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

PUBLIC Plae Header

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.

Pink Preoccupation

December 31st, 2010

We were in Taiwan a couple of weeks ago meeting with our manufacturing partners. The Taiwanese are foodies and the local blue-collar lunch cafes are a real treat. They are unpretentious places with sparse décor, but offer beautifully colorful dishes of fresh greens, fish, noodles, etc. I noticed that pink was the dominant color on… Read more »

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Pink PastimePink PastimePink Pastime

We were in Taiwan a couple of weeks ago meeting with our manufacturing partners. The Taiwanese are foodies and the local blue-collar lunch cafes are a real treat. They are unpretentious places with sparse décor, but offer beautifully colorful dishes of fresh greens, fish, noodles, etc. I noticed that pink was the dominant color on the tables and walls, and then I began seeing it everywhere around us – on the streets, in the sinks, on signage, on guys’ shirts in the factory, in the hotel lobby, everywhere. Pink is as ubiquitous in Taiwan as Orange is in Holland.

Spotting color is a good sport; determining the cultural relevance is a bit trickier. The origin of pink is tied to roses. Victoria’s Secret (of course) has tried to claim it. Communists were called “pinkos” when I was a kid. Blake Edwards used pink (and Peter Sellers) to create the most famous feline in cinematic history and a highly memorable Henry Mancini soundtrack. We found it was a favorite color in the hip Portland biking scene a few years ago, and we wrote it up in Men In Pink. Our friends at Rapha like it a lot.

Google ‘Pink’ and you will get a wide range of interpretations: girly, gay, sexy, connected to tranquility. Chasing pink around Taiwan was a stress-reducing activity, so we’re nominating the softer, less violent red as “best cure for jet lag.”

 
Pink PastimePink PastimePink PastimePink PastimePink PastimePink PastimePink PastimePink PastimePink PastimePink PastimePink PastimePink Pastime

That Blind Spot

December 31st, 2010

When we look in the mirror that reflects the world we live in, there’s a blind spot – we can’t see the cars. We’ve gotten so used to cars dominating our streets and landscape that in many respects, we don’t see how much they affect our everyday experience. Even in a ‘progressive’ place like Bolinas,… Read more »

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View of Bolinas

Bolinas

View of Bolinas

Bolinas

South Park in San Francisco

South Park

South Park in San Francisco

South Park

When we look in the mirror that reflects the world we live in, there’s a blind spot – we can’t see the cars.

We’ve gotten so used to cars dominating our streets and landscape that in many respects, we don’t see how much they affect our everyday experience.

Even in a ‘progressive’ place like Bolinas, CA, a beach town north of San Francisco where the locals tear down road signs that direct traffic towards their town, the main street is sadly an oversized asphalt parking lot. The width of the grey street dwarfs any other element. One must wade through (or just not see?) a mess of cars in order to experience their ‘unspoiled’ town. Cars have carved such an uncontested place in our landscape that just imagining them not there takes a real effort. In fact, the act of imagining a car free downtown Bolinas might take more energy than parking a couple blocks off the main drag. This isn’t Mideast Peace we’re talking about. The problem is the car has us all hypnotized into thinking it has to be, deserves to be, there. It doesn’t, does it?

I notice this hypnosis everyday outside our store in the progressive South Park neighborhood. Many visitors to South Park are captivated by the European charm of our neighborhood with a beautiful park nestled between vibrant eateries, residential buildings, and storefronts.

Yet an eye level survey, from almost any angle in South Park, will reveal that cars take up most of the visual space. It’s hard to even see the architecture or the people in the park. The sidewalk is pinched to a point where you can fit in one petite café table, barely. There is not enough space for legal bike racks, so there are none. None. Except the ones in our no cars allowed driveway.

We inch our way sideways between tightly fitted car bumpers when we walk into the park. I guess we can take a little comfort in the fact that we’re turning sideways to slide between Prius’s rather than SUV’s? Often we just don’t see what’s in front of our noses (or pressed against our thighs). Like many cities, San Francisco has a long way to being “progressive’ with respect to transportation and community design. But as a city we’re moving in the right direction with more parklets and efforts to redesign our streetscape, like Great Streets.

