Seattle Grand Opening Party on August 1

July 8th, 2015

It’s party time! We’ve opened our new flagship PUBLIC store at 501 E. Pine Street at Summit and we want to celebrate with you at our Grand Opening Party. It’s going to be a great event. We’ll have free food and drinks, music, special in-store only deals and a raffle with some really great PUBLIC… Read more »

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It’s party time!

We’ve opened our new flagship PUBLIC store at 501 E. Pine Street at Summit and we want to celebrate with you at our Grand Opening Party.

It’s going to be a great event. We’ll have free food and drinks, music, special in-store only deals and a raffle with some really great PUBLIC product, including a really big one of our own, the winner’s choice of either a PUBLIC C7 or PUBLIC V7 in the color of their choosing.

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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 Cascade Bicycle Club.

The first 75 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 Seattle Grand Opening Party
501 E. Pine Street
Saturday, August 1 between 11am-3pm
RSVP HERE

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The most bike friendly city in the world is…

June 30th, 2015

As we approach another 4th of July weekend in the U.S., many of us will get in our cars to enjoy the holiday weekend. If we lived in Copenhagen, it’s likely we’d be choosing two-wheels instead of four to get around. Recently Copenhagen surpassed Amsterdam in the top spot for the most bicycle-friendly city in… Read more »

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A happy rider in Copenhagen / Copenhagenize Design Co.

As we approach another 4th of July weekend in the U.S., many of us will get in our cars to enjoy the holiday weekend. If we lived in Copenhagen, it’s likely we’d be choosing two-wheels instead of four to get around. Recently Copenhagen surpassed Amsterdam in the top spot for the most bicycle-friendly city in the world.

This Copenhagenize Index ranking by is no surprise to anyone who has visited this wonderful European city in recent years. Copenhagen’s public streets and spaces are filled with two-wheeled transportation.

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Rush hour in Copenhagen / Copenhagenize Design Co.

Copenhagen is a proof that “if you build it, they will come.” The city’s heavy investment in bicycle-friendly infrastructure makes this mode of transportation easy and accessible for people of all ages.

About 50% of residents commute by bicycle every day in Copenhagen. By comparison in the U.S., about 6% of Portland residents and about 4% of Minneapolis residents commute by bicycle. These cities are considered two of the most enlightened American cities when it comes to bicycling.

One of the biggest reasons Copenhagen’s leaders justify significant investments in bicycling infrastructure is because their policy and political decisions are guided by different methods of accounting for the full social costs of various modes of transportation.

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Clever transportation / Copenhagenize Design Co.

The article “How Copenhagen Became A Cycling Paradise By Considering The Full Cost Of Cars” summarizes this best: “Cars pollute and cause more accidents. So when deciding whether to invest in roads or bike lanes, Copenhagen calculates all of the social costs involved—and bikes win out.”

In addition, as Ben Schiller from Co.Exist writes, “As well as costs and benefits to society, there are also personal costs and benefits, including the time lost or gained from taking a bike or car, and the impact of noise and pollution on quality of life. When these are included in the analysis, cars cost 57 cents per kilometer while bikes come in at 9 cents per kilometer, the paper finds.”

Imagine if we applied a similar approach in the U.S.? Citizens and leaders would be better informed about the significant public subsidies that support our predominant car culture – and the disproportionate, costly impacts the motorized vehicles has on our public streets and spaces. And of course, we know non-motorized transportation is better for the planet and public health.

So as we approach another 4th of July weekend in the U.S. where many of us will get in our cars for weekend getaways, let’s recognize that there’s a higher cost in pursuit of some of those freedoms.

PUBLIC Portland Pedalpalooza Happy Hour on June 24

June 17th, 2015

On Wednesday, June 24th as part of Pedalpalooza, the organized (Ned) Flanders Neighborhood Greenway Ride is departing from NW Flanders & 23rd at 6:00PM. The ride traverses the future Flanders Neighborhood Greenway and local advocates will be on hand to point out the improvements needed to create a safe east-west route from NW to 24th… Read more »

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On Wednesday, June 24th as part of Pedalpalooza, the organized (Ned) Flanders Neighborhood Greenway Ride is departing from NW Flanders & 23rd at 6:00PM. The ride traverses the future Flanders Neighborhood Greenway and local advocates will be on hand to point out the improvements needed to create a safe east-west route from NW to 24th to the Steel Bridge.

