Kimpton Hotel Born – Good Design In The Mile High City

May 9th, 2017

Since 2013, PUBLIC has been proud to work with Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants to provide fleets of custom PUBLIC bikes for Kimpton’s 64 boutique hotels in 33 cities around the world. Every Kimpton hotel guest can use a custom PUBLIC bike for free to explore surrounding neighborhoods. We worked closely with Kimpton Hotel Born in… Read more »

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Since 2013, PUBLIC has been proud to work with Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants to provide fleets of custom PUBLIC bikes for Kimpton’s 64 boutique hotels in 33 cities around the world. Every Kimpton hotel guest can use a custom PUBLIC bike for free to explore surrounding neighborhoods.

We worked closely with Kimpton Hotel Born in Denver on a handful of special custom bikes to elevate their unique design sophistication.

We partnered with Denver-based marketing, strategy and design firm Ellen Bruss Design on these customized Kimpton Hotel Born bikes. The Born hotel bikes are based on PUBLIC’s popular 7-speed commuter bike PUBLIC V7.

We’re really proud of this collaboration and excited to share a few photos of the final products.

About the Kimpton Hotel Born collaboration, Creative Director Ellen Bruss said, “When we started working on the brand, one of the first expressions of it was a custom bike using the plaid that is part of the design palette. At that point, we didn’t know if we could do a custom bike. PUBLIC made the dream become a reality. We hadn’t ever worked on a custom bike before. The PUBLIC team was very helpful with explaining what we could do and what we couldn’t do. They guided us on how much to wrap, since wear and tear are a big issue. They also helped figure out ways we could push the boundaries. They customized the cables and stripes to fit our design, and they took on the charge of having a custom Hotel Born name plate fabricated for the front of the basket.”

Bruss continued: “As far as the EBD design process goes, it began with picking the right bike for the audience and also finding one that the base colors were something we could match our palette to. The wrap crossovers were a challenge since the plaid pattern is complicated. And getting the scale right was important so we did numerous versions of that. We couldn’t have done it without a really collaborative, can-do PUBLIC team.”

Most of PUBLIC’s customers are individuals happily riding their PUBLIC bikes, but we love working with companies and organizations on corporate fleet bikes or custom fleet bikes. We’ve worked with companies ranging from Clif Bar, SF Shipyard and Bay Meadows, and many other corporate customers.

Let us know if you’d like to work with us on fleet bikes for your company or organization.

When you visit Kimpton Born Hotel, as Ellen Bruss noted, “the customized bikes will be front and center, one of the first brand expressions you’ll see when you get to the hotel. Guests will be able to use them to go out and explore the neighborhood.”

 

Celebrating Mardi Gras By Bike

February 16th, 2017

The city of New Orleans, Louisiana, knows how to throw a good party. From Jazzfest to French Quarter Fest and dozens of smaller festivals in-between, people from all over the world flock to New Orleans to take part in these vibrant celebrations. The most popular and well attended of all the festivals in New Orleans… Read more »

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mardi gras by bike

The city of New Orleans, Louisiana, knows how to throw a good party. From Jazzfest to French Quarter Fest and dozens of smaller festivals in-between, people from all over the world flock to New Orleans to take part in these vibrant celebrations.

The most popular and well attended of all the festivals in New Orleans is Mardi Gras, attracting over one million people each year. Mardi Gras falls on Shrove or Fat Tuesday and while that day is reserved for the largest amount of celebrating, the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras, known as Carnival, are filled with organized parades, eclectic costumes and general revelry.

mardi gras by bike

“Mardi Gras brings out so much creativity” says Marin Tockman, owner of New Orleans-based bike shop, Dashing Bicycles. “The float ideas are always so fun and so witty. Larger parades will have decorated bikes (think unicorns or sea monsters) in-between the larger floats and thousands of people can see how creative people are incorporating bikes into the parading fun.”

mardi gras by bike

Tockman offers some advice for folks looking to dress up their bikes. “Keep it simple so it’s safe to ride, but add some fun fringe, sparkly fabric or even beads to your handlebars or helmet. Make sure to leave room for a cup holder and add wheel lights to brighten up our streets while you bike at night.”

mardi gras by bike

Not only do bikes get dressed up for parades, but with the heavy tourist traffic during Carnival they become a superior means of navigating the city. “Riding a bike during Mardi Gras is the thing to do!” says Tockman. “Zip to any parade, amazing restaurant or live show in any corner of the city, hassle-free.” If you choose to get around NOLA on a bike during Mardi Gras you won’t be alone. Says Tockman, “So many people choose to bike that sometimes when biking to a parade feels like a festival in and of itself, with everyone dressed up and having fun along the way.”

mardi gras by bike

With so much to see and do during Carnival how do you decide which events to partake in? Tockman offers the following insider tips on what to do and see by bike during the five days leading up to Mardi Gras, and on Mardi Gras itself:

THURSDAY Bike to Muses. It’s an all-female super Krewe parade that heads down St. Charles, featuring the city’s best high school marching bands.

