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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

WeiWei Good

Monday, 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

Friday, 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.

A PUBLIC Stand: No on Gridlock, No on Prop L

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Even in a progressive city like San Francisco where we’re headquartered, we’re still fighting this outdated mindset that wider roads, more parking garages, and free parking is good for our city. Despite numerous studies and real world examples from all around the world that the opposite is true, it is all too easy for well funded groups to bait the public with misguided promises of free parking and more parking garages as a way to ease traffic congestion. This trickery has been proven wrong for decades.

A good example of this is an upcoming ballot measure in San Francisco called Prop L. We find this proposition so narrow-minded that we’re hosting a fundraising event to support the No on Gridlock, No on Prop L campaign. Please join us and make a donation to support the opposition if you are in the Bay Area.

No on Gridlock, No on Prop L Fundraiser
Tuesday, Sept. 16 from 6-8pm.
Hosted by PUBLIC Bikes
549 Hayes

Suggested $20-$100 donation

And for non-residents of San Francisco, this proposition and its potential effect is a reminder that we all need to be vigilant and take a stand for our communities, not for our cars. The battle over our public spaces waging in San Francisco leading up to November election is happening in some shape or form in other cities.

Congestion and its effect on quality of life is an issue in almost every US city. Many people think wider roads, free parking, and more parking garages will ease traffic congestion, when in fact it just worsens the situation for all of us by encouraging more cars on our already congested roads.

Wired’s article, “What’s Up With That: Building Bigger Roads Actually Makes Traffic Worse,” does an excellent job summarizing the concept of “induced demand, which is economist-speak for when increasing the supply of something (like roads) makes people want that thing even more.” And this article “Why Free Parking Is Bad For Everyone” also demystifies terribly wrong assumptions. These are must-read articles.

On 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. You can read background on Proposition L here.

Our friends at Tranform wrote an excellent analysis of why voters should reject Proposition L, which is a radical effort to reverse San Francisco’s environmental and transportation priorities.

You can also watch this short video by San Francisco League of Conservation Voters outlining the key arguments against Proposition L.

What are we doing about this at PUBLIC? We’re opening our Hayes Valley for a No on Gridlock, No on Prop L fundraiser to raise money to educate voters.

If you’re in the Bay Area, we invite you to 549 Hayes on Tuesday night, Sept 16 from 6-8pm. Learn more about our event here and invite your friends. If you can’t attend, we encourage you to make a donation.

Our vision for communities, including our very own San Francisco, is to support efforts to make our neighborhoods more people-friendly. Efforts to build more parking garages, widen road, reduce bike lanes, and provide more free parking, are simply antithetical to what we stand for at PUBLIC.

At its core, we need to recognize that when we get in our cars, we’re not just stuck in traffic – we are traffic. So why would we want to create more gridlock by encouraging more people to drive and circle around looking for free parking?

We hope you’ll join us in encouraging rational, smart transportation policies in your city. And if you’re in San Francisco, we invite you to join us at our No on Gridlock event and vote No on Prop L this November. There are a few other transportation-related ballot measures to understand.

The Cool Spirit of Independent Bike Fashion

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Thankfully, the biker of today can solve the “what to wear when riding” problem in so many ways other than spandex and neon.  Today’s urban commuter gets to choose from a variety of independent brands that are creating both comfortable and good-looking bike apparel. The kind of stuff you feel good about wearing whether you’re heading into a business meeting or the grocery store.

We love the unique spirit of today’s independent bike apparel brands. Take Betabrand’s Discolab line of sparkly reversible threads. It’s a party on one side and hipster-cool on the other. Or Chrome Industries’s super stylish sneakers, some are SPD optional but you’d never know it by looking. If you’re into high-tech, yet functional apparel, you can’t get much more slick than the offerings from Mission Workshop. And Levi’s has even come out with a Commuter Line of jeans with a “utility waistband” designed for holding a U-lock.

PUBLIC Bikes on Hayes St is exited to be to be the pop-up shop host this Saturday and Sunday (Aug 23-24) for Iladora, another spirited independent bike-wear brand focused on female bike fashion. Iladora takes wardrobe staples like a draped tops and the pencil skirt and reinterprets them in high-tech fabrics with cuts that are flexible enough for riding. The result is clothing that makes for comfortable bike riding and still looks sharp when worn at work.

In honor of the Iladora Pop-Up Shop at PUBLIC Bikes, for this weekend only Iladora is offering 20% off all Iladora Apparel to both in-store and online shoppers. Online shoppers use the promo code PublicBikesSummerLove. This special promotion for PUBLIC customers ends Sunday, August 24.

