Travel In The World’s Most Bike Friendly Cities.

July 8th, 2014

When traveling, biking is a superior way of getting around (no pricey cab fares or metros to navigate) that’s only getting better. Cities around the world are making it easier than ever to hop on two wheels and explore with improved bike infrastructure and convenient bike share programs. We have several perspectives listed below. Click… Read more »

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When traveling, biking is a superior way of getting around (no pricey cab fares or metros to navigate) that’s only getting better. Cities around the world are making it easier than ever to hop on two wheels and explore with improved bike infrastructure and convenient bike share programs. We have several perspectives listed below.

Click on the colorful grid above for the definitive list of 25 Bike Friendly Cities across the globe from Copenhaganize; Amsterdam (Netherlands), Copenhagen (Denmark), Utrecht (Netherlands), Seville (Spain) and Bordeaux (France) receive the highest ranking, and less obvious cities like Budapest (Hungary) and Tokyo (Japan) make the list.

What makes these cities truly bike friendly are the ample dedicated bike lanes, some that go for miles, bike share programs that are well used by the community and a hard core commitment to building out better bike infrastructure in the future.


Bike sharing is really coming around and for travelers this is an awesome perk. Momentum Magazine lists it’s top cities for bike share and the ones in the US that get nods are New York, Miami and Chicago. Lonely Planet highlights cities around the globe with significant bike share programs and the likes of London (England), Paris (France), Montreal (Canada) and Hangzhou (China) top the list.

So, as this travel blog with it’s own list of top 10 bicycle friendly cities quotes, “The next time you find yourself in a bike-friendly city, skip the car rental and let your legs do the driving.”

Riding The Roads Less Ridden

June 25th, 2014

You know him through the bikes he develops at PUBLIC, but in his spare time our bike designer, Aaron Glick has been working on a very public side project, biking every single street in San Francisco and tracking it on his GPS. He completed his project just last month and we checked in with him about why in the… Read more »

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Images from top to bottom: A tiny, hidden alley in North Beach; Pops of color in the Bayview; A golden sunset in Sutro Heights; and fly fishing in Golden Gate Park.

You know him through the bikes he develops at PUBLIC, but in his spare time our bike designer, Aaron Glick has been working on a very public side project, biking every single street in San Francisco and tracking it on his GPS. He completed his project just last month and we checked in with him about why in the heck he did it and what he learned.

Aaron has a self-proclaimed fear of getting lost when biking. And part of his motivation for riding every SF road was to overcome this fear, “I thought if I rode every street I would never be lost again, right?” A daily commuter and trail biker, he also thought that because he rode regularly, he had been all over the city. His GPS route data proved otherwise, “I was in a cycling rut. I thought that if I attempted to ride every street I would surely shake things up and discover new routes and interesting places I’d never heard of.” He was also inspired by Brett Lobre, a San Franciscan who had previously tackled riding every road in San Francisco in his Ride Every Road project.

More than just adding a blue line to his GPS tracking, Aaron’s ride connected him to the community around him in a way he wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. “The public housing/projects were some of the most interesting parts of the city to me. Some of them were in awful condition and their confusing street layout and made them feel separated from the more affluent buildings and homes around them.” Others, he found were in prime SF locations atop hills with great views and were exceptionally well-maintained.

His ride also took him through a variety of unusual spots, like hidden gardens in the Bernal Heights neighborhood, congested alleyways in China Town, a recycled art garden in the Bayview and a huge sundial in Ingleside.

Have a question for Aaron about biking? Leave your comment on our blog and Aaron will respond!

 

World Cup. Bikes and Brazil.

June 15th, 2014

The World Cup is upon us. Futbol is on the minds of millions around the world. I’m lucky enough to be in Salvador, Brazil right now, taking in the World Cup games as well as the biking culture here. Like many places around the world, the car dominates and congests the streets in Salvador while… Read more »

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The World Cup is upon us. Futbol is on the minds of millions around the world. I’m lucky enough to be in Salvador, Brazil right now, taking in the World Cup games as well as the biking culture here.

Like many places around the world, the car dominates and congests the streets in Salvador while bicycling is viewed more as recreation than a means of everyday transportation.

Some World Cup host cities, like Salvador, are encouraging people to bicycle to the games by providing arena bike parking and information on where to locate Bike Salvador bike share stations nearby.