FRIDAY Check out Morpheus, a parade that rolls uptown. And there is always tons of great live music shows along Frenchmen Street.

SATURDAY Head to Endymion in the afternoon for the amazing floats. Or check out the local walking parades that happen, like the 9th Ward Marching.

SUNDAY Hit up some family parades along the St Charles route, especially Bacchus. Beware of the Box of Wine parade, the revelers take in copious amounts of wine beforehand.

MONDAY Rest and finish your costume ‘cause there’s only one day left till Mardi Gras! It’s a good night to catch a few throws or music in the French Quarter.

TUESDAY The big day is here! Mardi Gras rolls out early and lasts all night, so make sure to fuel up beforehand. First things first, catch the Bone Boys waking up the neighborhoods with their cast iron pans. Then head to Zulu, the largest African American Super Krewe parade for phenomenally well-dressed folks. By late morning, head to the French Quarter and take part in the St. Ann Parade which finds thousands of people meandering through the beautiful streets following battling marching bands to the river.

Says Tockman, “While the whole week is pretty nonstop, it’s some of the most fun you can ever have, especially if you make time to cruise through it all with a bike.”


All photos by Akasha Rabut of Akasha Rabut Photography.
PUBLIC bikes pictured: PUBLIC V1 and PUBLIC C7.

Petal Power: Bike Flower Couriers

January 31st, 2017

What’s something that can elicit almost as many “Ooohs and Aaahs” as a puppy or baby? Spotting a bike flower courier whose front basket and messenger backpack are overflowing with beautiful bouquets. As Valentine’s Day approaches we’ve been seeing more and more of these petal pushers spinning through the city. So in partnership with BloomThat (responsible… Read more »

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Bike Flower Couriers

What’s something that can elicit almost as many “Ooohs and Aaahs” as a puppy or baby? Spotting a bike flower courier whose front basket and messenger backpack are overflowing with beautiful bouquets. As Valentine’s Day approaches we’ve been seeing more and more of these petal pushers spinning through the city. So in partnership with BloomThat (responsible for the gorgeous blooms pictured) and with the help of photographer (and biker!) Pamela of Pamela Palma Photography we hopped on our bikes and followed a few bike flower couriers as they pedaled (and posed) with flowers around San Francisco. Read on to learn about each of the bike couriers and see more photos.


BIKE COURIER 1: MONICA
Bike Flower Couriers
PUBLIC: Tell us a little about you. Who you are? Where you’re from?
MONICA: I’m a bay area native. Born and raised in the east bay
Bike Flower Couriers
PUBLIC:How did you become a bike courier?
MONICA: Pedal Express in Oakland was hiring and I happened to be looking for a job.
PUBLIC: What’s the best part about being a bike courier?
MONICA: Having better knowledge of the streets is pretty tight.
Bike Flower Couriers
PUBLIC: What’s the worst part of the job?
MONICA: Dealing with the diverse forms of traffic on the road is rough. Between ride sharing, public transportation and lost drivers, you have to be on your toes all the time.
PUBLIC: Any tips for navigating city traffic by bike?
MONICA: Always be aware of your surroundings. Don’t hesitate to be vocal and ring your bell to make sure cars know you’re there.
Bike Flower Couriers
PUBLIC: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever carried via bike?
MONICA: The craziest thing I’ve carried was really the distance I had to go with the order. I had to pick up a package in the Diamond Heights neighborhood of San Francisco and drop it off miles away in Daly City. It felt like that job took forever.
Bike Flower Couriers
PUBLIC: What’s the best reaction you’ve received from couriering flowers by bike?
MONICA: Ladies love it, and so do people with kids. Flower deliveries are usually the most appreciated of deliveries.
PUBLIC: What’s the best way to carry flowers on a bike?
MONICA: Definitely by a mess {messenger} bag. You can just expand those things and stuff it full and even put some flowers in the side pockets of the bag.