Iladora Pop-Up Shop at PUBLIC Bikes. 549 Hayes Street, SF. Saturday and Sunday, August 23-24.

 

PUBLIC + Rudy’s Giveaway Contest

Friday, August 15th, 2014

PUBLIC Bikes is teaming up with Rudy’s Barbershop to launch the newest Rudy’s Barbershop location in Bellevue, WA with a pack of custom PUBLIC bikes to demo on-site.

To celebrate the Rudy’s x PUBLIC collaboration we’re giving away a new PUBLIC V7 city bike, valued at $649, along with The Dirty Birdie gift pack from Rudy’s valued at $83.

Entering the contest is easy. Anyone can do it and you’ll maximize your chances of winning by inviting a few of your friends along. Contest ends September 30, 2014.

And the next time you need a haircut, ride your PUBLIC bike to any Rudy’s location in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, or New York and you’ll get 10% off a trim and 15% off any products from Rudy’s if you show them your PUBLIC bike.

Paws & Pedals: Now on Tumblr

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Two-wheeled objects and four-legged friends mean a lot to us at PUBLIC, so we’re extremely excited to launch Paws & Pedals, a Tumblr page that celebrates all things dog and bike related.

We’re rolling out photos like the one above, taken recently in our PUBLIC Pooch Photo Shoot at our Hayes Valley Store. That photo was not photo-shopped, by the way. It was taken by SF photographer, Akshay Sawhney and those adorable Pomeranians from left to right are Mika, Chloe and their mom, Nana. We need you and your pooch to make Paws & Pedals as epic as possible.

Send your most quirky and fun, dog + bike photos via email and we’ll post them to Paws & Pedals. At the end of each month the user submitted photo with the most likes will get a special gift and recognition from PUBLIC.

If you’ve got doggy style, Paws & Pedals wants to see it.

Photo Credit: Akshay Sawhney

Valencia Store Closing Sale – Last Weekend

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

After two wonderful years on Valencia Street inside Harrington Galleries, we’re saying a PUBLIC goodbye at our 599 Valencia Street retail location. Our last day is Sunday, August 31.

This is our last weekend open so we will be selling off all bicycle and gear inventory at special in-store only prices. Everything must go.

Call 415-626-6099 to inquire about stock availability. We have very limited stock, but you can probably find:

  • A handful of PUBLIC D, M, and V bikes at 50% off list price
  • PUBLIC WORKS 40×60 canvas posters at 50% off
  • Brooks saddles, helmets, bicycle lights, panniers & t-shirts up to 80% off

    We’ve settled into our new flagship store at 549 Hayes, which is more than double the size of our Valencia store. At our new Hayes location, customers throughout San Francisco can come test ride and purchase PUBLIC bikes, schedule maintenance and repair services, and buy bicycle accessories and gear.

    PUBLIC Valencia Store Address: 599 Valencia Street
    Hours: Friday & Sat 11am-7pm; Sunday 11am-5pm

  • Getting Ready for the Playa

    Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

     

    Bike Arch at Black Rock City. Image via Flickr from Fabrice Florin.

    Bike Arch at Black Rock City. Image via Flickr from Fabrice Florin.

    San Francisco is the birthplace of PUBLIC Bikes. We take a lot of inspiration from the cultural and social diversity of this city that continues to innovate and transform itself.

    It’s no surprise that San Francisco is also the birthplace of Burning Man, which has since become a worldwide cultural event celebrating art, music, community, and creative self-expression.

    Several PUBLIC employees are regular Burners. In fact, one of our regular bike builders has already left for the entire month to help prepare Black Rock City.

    The focal point of Burning Man is the building of the temporary Black Rock City where 65,000+ participants are expected to gather in the Nevada desert. Burning Man takes place before Labor Day weekend, which means thousands of people from around the world, especially in the Bay Area, are preparing their camps and art projects in August in anticipation for the Burn.

    One of the essential items to bring to Burning Man is your own “Playa Bike” or “Burner Bike.”

    Big Burner Bike. Image by Mack Reed via Flickr.

    Big Burner Bike. Image by Mack Reed via Flickr.

    Burner Bikes

    People go to Burning Man for different reasons, but one of the best parts is to experience what it’s like to live in a city where the primary mode of transportation is by bicycle.

    Black Rock City is essentially a bicycle paradise. The landscape is perfectly flat, spans for miles and motorized vehicular transportation in any form other than an art car is prohibited (with the exception of arriving and leaving Black Rock City).

    Burner Art Bikes. Images by Thomas Kriese, Joel and Ian Kennedy via Flickr.

    Burner Art Bikes. Images by Thomas Kriese, Joel and Ian Kennedy via Flickr.