The brightly colored orange Bike Salvador bikes and stations are prominent near central public plazas and greenways. Both men and women use these shared bikes. Even a few streets in Salvador feature separated bikeways with clear signage for bicyclists. These efforts show some level of attention to city bicycling by local officials.

Despite these efforts to encourage bicycling, it’s clear urban bicycling has a ways to go in Brazil. – a similar challenging situation to many other countries around the world including the United States. Yet progress is happening in various smaller and larger Brazilian cities, as our friends from Momentum Magazine published in the article “The Bikes in Brazil: With a booming economy, is Brazil thinking bike?

Salvador is in full World Cup celebration mode right now, emphasized by the heavily decorated plazas and flags strung about everywhere. So while the World Cup is on the minds of Brazil for the next few weeks, I sincerely hope city planners and government officials continue to keep the bicycle in mind when redesigning public streets and spaces. And why not since the bicycle is almost as universal as the world’s love of futbol?

PUBLIC World Cup Correspondent,
Dan

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.

Single-Speeds in Rome and at Home

November 22nd, 2013

I wrote a piece earlier this year that focused on Italian Women biking in Italy, and the biggest difference between Italy and the US might be that you see a lot more women riding on the streets than men. Lucky for us, we were in Italy again this past month for a two-week residency at… Read more »

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I wrote a piece earlier this year that focused on Italian Women biking in Italy, and the biggest difference between Italy and the US might be that you see a lot more women riding on the streets than men.

Lucky for us, we were in Italy again this past month for a two-week residency at the American Academy in Rome to participate in their visiting artist program. If you don’t know about the AAR, and you have serious interest in Italian culture, check them out. It is a remarkable institution that has various programs and is best known for the prestigious Rome Prize that is awarded to academics, designers, and artists. I was there to finish up a book about design found on the streets, and I took special note of the biking scene there. I focused on single-speeds, like the ones we’ve launched this month. They are very common in Rome, a city of Seven Hills, and the fact is that a single-speed bike will work for many of us in almost any urban environment.

Rome is now one of the best walking cities in the world and something of a poster child for the Livable Cities Movement of which PUBLIC is a member in spirit. In recent decades Rome has cleaned up its act by essentially banning cars from many parts of the city. Just two decades ago, cars – and the related noise and pollution – were so bad that it was frequently cited in tourist literature, along with pick pockets, as a dangerous urban element. All that has changed. Rome is now another beacon of optimism for other less progressive cities (like most in the US!)

Rome has actually been known for enlightened public policy dating back to Emperor Hadrian’s rule (117-138 AD) when many social policies were enacted to make the city safe and pleasant for the entire population. So today’s urban reforms have a lengthy tradition. OK, the Dark Ages and 20th Century car frenzy were serious interruptions to that tradition, but we see now that even the oldest cities in the world can adapt to a smarter way of getting around.

Erotic Parking in Japan

August 19th, 2013

Most of us who get around on bikes everyday are accustomed to improvising parking solutions: a fence, a parking meter, a bridge, or even a tree will do in a pinch. It doesn’t make us happy to struggle to find parking, but we’ve gotten used to it. And then you see a solution like the… Read more »

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Most of us who get around on bikes everyday are accustomed to improvising parking solutions: a fence, a parking meter, a bridge, or even a tree will do in a pinch. It doesn’t make us happy to struggle to find parking, but we’ve gotten used to it. And then you see a solution like the “Underground Bike Parking in Japan” and you become green with envy. That’s why I use the word “erotic” because it fills me with desire, not for sex, but for public design solutions this sexy. How many more people would ride a bike to work if they knew it could be dropped off and retrieved so elegantly? How much clutter from the streets would we eliminate?

Cities are only going to become more congested and dense as more people move into them. This urban trend is global and unrelenting. Why isn’t the US a leader here? Is it asking too much in our high tech world with engineers behind epic companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter – many of whom ride bikes and live in the city – to work with government officials to come up with some inspiring bike parking solution like what we see in Japan? This is one Kickstarter campaign we would all get behind.

Win a 3-Night Stay at a Kimpton Hotel

July 19th, 2013

We’re incredibly excited to work with another San Francisco-based company, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, to debut custom Kimpton PUBLIC bikes at all their 60 nationwide boutique hotel properties. To celebrate we’re giving away a 3-night stay at any Kimpton Hotel. It’s easy to enter the contest. All you need to do is get your friends… Read more »

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We’re incredibly excited to work with another San Francisco-based company, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, to debut custom Kimpton PUBLIC bikes at all their 60 nationwide boutique hotel properties.

