Our Commuter Diaries series is written by Anita Vandyke. Anita runs a successful Instagram account (@rocket_science) about zero waste living. She is currently writing her first book?A Zero Waste Lifestyle: a thirty day guide?to be published in July 2018. For more information about the author please visit?www.anitavandyke.com. Check out Commuter Diaries: Vol 1 to see… Read more »
I have to be honest, I never enjoyed my daily commute to work. It’s always seems like just a means to an end, not a journey that would spark joy. However, after a week of riding with my new PUBLIC bike, I am thrilled to say that my journey to work is one that I now love!
Tips and tricks on how to enjoy your commute to work:
1. Work it out
Riding my bike to work is a great work out, I get fresh air and exercise and it is a great form of active transport! Trust me, you’ll get buns of steel after climbing the hills of the San Francisco. The easiest way to make your commute easier is to get a multi-speed bike. My bike is the seven speed PUBLIC C7 Bike.
2. Wear a helmet
Dorky looking helmets is something I feared for a long time, but helmets are an important safety measure, especially for road riding. Choosing a stylish helmet makes the journey more fun!
I love that PUBLIC bikes have fun accessories which can store all your necessities such as your water bottle. Make sure you have one with you to keep hydrated. Staying hydrated will help you keep up the momentum throughout the day (plus, it’s great for your skin)!
4. Carry what you need
One of the great things about having a bike with a detachable basket is that I can carry what I need throughout a work day without looking like a pack horse! Save your shoulders and use your bike to store your backpack and other goodies! The detachable wire basket?means I can just remove the basket and carry the whole thing into my work! So easy! It’s my favorite accessory in the PUBLIC range.
5. Choose a bike that suits your style
I love that I can wear dresses, blazers and coats with my step through PUBLIC bike. This step-through frame means that I don’t have to compromise my style for functionality – I can have both! I can look stylish, wear what I want and get to work still looking fresh. Also, the bike is based on Dutch design and looks super stylish! It suits my work and weekend aesthetic!
My PUBLIC bike has totally transformed my daily commute. I love that it looks so timelessly stylish and is a bike I can proudly show off for work or for the weekend! I get plenty of exercise, avoid traffic and I can carry all my needs for the day. Why didn’t I get a PUBLIC bike earlier?! This bike has totally transformed my daily commute, why not test one out today and see how great it is for yourself!
Our Commuter Diaries series is written by Anita Vandyke. Anita runs a successful Instagram account (@rocket_science) about zero waste living. She is currently writing her first book A Zero Waste Lifestyle: a thirty day guide to be published in July 2018. For more information about the author please visit www.anitavandyke.com. PUBLIC Bikes has a range… Read more »
PUBLIC Bikes has a range of bikes for every rider, but how do you know which bike is the right one for you? Through this blog post, I want to show you how I picked the right bike and the appropriate accessories for my needs by asking myself three simple questions.
1. Where will you ride the bike?
This is the most important question. Will you be riding your bike just on the weekends? For your daily commute? Will you ride just on local roads or on highways? These questions will determine the type of PUBLIC bike that is best for you. For my bike, I’ll be using it to ride the hills of San Francisco as part of my daily commute. It’ll be my primary mode of transport. So, I needed a bike that was sturdy, and suitable for a range of terrains. This meant I needed a bike with different gear levels, so I could climb those hills with ease and grace! I chose the Step Through C7 bike which has seven speeds and easy step-through frame which is perfect for when I wear dresses to work or to a special event.
My PUBLIC bike will be my primary mode of transport, so I’ll be using it carry my backpack to work and using it do my zero waste grocery shopping at farmer’s markets and the bulk store. This mean I had to choose accessories that were suitable for my daily needs.
I chose the PUBLIC Rear Bike Rack which I can easily attach a basket, a pannier bag or other accessories.
I also the detachable PUBLIC Metal Bike Basket. This basket is an absolute game-changer and perfect for grocery shopping. You simply remove it from the bike and pop your groceries in and then once you’re done, it easily attaches onto the rear bike rack! Genius!
These handy attachments make it the perfect bike for my everyday needs!
3. What accessories do you need?
Remember, safety is of utmost importance! Make sure you deck out your new bike with the right lights, a bell and wear a helmet when you ride!
The streets of San Francisco are notorious for stolen bikes, so I made sure I bought a sturdy lock to ensure my prized bike is protected. The store associates helped me pick out the ABUS Ultra 410 Mini U-Lock.
Finally, don’t forget to buy a bike helmet for riding on the roads, it’s a key safety feature for any bike rider!