    Thus, two-wheeled transport is essential with the bicycle being the primary way to get around the city. Imagine living in a city of 65,000+ people where almost everyone moves by bicycle or foot. One of the best articles about this topic is “The Bike Culture of Black Rock City” by Matthew Roth.

    And for many participants, the bicycle also becomes a vehicle of creative, artistic, and individual expression. We’ve rounded up a selection of fun, quirky, and inspiring art bikes in a Facebook album so check them out.

    Creative Burner Bike. Image by Lara604 via Flicker.

    Creative Burner Bike. Image by Lara604 via Flicker.

     

    Playa Products: Incredibell Disco Bell, SpokeLits and Trieste Coffee Cup Holder

    Playa Bike Recommended Picks
    If you’re heading to the desert later this August we’ve rounded up a few playa-perfect products that are sure to make your trip that much brighter, colorful and safe. We think our Disco Bell that offers an LED light show of red, yellow and green upon every ring is totally techno-ready. Our SpokLits come in either Disco or Green, effortlessly attach to the spokes of any bike, and create a LED light display upon revolution.

    Other gear to consider: our Trieste Coffee Cup Holder (you can put any cylindrical vessel inside it), colorful Spring Clip Rear Racks and baskets for holding anything you might pick up along the way and, of course, bike wash (because you won’t be the only thing needing a good scrub down when you get home).

    Check out our complete collection of fun Burner recommended products here.

    New 2014 Special Edition Bikes

    Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

    Introducing Our New 2014 Special Edition Bikes

    Bikes, like people, have personalities and at PUBLIC we love the idea of taking a bike and making it feel special. The same way earrings and shoes can make an outfit, bike accessories like bells and fenders add character and individuality to a set of wheels.

    Each of our new Special Edition models is outfitted with individual touches like polished silver fenders and brass bells, handmade leather saddles and grips from Brooks of England. Built atop our durable, lightweight steel frames for a distinctive (and durable) ride. Starting at only $549.

    AMELIEPUBLIC C1 AMELIE $741 $549
    The PUBLIC C1 Amelie edition is a classic single-speed city bike with European chic. This timeless ride is dressed up with a Brooks B67s Aged SaddleBrooks Plump Leather Grips in honey and a classic PUBLIC Brass Bell. Toss a bouquet of fresh flowers or bread into the Peterboro Original Front Basket and breeze down any boulevard with an effortless je ne sais quoiRetail price is $549 (list price $741).

     

    HARRISONPUBLIC V1 HARRISON $750 $549
    The PUBLIC V1 Harrison edition gets its moniker from being one of the best bike routes in San Francisco’s Mission District and the home address of PUBLIC’s original warehouse on Harrison Street. Accessorized for the street-smart urban rider, this low-maintenance high function single-speed ride features the bulletproof Brooks B17 Saddle in black, our cargo-ready new Porteur Front Rack in silver, Black Cork Grips and aPUBLIC Brass BellRetail price is $549 (list price $750).

    View all our Special Edition Bikes here.

    PUBLIC Talk: Amy Wibowo on Traveling with Bicycle

    Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

     

    Two years ago Amy got her first bike ever, a limited edition PUBLIC C7 step-through she named Peppermint Patty. After learning how to ride in San Francisco, Amy packed up her PUBLIC bike and PUBLIC Twin Pannier bags for a grand adventure riding and camping all over Europe with a friend, from the forests of Finland to fields of lavender in the French countryside. Everywhere she met helpful, friendly folks and turned plenty of heads with her free-spirited style. You can read all about her travels with Peppermint Patty on her blog, which is full of beautiful photography and helpful tips on how to plan your own bike adventures.

    Bikes In The Woods / Image courtesy of Amy Wibowo

    Bikes In The Woods / Photo Courtesy of Amy Wibowo

    We love Amy’s story because she’s such an inspiration, showing how much fun anybody can have just by hopping on a bike and riding somewhere new. Although we didn’t have international bike touring in mind when we designed our PUBLIC C7 bike, we’re glad that its simple, relaxed style worked just as well for Amy when she was cruising around Europe as it does getting her across town in San Francisco.

    We’re really excited to host a special event with Amy Wibowo at our new San Francisco flagship store in Hayes Valley, next Wednesday August 13. She’ll give a talk about how anybody can have an epic bike adventure without needing a bunch of fancy gear, and she even made a really cool zine full of bike travel tips (shown left). Meet Amy and get your own free copy of her zine at our event Wednesday night, details below.

    WHAT: PUBLIC Talk: Amy Wibowo on Traveling with Bicycle
    WHERE: PUBLIC Bikes, 549 Hayes Street (between Octavia and Laguna)
    WHEN: Wednesday, August 13 from 6pm-8pm