BIKE COURIER 2: SAM
Bike Flower Couriers
PUBLIC: Tell us a little about you. Who you are? Where you’re from?
SAM: I’m Sam Spicer. I’m from Portland, OR and I now live in San Francisco.
PUBLIC: How did you become a bike courier?
SAM: I became a courier back in Portland. Most of my dudes were already working as couriers. I had an opportunity to try it and, of course, fell in love with it.
Bike Flower Couriers
PUBLIC: What’s the best part about being a bike courier?
SAM: The best part about being a bike courier is that it’s the best excuse for looking super weird talking to yourself from a far on the bike. But really your just talking into the radio.
PUBLIC: What’s the worst part of the job?
SAM: Worst part of the job is finding the bathroom during a busy, busy day.
Bike Flower Couriers
PUBLIC: Any tips for navigating city traffic by bike?
SAM: Stay loose and ride smart. Always ride like no one sees you.
PUBLIC: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever carried via bike?
SAM: Two things stick out in memory. Up in Portland I had to deliver a 6 foot roll of carpet. That was awkward. Then recently with TCB I had to pick up a pillow up in the Haight district of San Francisco that was going to the Mission District. At pick up, I found out that it was a smiley face kid’s pillow that was taco themed.
Bike Flower Couriers
PUBLIC: What’s the best reaction you’ve received from couriering flowers by bike?
SAM: All the smiles are really the best ones
PUBLIC: What’s the best way to carry flowers on a bike?
SAM: Whatever is comfortable for you. Bag, rack, etc. Depends on how many in the end!


BIKE COURIER 3: ANTONIO
Bike Flower Couriers
PUBLIC: Tell us a little about you. Who you are? Where you’re from?
ANTONIO: My name is Antonio. I’m from the sucka-free city, 415 {San Francisco area code}.
PUBLIC: How did you become a bike courier?
Bike Flower Couriers
ANTONIO: I first noticed bike messengers when I got an internship at Pedal Revolution on 21st and South Van Ness in San Francisco. I loved the idea of riding a bike for a living; how you can make ends meet and be free from an office job or the regular 9-5 routine. I fell in love with the whole bike culture and I learned to ride everywhere I go. Before that I was a knucklehead (still kinda am) without much determination or direction. But now you will never see me without my bike, and I can truly say it saved my life.
PUBLIC: What’s the best part about being a bike courier?
Bike Flower Couriers
ANTONIO: Riding your bike everywhere. Riding through the city and not being tied down and stuck indoors.
PUBLIC: What’s the worst part of the job?
ANTONIO: Rainy days
PUBLIC: Any tips for navigating city traffic by bike?
ANTONIO: Make sure your brakes are on point. Always stay aware of your surroundings and watch out for doors opening . AT NIGHT USE LIGHTS.
PUBLIC: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever carried via bike?
ANTONIO: I helped a good friend of mine move out of her apartment on Hyde and Turk in San Francisco to a place way out on 2nd Ave and Anza. Lots of hills and lots of weight (clothes and plates and stuff like that). Lol.
Bike Flower Couriers
PUBLIC: What’s the best reaction you’ve received from couriering flowers by bike?
ANTONIO: I always get lots of ooooohs and aahhhhhs when I deliver flowers. People are happy to get flowers 99.99999% of the time. You always get smiles.
PUBLIC: What’s the best way to carry flowers on a bike?
ANTONIO: Fat stack on the front rack every time.


BIKE COURIER 4: IAN

Bike Flower Couriers
PUBLIC: Tell us a little about you. Who you are? Where you’re from?
IAN: Ian McDonnell, Tucson Arizona.
Bike Flower Couriers
PUBLIC: How did you become a bike courier?
IAN: Just another job.
PUBLIC: What’s the best part about being a bike courier?
IAN: Free elevator rides.
Bike Flower Couriers
PUBLIC: What’s the worst part of the job?
IAN: Taking BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit).
PUBLIC: Any tips for navigating city traffic by bike?
IAN: Always hold the lane and take lefts early. Don’t get pinned in the right lane, especially parallel to right turning cars. Stay 3 feet away from parked cars. Watch out for doors opening.
Bike Flower Couriers
PUBLIC: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever carried via bike?
IAN: A freshly removed mouth’s worth of gold teeth.
Bike Flower Couriers
PUBLIC: What’s the best reaction you’ve received from couriering flowers by bike?
IAN: One time a lady freaked out because the flowers were sent by someone she had a restraining order against.
PUBLIC: What’s the best way to carry flowers on a bike?
IAN: Securely.


