Reinventing The Underpass

January 12th, 2016

What comes to mind when we write “freeway underpass?” It’s likely that whatever you pictured didn’t involve thoughtfully composed landscaping, actively used pathways or cool art installations. This article by Alissa Walker explores how cities across the country are reinventing the underpass, perhaps one of the most neglected of city spaces. Reinventing public space into… Read more »

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reinventing the underpass in Toronto

Underpass Park in Toronto, Canada

What comes to mind when we write “freeway underpass?” It’s likely that whatever you pictured didn’t involve thoughtfully composed landscaping, actively used pathways or cool art installations. This article by Alissa Walker explores how cities across the country are reinventing the underpass, perhaps one of the most neglected of city spaces.

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Rendering of The Underline in Miami, Florida

Reinventing public space into something that’s actually usable for the public is near to our hearts. Examples we’ve written about before are projects like PROXY in San Francisco and the High Line in New York City, two urban areas that were reinvented from parking lots and derelict elevated railway lines, respectively, as spaces for people to hang-out, play and enjoy.

Inspired by Alissa’s article, we set out to find a few more examples of reclaimed underpass space in cities near PUBLIC Stores. If you’ve been to an underpass park or live near one, drop us a line with a photo and we’ll add your city to this list!

1. Burnside Skatepark in Portland, Oregon
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Once a renegade spot for illegal skateboarding, Burnside Skatepark was getting so much use it eventually won favor from the community and became city approved.

2. I-5 Colonnade Mountain Bike Park in Seattle, Washington
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Cool story. The I-5 Colonnade Mountain Bike Park in Seattle was built by a team of volunteers and includes over 2 acres of bike track and walking paths. It’s part of a larger 7.5 acre park.

3. SoMa West Skate and Dog Park in San Francisco, California.
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The SoMa West Skate and Dog Park in San Francisco includes a sanctioned space for skaters to shred and a little artificial turn for letting city dogs run around.

4. Proposed Wildlife Overpass in Los Angeles, California.
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Ok, so not an underpass, but worth mentioning. This proposed 165-foot-wide, 200-foot-long overpass would allow large carnivores like wildcats and bobcats a means of getting from one set of mountains to the other without ending up as roadkill.

SUBMITTED BY OUR READERS
Christine writes: “San Jose just finished a public art project under two underpasses in downtown.”

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Art display under Highway 87 in San Jose, Photo by San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs.

SM writes: “New Orleans has a skate park called Parasite built under the freeway. It was built by Tulane City Center, a LLC ran by Tulane Faculty, Tulane School of Architecture Students and community member/organizations.”

The Bicycle For The 2016 Nobel Prize

December 27th, 2015

“The bicycle is an instrument of peace. It’s the most democratic means of transportation for all mankind.” – Massimo Cirrus & Sara Zambotti We love the bike for the simple pleasure it brings to us –– the smile it puts on our faces and the way it helps us connect with our local communities. When… Read more »

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“The bicycle is an instrument of peace. It’s the most democratic means of transportation for all mankind.”
– Massimo Cirrus & Sara Zambotti

We love the bike for the simple pleasure it brings to us –– the smile it puts on our faces and the way it helps us connect with our local communities.

When reflecting on the true nature of the holidays and the crazy, often violent world we live in, two Italian radio hosts are encouraging us to reflect on the bike’s role in history and its humanitarian benefits.

The hosts, Massimo Cirrus and Sara Zambotti of the Rai Radio 2 network in Italy, are nominating the bicycle for the Nobel Peace Prize. “The bicycle is an instrument of peace,” they write on their blog. “It’s the most democratic means of transportation for all mankind; it does not cause wars and pollution; and it decreases car accidents.”

While the Nobel Peace Prize is generally given to individuals or organizations, think about the bike as a messenger of peace the next time you take a spin. The bicycle helps reduce our dependency on oil, it supports healthier lifestyles, and makes our cities more livable.

The bicycle was viewed as wheels of change – a liberating vehicle by early feminist leaders. Susan B. Anthony wrote: “Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”

And the bicycle, as World Bicycle Relief admirably states, “helps people prosper” by closing the distance to schools, jobs, and sources of water and food. Watch the video below.