My PUBLIC bike is more than just a commuter bike, it’s a bike that is practical, stylish, comfortable and suits my daily needs. Also, for those who aren’t technically minded, PUBLIC Bikes provides a full-service, where you can have the bike assembled for you and you can pick it up from your local supplier! The service from start to finish was seamless, most importantly, the bike is a quality product which I know will last for years to come. I can’t wait to take the bike out for my first commuter ride!!
We are inspired daily here at PUBLIC by our incredible biking community. For Mother’s Day, we reached out to a select part of that community, biking mothers.? We asked two biking mothers for their top tips when it comes to biking with children, why they bike with their kids, and what being a mother means… Read more »
We are inspired daily here at PUBLIC by our incredible biking community. For Mother’s Day, we reached out to a select part of that community, biking mothers.? We asked two biking mothers for their top tips when it comes to biking with children, why they bike with their kids, and what being a mother means to them. Their responses were helpful, heartfelt and inspiring.
A huge high five to all biking mothers out there. This post is for you.
Image Credit: Naomi’s husband Josh / Naomi biking with her and her two year old son, Samson.
Naomi’s 20 Word (more or less) Bio:
Over 7 years ago, Naomi started Love Taza where she chronicles bits and pieces of her life with her family in New York City. She is the mother of three little ones ages four and under. Love Taza celebrates motherhood, family, travel, good food and life’s simple joys! And she rides a PUBLIC dutch bike step-through.
Top tip for biking with kids?
Involve them as much as possible and make it fun! You can try playing a game of “I spy” while riding, or let them choose which way to go.
Why do you bike with your kids?
I’ve always loved biking, so it felt natural to continue to do so after our first little one arrived. It’s our favorite form of transportation, especially in NYC where more bike lanes and trails continue to be added. I think my kids get extra excited when we take out our bikes because they get to be beside us while taking in their surroundings and seeing everything as we explore together.
What does motherhood mean to you?
I don’t know if I can do it justice in just a few sentences! I love and adore being a mother. It means a million different things… It means long days and nights of chaos and spit up and sacrifice and guilt and sometimes I think I’ve gone mad! But it also means joy and love and growth and adventure and having the chance to spend my days with the sweetest little ones by my side. And nothing has ever topped that for me. So far, motherhood has been nothing short of an absolute honor.
Jen’s 20 Word (more or less) Bio:
Mom of boys. Consultant. Wanderer. Cyclist. Navigating loss, managing fear, living with courage, and taking the road less traveled. Founder of the inspiring blog about biking, motherhood and more, Pedal Adventures.
Top tip for biking with kids?
Start early, incorporate it into your lifestyle, get them a good bike starting with a balance bike, bring snacks, and don’t force them to ride.
Why do you bike with your kids?
Cycling is my passion so it was easy to introduce it to my kids. I like that cycling provides options for transportation, health, and most of all fun.
What does motherhood mean to you?
Motherhood is a chance to share, grow, and continually work on my patience.
How do you find balance? Is there such a thing?
Balance for me is a combination of achievement and enjoyment. Daily I try to do things that bring me joy, happiness, and enjoyment while also achieving something. Somedays the scale tips more to enjoyment and some days it’s more about achievement but ultimately I feel best when I get both.
PUBLIC is proud to partner with Mike's Bikes. For Bay Area and Northern California residents, you now have more options for in-store purchase at all 12 Mike’s Bikes retail locations or buy online to pick up your assembled bike in San Francisco, Berkeley, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, Los Gatos, Palo Alto, San Jose, Petaluma, San Rafael, Sausalito,… Read more »
PUBLIC is proud to partner with Mike's Bikes. For Bay Area and Northern California residents, you now have more options for in-store purchase at all 12 Mike’s Bikes retail locations or buy online to pick up your assembled bike in San Francisco, Berkeley, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, Los Gatos, Palo Alto, San Jose, Petaluma, San Rafael, Sausalito, Sacramento and Folsom.
PUBLIC bikes will now be available for fully assembled home or office delivery through the Mike’s Bikes Direct delivery program in most Northern California neighborhoods.
Customers living far from a Mike’s Bikes retail location will still be able to purchase PUBLIC bikes online, and have them shipped either “Ready to Ride” direct to their door, or to PUBLIC’s bike shop Assembly Partners across the continental US.
Since our founding in 2010, we have celebrated the message of inclusion, accessibility, and community, and have worked to reclaim our urban environment to make all feel welcome riding, walking, and being a part of public spaces. This year we partnered with Lambda Legal to design a special edition bike for their West Coast Liberty… Read more »
Since our founding in 2010, we have celebrated the message of inclusion, accessibility, and community, and have worked to reclaim our urban environment to make all feel welcome riding, walking, and being a part of public spaces.