We invite you to swing by our PUBLIC Portland Showroom at 828 NW 23rd for happy hour from 4:30-6:00PM. We’ll have Italian Ice from J Gelatari and beer from local brewery, Hopworks Urban Brewery. Then grab your bike and head out on the (Ned) Flanders Neighborhood Greenway Ride.

Riders are encouraged (but not required) to dress in Ned Flanders garb, so wear that green sweater and join us for a happy hour that would make Ned & the future Flanders Greenway proud!

Please RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook so we can get enough drinks for everyone planning to stop by.

A New Zest For Life

June 2nd, 2015

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In honor of Father’s Day we’d like to share with you a special story about an inspirational PUBLIC rider, Gary Clemens, who is pictured above. We learned about Gary from his son, Deven, who writes about his dad:

“My dad was the primary caregiver to his wife and his mother and during that time didn’t have much of a chance to care for himself. When they both passed, we asked him to move back to the Bay Area to be near his grandkids and his family. He did and we decided to get him a PUBLIC bike so he could be more active. It gave him a new zest for life.”

It had been 30 years since Gary had ridden a bike when he took his first spin last year. Now he rides nearly every day, to do errands, with his grandkids and along the plentiful bike trails in Mill Valley, California just to take in the views. We’re so inspired by Gary and touched that Deven shared this story about his inspirational dad.

We interview Gary below about what biking means to him and how you’re never too old to change your life.

PUBLIC: After 30 years of not riding, what prompted you to pick up riding again?
Gary: The family and I were up in Tahoe and they convinced me that I could ride the bike trail and along the Truckee river. It had been 30 years since I was on a bike.

PUBLIC: How did it feel to ride a bike after being away from riding for so long?
Gary: It all came back to me but I was not steady and I was quite hesitant.

PUBLIC: What do you like best about riding a bike again?
Gary: It gets me out and helps with balance and getting the muscles moving. I feel so much better now that I am riding.

PUBLIC: What tips can you offer those who haven’t ridden in awhile and are interested in getting back into it?
Gary: You have to give it a try. You must find areas that are compatible with bike riding. I prefer flat ground along with small hills. I do not ride fast but I have worked up to a steady speed. I would also suggest that if you are looking to start riding a bike again you get one that is a step-thru bike. If the bike that I use to starting riding again was not a step through I may have not continued.

PUBLIC: How do you benefit from biking?
Gary: I find that riding my bike clears my head, improves my balance and I find that I am not as stiff. When I am walking, I find going up a hill is not a problem. I attribute this to my bike riding.

PUBLIC: Biking is a universal activity, yet it sometimes gets pegged as a sport for the youth. How does biking fit into your lifestyle?
Gary: When I am on the bike trail I see all kinds of people that ride as a sport fast and hard. I also see riders enjoying the outdoors moving slower and taking in the view.

PUBLIC: How does biking offer you freedom?
Gary: When I was a kid I definitely saw my bike as a form of freedom. Now, however, I see my bike as a way to get my exercise in and taking all the back roads that would be missed if you were driving.

PUBLIC: We heard a rumor that you were interested selling your car and just biking everywhere. Tell us a little more about why you would want to do that?
Gary: There are times when I do not take the car out for a week. Then you starting thinking the cars are expensive and you could save a lot of money by just relying on the bike. However I do travel longer distances and the weather can be a big factor so I may still need a car.

PUBLIC: Sounds like you ride with your family often. What family members do you ride with and where do you all ride?
Gary: I have had some great bike rides with my daughter in law and my son. Occasionally I will ride with my grandkids and we will have 3 generations on the bike path in Mill Valley, all on PUBLIC bikes. The whole family takes into consideration that I am moving a little slower than they are so it is nice to have them all around me so we can talk.

