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Archive for the ‘Customers & Fans’ Category

Robin Williams: A Reflection

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

 

With Robin Williams’ passing this past month, the San Francisco Bay Area lost one of its best ambassadors to the world at large and also to the world of biking. I had the privilege of meeting him a few times and knowing him a little.  I am not unusual in this regard.

Robin was a very accessible person, especially to those with a love for bikes.  Many local bike shop owners and bike related charities were also acquaintances of his. He rode the same Marin County routes like Paradise Loop that Bay Area riders frequent. He loved bikes on a number of levels and his obsession was as legendary as his humor.

Robin gave me a tour of his 50+ bike collection at his 60th birthday party. He housed his bike collection in a big garage in Napa and it was filled with amazing road bikes dating back several decades.  In this garage he was “a kid in a candy store.”

Robin had a few bikes by the celebrated Italian bike builder Dario Pegoretti, a bike builder we both respected and admired.  I saw the two of them at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in 2008. The header image and the shot below are ones I took of Robin with Dario at the Portland show.

Read this excellent The Wall Street Journal article about Robin and Dario and you’ll learn about yet another legendary side of Robin Williams – his generosity and heart.

He even once gave a bike to Conan O’Brien to cheer him up. He was like that. Watch Conan tell his funny story.

Robin Williams was well known at Bay Area bikes shops for his patronage. He spread his good will around, exemplified by his generous contributions to non-profits and support for the arts in general. Trip for Kids, a San Rafael based charity that takes bike donations and gives the bikes to needy kids who cannot afford new bikes, was an organization that Robin continually supported.

We all know Robin Williams’ unique talents as an actor and comedian.  At heart he was an enthusiastic boy who loved bikes for the same reasons that we do – the freedom they bring, the jolt of a little friendly competition and rebellion, and a lot of smiling. As Jason Gay from The Wall Street Journal recounted, when asked “why he loved riding a bicycle so much. I’ll always remember his answer, because it was wonderful and true. He said it was the closest you can get to flying.”

I wouldn’t use the phrase Rest In Peace for Robin Williams.  He was too high energy for resting in peace. His spirit is perhaps on a bike somewhere, making those fortunate enough to be biking along side him buckle over in laughter.

Best,

Rob Forbes

Please send any personal comments to me here.

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 Through August

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

After two wonderful years on Valencia Street inside Harrington Galleries, we’re saying a PUBLIC goodbye with a month-long Valencia Store Closing Sale through August at our 599 Valencia Street retail location.

From now until August 31, 2014, we will be selling off all bicycle and gear inventory at special in-store only prices. We encourage you to stop by in August, especially if you’re looking for a great deal on a PUBLIC bike before the summer ends.

Some bikes will be on sale for 50% off list price. Everything must go before the end of August. We’d rather have you ride away with a PUBLIC bike in August than move our bikes back to our Oakland warehouse.

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:
Monday, Tuesday, Sunday: 11-6
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 11-7
Closed Wednesday.

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.

PUBLIC D8i Contest Winner Andrew Stone

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

 

We held a contest recently upon the release of our new PUBLIC D8i and gave away this premium commuter bike loaded with all the bells and whistles. Well friends, we’ve picked our winner.

Drum roll, please.

And the lucky winner of this loaded set of wheels is Andrew Stone of Salt Lake City!

Congrats, Andrew! He joins a growing group of lucky past PUBLIC contest winners, including Lisa, Stan, Manuel, Mark & Lauren.

We asked Andrew to share a bit about himself and here’s what we learned. Andrew moved to Salt Late City in the 90′s and has been bike commuting ever since. The city of Salt Lake has improved greatly over the years he has been riding there, making big strides in accommodating both bike commuters and recreational cyclists.

Andrew not only work commutes daily via bike, but he and his family bike to Farmers Markets, local festivals and events whenever they can. He also runs this website 365 Things To Do in Salt Lake City.

We’re happy our contest winner is already a biking regular and Andrew has assured us winning this bike will take his riding to the next level of style and fun.

A huge thanks to all our participants in this contest and stay tuned for the next PUBLIC giveaway!

Grand Opening in Hayes Valley Party Recap

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014


Last weekend we celebrated the Grand Opening of our new store at 549 Hayes Street in San Francisco and we really felt the love! So many people came out to help us celebrate and Karl the fog even complied by heading elsewhere and gracing us with a sunny afternoon.

We took silly photos in the photo booth provided by Say Ya!, indulged in delicious food from local eateries Souvla and Local Gai, boogied to the tunes of Curious Quail and had some very lucky winners in our awesome raffle thanks to donations from Rickshaw Bagworks, Timbuk2, Patxi’s, Sean, Papabubble and Brooks England. We raised money through the raffle to support the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

If you took part in the photo booth, download your pictures from Say Ya! here. And if you share them out via social media we’d greatly appreciate if you tag @publicbikes.

We’ve also created an album with party pics, so head here to check it out.

Again, here’s the list of awesome friends of PUBLIC:

PHOTOBOOTH TEAM
Say Ya! Photobooth

FOOD & DRINKS
Souvla – San Francisco

Local Gai : @Local Gai

MUSIC
Curious Quail

RAFFLE & TOTE BAG PARTNERS
Rickshaw Bagworks

Patxi’s Hayes Valley

Emile Lafaurie for Sean

Timbuk2

Papabubble San Francisco

Custom Company PUBLIC Bikes

Friday, July 11th, 2014

We’ve been designing unique company bikes since the beginning of PUBLIC, and we take pride in these projects. Working with a client to customize color and design produces a product that’s an elegant fit for their brand and ours. Our first client was Hotel Healdsburg and since then we’ve been lucky enough to work with larger well known companies like Clif Bar and lululemon.

Check out our eclectic list of clients both big and small.  Recent additions to the list include apartments like Lex on Orange and Nema SF who offer our customized bikes to their tenants, Indian Springs Resort, the Frisk winery and  Mojo, a Clif Bar division.  Our recent lululemon event was a total kick and a unique collaboration that benefits employees and their communities.

If you’re interested in partnering with PUBLIC for your business head here for more information or drop us a line via this inquiry form.

Hayes Valley Grand Opening Party

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

It’s party time!

We’ve opened our new flagship PUBLIC store at 549 Hayes between Octavia & Laguna & we want to celebrate with you at our Grand Opening Party.

It’s going to be a great event. We’re taking over two parking spaces outside of our storefront for a proper sidewalk party that’s going to include free food and drinks, music, a photo booth, special in-store only deals and a raffle with some really great giveaways from local merchants and a really big one of our own, the winner’s choice of either a PUBLIC C7i or PUBLIC V7i in the color of their choosing.

Everyone who attends the party will receive a free raffle ticket to enter to win prizes, but you can increase your chances of winning by buying additional raffle tickets in support of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

The first 100 people who show up to our Grand Opening Party and RSVP on Facebook will receive a limited edition PUBLIC tote bag with surprises inside.

Looking forward to seeing you there and please share this event out with your friends. The more the merrier.

DETAILS
PUBLIC Grand Opening Party
549 Hayes Street, between Octavia and Laguna
Saturday, July 12th between 11am-3pm
RSVP HERE