To celebrate we’re giving away a 3-night stay at any Kimpton Hotel.

It’s easy to enter the contest. All you need to do is get your friends to enter the contest by signing up for our newsletter. Deadline to enter is September 30, 2013. Click here for contest details.

You are probably familiar with many of their hotels that exist in many cities across the country. We’re big fans and customers of Kimpton for their shared emphasis on design, high quality food and amenities. We frequently put our guests in their San Francisco properties. Some of our favorite Kimpton properties are the Hotel Monaco in Chicago, the Amara Resort & Spa in Sedona, the Hotel Palomar in San Francisco, and the 70 Park Avenue Hotel in New York. But all of their 60 hotels in 26 cities across the US reflect their commitment to the same high standards and that personal touch of a boutique hotel.

Kimpton has always been considered an industry leader and this program is one further example. They are the first boutique hotel brand with a national presence to offer custom bicycles for hotel guests at every property. You can read the full description of the nationwide Kimpton complimentary bike program here.

The bikes are complimentary for guests’ enjoyment, in keeping with Kimpton’s commitment to health, well-being and sense of fun and adventure. The Kimpton PUBLIC bike will be easy to spot on the street with its custom cherry-red frame with orange and blue accents, cream tires, matching double walled rims, brass bell, and rear basket. The three-speed mixte frame bikes make city riding a fun adventure for novices or expert cyclists alike.

So join the contest, and think about taking a Third Wheel on your next hotel stay at a Kimpton Hotel.

BONUS OFFER FOR PUBLIC CUSTOMERS & FANS
Get two free cocktails for $1. When you book your reservation at any Kimpton Hotel use promo code PUBLIC. For one dollar more than the best available room rate you’ll receive 2 free cocktails per night during your stay. This offer cannot be combined with any other promotions or packages, and some alternatives may apply based on each individual hotel property. Take advantage of this offer between July 22nd – September 30th, 2013 at Kimpton hotels across the country.

The Bike-In Camp-Out with Alite Designs & PUBLIC Bikes

July 11th, 2013

A few weekends ago we teamed up with our friends from camping gear, including tents, folding chairs, and bags. They offered their easy-to-use equipment to make life easier for all participants and recruited Halcyonaire performed music around the campfire after all of us finished bourbon s’mores and hot chocolate. In many respects, we were “glamping”… Read more »

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PUBLIC-Alite-web

A few weekends ago we teamed up with our friends from Alite Designs for the Bike-In Camp-Out, our first ever collaborative bike-in camp-out overnight trip.

A group of 60 participants biked to Rob Hill Campground in the Presidio, which is the city equivalent of setting up a tent in your own backyard. For most of us, it was our first experience camping inside the Presidio with access to incredible beaches, views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands, and spectacular Pacific Ocean sunset. And for most of us, it took only 30-45 minutes to bike to the campground.

Alite Designs makes and sells some of the best and simplest to use camping gear, including tents, folding chairs, and bags. They offered their easy-to-use equipment to make life easier for all participants and recruited Rice Paper Scissors to cater dinner, snacks, and breakfast. And Halcyonaire performed music around the campfire after all of us finished bourbon s’mores and hot chocolate.

In many respects, we were “glamping” (glamorous camping) but part of our desire was to introduce customers to bike camping without any worries – and to inspire them to consider camping to even further and more remote places on their own. For some participants, it was their first experience pitching their own tent and sleeping outside. Our Alite Design friends even documented easy tips on how to bike camp.

If you’re interested in learning about future collaborative events, make sure to sign up for the PUBLIC e-newsletter and follow Alite Design too.

Check out some photos of the Bike-In Camp-Out from photographer Kurt Manley, who also guided a photography hike for participants.

And of course, you can’t have a proper camping event without s’mores. This photo was taken by Dan from PUBLIC.

Public Protests: Istanbul (Now) and Amsterdam (Then)

June 20th, 2013

The recent intense protests in Taksim Gezi Park in Istanbul have brought attention to the value and meaning of Public Space. Istanbul has very little free open space, and the government had planned to replace one of its parks with a monument and a shopping mall. The lesson here is clear: mess with public space… Read more »

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The recent intense protests in Taksim Gezi Park in Istanbul have brought attention to the value and meaning of Public Space. Istanbul has very little free open space, and the government had planned to replace one of its parks with a monument and a shopping mall. The lesson here is clear: mess with public space and you might set off national blowback and find yourself the center of international attention and criticism.

