, the Hotel Palomar in San Francisco, and the 70 Park Avenue Hotel in New York. But all of their 60 hotels in 26 cities across the US reflect their commitment to the same high standards and that personal touch of a boutique hotel.

Kimpton has always been considered an industry leader and this program is one further example. They are the first boutique hotel brand with a national presence to offer custom bicycles for hotel guests at every property. You can read the full description of the nationwide Kimpton complimentary bike program here.

The bikes are complimentary for guests’ enjoyment, in keeping with Kimpton’s commitment to health, well-being and sense of fun and adventure. The Kimpton PUBLIC bike will be easy to spot on the street with its custom cherry-red frame with orange and blue accents, cream tires, matching double walled rims, brass bell, and rear basket. The three-speed mixte frame bikes make city riding a fun adventure for novices or expert cyclists alike.

So join the contest, and think about taking a Third Wheel on your next hotel stay at a Kimpton Hotel.

Get two free cocktails for $1. When you book your reservation at any Kimpton Hotel use promo code PUBLIC. For one dollar more than the best available room rate you’ll receive 2 free cocktails per night during your stay. This offer cannot be combined with any other promotions or packages, and some alternatives may apply based on each individual hotel property. Take advantage of this offer between July 22nd – September 30th, 2013 at Kimpton hotels across the country.

Coffee Comes to Public

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

St. Frank Under Construction at PUBLIC
St. Frank Under Construction

Kevin Bohlin St. Frank Coffee
Kevin Bohlin

St. Frank Coffee
St. Frank’s Texaccino

Benjamin Paz
Benjamin Paz

St. Frank Coffee

Starting this week at our South Park store you’ll see a big wooden crate on our porch, and within that box you’ll find fantastic coffee service and a barista from St. Frank Coffee. We’ve teamed up with St. Frank to offer our customers and passersby what we think are some of the best espresso and coffee drinks in the city.

There are numerous world-class coffee roasters and destinations in San Francisco: Sightglass, Ritual, Four Barrel, and Blue Bottle to name a few. All of these groups deliver superb coffee. We’ve partnered with St. Frank for numerous reasons. The founder Kevin Bohlin is a nationally recognized barista known for his service and smiles. Read more about him and St. Frank and their shop which is about to open on Polk Street in this SF Weekly.

Kevin and his crew fit in well with our PUBLIC staff and culture. His talented staff includes people like Benjamin Paz from Honduras. Benjamin overseas the sourcing of the highest quality beans from very small farmers in Honduras in what is referred to as “relationally sourced” coffee.

The coffee itself is superb, and like our bikes, tasteful, accessible, and friendly with a nod to the best European traditions. The Honduran beans are roasted here in San Francisco to Kevin’s exact standards. Our initial offering will include a simple and classic selection of espresso drinks. Come on down and meet Kevin, Benjamin, and the St. Frank crew. Make a pit stop for a terrific coffee. Walk or ride away with a smile and a little more pep.

Why are we doing coffee? Why not? Coffee and bicycles go together quite nicely. We like engaging our customers in conversation as often as possible. In my travels around the US and Europe I’ve seen so many great bike and coffee pairings, it just seems like an obvious addition to our store. Expect to see some other food and fuel offerings from PUBLIC in the future.


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.

NEW PUBLIC R16 Road Bike – Win One

Friday, April 26th, 2013

We are excited to introduce the first ever PUBLIC city road bike. Taking inspiration from classic and vintage steel framed road bikes, the PUBLIC R16 is a stylish 16 speed lightweight bike designed for the modern commuter and weekend recreational rider. We will have the R16 in stock by late May available in three sizes in black, cream, and green. But before we make these available for sale to the general public, we are giving two away to lucky winners. The R16 is priced at $1195 with a special introductory price of $999 this spring.


1. Share the contest with a friend by entering their email address here.

2. Share the contest with your friends on facebook. Get three friends to sign-up and qualify to win.

If you’re already on our email list, then you are automatically entered into the contest. Everyone who enters the contest opts-in to the PUBLIC email list. Deadline to enter is June 1, 2013.

Cool Bikes Give Back

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

This spring we supported two of our favorite Bay Area non-profit community art centers with bikes embellished with designs based on their artists’ work: Creative Growth based in Oakland and Southern Exposure based in San Francisco. Each organization has a very unique community based program.

Two of our bikes fetched $3,000 for Creative Growth in their annual Beyond Trend fashion auction, a very cool event. Creative Growth, based in Oakland, serves adult artists with developmental, mental and physical disabilities by providing a professional studio for artistic development. They have succeeded in elevating the awareness of their artists to a national level. Dan Miller being an example is a part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art NYC. Another Creative Growth artist, William Scott also recently had his work acquired MOMA. We developed bikes designs off these two artists’ works. Check out the photo gallery here.

To support their annual art auction Southern Exposure selected two top tier local artists to create custom designs on PUBLIC Bikes: Jennifer Morla and Michael Arcega. Both treated PUBLIC bikes as pieces of modern design with hard-edged, abstract geometric shapes beautifully wrapped around the bicycle frame. You can see a photo gallery of the Southern Exposure art bikes here.

While we can't donate a bike to every cause our customers or we care about, we can sell a bike at a reduced price to community organizations that want to raise money to support worthy causes.

Our experience is that if a highly regarded local artist is recruited to help create a one-of-a-kind custom PUBLIC bike, a community organization can raise upwards to $2,000-$4,000 on a special custom PUBLIC bike. Send us an email if you want to put some wheels in motion for a cause you care about.