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Gary Clemens, cruising along in Mill Valley, California.

Let’s Make Every Day Bike To Work Day

May 27th, 2015

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It was inspiring to see how many people rode bikes during this month’s recent Bike to Work activities. Over 100,000 people participated in the San Francisco Bay Area alone where PUBLIC is headquartered.

According to the League of American Bicyclists, the rate of bike commuters has increased nationally by 62% over the past 13 years. Data from the Where We Ride report released in 2014 reveal interesting facts about the nation’s commuting habits.

  • New York City has the highest number of bikers on their streets. In 2013 it was estimated that 46,065 people opt for two-wheeled transport there.
  • Of the largest cities in the nation, Portland, Washington, DC and San Francisco rank as the cities with the highest number of bike commuters – 5.9% of folks in Portland call themselves bike commuters.
  • Louisville, KY has experienced the fastest growth in bike commuting, more than any other city between 1990-2013. The rate of bike commuters there has grown by 149.3% over that time.

While we celebrate Bike Month in May, we hope cities invest in protected bike lanes and Vision Zero safe street improvements so that more people, regardless of their age or ability, feel welcome to join the ranks of bike commuters every day.

Bi-Rite + PUBLIC Bike to Ice Cream Fundraiser on May 20

May 10th, 2015

In celebration of Bike Month, Bike to Ice Cream Day will be co-hosted by Bi-Rite Divisadero and PUBLIC Bikes to tie together three things San Franciscans love: celebrating safer, bike-friendly streets and culture, supporting local youth with great local jobs, and delicious, organic, small-batch ice cream! Win-Win for all.

Bi-Rite Grocery and Creamery on Divisadero.

The fundraiser will take place at the Bi-Rite Divisadero Scoop Shop at 550 Divisadero. This promotion is limited to this Divisadero location ONLY (will not extend to our Bi-Rite Creamery on 18th Street). The event will be on Wednesday, May 20th from 5pm to 8pm. You can RSVP to this Facebook event & invite your friends.

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Non-profit bike shop, Pedal Revolution.

The event is a fundraiser for Pedal Revolution, an amazing non-profit bike shop that, with their partnership with New Door Ventures, has provided local youth with local job training and opportunities for 15 years. For entire month of May, the Bi-Rite Divisadero Scoop Shop will collect donations for Pedal Revolution to support their youth work.

The event will feature a special day-of sundae, called “This Little Piggy Rode to Market”, featuring Chunky Pig’s Bacon Caramel Popcorn, with Bi-Rite Creamery’s Brown Sugar with ginger caramel swirl ice cream, Vanilla ice cream and our house-made fudge sauce. Folks who come with their bike helmet with get $1.50 off their sundae – $6.99 for bike riders with helmets and $8.50 for everyone else!

The event will also have a raffle featuring sweet prizes, including PUBLIC Bikes gift certificates, PUBLIC Mini Kids Balance Bikes and Bi-Rite swag and sweet treats. A donation of $1 gets you a raffle ticket and all raffle sales will benefit Pedal Revolution.

Pedal Revolution will be on-site at this May 20 event. Folks can learn about their mission, meet their youth and participate in a mini-bike clinic.

New PLAE Giveaway + Gift Ideas For Mom

May 8th, 2015

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Bike riding brings joy and when you bike with your kids you’re paying that joy forward. To celebrate family bike riding we’ve teamed up with the fun-loving folks at PLAE kids shoes to bring you the “Joy Ride Sweepstakes.” This giveaway includes prizes for the whole family.

The giveaway grand prize is one adult PUBLIC V7 or PUBLIC C7 city bike, valued at $499, one PUBLIC Mini Kids Balance Bike, valued at $129, and a PLAE give card valued at $1000.

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 6/21/15.

Mom Talk: Tips For Biking With Kids

Mom's Day

Left: Naomi of Love Taza. Right: Jen of Pedal Adventures.

