Getting Ready for the Playa

July 30th, 2014

  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,… Read more »

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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

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,… Read more »

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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

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… Read more »

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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

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… Read more »

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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

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… Read more »

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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

 

PUBLIC Pooch Photo Shoot

June 9th, 2014

We’re hosting a pooch photo shoot at our new Hayes Valley store, at 549 Hayes Street. If you have a dog and a bike, bring them over on Friday, June 20th from 5pm–7pm or Sunday, June 22nd from 10am-1pm. We’ll have a backdrop, a photographer and a prop bike (if you don’t bring your own) for you and “fido”… Read more »

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We’re hosting a pooch photo shoot at our new Hayes Valley store, at 549 Hayes Street. If you have a dog and a bike, bring them over on Friday, June 20th from 5pm–7pm or Sunday, June 22nd from 10am-1pm. We’ll have a backdrop, a photographer and a prop bike (if you don’t bring your own) for you and “fido” to pose with. We’ll send you home with a digital portrait or two, share the pictures out on our our social media platforms and feature them on the big screen in our Hayes Store.

We want to ensure that we have adequate pet treats and scheduling time, so please RSVP with your name, your pet’s name and the day and time you’ll be coming by. Local photographer Akshay Sawhney will be taking the photos and on Sunday we’ll even have Beverly Ulbrich, aka the Pooch Coach, helping to coax a smile out of your dogs. If you can’t make it, we’d still love to see your puppy pics so send them over via email to (rsvpATpublicbikes.com) or share them on facebook or instagram, tagging @publicbikes.

Alright Mr. DeMille, we’re ready for our furry close-ups.

PUBLIC Puppy Photo Shoot
PUBLIC Bikes, 549 Hayes St.
Friday, June 20th. 5pm-7pm
Sunday, June 22nd. 10am-1pm
RSVP HERE

Our Sweet New Spot in Hayes Valley

May 30th, 2014

Talk to any local San Franciscan and the Hayes Valley neighborhood of today is nothing like it was 20 years ago. As we’ve written about before, the demolition of the Central Freeway that once ran right through Hayes Valley led to a revitalization of the neighborhood that continues to this day. We are so enthusiastic… Read more »

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Talk to any local San Franciscan and the Hayes Valley neighborhood of today is nothing like it was 20 years ago. As we’ve written about before, the demolition of the Central Freeway that once ran right through Hayes Valley led to a revitalization of the neighborhood that continues to this day. We are so enthusiastic to be a part of that growth with our newly opened store in Hayes Valley.

Hayes Valley is a draw for so many reasons like top-notch restaurants and a wealth of unique, independent retailers that lend vibrancy and true neighborhood charm to this urban street. And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, Hayes Valley won’t disappoint. Watch your ice-cream get freshly churned at Smitten or choose your own frozen yogurt blends at Loving Cup. Pick your favorite macaroon purveyor from multiple locations and ogle at chocolates too pretty to eat (well, almost) at Christopher Elbow. Take the cake with a slice of chocolate nemesis or the light-as-air russian honey cake or the always picture perfect strawberry tomboy. Then indulge by the spoonful with over 108 flavors of bread pudding (probably not all at once).

When you’ve reached your sugar high, stop by our new Hayes Valley store and take a test ride–either to work off the treats or make room for more. We’ve got sweet new rides and accessories that are perfect for hauling all sorts of goodies, think nifty bungees and baskets perfect for pie toting and cup holders ready to be filled with sweet New Orleans Iced Coffee.

They Don’t Come Back

May 27th, 2014

I was in New York earlier this month and rode from my Chelsea hotel through downtown and over the Brooklyn Bridge to visit our dealer, Joe Nocella who runs 718 Cyclery in Brooklyn. Riding in New York keeps getting better and better with excellent signage, more riders and respectful taxi drivers. Well, at least two of… Read more »

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Image courtesy of wellandgoodnyc.com

I was in New York earlier this month and rode from my Chelsea hotel through downtown and over the Brooklyn Bridge to visit our dealer, Joe Nocella who runs 718 Cyclery in Brooklyn. Riding in New York keeps getting better and better with excellent signage, more riders and respectful taxi drivers. Well, at least two of those three statements are true. Honestly now, riding in New York is a pleasure compared to most other cities. And riding over the Brooklyn Bridge is epic, even more so than our Golden Gate Bridge because of its history.

Joe’s bike shop, 718 Cyclery is cool – really cool. Joe calls it the “inverted” bike shop, meaning that they turned the concept of the traditional bike store upside down. His innovations range from teaching bike classes, working on bikes with customers, and creating an atmosphere that is super customer friendly, the way your neighborhood café is.