In Istanbul’s Heart, Leader’s Obsession, Perhaps Achilles’ Heel
By Michael Kimmelman

“So public space, even a modest and chaotic swath of it like Taksim, again reveals itself as fundamentally more powerful than social media, which produce virtual communities. Revolutions happen in the flesh. In Taksim, strangers have discovered one another, their common concerns and collective voice.” Read on.

Defenders of Public Space in The International Herald Tribune
By Harvey Morris

“The privatization of the public realm, through the growth of ‘private-public’ space, produces over controlled, sterile places which lack connection to the reality and diversity of the local environment, with the result that they all tend to look the same,” Ms. Minton wrote in a report for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. “They also raise serious questions about democracy and accountability.” Read on.

Transportation Chief Talks of Giving the Public More Public Spaces
By Clyde Haberman

“ ‘People are very possessive and passionate about public space,’ said Ms. Sadik-Khan, the New York City transportation commissioner. ‘When it’s taken away, I’m not surprised that there’s a strong reaction. If you took away Central Park …’ She didn’t finish the sentence. She didn’t have to. New York would surely have a popular uprising on its hands.” Read on.

It often it takes a riot, or some equivalent dramatic event, to get the attention of societies, government, and developers. And it has always been this way in the modern world. The entire biking movement of the last fifty years in fact owes its existence to public protests over the intrusion of automobiles into public space. It’s easy to forget that places like Amsterdam and Copenhagen were not always bike friendly and that public protest allowed them to develop and flourish, as this video makes clear.


How the Dutch Got Their Cycle Paths

These issues are near and dear to us at PUBLIC, where we think of bikes as one of greatest assets that allow us to more fully appreciate and enjoy our communities and public space. Thanks to the citizens of Istanbul for their courage and for reminding us that the issue is global one.

 

Put a Load on Your Rack

June 13th, 2013

Do these loads look unreal? They are. French photographer Alain Delorme embellished photos captured in Shanghai as a commentary on the Chinese economy and global consumerism. These compelling images entitled Totems feature migrants who bear the physical brunt of the fast-paced economy by hauling wares on their bikes and carts, like improvised trucks. All PUBLIC Racks are… Read more »

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Do these loads look unreal? They are. French photographer Alain Delorme embellished photos captured in Shanghai as a commentary on the Chinese economy and global consumerism. These compelling images entitled Totems feature migrants who bear the physical brunt of the fast-paced economy by hauling wares on their bikes and carts, like improvised trucks.

All PUBLIC Racks are on sale till June 18th.

Most of us don’t consider a bike complete without a rack, and 70% of our customers attached a PUBLIC Rack to their bike for good reason: it makes riding more enjoyable and functional. The rear of the bicycle frame is the most stable part of the bike and the most logical place to carry extra weight. And
if you’re used to carrying weight on your back, your body will thank you when you switch to one of these.

A rack allows people to carry their everyday awkward goods effortlessly with them when they ride such as laptops, u-locks, food, and other bulky items. And with a rack, many other possibilities open up: basket, pannier, or bag. (We have many to choose from and some are on sale too.) Our racks are unique. We design them ourselves to match our bike colors and for easy installation by anyone. They are an everyday good value and a special deal this week.

PUBLIC Rear Rack with Spring ClipPUBLIC REAR RACK WITH SPRING CLIP
Was $65 Now $49
The most practical rack is our PUBLIC Rear Rack with Spring Clip. Our spring clip rat trap feature makes it practical and convenient for everyday lightweight objects and clothes. This rack can fit most bikes with 700c wheels & seat stay braze-ons.
PUBLIC Slender Rear RackPUBLIC SLENDER REAR RACK
Was $65 Now $49
Even our new city road bike PUBLIC R16 has a compatible matching Slender Rear Rack option so you can carry weight on longer recreational rides.
PUBLIC Front RackPUBLIC FRONT RACK
Was $60 Select Colors $25
Some customers even like to increase their carrying capacity by adding a PUBLIC Front Rack too. All PUBLIC Front Racks are discounted, select colors as low as $25.