Yet despite all the smaller, progressive efforts to reclaim our public spaces, our broader public policy (also subject to a blind spot) stumbles along as if cars, asphalt, and pollution are invisible inevitabilities. Two recent examples are the Gulf oil spill and the recent Caldecott Tunnel in our East Bay. We blame and demonize BP but completely fail to see that it is we who create the demand for the product that they screwed up trying to get for us. In the case of the Caldecott Tunnel, we are spending $420 million taxpayer dollars to encourage more cars to pile into the already heavily congested East Bay and Bay Bridge traffic snarl. Effective mass transit and a higher tax on oil would get us part way to a solution.

We’re certainly not anti-car. In fact, some of us at PUBLIC own a car and ride a bicycle. But we at PUBLIC bicycle as our first transportation option in the city because it’s faster and more convenient – and more fun – than driving a car. We think the most livable cities will create the infrastructure to make bicycling the de facto, faster, convenient, and safer option for getting around. And we think the healthiest and most vibrant cities will be the ones moving away from the car-centric land-use policies of the past several decades.

Research indicates that 40% of all trips are less than two miles from home and 82% of trips, five miles or less, are made by car. Imagine if more people who are now driving to their neighborhood store, school, or to work switched over to bicycles?

What to do? Self-righteousness makes us feel a little better for a few minutes, but it gets us nowhere. If all politics are local, I guess we’ll begin in South Park. At the very least, we’ll try to get some bike racks there for starters and maybe paint them some bright colors that can be glimpsed occasionally through the cars. Ideas welcome.

50% Off End of Summer Sale

Medium Zero Messenger Bag - Donghia StripeWe’re having a one time final chance 50% off sale on a few special items while quantities last. This Donghia fabric shoulder bag is one example. The fabric was designed to withstand summer heat, but it’s also a durable winter textile. It will keep you looking colorful and protect your laptop or lunch in any season.

 

Strange on the Streets

December 29th, 2010

There was a unique street event in San Francisco (and simultaneously around the world) last week called PARK(ing) Day. Businesses and community groups were encouraged to convert the metered parking spaces in front of their establishments into alternative public spaces. The event plays off what it means when you pay for a parking space, demanding… Read more »

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Park(ing) DayPark(ing) DaySWA StudiosPark(ing) Day
Park(ing) Day

2nd Street SOMA

One of SOMA's six lane thoroughfares

3rd Street SOMA

Pedestrians crossing SOMA's six lanes

Brannan Street SOMA

There was a unique street event in San Francisco (and simultaneously around the world) last week called PARK(ing) Day. Businesses and community groups were encouraged to convert the metered parking spaces in front of their establishments into alternative public spaces. The event plays off what it means when you pay for a parking space, demanding a little awareness from us about this wholly habitual transaction. What is a parking space? What could it be? It’s a fun and quirky event, spread out mostly in the South of Market (SOMA), Hayes Valley, and Mission parts of the city. The best designed installations involved some humor, cleverness, and visual thinking ­­ an architectural pop-up environment made from the recycled cardboard tubes of large format printers by SWA/Studios SWA/Studios on Howard Street and the Pig (Harry Allen), a parked astroturf car piece at Propeller Propeller on Hayes. There were several animated spaces on Valencia Street that included insect habitats, brown bears, panda bears, maroon walruses on bikes (of course ), and more.

PARK(ing) Day asks people to reevaluate the very nature of urban street design and to prioritize the human experience over the car experience. It’s a mild-mannered demonstration, a lot easier for most drivers to accept than the more confrontational Critical Mass. PARK(ing) Day shares much in common with the hugely successful Sunday Streets program where sections of the city are closed to car traffic for a day. Both are international events, exploding in popularity, and well received by the residents and business alike because it increases friendly sidewalk traffic, not car traffic.