All photography by Pamela Palma Photography . Big thanks to BloomThat for providing the blooms and to all the couriers who took part in this post!

The Bicycle As Protest

January 18th, 2017

Change is in the air with the inauguration of a new American President and many protests planned around the country. It got us thinking about how the bicycle has been used as vehicle of protest over the years and in different parts of the world. Here are some examples of the bicycle as protest that immediately come… Read more »

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bicycle protest

Change is in the air with the inauguration of a new American President and many protests planned around the country. It got us thinking about how the bicycle has been used as vehicle of protest over the years and in different parts of the world.

Here are some examples of the bicycle as protest that immediately come to our minds. Please comment with other examples to share.

Critical Mass
Critical Mass is a misunderstood direct action that involves hundreds and sometimes thousands of bicyclists meeting in one location at a designated time and riding through the streets en masse. It started in San Francisco and spawned hundreds of other regular monthly rides around the world. The rides have no leaders or designated route. While some people argue that Critical Mass is more a celebration of the bicycle than a protest, in the early years Critical Mass was an opportunity to visibly demonstrate what public streets could look and feel like when the bicycle, and not the car, is the king or queen of the road.

bicycle protest nuns nepal

Buddhist Nuns Protesting Human Trafficking
We love this story about 500 Buddhist nuns in Nepal and India completing a ~2,500 mile bicycle trek to highlight human trafficking issues in their region. These women are awesome. Who doesn’t love nuns on bikes?

bicycle protest golden era

The Good Roads Movement
In the late 1800s, before the rise of the automobile, the bicycle was taking cities by storm and it led to the Good Roads Movement. The Golden Era of the Bicycle galvanized hundreds of thousands of new bicyclists to protest and organize for better roads. Popular demand for bicycles led to improved road conditions, which ironically, set the stage for better roads for automobiles once the car supplanted the bicycle as the aspirational choice for private transportation.

Women’s Rights in Iran
When the Supreme leader of Iran issued a fatwa banning women from riding bicycles in public in 2016, it called attention to the disparity in women’s rights in a regressive regime. In response, women around the world starting highlighting the issue using hashtag #IranianWomenLoveCycling. The bicycle represents independence and freedom and a ridiculous ban of public biking by any group is an affront against everyone.

Advocating for Sensible Traffic Enforcement and The Idaho Stop Law
When the police start cracking down on non-harmful, non-dangerous traffic violations like bicyclists rolling safely through intersections, it can sometimes lead to a counter-response. San Francisco bicyclists organized a massive protest against police efforts to cite bicyclists for simply rolling through intersections at a popular bicycle route called The Wiggle. Hundreds of bicyclists demonstrated what traffic might look like if every bicyclist obeyed traffic laws “literally.” Many of these activists have been fighting for city leaders to support the Idaho Stop Law, which basically “allows cyclists to treat a stop sign as a yield sign, and a red light as a stop sign.”

Amsterdam Protests For Safer Streets
Much has been written about the 1960s efforts to reduce child fatalities in Amsterdam from fast moving automobiles. These organizing efforts helped put bicycles front and center as the preferred, safer mode of transportation within the city core. Pedestrians and bicyclists shared similar goals to create safer public spaces for everyone. All of this led to policies and city planning that eventually helped Amsterdam become the bicycle capital of the world.

Change comes from many places, within and outside of government, but it also comes at the ballot box when we elect our local City Councilors, Mayors, statewide and national elected officials.

As advocates of the bicycle and public spaces as important gathering places (even for protest), we at PUBLIC recognize that protests can serve as organizing tools to encourage more people to make substantive changes through voting and by pressuring lawmakers, whether your cause is healthcare, immigrant rights, women’s rights, or even the rights of bicyclists to safely move through our cities.

Minerals, Rock! Beautiful Bike Illustrations By Roman Muradov

January 16th, 2017

We’re smitten with the bike illustrations Roman Murdov created for our Minerals, Rock! campaign supporting our glittery, Limited Edition bike colors named after precious minerals. Roman is an acclaimed artist and author (his latest book came out in November 2016), whose illustrations have been featured in the NY Times (most recently here), Vogue, The New Yorker and countless other publications. Roman is based in San Francisco (home of our flagship store) and… Read more »

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Bike illustrations Roman Muradov

PUBLIC C7 in Gold Dust, by Roman Muradov.