Basic Bike Clinics in Oakland PUBLIC Store – Feb 6 & Feb 13

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Back by popular demand, we’re organizing two Basic Bike Clinics in Oakland during two Wednesday nights in February.

Both clinics will be held from 6:30-8pm at 205 Alice Street @ 2nd near Jack London Square

Wednesday, Feb. 6 Women’s Only Bike Clinic
Wednesday, Feb. 13 Bike Clinic Open to Everyone

In 1-hour PUBLIC employee Jillian Betterly will teach you the basic mechanics of a bike. The purpose of this clinic is to help you understand basic mechanics of a bike with special emphasis on our PUBLIC bikes. Learn how your gearing works, how to change a flat, best ways to lock your bike, and basic troubleshooting of brakes, chain and shifters.

After the 1-hour workshop, stay longer for Q&A. It’s optional to bring your PUBLIC bike or your own bike. Jillian will spend the hour doing a demo on a PUBLIC bike & then can spend some time after the Q&A helping individuals with their bikes.

This free clinic is limited to 20 participants. Please send email to rsvp@publicbikes.com to reserve your spot with the either Feb 6 or Feb 13 in the email subject line.

PUBLIC WORKS Exhibition at Mission Bowling Club

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

We’re excited to exhibit PUBLIC WORKS at one of our favorite local establishments Mission Bowling Club from February 26-May 20, 2013.

We invited a group of world-renowned designers to interpret the concept of “public” in their own voice and style, to play with the word itself if they desired, and to design large scale posters around these ideas.

To launch this exhibition, we’re hosting an PUBLIC WORKS Opening Party on Tuesday, Feb. 26 from 6-9pm. We’ll offer special deals at the Opening Party on PUBLIC WORKS posters and t-shirts. Join us to inaugurate this exhibition while enjoying no-host food and full bar at Mission Bowling Club. Make a lane reservation to go bowling that evening too. We’ll raffle some special prizes too.

When: Tuesday, Feb 26 from 6-9pm
Where: Mission Bowling Club (3176 17th St @ S. Van Ness)
What: Design Exhibition, No-Host Food & Drinks, Raffle
BONUS: First 20 guests who buy drinks and mention PUBLIC WORKS receives a free PUBLIC WORKS Book.

PUBLIC WORKS posters and t-shirts will be available for sale at the show.

Holiday Party: A Thank You & Year End Sale

Friday, December 7th, 2012

We’re closing out this holiday season with a PUBLIC Holiday Thank You & Year End Sale Party on Saturday, Dec. 15 from 11am-4pm at 123 South Park.

We want to thank our local Bay Area customers. Please join us & bring your friends. Plan to linger, shop, and meet new PUBLIC friends at our festive event.

Please spread the word via Facebook.

Bikes For Sale
If you’re thinking about buying a PUBLIC bike for yourself before the end of the year, we’ll have a handful of discounted bikes ready to roll to take home. We have a handful of remaining bikes from our last Warehouse Sale. Also come check out our new $399 PUBLIC S7 & PUBLIC T7 bikes, as well our new Red Polka Dot PUBLIC C7. We’ll also feature our New Products, including the Handlebar Flower Vase, PUBLIC Stripe Fenders, and Italian Wool Scarves.

Up to 50% off Select Gear
Need last minute gifts for your friends and family? We’ll have our gear and accessories at special store-only prices. Need gift ideas? Check out our Holiday Gift Guides.

Tasty Food & Drinks
We’ll provide beer, wine, tacos, and snacks for all shoppers.

PUBLIC Holiday Year-End Sale & Thank You Party
Saturday, Dec. 15, 2011, 11am-4pm
123 South Park
San Francisco, CA

Save on select PUBLIC bikes
Last minute holiday gifts under $20
Up to 50% off select non-bike merchandise

Anyone who RSVPs on Facebook & makes a purchase during this event will receive a free copy of our PUBLIC WORKS Exhibition Book.

Oakland Holiday Mart on Sat, Dec. 8

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

PUBLIC has invited our favorite designers & food vendors to showcase their products at our Oakland store & warehouse for a Holiday Mart on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 11am-4pm.

This is a great opportunity to shop & find some new gifts for family & friends.

Here is the tentative list of vendors:

  • Barbarian Gourmet Catering – Holiday Pies
  • Milton & Small – Organic, Fair trade bottled medium and dark roast coffee
  • The Cook and Her Farmer – Local organic jams, pickles, and preserves, pickles are half-sours, cold fermented
  • Sunnyside Catering and Biscuits – Cheddar biscuit and slow cooked beef brisket
  • Carlottas Closet – Terrariums and Vintage Clothing
  • Artichoke Jewelry Garden – Handmade Jewelry
  • Muffin Revolution – savory and sweet muffins with Gluten-Free, Paleo, and Dairy-Free options
  • A Verb for Keeping Warm – Knitting and yarn spinning demo
  • Pollyannacowgirl -jewelry, accessories, and fancy treats for flashy folks
  • MamakSF – pedal-powered food cart, serving Malaysian inspired food
  • Join us at our Jack London District store on December 8 from 11am-4pm at 205 Alice Street at 2nd (across from Amtrak station at Jack London Square).

    Anyone who RSVPs on Facebook & makes a purchase during this event will receive a free copy of our PUBLIC WORKS Exhibition Book.

    Please share the event with your friends via Facebook.