We’re so inspired by our PUBLIC family. In honor of Mother’s Day, we reached out to biking mom’s for tips on biking with children and their thoughts on being a mom. Read their thoughtful words on our blog and get inspired to bike with your child.

Family Biking Video

We followed Lisa and her kids Marie, Owen, and Silvie as they ride together in San Francisco. It’s our humble opinion that families who bike together are happier and we think this video proves it!.

PUBLIC Bikes: A Family That Bikes Together from PUBLIC Bikes on Vimeo.

Many a Celebrity “Rides a Bike”

December 25th, 2011

A lot of things endear us to bikes, but nothing more than the people who ride them. Almost everyone looks and feels better on a bike. We witness this almost everyday with customers who take a test ride around South Park from our office. Heads turn and smiles break out with every ride. But when… Read more »

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Ingrid Bergman, Chocolate, and Other DelightsA lot of things endear us to bikes, but nothing more than the people who ride them. Almost everyone looks and feels better on a bike. We witness this almost everyday with customers who take a test ride around South Park from our office. Heads turn and smiles break out with every ride. But when celebrities ride a bike, they take on a special halo. Celebrities can make almost anything fashionable: a hotel, a restaurant, a granola bar, a car, a motorcycle, a gallery opening, a pair of shoes: just about anything. But they bring a childlike charm to the bicycle. If you doubt this, surf through Rides A Bike, a great Tumbler blog that features stars ranging from Rita Hayworth to James Dean to Nichelle Nichols to Elvis Presley (and many more). If these photographs don’t lighten your day, we suggest getting on a bike sooner than later so you can experience the joy.

Free Chocolate for Valentines Day

Buy a bike for your sweetie, or for yourself, and we’ll give you a box of TCHO chocolate made here in San Francisco. Click here to see what we have in store for Valentines Day.

Thank You for the Quotes

We had a tremendous response to our solicitation for quotes last week. We’ll find a way to make them PUBLIC. Here is a great one and apropos of the season:

I claim there ain’t another Saint as great as Valentine.
-Ogden Nash

Want a free bike?
Know a business that wants to go PUBLIC with bikes?

We have special programs set-up for business clients, large and small. If you introduce us to a business that wants to incorporate bikes into its daily routine, we have a special offer.
Win a free bike.

 

Looking for PUBLIC Quotes

December 19th, 2011

We are looking for your favorite quotes to potentially use on our future materials and products. Over the holidays, two good friends* sent me quotes that stuck: “The human race has only one effective weapon and that is laughter.” – Mark Twain “Place matters. The kind of environment you create for yourself makes a real… Read more »

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Audrey Hepburn
We are looking for your favorite quotes to potentially use on our future materials and products. Over the holidays, two good friends* sent me quotes that stuck:

Mark Twain - Time Life Pictures

“The human race has only one effective weapon and that is laughter.”
– Mark Twain

Malcolm Galdwell - photo by Brooke Williams

“Place matters. The kind of environment you create for yourself makes a real and tangible difference in your level of happiness, health, and satisfaction.”
– Malcolm Gladwell

Both quotes had particular relevance to me at the time I received them. So I copied them onto Post-its and attached them to either side of my monitor screen where they still reside. This got me thinking about why quotes are so helpful, poignant, amusing, and valuable. I also thought about how we could make use of them at PUBLIC. We are reaching out to our fans, both here and on Facebook, for their favorite quotes that relate to biking but also to cities, culture, the world, and humanity in general. I’ve listed five quotes to give you an idea of the range we’re looking for. Share your picks and help us build our library.

Lewis Mumford - photo by Mark Kauffman

“Forget the damned motor car and build the cities for lovers and friends.”
– Lewis Mumford

Margaret Mead

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead

Albert Einstein

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”
– Albert Einstein

Jane Jacobs

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
– Jane Jacobs

Mae West

“Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.”
– Mae West

What is it about quotes that make them so compelling? They are like images of thoughts. Just as one photo is worth a thousand words, so one quote can be a window into a lifetime of thought. A friend described them as “like a peanut or piece of candy – a little treat.” Perhaps because so much of what we read and hear is tedious, predictable, or lengthy, a quote stands out for its brevity and succinctness. A good quote lends a measure of humanity and has a person and his or her entire history behind it. A good quote is like any piece of good design – an embodiment of simplicity and timelessness. We remember them like a special dish of food, a bottle of wine, or a chair – they become iconic. Often a quote gives insight into complicated human issues. Frequently they employ humor. An unforgettable quote wakes us up to the power of the moment. They make thinking fun – maybe that’s raison d’etre.