We’re smitten with the bike illustrations Roman Murdov created for our Minerals, Rock! campaign supporting our glittery, Limited Edition bike colors named after precious minerals. Roman is an acclaimed artist and author (his latest book came out in November 2016), whose illustrations have been featured in the NY Times (most recently here), VogueThe New Yorker and countless other publications. Roman is based in San Francisco (home of our flagship store) and we were able to catch up with him over a cup of coffee to learn more about his creative process and, of course, what bikes mean to him.

PUBLIC: Who is Roman?
ROMAN: Author, illustrator, originally from Russia, living in San Francisco for the last 8 years. I do illustration for the NY Times, the New Yorker, Penguin, and many other magazines and publishers. I’ve also written and drawn several books of my own. They are hard to classify, I suppose they fall somewhere between graphic novels and visual poetry.

bike illustrations Roman Muradov

PUBLIC V1 in Cobalt, by Roman Muradov.

PUBLIC: How did you get your start?
ROMAN: I was first a Petroleum Engineer back in Russia. Fortunately or unfortunately I had a somewhat late start, and began working on my art only in my mid 20s. All hardships aside, I think it made me appreciate drawing for a living way more than if I’d started early on. I tried a lot of things and worked a ton of odd (and very odd) jobs, so maybe my current work is also another protracted stage. Initially, drawing was a way to attract people to my writing, but now it’s an important part of my life.

My first big break was with the New Yorker. My career was slow to develop, but after several years I picked up more and more magazine work. Because of my literary obsessions I’m often pigeonholed for fiction and conceptual assignments, which is my favorite thing to do.

PUBLIC: Proudest art moment?
ROMAN: My books. I think the latest one, Jacob Bladders & the State Of Art, turned out quite well. I wrote, illustrated and designed the whole thing, and the book does feel like a manifestation of my personality. It was an intense labor of love.

Bike Illustrations Roman Muradov

PUBLIC V7 in Moonstone, by Roman Muradov.

PUBLIC: You also teach art?
ROMAN: I teach at California College of the Arts. Usually I do an illustration class, and my own elective class that explores the intersection of writing and drawing.

I think it’s a strange and exciting time for illustration, old models give way to new ones and no one knows what will happen tomorrow. We live in a predominantly visual culture, but we still cling dearly to language, so when the two intersect in a new way it pushes the whole industry forward.

Considering that my work can be pretty melancholy, I guess I’m fairly optimistic about the state of the art.

bike illustrations Roman Muradov

Roman, riding his PUBLIC D8i.

PUBLIC: What does the bicycle represent for you?
ROMAN:  The bicycle is something of a childhood dream for me. I never had one as a child and I’ve always wanted one. Then there’s a lot of bikes in my favorite books, Beckett for instance and Alfred Jarry.

The walking rhythm is a big influence on my writing, so I write most of my stuff on walks. Bikes seem to be a good a mid-point between walking and in a car. You still have a connection to the rhythm when biking. I’m curious to see how cycling will affect my sentences.

bike illustrations by Roman Muradov

PUBLIC C7 in Black Amethyst, by Roman Muradov.

PUBLIC: What’s your favorite public space? Place to relax/play/be
ROMAN:  I’m fond of Ina Coolbrith park, it has a great view of San Francisco. When I lived near in the area, I walked to that park nearly every day. All the abundance of shifting lights and smells in that little space is very unique, even for San Francisco, a city that has no shortage of neat places.

I am interested to explore the different places that a bike will be able to take me. Seeing how one neighborhood flows into the other and so forth.

PUBLIC: What’s up next for you?
ROMAN: Writing my first non-fiction book on the subject of doing nothing. Absurdly, I am working very hard on it. We live in a world, where the business of life is replacing life itself. I’m hoping this book will remind people to take a pause for contemplation whenever possible.

Also I’m writing and drawing an encyclopedic comic book about the flood.