718 Cyclery Inside View

718 Cyclery does high-end custom bikes, everyday city bikes, and everything in between. Joe has been selling a lot of our bikes for years. When I asked him why, he said, “They don’t come back”. Basically, the quality is such that customers don’t return with the quality problems that plague other city bikes. We love getting these compliments, and we love having bike professional like Joe getting our bikes out on the streets where they belong.

We select our bike dealers the way we design our bikes – with great attention to detail. While out bikes rarely “come back” for quality problems, they need servicing and tune ups, and all of us need our local bike shop. For a list of other great dealers click here.

Header image courtesy of wellandgoodnyc.com.

How Does Your Bike Locking Grade?

May 12th, 2014

Locking up your bike appears a task as obvious as brushing your teeth. Open lock. Thread lock through bike to something solid. Done. But, like teeth brushing, there’s a right way and a wrong way. This freshly cut vimeo highlighted last week in The Atlantic Citiesis the fourth video installment on bike locking from the brutally-honest New York… Read more »

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Lock Up Your Wheels The Right Way

Locking up your bike appears a task as obvious as brushing your teeth. Open lock. Thread lock through bike to something solid. Done. But, like teeth brushing, there’s a right way and a wrong way. This freshly cut vimeo highlighted last week in The Atlantic Citiesis the fourth video installment on bike locking from the brutally-honest New York bike mechanic, Hal Ruzal. In this installment Ruzal walks around New York grading people’s bike locking skills from A (well locked) to F (poorly locked).

This video was released in honor of National Bike Month and it’s a good reminder for places like San Francisco where an average of 11 bikes are stolen per day. As we’ve written before, this is a global problem and even bike-focused cites like Denmark see over 100,000 bikes per year stolen. The truth is many of the thefts are related to user error and are avoidable.

In short, Ruzal’s tips boil down to the basics: 1) Get the best quality U-lock you can. We recently released the latest Kryptonite Series 5 Mini U-Lock and highly recommend it; 2) Lock your frame (not just your wheels) to a solid pole or a bike lock—wooden posts and chain link fences don’t count; 3) For quick release wheels either remove the front wheel and lock with your back wheel and frame, carry a cable or extra lock to secure them or purchase a set of locking axle nuts like these so your wheels can’t be quickly removed; and 4) Permanently lock/attached your seat to your bike.

For more resources on bike locking check out the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s thorough page on Theft & Locking. And if you live in a city where you can register your wheels (San Franciscans, head here) make sure you do this.

Bike To Work Bay Area

May 9th, 2014

Yesterday the Bay Area celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Bike to Work Day with an impressive amount of bikers hitting the road. One major San Francisco thoroughfare tallied that nearly 76% of the trips made on it yesterday were done by bike. Well done, San Francisco! The month of May is National Bike Month and… Read more »

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Supervisor London Breed on Cream PUBLIC C7

Yesterday the Bay Area celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Bike to Work Day with an impressive amount of bikers hitting the road. One major San Francisco thoroughfare tallied that nearly 76% of the trips made on it yesterday were done by bike. Well done, San Francisco!

The month of May is National Bike Month and we’re happy to see so many people participating in Bike to Work Day. Of course, we think everyday should be Bike to Work Day for anyone who works less than 5 miles from home. In the Bay Area alone, more than one million Bay Area residents live within five miles of their workplace.

If you’re considering biking to daily as part of your commute, but not sure where to start, check out the San Francisco Bike Coalition for maps and tips and more. If you’re a bike-to-work regular or just getting into biking, drop us a line and let us know how your bike commute went yesterday

Imagine how less congested our streets would be and how much healthier and happier people would be if more people made the choice to bicycle, walk, or take public transit to work.

We’re lucky to live in San Francisco where bicycling is a mainstream activity and the majority of our local elected officials recognize the value of bicycling. This year, 9 out of 11 local elected Board of Supervisors, our Mayor, and our District Attorney all participated in Bike to Work Day with thousands of other residents. Bike to Work Day helps remind these elected officials to fully fund and prioritize initiatives like Connecting the City which creates safe and accessible bikeways for anyone from 8 to 80 years old.

We know cities can get more people to bicycle if they create separated bikeways like this new one on Polk Street near City Hall. It takes political will and funding to make these changes happen on our public streets.

We encourage you to find out more about your local Bike to Work Day activities – and support your local and statewide bicycle advocacy organizations working to make bicycling better for all of us.


Bike to Work Day 2014 photos by SF Bike Coalition