This year we partnered with Lambda Legal to design a special edition bike for their West Coast Liberty Awards in Hollywood. Lambda Legal is a national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and those with HIV through impact legislation, education, and public policy work. What started in 1973 as a group of volunteer lawyers has grown into a national organization fighting against discrimination in employment, healthcare, insurance, parenting, immigration, police and criminal justice, and more.??Our colorful bike was auctioned to raise funds to support the work of this?impactful 503(c)3 nonprofit.
PUBLIC is proud to celebrate the LGBTQ community this month, and every month. We’ll be riding in our hometown of San Francisco’s Pride Parade with the SF Bicycle Coalition’s?Pride Parade Contingent?on June 25th. We’ve loved seeing PUBLIC bikes at Pride events around the country over the years?— let us know how you rode this year.
Happy bike-to-work month! By now, you’ve probably experienced some of the ups and downs of a weekly cycling commute. On one hand, your calves are bulging with new muscles, and there’s nothing like the exhilaration you get bypassing stubborn highway traffic. On the other hand, you’ve had enough sweat-stained shirts for a lifetime—not to mention… Read more »
Happy bike-to-work month! By now, you’ve probably experienced some of the ups and downs of a weekly cycling commute. On one hand, your calves are bulging with new muscles, and there’s nothing like the exhilaration you get bypassing stubborn highway traffic. On the other hand, you’ve had enough sweat-stained shirts for a lifetime—not to mention the day that it rained! To become a real commuting pro, you’ll need to do some hardcore strategizing and invest in the right gear to stay fresh and get to the office in one piece. Join us as we run through all the essentials you’ll need for your regular workday ride for your best work commute ever!
Running late to a meeting? Don’t let safe cycling practices bite the dust! For starters, you should always wear a helmet and light-colored clothing (or a safety vest for extra protection!) to make yourself more visible to motorists—those are no-brainers. Other tips for safer commutes? Pick low-traffic streets with wide lanes wherever possible, and avoid the impulse to hug the right curb while you ride. In fact, try to stay in the middle of the lane, if you can. Study up on the most common cycling collisions and how to avoid them. Don’t forget about safety accessories, such as?front and back lights, mirrors, bells and reflectors. Practice what you preach, too, and hold yourself accountable to the rules of the road. Just because you’re not behind the wheel doesn’t mean that you should text or use your phone while you ride! Need more information? The League of American Bicyclists has an extensive library of safe riding courses and videos, plus a directory of local class offerings, to get you up-to-speed on all the rules in no time.
Avoid Transportation Hiccups
Whether it’s a surprise piece of glass or a sudden hail storm, cycling’s a little more unpredictable than driving. Anyone bicycling to and from work should have some backups in place to keep the process running smoothly. For instance, keep spare tubes and tire levers with you in case of flats—and learn how to change a tire by yourself. It’s not a bad idea to bring along a miniature pump and a traveling tool kit with a multi-tool and wrench, either. That will allow you to make adjustments and address emergency repairs on the fly. Still, you should always have some form of backup transportation, whether that’s a bus pass or a friend you can call up for a ride. If you’re serious about full-time commuting, you may even want to consider a second bike, just in case you have to take your main ride into the shop for a few days.
Give Yourself Extra Time
One of the major pros of a cycling commute is the chill vibe, so don’t kill it by rushing around at the last minute! You never know what you’ll encounter on a bicycle: a flat, a detour, or a brush with an unexpected pothole will all add time to your commute. And if you take your time, you won’t feel tempted to run lights or engage in other unsafe cycling practices to get there faster. Some cyclists even plan on arriving to work early, before the regular 9 to 5 crew shows up. You’d be surprised how much more relaxed you are with a more leisurely commute, and you may even get a lot more work done before the hustle and bustle of the day gets underway!
Stay Dry, Stay Cool
If you’re planning on commuting to work regularly, you may want?to do something to contain the sweat—you don’t want to be the smelly one in the office! If you’re lucky enough to have access to an in-office shower, consider investing in a super absorbent chamois towel. It’s a lot more space-efficient than a big bath towel. No shower? No worries! A spare change of clothes, plus a washcloth and soap (or even a package of baby wipes), does a pretty keen job of keeping you fresh. Of course, it’s a lot harder to come in looking decent when it’s just rained, especially if you don’t have the right gear. A waterproof cycling backpack, plus a padded waterproof case for your laptop and phone, keeps your spare duds dry during a sudden downpour. We keep a hairdryer at our office to use after?particularly wet rides. If your bike has the eyelets for fenders, they’re your best bet against splashback, so make sure to install them—unless you like the feel of that dirt trail on your back!