Now, listen to the rap + video featuring Roman’s illustrations!

bike illustrations rap song

Me & My Bike – Nerdcore Rap Song By MC Lars

January 9th, 2017

Nerdcore rap + PUBLIC bikes? An unlikely partnership it may seem, but we promise you’ll crack a smile after listening to this rap song MC Lars wrote for us, inspired by our Limited Edition bike colors named after precious minerals: Moonstone V7, Black Amethyst C7, Red Gold C1, Cobalt V1 and Gold Dust C7. The… Read more »

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Nerdcore rap + PUBLIC bikes? An unlikely partnership it may seem, but we promise you’ll crack a smile after listening to this rap song MC Lars wrote for us, inspired by our Limited Edition bike colors named after precious minerals: Moonstone V7, Black Amethyst C7, Red Gold C1, Cobalt V1 and Gold Dust C7. The upbeat tone and clever lyrics capture the fun of bike riding and the spirit of PUBLIC, and we feel sure giving it a listen will brighten your day.

Illustrations are by Roman Muradov, whose work you may have seen in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Paris Review.

nerdcore rap MC Lars

Photo Credit: Nicole Mago

We caught up with MC Lars while he was on tour, to learn about him and his inspiration for the song.

PUBLIC: Who is MC Lars?

MC Lars I am an indie rapper from Oakland currently living in Brooklyn.  I make songs about everything from Edgar Allan Poe, to robots, to zombie dinosaurs.

PUBLIC: We’re guessing many folks don’t know what nerdcore rap is. Could you describe it to the unfamiliar?

MC Lars It’s a term invented by MC Frontalot to describe fandom-inspired rap, often made at home on laptops and DIY studios.  Topics include Lord of the Rings, Nintendo games, and in my case, literature.

PUBLIC: What inspired you to write the song, “Me And My Bike”?

MC Lars When I’m not on tour, it’s so nice to be free and get around on a bike.  It saves you money on gas and parking is easy.  I want to give PUBLIC a shout out for the great work they are doing!

PUBLIC: What does the bicycle represent for you?

MC Lars The future of intelligent transportation!  Always wear a helmet too, because biking helps you stay in shape and it’s important to take care of your body and brain!

PUBLIC: Describe your perfect day on a bicycle?

MC Lars Riding up Mount Tam or down Highway 1 in Pacifica!  Getting away from everything and turning off your phone.  So perfect and amazing.

PUBLIC: What’s next for you?

MC Lars Working on an album and March tour with Mega Ran.  He’s awesome! Check out his music and thanks again for PUBLIC for inviting me to write this song for you.

Now, check out the Limited Edition bikes (we made just 30 of each color): 

Shop our Moonstone V7 Bike. Shop Our Limited Edition Amethyst C7 Bike Shop our Limited Edition Cobalt V1 Bike. Shop our Red Gold C1 Bike.

Muralist Mona Caron Creates PUBLIC Art Bike for CalBike

January 3rd, 2017

SF-based muralist, Mona Caron’s work is inspirational on a global level. Her murals have helped raise awareness for indigenous women in central Quito, Ecuador, represented strength and resilience in the form of an oversized weed mural in São Paulo, Brazil and graced a well-ridden bike path closer to PUBLIC’s home in San Francisco, California. That’s… Read more »

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mona caron art bike

The Mona Caron dandelion bike. Photo by Orange Photography.

SF-based muralist, Mona Caron’s work is inspirational on a global level. Her murals have helped raise awareness for indigenous women in central Quito, Ecuador, represented strength and resilience in the form of an oversized weed mural in São Paulo, Brazil and graced a well-ridden bike path closer to PUBLIC’s home in San Francisco, California. That’s why we were honored to provide the “canvas” (in the form of our PUBLIC V7 bike) for an art bike recently designed by Caron and commissioned by the California Bike Coalition (Cal Bike).

We’re featuring the Cal Bike interview (original here) with Caron in full below that describes her inspiration behind the art bike, as well as beautiful images of the bike taken by Orange Photography.

mona caron art bike

The Mona Caron dandelion bike. Photo by Orange Photography.

mona caron art bike

The Mona Caron dandelion bike. Photo by Orange Photography.

The below interview with Mona Caron is by Jenn Guitart, published on 10/11/16 on calbike.org.

CalBike: Why did you choose to use the dandelion on this art bike?

Mona Caron: I like to use botanical metaphors to describe other things, especially the dynamics of social transformation. The botanical metaphor absolutely applies to the bicycle movement. I remember in the early days of Critical Mass, when I was very involved with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, we were seeing more and more bicyclists appearing on the streets of San Francisco. It felt like this simple idea, a simple act anyone could do, was quietly spreading like seeds, and germinating city-wide.

Each social bike ride in the early days was like blowing the seeds of a dandelion puff: I swear, after each ride we’d notice more bike riders in the city. Like a dandelion seed, a single bicyclist in the city is a fragile, small, lightweight, quiet thing; but many people choosing to ride bikes can germinate powerful, paradigm-shifting changes.

