The simple bicycle bell is one of our favorite bike essentials. An often-overlooked accessory, a bell adds personality and safety to your ride. Easier than hollering and whistling to announce your presence, bells are a simple way of alerting bikers, pedestrians and cars of your approach. We have a new selection of bells for all styles of riders, from unique bells crafted of cherry wood to bells equipped with flashing disco LED lights. Visit our website to see (and hear!) our fun new bell collection.
We’re big fans of color at PUBLIC, and we love to see it used intelligently in our public spaces to offset the grey asphalt that dominates our urban landscapes. We’ve add a fantastic infusion of green all throughout San Francisco this past month, making our bike lanes vivid, visible, safer, and cool, and giving our… Read more »
We’re big fans of color at PUBLIC, and we love to see it used intelligently in our public spaces to offset the grey asphalt that dominates our urban landscapes. We’ve add a fantastic infusion of green all throughout San Francisco this past month, making our bike lanes vivid, visible, safer, and cool, and giving our lanes newfound respect and esteem. Green won’t get as much acclaim as the International Orange of our Golden Gate Bridge, but it has made a huge improvement to our riding, and it prompted us to think more about the use of color in public.
Color can inspire, detract, and many times communicate messages about the use and behavior expected of people using public spaces. For example, in the United States, we generally recognize Blue as a signal for disabled accommodation or parking. Yellow means caution or slow down, while Red signifies stop. White might communicate a temporary or restricted loading zone. You won’t find Pink or Purple anywhere. As we see more cities implement separated bikeways to make bicycling safer and more accessible, the color Green has become the de facto standard color for many bike lanes.
Why Green bike lanes? There’s actually been a lot of research on the best color treatment for bike lanes. What it boils down to is that the choice of Green for bike lanes is not just an aesthetic color choice, but a choice based on color as a “traffic control device.”
According to the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD):
“A number of experiments have been conducted in the United States and in other countries around the world to determine the value of designating a particular pavement color to communicate to road users that a portion of the roadway has been set aside for exclusive or preferential use by bicyclists and to enhance the conspicuity of a bicycle lane or a bicycle lane extension. Green, blue, and red are among the colors that have been tested for this purpose. Because these colored pavements are intended to regulate, warn, or guide traffic (motorists and bicyclists) and thus are serving as more than just an aesthetic treatment, they are considered to be traffic control devices. For the past ten years in the United States, green has been the only color that has received official FHWA approval for colored pavement experiments on bicycle facilities.”
While Green has become a more standard bike lane color, there isn’t a specific shade of green that’s been specified. While neon green might work on most streets, it might not be the best shade for a green bike lane inside a park, a debate that occurred when San Francisco implemented a green bike lane in Golden Gate Park.
Not surprisingly, the color Green for bike lanes is not universally loved. Certain members of the film industry in Los Angeles are upset over Green bike lanes because the color makes post-production work more tedious.
We’re excited when we see an increase in green bike lanes because it signifies a city’s priority to invest in bicycling improvements. There’s even a concerted effort called The Green Lane Project to push for improvements in six U.S. cities.
We can disagree over Green as the best color choice, but hopefully we can agree that more bike lanes are better for all of us.
“We can live without it, we may live longer without it, and the doggie bag will survive just fine.” -Mayor Bloomberg comparing plastic foam containers to lead paint. We show love in many ways. This Valentines week, it’s mostly personal, private, and driven by commercial interests (like PUBLIC putting polka dot bikes on SALE!). When… Read more »
“We can live without it, we may live longer without it, and the doggie bag will survive just fine.”
-Mayor Bloomberg comparing plastic foam containers to lead paint.
We show love in many ways. This Valentines week, it’s mostly personal, private, and driven by commercial interests (like PUBLIC putting polka dot bikes on SALE!). When I read in the New York Times that NYC Mayor Bloomberg was taking on the plastic-foam container industry, it reminded me of the exceptional civic love he’s shown for his city, especially for the health and well being of its residents and culture. He does truly embody the “I heart NY“ spirit that Milton Glaser so elegantly gave form to in this iconic logo.