It’s great to call attention to these urban design issues with these diminutive installations, but a little sad that the monstrously dominant visual element that defines our environment – the massive swaths of asphalt – are implicitly given a pass. In our SOMA neighborhood numerous six lane one-way thoroughfares crisscross miles of the city and define the urban plan of the district. These supersized runways were smart design elements at one time. They were constructed back in the 1930’s in order to accommodate commercial trucks that serviced the heavy industries that made up this part of city.

But industry has left most of SOMA. Factories have been replaced by lofts, yoga studios, bars, eateries, art museums, music clubs, and design offices – a myriad soulful community-based enterprises. There is a vibrant community here, but not many of us enjoy walking around much. It’s impersonal in sight, sound, and scale not really designed for humans. One-way high-speed traffic runs counter to the needs of civilized neighborhoods. We live and work on highway corridors that serve freeways and bridges for outlying communities, not ours.

Logically, it is time for these thoroughfares to be retrofitted with trees, pedestrian zones, bike lanes, parks, and sidewalk cafes. All of this could be done at low cost with community support and with marginal impact to traffic. San Francisco also has some stellar examples of repurposed public spaces ­the Ferry Building and Crissy Field at the top of the list. Tourists and locals alike flock to these retrofitted destinations. Community is nurtured. What’s not to like about it?

It seems so obvious. Some of the most attractive and valuable real estate in the world we have operating as underutilized sober grey asphalt runways. I guess we just don’t see it. Or we are too busy hustling through it or making sure we don’t get run over crossing the streets to think about the possibilities. This is what is really strange, a lot stranger than maroon walruses talking to bears to be sure.

Park(ing) DayPark(ing) DayPark(ing) DayPark(ing) DayPark(ing) DayPark(ing) Day
 

Bikes Back in Stock (Almost)

PUBLIC's Orange M3As many of you know we have been out of stock on most of our 3-Speeds for months. Thanks for your patience. We will have Medium sized M3’s in Cream, Orange, and Blue ready to ship by October 15th. We sold out of these quickly before, so this is a good time to place your order.

 

Dad, Let’s Hit the Road.

December 26th, 2010

Put yourself in the position of a young child. You are given the choice of how to get to school, or to the store, with one of your parents on any given day. Do you want to go: Buckled up or strapped down in the rear seat of a car with a view of the… Read more »

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Kids & BikesKids & BikesKids & BikesKids & BikesKids & BikesKids & BikesKids & Bikes

Put yourself in the position of a young child. You are given the choice of how to get to school, or to the store, with one of your parents on any given day. Do you want to go:

  • Buckled up or strapped down in the rear seat of a car with a view of the back of a seat and someone’s head? or
  • Sitting in front of a bicycle cart with the wind blowing in your face, fresh air, and a 360-degree view of the world with your parent behind, at the helm

This would be an easy choice for most kids. It would be like asking a dog if he would rather have his car window rolled up or down. But kids and dogs do not get to make these decisions on their own. Parents decide these things, based mostly on convenience, safety, or on fear. And thus we have major differences in various countries and cultures.

One of the most visible differences between US cities and cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam is that kids and parents are both highly visible on the streets in those foreign cities. They are everywhere omnipresent. I saw so many young parents with children on the streets on bikes that I actually asked one mother if the birth rate was especially high in Denmark. She laughed and replied: “No, our birth rate is actually one of the lowest in Europe. But the government makes it so easy for us to take our kids out on trips that you just see more of us in Public.”

Almost 50% of young children get around Copenhagen on bikes with their parents. It looked like these percentages were higher in Amsterdam. One in four parents in Copenhagen have a specially designed bicycle rig – cycle carts – for hauling their kids around town and are given special bike storage spaces on their neighborhood streets.

I have to believe that this bodes well for a child’s development. What is the lifetime value of experiencing the world from the front of a bike versus the rear seat of a car in early youth? What is it worth to learn to approach the world with a sense of adventure instead of fear? From where do we get our sense of confidence, independence and social connection? How cool is it to spend time with your parents doing something physical and fun everyday?