Taken individually, each decision to ride a bike doesn’t seem like a big deal, but collectively it can really fundamentally change a city, change our assumptions about public space, our sense of possibility of what a convivial, human-scale city could look like. Just like a dandelion cracks the concrete, bicycling could change our society.

mona caron art bike

The Duboce Bikeway Mural by Mona Caron. (Photo by Lars Howlett)

CalBike: Your first mural, the Duboce Bikeway Mural, is well-known to anyone who rides a bike in San Francisco. How do you see your work as fitting in with the bike advocacy movement?

Caron: When I started riding a bike and became friends with SF’s bike advocates and instigators, I started designing posters to try and entice more people to ride bikes and join social rides. I drew some in a fake-antique psychedelic art-nouveau style, as if urban bicycling was a time-honored thing, and some of my images got picked up and reused all over the world as the Critical Mass movement spread from SF to hundreds of cities worldwide. My bike-related artwork has been featured in publications of and about the bike movement on four continents.

More recently, I’ve been working on my mural and stop-motion animation project WEEDS, and I’ve been making artwork for the climate justice movement, where I’ve also used the dandelion metaphor. The idea is to sow resistance and spread alternatives, in a gentle but powerful way, just like these wild plants do in urban environments.

I attended and gave presentations at several World Bicycle Forums in recent years. In Porto Alegre, Brazil, we painted a dandelion mural, then rode around town disseminating its seeds, painting each seed puff carrying a tiny little bicicletinha, a little bicycle. We stenciled these little bicycle-seeds all over the city on allies’ walls, to spread the idea.

mona caron art bike

The Mona Caron dandelion bike. Photo by Orange Photography.

CalBike: You’ve mentioned the dandelion as a symbol of hope.

Caron: Yes, hope in the sense of a visualization of the dynamics of change. You know, It’s kind of hard to imagine some sudden big revolution changing the world and solving all our problems, and I doubt the changes we need will ever come that way, nor magically delivered by some illuminated politician we elect. Rather, I see things can and will shift through an increasing multitude of small-scale but widespread life-affirming acts, finding the cracks in the system and pushing them open, like dandelions do.

Sometimes our harsh reality feels like cement: it seems to be something so permanent, so hard, seemingly unchangeable. And yet all it takes is a little fissure, and somebody somewhere planting something different in it, doing something alternative, to start its breakdown. Because anything we do, you can bet we are not the only ones doing it. And if it is something life-affirming, and you spread it around, many will join in. So when you get on your bicycle, you know you’re riding with a collective force that will bring more oxygen to this world, literally and metaphorically.

I designed this bike to be a reminder of that.

Must Love Dogs & Bicycles

December 14th, 2016

PUBLIC Bikes Holiday 2016 – #chompersthecorgi from PUBLIC Bikes on Vimeo. If you follow PUBLIC closely, it’s no secret that we love dogs at PUBLIC. For many people, a bicycle can be similar to a favorite dog – a trusted companion to journey through life’s experiences and help you see the world differently. We’ve featured… Read more »

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PUBLIC Bikes Holiday 2016 – #chompersthecorgi from PUBLIC Bikes on Vimeo.

If you follow PUBLIC closely, it’s no secret that we love dogs at PUBLIC.

For many people, a bicycle can be similar to a favorite dog – a trusted companion to journey through life’s experiences and help you see the world differently.

We’ve featured many fun photos of dogs and bicycles on our Paws & Pedals site.

And we sell this very useful Basil Pasja Pet Bike Basket that attaches perfectly on our PUBLIC rear racks. We also recommend this Basil Pasja Wire Dome that fits with the Basil Pasja Pet Bike Basket.

We’ve also hosted several pet adoption events at our PUBLIC retail stores with local groups like L.A. Love & Leashes, Best Friends Animal Society – Los Angeles, No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA), and Seattle Humane.

And if you bring your dog to any of our stores, you’ll likely find special treats for your dog from our friends at Honest Kitchen.

One of our favorite dog moments was when the inimitable Buddy Boo was photographed next to our PUBLIC Mini kids balance bike.

Lately, we’ve loved working with Chompers the Corgi. Our Holiday campaign this year included lots of Chompers enjoying our various PUBLIC bicycle accessories.

If you and your dog are interested in collaborating with PUBLIC, or you’re interested in hosting a dog-related event at one of our stores, reach out to us.