While we sometimes take for granted the bicycle as a democratic instrument of peace and empowerment, we also love that almost anyone can ride a bicycle – rich and poor, young and old, and yes, even Nobel Peace Prize winners. We rounded up a few examples below.

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR, 1964 Nobel Peace Prize Winner

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Martin Luther King Jr riding a bike.

DESMOND TUTU, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Desmond Tutu riding to fight TB.

JIMMY CARTER, 2002 Nobel Peace Prize Winner

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Jimmy Carter riding a bicycle.

BARACK OBAMA, 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner

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Barack Obama riding a bicycle.

Power Fuel: New Cookbook By Meghan Telpner

October 22nd, 2015

Images from @meghantelpner on Instagram. Scrolling through our Instagram feed one day we were surprised to find a few photos with the most tasty shots of our limited edition PUBLIC C7 bike in yellow. Tasty because the color alone reminds one of bananas (the power fuel of PUBLIC employees), but also because the bike was… Read more »

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Images from @meghantelpner on Instagram.

Scrolling through our Instagram feed one day we were surprised to find a few photos with the most tasty shots of our limited edition PUBLIC C7 bike in yellow. Tasty because the color alone reminds one of bananas (the power fuel of PUBLIC employees), but also because the bike was paired with the most delicious and colorful assortment of food.

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Photo by Catherine Farquharson

We reached out to this foodie + bike lover and learned that she was Meghan Telpner, a Toronto-based author, speaker, nutritionist, and founder of the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. Turns out she got the yellow PUBLIC C7 bike from her local bike shop Cycle Couture and was using it for a photo shoot she was staging for her upcoming cookbook.

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Photo by Catherine Farquharson

We’re excited to announce that Telpner’s cookbook, The UnDiet Cookbook, launched just this week. Congrats, on your new cookbook Meghan! The photography is beautiful (not just because our bike is featured throughout 😉 and the recipes are plant-based and friendly to nearly every diet.

It’s our pleasure to share a recipe from her cookbook that we think would make great fuel for before or after any bike ride. Enjoy!

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Photo by Maya Visnyei

I [Heart] Blueberry Blend

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Serves 1–2

Ingredients:
1 cup coconut milk, almond milk, or water
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 handful spinach
1/2 avocado
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
1 serving protein powder of choice
1 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
2 medjool dates, or sweetener of choice
1 cup ice cubes

Make It Like So:
1. Place all the ingredients in your blender. Blend until smooth.

Excerpted from The UnDiet Cookbook: 130 Gluten-Free Recipes for a Healthy and Awesome Life by Meghan Telpner. Copyright © 2015 Meghan Telpner. Photography Copyright © 2015 Maya Visnyei and Catherine Farquharson. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Random House of Canada Ltd., a Penguin Random House Company. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Kudos to Bike Laborers

September 2nd, 2015

Labor Day is our nation’s tribute to the contributions of workers around the country. So we wanted to take a moment and salute those who labor by bike. Be it bike messangers who haul packages and mail, pedicab drivers who steer people from point a to be or those incredible bike couriers who are able… Read more »

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Happy couriers. Images via Pedal Express and missionmission.org.

Labor Day is our nation’s tribute to the contributions of workers around the country. So we wanted to take a moment and salute those who labor by bike. Be it bike messangers who haul packages and mail, pedicab drivers who steer people from point a to be or those incredible bike couriers who are able to get our pizza to us (still hot) and fresh flowers delivered on time to a special someone. We applaud this awesome pedal power and offer our high fives in the form of photos here.

Pizza Delivery

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Image by Pedal Express

Pedicab Driver

Image via flickr

Flower Delivery

Bike Contractor

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Image from Builder By Bike

Mail Messenger

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Image via flickr

Anything Delivery

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Image by Spencer A Brown

PUBLIC Seeking Partnerships

August 14th, 2015

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…. Read more »

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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… Read more »

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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… Read more »

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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… Read more »

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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… Read more »

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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.