Bloomberg’s other crusades of love have been in the news this past week, and predictably where he has been opposed by strong forces in political battles, many of which he may not win or that may be overturned when he departs office. His bike lanes initiatives made the news this week along with his smart taxi programs. Some of his courageous positions often contrast what we see in Washington, where love seems to be more easily purchased by lobbyists and where acts of genuine civic leadership take a backseat to personal interests.
It might be a stretch to think of any billionaire as a Cupid, but we hope that he can be a realistic role model for other politicians. And some his programs such as stop and frisk are controversial. But we hope that his heartfelt and genuine commitment can be a realistic role model for other politicians.
To Go: Plastic-Foam Containers, if the Mayor Gets His Way
Published by New York Times 2.13.13
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose regulatory lance has slain fatty foods, supersize sodas, and smoking in parks, is now targeting plastic foam, the much-derided polymer that environmentalists have long tried to restrict.
On Thursday, Mr. Bloomberg, in his 12th and final State of the City address, will propose a citywide ban on plastic-foam food packaging, including takeout boxes, cups and trays. Public schools would be instructed to remove plastic-foam trays from their cafeterias. Many restaurants and bodegas would be forced to restock.
In excerpts from his speech released on Wednesday, Mr. Bloomberg rails against plastic foam, even comparing it to lead paint. “We can live without it, we may live longer without it, and the doggie bag will survive just fine,” the mayor plans to say. Read on.
Anxiety Over Future of Bike Lanes
Published by New York Times 2.12.13
During Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s tenure, New York City has become a cycling haven, with sprawling lanes across each borough and a bike-share program set to begin this spring.
But as Mr. Bloomberg is to leave office at year’s end, there is widespread concern among cyclists that a reckoning awaits, and that the city’s next mayor may end this period of bike-friendly programs and policies.
The concern is noted even in the Bloomberg administration, where some speak of invisible countdown clocks in every city office, reminding officials of the dwindling time to complete projects. “Three-hundred and twenty-nine days,” Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner, said in a recent interview. “There’s an app where you can have it on your phone.” In a poll by The New York Times in August, 66 percent of New Yorkers said the bike lanes were a good idea; 27 percent called them a bad idea. Read on.
Doubting if Tomorrow Will Ever Come for Taxi
Published by New York Times 2.10.13
New York City’s attempt to reimagine its taxicab experience, perhaps the least divisive of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s legacy-making transportation efforts, now appears to be the most at risk. One measure, creating a vibrant street hail network of livery cabs outside Manhattan, has been mired in court since last June, delaying its implementation indefinitely.
Another, allowing New Yorkers to hail yellow taxis using smartphone apps, was watered down amid heavy lobbying from the livery and black car industries — and will most likely face a legal challenge.Then there was the crown jewel, cast in yellow: the so-called Taxi of Tomorrow, a nearly complete redesign of the modern taxi, the first since the age of the Checker cab. Now, that, too, is imperiled. Read on.
Bike theft brings out our strongest emotions, as evidenced by this poster shown in the Treehugger article “Underworld Economics: Why Are So Many Bikes Stolen? What Happens to Them?” (photo credit: flickr user Silver Future). Bikes get stolen. It’s a reality in many communities. There have been several interesting articles lately about bike theft, including… Read more »
Bike theft brings out our strongest emotions, as evidenced by this poster shown in the Treehugger article “Underworld Economics: Why Are So Many Bikes Stolen? What Happens to Them?” (photo credit: flickr user Silver Future).
Bikes get stolen. It’s a reality in many communities. There have been several interesting articles lately about bike theft, including “Who Pinched My Ride” in Outside and “Why Bike Theft Is So Hard To Stop” in Atlantic Cities.
Sadly, a lot of the problem is that police just don’t have the resources or incentives to go after the thieves. But the problem is global. Even in “highly civilized bike friendly “ places like Denmark over 100,000 bikes get stolen every year, so it’s not just the US police that we can blame. Bike thieves steal any and all types of bike.