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DIY Bicycle Wheel Wreath

December 7th, 2016

We’re so excited to share this incredibly clever holiday DIY Bicycle Wheel Wreath from Maren at Larch & Loon. Not only is it bike-themed (but, of course!), it’s easy and quick to assemble with beautiful results. Happy crafting! From Larch & Loon If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I LOVE the… Read more »

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bicycle wheel wreath

We’re so excited to share this incredibly clever holiday DIY Bicycle Wheel Wreath from Maren at Larch & Loon. Not only is it bike-themed (but, of course!), it’s easy and quick to assemble with beautiful results. Happy crafting!

From Larch & Loon

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I LOVE the holidays. My favorite traditions include decorating the tree, drinking eggnog lattes and watching Love Actually on repeat. I always love this time of the year for crafting because nobody can judge you for covering everything with glitter!

This year, I decided to focus my holiday crafting attention on creating a bicycle wheel wreath. It’s super easy to make and adds a unique touch to your holiday home. I created two different versions, one a more traditional style and one that’s a little funky!

Ready to create your own? All you’ll need is a bike wheel, some garland and a big red bow.

bicycle wheel wreath

Step 1: Make some hot cocoa and start blasting All I Want For Christmas to get in the mood.

Step 2: Use a glue gun to attach the greenery. Warning: You will use a crap ton of glue sticks!

Step 3: Add some pretty little pinecones and berries to dress it up.

Step 4: Attach your bow. Mine came with wire on the back so I just wrapped that around the wheel.

bicycle wheel wreath

Cute, huh? The reindeer approve.

For the next one, I wanted to try something a little edgier so I used gold leaf paint and some florals I picked up at the local craft store.

bicycle wheel wreath

Step 1: Paint the wheel gold. I used quick dry spray paint so I wouldn’t have to wait too long to start decorating.

Step 2: Lay out the greenery pieces and choose the shape you want to create. I ended up trimming a lot of pieces off mine since they were so bushy, but it’s all personal preference.

Step 3: Attach the greenery with glue or wire. I found that the glue didn’t stick quite as well after the wheel was painted so wire came in handy here.

Step 4: Hang your beautiful new wreath near your stockings with care!

bicycle wheel wreath

I hope this inspires you to break out the glue gun and get crafty this holiday season. Enjoy!


larch loonMaren and Dustin from Larch & Loon are here to inspire you to get outside, to be adventurous and discover all the Pacific Northwest has to offer. On their blog you’ll find all things Cascadia – from climbing and hiking to brewing and biking (and in this case, wreath making!)

Special Holiday Treats & Deals in All PUBLIC Stores

December 7th, 2016

All PUBLIC retail stores in San Francisco, Santa Monica, and Seattle are hosting special events, offering treats, and in-store only deals for customers shopping for holiday gifts for themselves and their loved ones. Every weekend in December, each of our PUBLIC stores are brewing up either hot spiced cider or hot cocoa to keep you… Read more »

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All PUBLIC retail stores in San Francisco, Santa Monica, and Seattle are hosting special events, offering treats, and in-store only deals for customers shopping for holiday gifts for themselves and their loved ones.

Every weekend in December, each of our PUBLIC stores are brewing up either hot spiced cider or hot cocoa to keep you warm! Whether you’re out for a bike ride -or- looking for a bike to go on a ride, we’ve got a warm cuppa deliciousness for you here in the shop. There’s chocolate bars (oh so delicious chocolate bars…) for the first 10 people who take our bikes out on a test spin on the December 10th & 11th, and then again on the December 17th & 18th. Rumor has it there’s plenty of candy canes, too.

Click on links below for individual store activities, along with holiday hours:

PUBLIC Seattle
501 E. Pine Street
(206) 973-2434

Seattle Store Hours
Monday – Saturday: 11:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 6:00pm
Dec. 24: 11:00am – 4:00pm
Dec. 25: Closed Christmas Day

PUBLIC Santa Monica
2714 Main Street
(424) 221-5209

Santa Monica Store Hours
Monday – Saturday: 11:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 6:00pm
Dec. 24: 11:00am – 4:00pm
Dec. 25: Closed Christmas Day

PUBLIC San Francisco
549 Hayes Street
(415) 688-4000

SF Store Hours
Monday – Saturday: 11:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 6:00pm
Dec. 24: 11:00am – 4:00pm
Dec. 25: Closed Christmas Day

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