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

Building Bike-Friendly Housing

August 31st, 2015

According to the report “Millennials & Mobility” by the American Public Transit Association (APTA), 70% of adults under 35 use car-free modes of transportation several times per week and 33% of adults 35-45 want to use cars less. With more people choosing public transportation and bike commuting on the rise, it’s no surprise that residential… Read more »

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Bay Meadows, CA

According to the report “Millennials & Mobility” by the American Public Transit Association (APTA), 70% of adults under 35 use car-free modes of transportation several times per week and 33% of adults 35-45 want to use cars less. With more people choosing public transportation and bike commuting on the rise, it’s no surprise that residential housing developers are beginning to take notice and build more bike-friendly housing and neighborhoods.

Bay Meadows in San Mateo, CA

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Zeroing in on the fact more people are choosing alternative modes of transportation, housing developments are emphasizing more sustainable, space-efficient living through bikes. “Life in motion” is the tagline of Bay Meadows in San Mateo, CA. And in keeping with its slogan, many initial Bay Meadows residents receive a bicycle and are encouraged to use it for commuting to the nearby rail station and throughout the community.

The Shipyard in San Francisco, CA

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San Francisco Shipyard is another example of a development that’s working hard to promote a more communiity-based lifestyle through bikes. This brand new development offers a bike to all new residents in an effort to create “a place of fewer cars and more neighbors chatting on tree-lined streets… with bike lanes and miles of trails to help people stay active and thriving.”

Via 6 in Seattle, WA and ecoFLATS in Portland, OR

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Car parking takes up a lot of space and comes at a high-cost to developers. In high-density urban areas bikes are extremely efficient space-wise and come at a much lower developer cost. Cities such as Seattle and Portland boast unique highly bike-centric developments. Via6 in Seattle is a 654-unit mixed-use apartment that offers secure bicycle parking and a bike wash station for residents, plus a bike shop on the ground floor. ecoFLATS in Portland offers indoor bike storage (shown above), as well as 75 outdoor bike parking spots for residents. Plus, it’s a net zero building “meaning it generates all of the energy consumed.”

Providing bikes to new homeowners is more than just a nice perk and an effort to be more sustainable. It’s indicative of a bigger shift in addressing the transportation needs of urban-oriented residents.

Repurposing Public Space

August 24th, 2015

Public streets account for as much as a third of land in a city.  They have often been viewed as more of a domain for cars rather than people, sadly. But progressive cities around the world are repurposing these spaces into places for people, conversation, food and play. Some examples that we’ve written about before are New York… Read more »

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PROXY / Photo by envelope A+D

Before PROXY, 2006 / Photo By Matt Baume

Public streets account for as much as a third of land in a city.  They have often been viewed as more of a domain for cars rather than people, sadly. But progressive cities around the world are repurposing these spaces into places for people, conversation, food and play. Some examples that we’ve written about before are New York City’s inspiring High Line  and Times Square Plazas (that we hope stay that way).

Another example located just near our PUBLIC Hayes Valley Shop is PROXY, an urban pop-up space that combines retail, food, art installations and outdoor events, in a plot of land that till PROXY was a parking lot and 20 years prior engulfed under the shadow of the Central Freeway.

We interview Douglas Burnham, founder of envelope A+D the design group that envisioned PROXY to learn more about how public spaces can be transformed into a dynamic places for interaction.

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PROXY / Photo by envelope A+D

PUBLIC: The importance of reclaiming public space as walkable, livable and community-based are some of the founding principles of PUBLIC. Your team takes a similar approach with your projects—using architecture to create an immersive environment that transforms people’s experience with a space. Our flagship store in Hayes Valley is nearby one such of your projects, PROXY. Please talk to us about the PROXY project.

DOUGLAS: PROXY is a temporary two-block project located on lots that were left vacant after the removal of the 101 Central Freeway. In 2010, we responded to a request from the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development (OEWD) for interim uses on the Octavia Boulevard vacant lots. However, as we kept getting enthusiastic green lights from the city and the neighborhood, we quickly realized that we would need to figure out a way to make PROXY a financially viable project before we got carried away with soaring plans removed from reality.

People often don’t realize that while the space is publicly accessible, the project is privately funded and managed by our office. We act as the developer, fundraiser and steward of the two lots. We’ve spent the last several years taking enormous risks and grinding away to resolve issues that are inherent to experimenting live in the city without a safety net. It’s been an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience for the entire office.

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PROXY / Rendering by envelope A+D

In proposing the project, our goal was to create a concentrated, constantly changing experience of both culture and commerce in a zone that was previously invisible—a perceptual void—in peoples’ experiences. PROXY was conceived as a placeholder for a more permanent development—these lots will eventually be built with both market rate and below market rate housing. Our lease on the larger lot runs through 2020 and we are in the process of extending the lease end date through 2020 on the smaller Biergarten site as well.

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PROXY / Photo by Anne Hamersky

PROXY has established an emerging model of urban planning that demonstrates how recasting seemingly insignificant, underused urban spaces using temporary interventions can quickly and effectively transform portions of the city into thriving centers of ingenuity and fun. Though Hayes Valley was in the midst of a renaissance that had begun in the early 1990s with the neighbor-led push to remove the freeway, PROXY has helped to reinvigorate the neighborhood after the long economic downturn that lingered after the 2008 Stock Market crash.

