Pedal-Powered Libraries

September 14th, 2015

Since 2013, 28-year-old librarian Alicia Tapia has been loading up her custom built bike trailer filled with books and pedaling it through the streets of San Francisco by bicycle. She stops in Golden Gate park and sets up a tiny library where she gives out the books to children and adults for free. Her pedal-powered library… Read more »

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Since 2013, 28-year-old librarian Alicia Tapia has been loading up her custom built bike trailer filled with books and pedaling it through the streets of San Francisco by bicycle. She stops in Golden Gate park and sets up a tiny library where she gives out the books to children and adults for free.

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Her pedal-powered library is called Bibliobicicleta and her mission is to spread the love of reading books and riding bikes. Tapia says, “Our goal is to get people to stop in the middle of their busy days to open a book and let their mind ease. An enthusiasm for books is highly contagious. We model reading for our children so that they can pass that on.”

We’re excited to be a part of Tapia’s movement through her current Kickstarter to raise funds for an electric bike that will allow her to extend the reach of Bibliobicicleta.

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Tapia and Bibliobicicleta are part of a growing movement. Bicycle bookmobiles pedaled by librarians are popping up all over the country. There seems to be a natural pairing in these two analog methods of exploring and seeing the world. Pedal powered librarian, Jared Mills of Seattle’s Books on Bikes mobile library program writes, “There is something about seeing a librarian on a bike that brings a smile to people’s face. It is amazing how a librarian can just sit down and start reading a book and kids will just flock.”

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Karen Green started Tucson’s Riding to Reading program with one bike and the a big dream. “My dream is really world domination by book bike, but I will start in Tucson,” says Green.

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Bike bookmobiles create the opportunity for community connection. Regardless of age, gender, income anyone can peruse and borrow a book from these libraries. With Bibliobicicleta, Tapia has never bought one of the books that she displays on her shelves. Anyone can donate a gently used or brand new one. “Often times someone will drop off a book and minutes later someone else will roll by and pick it up. Some times the book donator and the book borrower will meet and get to talk about why they love the book. It’s a really awesome thing to witness,” says Tapia.

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In addition to creating that opportunity for community connection, these bike bookmobiles also do the obvious, promote literacy. Says Tapia, “The first time I took it out, this little girl walked by and said, ‘That is the prettiest bookshelf I’ve ever seen.’ That made it all worthwhile. By seeing this crazy bookshelf, that kid is going to think that reading is something that’s important—reading is something cool.”

And it is.

Bibliobicicleta images courtesy of www.bibliobicicleta.com.

Dog Days Of Summer

September 3rd, 2015

With a rack or basket on your bike you can carry just about everything, like your groceries, backpack and, yes, your lovable, four-legged friend. In these final, dog days of summer we thought it would be fun to share a few of our favorite snaps from this year of dogs being carried by bike. If… Read more »

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With a rack or basket on your bike you can carry just about everything, like your groceries, backpack and, yes, your lovable, four-legged friend.

In these final, dog days of summer we thought it would be fun to share a few of our favorite snaps from this year of dogs being carried by bike. If you fancy more dog + bike cuteness head to our all things dog + bike tumblr, Paws & Pedals.

Thanks everyone for your great submissions and keep them coming. If you have a dog and a bike, take a picture and submit your photo and we’ll share it out on Paws & Pedals.

1. Darla, looking extra happy in her Peterboro Original Basket.

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Instagram @megkara

2. Larry the French is all smiles in his custom crate.

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Instagram @debzanncar

3. Lola the cutest pug is sitting pretty in the Luvelo X-Crate

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Instagram @laraakropp

4. Louie, the happy Pomeranian in our Peterboro Original Basket.

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Instagram @classy_girl03

5. The inimitable Buddy Boo with our PUBLIC Mini C Balance Bike in red.

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Instagram @buddyboowaggytails

PUBLIC + PLAE Joyride Sweeps Winner

July 20th, 2015

We’re excited to announce the very lucky grand prize winner of our PUBLIC + PLAE Joyride Sweepstakes is mom/nurse/world-traveler Melissa G. who lives in Roseland, New Jersey. With a self-professed love for “health, fitness and the outdoors,” a typical weekend day for her family includes packing up a picnic lunch and exploring different parks and… Read more »

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Grand Prize winner, Melissa on the right.

We’re excited to announce the very lucky grand prize winner of our PUBLIC + PLAE Joyride Sweepstakes is mom/nurse/world-traveler Melissa G. who lives in Roseland, New Jersey.

With a self-professed love for “health, fitness and the outdoors,” a typical weekend day for her family includes packing up a picnic lunch and exploring different parks and reservations by bike.

Melissa’s son is 4-years only and currently struggling with learning to ride a bike. As the grand prize winner, she won a PUBLIC bike for herself as well as PUBLIC Mini Kids Balance Bike for her son. She’s sure the balance bike is going help her son become confident with riding a bike. Melissa says, “The PUBLIC Mini Balance Bike is going to be PERFECT for him to practice on! I’m excited for him to learn to ride, so we can explore our neighborhood and parks together.”

Melissa has lived all over world, everywhere from Alaska to Peru, and we’re excited to see where her new PUBLIC wheels take her next! Congrats again, Melissa, and many happy trails to you and your family.

Sign up for our e-newsletter to hear about our next giveaway!

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Grand Prize winner, Melissa with her son.

Hill Ready: The New PUBLIC Electric Bikes

July 15th, 2015

In 2013 we introduced our first PUBLIC electric bikes, designed around our diamond and mixte frames with BionX electric technology. After two years of testing, customer feedback, and a lot of big grins and flattened hills, we’re proud to announce our all-new PUBLIC D8 and M8 Electric bikes. We created the speedy video above to… Read more »

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In 2013 we introduced our first PUBLIC electric bikes, designed around our diamond and mixte frames with BionX electric technology. After two years of testing, customer feedback, and a lot of big grins and flattened hills, we’re proud to announce our all-new PUBLIC D8 and M8 Electric bikes. We created the speedy video above to illustrate the hill crushing power of our fully redesigned PUBLIC Electric Bikes. If you’ve got a longer commute with some hills along the way, want an easier way to get your groceries home, or just want to drive your car less, our all-new PUBLIC Electric Bikes are the answer.

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Redesigned from the ground up with tougher new steel frames, powerful disc brakes, double the battery capacity, and the latest 48v BionX e-bike technology, these new PUBLIC Electric bikes will totally change how you think about biking.
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Our new electric bikes are powerful pedal assist e-bikes that amplify your regular pedaling, so they feel just like riding any other bike but with supercharged pedal power. Plus they come with a little red button to give you an extra boost of throttle power, even if you’re not pedaling.
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You can conquer the steepest hills, carry heavy loads, and easily cruise at 20+ MPH, all without breaking a sweat. Our PUBLIC M8 Electric mixte bike is available in a new classy navy blue, and our PUBLIC D8 Electric diamond frame bike comes in a sharp black.
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We only have a limited quantity of these exciting new e-bikes so they will sell out before our next production. If you live near the Bay Area, Seattle, or Portland PUBLIC stores, we highly recommend stopping in to test ride our new e-bikes today.

Portland Grand Opening Party on August 8

July 9th, 2015

It’s party time! We’ve opened our new PUBLIC Showroom at 828 NW 23rd at Kearney 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… Read more »

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It’s party time!

We’ve opened our new PUBLIC Showroom at 828 NW 23rd at Kearney 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.

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 Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

The first 50 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 Portland Grand Opening Party
828 NW 23rd
Saturday, August 8 between 11am-3pm
RSVP HERE

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.