These thoughts were on mind as I watched so many parents pedaling their kids around the city. My Mom did not pedal me around in Pasadena where I grew up – we rode bikes ourselves, but I do remember how cool it was when my Mom got a convertible car. What is the value of fresh air and wind alone?

I cannot advocate the Amsterdam/Copenhagen bike mode for parents in many US cities that are not very bike family-friendly at this time. But I wish I could. What would it take to make more of those Danish kidmobiles common on our streets? It will take governmental policy, community leadership, courageous smart Mayors, separated lanes for bicycles, and a lot more people riding and having fun on their bikes. Let’s get there.

– Rob Forbes

Photos taken in Amsterdam and Copenhagen

Also, this week at PUBLIC:
Free Shipping Ends Tonight
PUBLIC Jobs
Special Deals On Clothing

 
Kids & BikesKids & BikesKids & BikesKids & BikesKids & BikesKids & Bikes

The Good Life: Coffee with Beer Chaser

December 24th, 2010

We were in Copenhagen recently for a big biking event and took tons of photographs of Danes and their bikes. My favorite photo, however, is bikeless – just a café table top on the main drag, right across from Tivoli Gardens. The table was occupied by an old guy who looked like he might be… Read more »

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Copenhagen Still LifeWe were in Copenhagen recently for a big biking event and took tons of photographs of Danes and their bikes. My favorite photo, however, is bikeless – just a café table top on the main drag, right across from Tivoli Gardens. The table was occupied by an old guy who looked like he might be a WWII veteran or a character out of some post-apocalypse movie. Gaunt face, old guy ears. He even had his aluminum crutches sprawled on the sidewalk next to his table. Not wanting to invade the moment, I just snapped a quick picture of his carefully laid-out table and another from behind him.

His table styling was better than any professional could achieve because it was real. It was a still life emblematic of the Danish character, soul, and culture. Morandi could not have done better. The guy had arranged his beloved objects just so, creating a strong sense of order and control: wool hat, tobacco pouch, coffee, corncob pipe, beer, plastic lighter, ashtray. The palette was impeccable as if worked out in advance with the café owner. It was a mixture of old and new cultural artifacts, made elegant and timeless atop a classic Danish teak table surface. It was a study in materials, simplicity, practicality, and self-sufficiency. Resourcefulness and design run deep in Danish culture.

Here it was, 11AM, and this man was alternating sips of beer and coffee, preparing for the day. There was such a sense of pleasure in the little things in life — the ones that we can take control of and author for ourselves. This guy was doing his part. It was a study in dignity, tradition and comfort — a reminder that these little things are a huge part of our lives.

What does this have to do with bikes? Everything. This is a study in the pleasure of independence and self-sufficiency — the qualities that first drew us to bikes when we were kids, and that still attract us as adults. We don’t need much to be happy.

If this guy were riding a bike today he would probably be on a single speed because of its simplicity and Copenhagen’s flat terrain.

Our Single Speeds Are On Sale

Danny on our Classic D1
Doubling up with the Dahon on a Vespa

We sell two basic modern lightweight single speeds: our classic D1 and a foldable Dahon Mu Uno. Why choose one of these over our geared bikes? Lots of reasons. First, they are easy to ride and will take you almost everywhere. For almost 70 years (from 1880 to 1950) most bikes had only one gear. In fact in the early Tour de France competitions, racers would have to change wheels to climb the mountains. There are different reasons today. They encourage us to ride more slowly and to look around more carefully. Stress levels are reduced when you are not concerned with speed. You do not race — you cruise. Think of our D1 as a modern cruiser.

The Dahon is less a cruiser than an ultimate utility bike. You’ll find numerous uses for it depending on your habits and needs. For example, I strapped it to my Vespa (with our Swiss bungee cord) when I dropped the scooter off for a tune up and needed a ride home. It’s perfect for short trips around the city. It fits almost anywhere: a car trunk, closets, narrow elevators, on public transportation and takes only 10 seconds to fold up. Works if you are 4‘6” or 6’4” and anywhere in between, so it is a great guest and family bike.

 
Ian showing off his own double-upSally on our D1Test riding a Dahon