Everything we do at PROXY is guided by our motto “HERE FOR NOW”. The world is always changing, so a healthy city needs to be able to adapt quickly and smartly to the circumstances at hand. The motto speaks to our goals for inhabiting the city as residents and is a call to action. By creating a vibrant mix of culture and commerce, we hope to encourage engagement with the city and the present moment in a heightened way.

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PROXY / Photo by envelope A+D

On the commerce side, one important aspect of PROXY is its role as an incubator of micro-enterprise. Aether, Smitten, Biergarten, Basic Training, and SOSF all had their first physical brick-and-mortar (or steel-and-glass) spaces here and have really grown their businesses out of their initial presence at PROXY. Ritual and JuiceShop have also benefitted from the pedestrian-friendly open-air experience that PROXY has created. The vendors at PROXY have come to be our cohorts in an urban experiment of temporary activation. They have taken risks alongside us in making a go of it in small spaces on a limited timeline.

On the culture side, we have had many different art installations at PROXY, from the now-concealed “BRIGHTERFASTER” mural by Ben Eine, to installations by the Museum of Craft and Design and the Hayes Valley Arts Coalition. Our next foray into cultural production at PROXY is the realization of an outdoor movie and live music venue in the asphalt plaza area at the heart of PROXY. We ran a Kickstarter campaign this summer to raise enough money to complete the movie screen and purchase an outdoor-rated digital projector and sound system. We didn’t end up making our goal—and therefore didn’t get the pledges—but the campaign generated a significant amount of interest in the project and we were able to harvest enough donations to complete the screen (which is underway right now).

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PROXY / Photo by envelope A+D

Ever the optimists, we are planning to do a scrappier version of a Fall Film Festival on the first four Fridays in October. The PROXY walk-in movie theater will be a place where everyone will be able to share in the experience of watching a movie with their neighbors in the open air. We’re still looking for donations — all of which our tax deductible through our 501c3 nonprofit HERE FOR NOW. (Go to HEREFORNOWsf.org to support our efforts to bring free outdoor movies to San Francisco!)

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Superkilen / Photo by Superflex

PUBLIC: What are some of your favorite, inspiring examples of reinterpreted public spaces? (Like the High Line in NYC, for example.)

DOUGLAS:  The High Line, of course, is the premiere example that everyone knows about. Yet, on my recent vacation I was lucky to be able to visit Superkilen—a new linear park in Copenhagen (being made famous enough from the iPhone photo of the glorious ribbons of white lines on asphalt that cover a portion of the park). Superkilen is really great because it operates right at street level and has amenities that are for the people that live right there — places to play chess, informally gather, play, skate, skateboard, swing and box (yes, there’s a boxing ring!). The design is more “pop” than the High Line and appropriately so as it serves the local residents in their daily lives in an economically diverse section of Copenhagen. There is a high degree of joyful invention that encourages play, social interaction, as well as safe passage through the park.

This kind of community-serving linear park is what we’re hoping to do with our transformation of the waterfront edge at the Hunters Point Shoreline. In NOW_Hunters Point we are transforming the site of a former PG&E power plant using strategies similar to those of PROXY. There, the process of engaging the neighborhood is more robust. Our team is actively prototyping possible interim uses that are tested though events. Working with Studio O, RHAA and John Greenlee & Associates, we are creating a string of several gathering zones for learning, playing and contemplation of the natural beauty on the Bay’s edge. This enhanced public access amenity is part of the transformation of the former power plant site and is taking a narrow existing access zone, widening it to roughly one-hundred feet, and threading a wider Blue-Greenway standard combined bicycle and pedestrian path through an enhanced landscape of grasses, flowers, trees and coastal shrubs. The layered history of inhabitation of the site, including the history of the power plant and its removal initiated through direct action of the Hunters Point residents, will be legible through didactic elements distributed along the path. The goal of the project is to support access to the Hunters Point Shoreline by the residents of Hunters Point as well as being a part of a system of regional open space that encourages the experience of the Bay and celebrates the specific history of the site.

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High Line / Photo by David Berkowitz

PUBLIC: How can the average person help to support projects that work to make public spaces more livable?

DOUGLAS:  Our wider goal for PROXY and for future project is to truly empower people to take a piece of the city, to become a steward of that place and to change it through direct action. Sure, it helps that we are architects doing this work, but we are also inventing so many things beyond our training and standard roles as architects. Because of this, I know that it really just takes passion combined with a vision of how something—your street, a neighborhood park, a vacant lot, a whole sector of the city—can be not just better, but can be something great. Mostly, it just takes knowing that you can make a difference and a certain amount of tenacity.

The guys that came up with the idea for the High Line were just people who cared about something that they saw as a treasure (and that other people, city officials included, saw as a blight to be erased). They applied the skills that they had, in both persuasion and finance, to rally their neighborhood behind their vision for a raised linear park 40 feet above the street. Their action, their risk, their initiative has literally transformed that sector of New York City into a thriving hub for both residents and tourists. Who would have thought?

We are inspired by citizens who act upon the cities where they live and we hope that our work also inspires people to take their own actions to contribute to the health and vibrancy of the city.

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.