Send us a few of your favorite quotes. We will republish them in some form in the near future. You can either leave a comment on this blog post or send them to me directly here at robforbes@publicbikes.com. Thanks.

* The friends I referred to are worth knowing about and often good sources of quotes themselves: 1) Lawrence Wilkinson publishes a great blog called Roughly Daily where he peppers his readers with an amazing array of thoughts and insights on a “roughly” daily basis. 2) Carol Coletta who heads up an impressive organization called CEO of Cities who is active on Twitter.

Outwitting Thieves at PUBLIC

December 12th, 2011

A sad fact of life is that bikes get stolen. Even with the enlightened bicycle cultures in Denmark and Holland, hundreds of thousands of bikes get ripped off every year.  We watch this with consternation. With all the GPS tracking and smart technology, why hasn’t anyone come up with a universal solution? At this early… Read more »

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Outwitting bike thieves

A sad fact of life is that bikes get stolen. Even with the enlightened bicycle cultures in Denmark and Holland, hundreds of thousands of bikes get ripped off every year.  We watch this with consternation. With all the GPS tracking and smart technology, why hasn’t anyone come up with a universal solution? At this early stage of our company, designing a solution is beyond our reach. The best we can do for now is to include unique serial numbers on every PUBLIC bike for tracking and to offer a good selection of locks for all occasions. We keep our eyes open for new solutions, like this one from Japan sent in by a reader. Read on.

David Byrne. G.R. Christmas, courtesy PaceWildenstein The Butler and the Chef

The Eco Cycle automated bike storage system in Japan, designed by Giken, is almost identical to systems used throughout Europe in train stations to store luggage. They operate like an underground elevator for belongings and provide security, as well as convenience, and eliminate the need for a lock. They are marvelous, ingenious, and so appreciated by weary travelers who don’t want to lug their bags around the city.   These clever systems are not common in the United States, but neither are trains, sadly.

If a solution similar to the Eco Cycle popped-up in New York soon, we would not be surprised. The New York Department of Transportation has underwritten contests for bike rack designs in recent years that drew the likes of David Byrne. They continue to push for progressive polices in biking infrastructure. At the forefront of their policy making is Janette Sadik-Khan who we interviewed last year. Sadik-Khan has been voted in the “Top 100 Urban Thinkers” by Planetizen, celebrated by Fast Company, dubbed a genius by Esquire, heralded a street fighter by the American Prospect, and offered as a reason to love New York by NY Mag.

The lack of available and convenient modern bike storage in San Francisco is unfathomable to most of us. Even with our SF Bike Coalition boasting over 12,000 members, the City can’t seem to keep up with the demand for bike parking. Even if not quickly enough to please us, our city streets are changing. Since the bike injunction lifted last August, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority continues to repurpose street parking spots for bike corrals. In our car centric South Park neighborhood, a bike corral was just installed at our favorite French bistro The Butler and the Chef, just 50 yards down the street. Come visit. Have a signature quiche dish and stop by PUBLIC. We have some pretty cool racks, as well as locks, home storage solutions, and other stuff.  If you want to get a bike corral for your hood, go here.

Is there a silver lining to the bike thievery problem? Unlikely. But the subject is at the heart of one of the greatest classic movies in history, The Bicycle Thief by Vittorio De Sica. It’s Woody Allen’s favorite movie of all time. Another positive outcome is that bike locks themselves make for good visuals seen on the streets. Take for example the photo essay, Bondage in Amsterdam that we sent out last year after a trip to Amsterdam. The diversity in solutions is pretty cool.