Potential customers commonly ask us, “Wouldn’t bike thieves more likely target my beautiful PUBLIC bike?” Our answer is simple: “Bike thieves rarely care about which bike is most expensive or prettiest. They will steal the bike they can quickly take.”
The best protection against thieves is a well-locked bike. We are advocates of the biggest, baddest lock you are able to carry. That’s one reason we recommend getting a PUBLIC Rear Rack or Bike Bags so you can carry a heavy lock or two.
We introduced the Kryptonite Evolution Mini 7 U-lock with Cable, and it’s been a big hit. To encourage you to upgrade your lock we are offering 20% off our locks for the next week.
Or if you need some extra protection for your seat or basket, we have some solutions also, like this clever Abus lock.
Besides using the best u-lock you can afford, the best prevention to bike theft is using common sense.
Most Prevalent Reasons a Bike Gets Stolen
Bike only locked with a cable lock
Bike only locked by the wheel
Bike unlocked or simply cabled in a shared garage or space
Bike locked overnight on the street
Bike locked to something unsecured or easily broken like a chain link fence or wooden post
For more resources on preventing bike theft, check out this San Francisco Bicycle Coalition resource – and make sure you know how to properly lock you bike.
Or if you would like to shed more tears about stolen bikes, see the classic 1948 Vittorio De Sica film “Bicycle Thieves.” There is a reason why it is Woody Allen’s favorite movie.
The last weeks of summer bring excitement for new fall fashion. We are thrilled to see the fashion world highlighting bikes, and Vogue recently featured our PUBLIC M8 “Fashion Cycles: The Best Bikes – and the Pre-Fall Looks That Go With Them”. Elle Décor featured our PUBLIC D8 in “Roll Models”. It’s just one more… Read more »
The last weeks of summer bring excitement for new fall fashion. We are thrilled to see the fashion world highlighting bikes, and Vogue recently featured our PUBLIC M8 “Fashion Cycles: The Best Bikes – and the Pre-Fall Looks That Go With Them”. Elle Décor featured our PUBLIC D8 in “Roll Models”. It’s just one more positive sign that the US is embracing bikes for a range of everyday activities.
Katherine Bernard of Vogue guides you towards your bike style. “How will your fashion look on a cycle? Just as you might acquire pieces to complement a favorite new bag, it’s possible to build your ensemble around your bike.” Check out our gear selection to suit your style and spruce up your bike.
PUBLIC bikes are also featured this month in business publications. The Wall Street Journal recently featured Leah Shahum, our Executive Director of the San Francisco Bike Coalition in “Advocate’s Vision for a Bike Friendly City.” It’s a great interview as Leah is one of the most eloquent spokespeople for city biking, and we’re proud to see Leah featured on her orange PUBLIC M8 in national media.
Also check out yesterday’s NY Times article on the city’s support for bike lanes. We dig it.
All Helmets 15% Off – This Week Only – End 3/6/12 We just received a shipment of new helmets with bold colors, stripes, sparkles, polka dots, and other patterns that are especially fun for spring. Putting on a new helmet is a little like putting on a new short or pair of shoes- it helps… Read more »
All Helmets 15% Off – This Week Only – End 3/6/12
We just received a shipment of new helmets with bold colors, stripes, sparkles, polka dots, and other patterns that are especially fun for spring. Putting on a new helmet is a little like putting on a new short or pair of shoes- it helps you approach the day with a fresh perspective. Rarely do you find a helmet that manages to be fun while totally and effectively protecting your coconut.
Stay safe, ride in style, and save a few bucks this week.
Local Builders and Champagne Rides at NAHBS This Week
The North American Handmade Bike Show takes place around the country, and this year it’s taking place in Sacramento. You’ll see the finest handmade bikes in the world at this show, and there are always some surprises.
NAHBS Portland 2008 Roller Racing
Four years ago at NAHBS in Portland I went to a fantastic roller racing event sponsored by Rapha and wrote about it for Studio Forbes. I’m not sure if there will anything as intense as this year, but Sheila Moon is hosting a “Mimosa Ride” on Sunday morning, and we’ll be there rolling around Sacramento. There is something for everybody at this show. Join us.