It’s Not All About the Gear
Now that cycling everywhere has gotten more popular, there are plenty of tricked-out accessories you can use for your ride. There’s the practical kind, such as cell phone mounts and panniers, to the downright ridiculous (looking at you, bicycle banana holder!). But you should really avoid the “must have” lists and settle on the items that work best for you. Some people can’t stand padded bike shorts, while others wouldn’t dream of riding without them. Some commuters like baskets or racks?and panniers, and some prefer to carry everything in a shoulder bag or knapsack. It may take a little trial and error, but you’ll figure out what you need. It’s about the quality of the ride, not the fanciness of the gear.
But a Few Cool Accessories Are Nice
That being said, there’s nothing like the right tool for the job. Since there are some pretty cool accessories out there, there’s no harm in trying out a few if you want, right? Some of the standouts include USB-charging bike lights, a U-lock clamp bracket, and bicycle chain chargers that capture the kinetic energy from your ride and use it to charge your phone and devices. We also think?sustainable bike lights that run off 100 percent solar power just like solar panels?are pretty cool. And with plenty of patterned bags, helmets, and hats, there are tons of ways to personalize your ride. After all, just because you’re commuting to work doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun along the way!
About the Writer
Erin Vaughan is a blogger, gardener and aspiring homeowner. ?She currently resides in Austin, TX where she writes full time for Modernize, with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big home projects with confidence.
We’re happy to announce the winner of our Play Day Giveaway is Genisa C. from Boise, Idaho. Genisa is a stay at home mom to a young daughter. She wrote to us: “We love being outdoors and exploring together, typically with our local branch of Hike It Baby. I’m excited to win this because we… Read more »
We’re happy to announce the winner of our Play Day Giveaway is Genisa C. from Boise, Idaho.
Genisa is a stay at home mom to a young daughter. She wrote to us: “We love being outdoors and exploring together, typically with our local branch of Hike It Baby. I’m excited to win this because we live in the City of Trees and there is a huge bike culture here. It will be awesome to show my daughter our city from a new perspective!”
Genisa won $2,700 worth of prizes, including an adult PUBLIC bike bike and a PUBLIC kids bike, plus a lifetime of kids shoes from our partners See Kai Run and a cool teepee and $500 Gift Credit towards party stationery or personalized kids’ stationery from Minted.
Over the years, we can’t wait to see Genisa’s daughter grow up riding a PUBLIC bike with her mom, playing in her new Minted teepee, and running around in her See Kai Run shoes.
#DoPublicGood is a project highlighting people or organizations that do good by bike. Each month we’ll be shining a spotlight on those who enrich their community through their two-wheeled advocacy. You can read our past #DoPublicGood profiles here. May is Bike Month and for #DoPublicGood we’re celebrating the people?who standing up for bike safety across… Read more »
#DoPublicGood is a project highlighting people or organizations that do good by bike. Each month we’ll be shining a spotlight on those who enrich their community through their two-wheeled advocacy. You can read our past #DoPublicGood profiles here.
May is Bike Month and for #DoPublicGood we’re celebrating the people?who standing up for bike safety across the country. Last week we participated in a street action that we think could be replicated in many other cities to call attention to the need for more protected bicycle lanes.
A group of volunteer safe street activists in San Francisco showed up to form a human protected bicycle lane on the popular Valencia Street commuter route. Ever since the City of San Francisco installed bicycle lanes on both sides of Valencia Street in 1999, the street was generally viewed as a bicycle-friendly route, even featuring timed “green wave” traffic signals that allowed bicyclists to keep rolling through green lights as long as they averaged ~13mph bike-riding speed.
But especially with the rise of car share services like Uber and Lyft, which has transformed every bicycle lane or even street into a pick-up and drop-off location, many streets like Valencia Street have become notoriously unsafe for anyone traveling along the corridor. With many popular restaurants, bars, and shops on Valencia Street, it’s very typical for bicyclists to be forced to weave in and out of the bicycle lane because of cars temporarily blocking the bike lanes. Valencia Street, once considered a poster child for a bike-friendly street, is now considered a bicycling safety problem – and really, a problem for vehicular drivers too.
Many cities have been slow to respond with regulations and enforcement to respond to the rising problem of blocked streets and bicycle lanes, especially resulting from ride share cars stopping and going. This is why volunteer advocates are organizing to highlight these issues – and to pressure city officials to take action to make streets safer, including advocating for protected bicycle lanes. You can read about how “Safety Vigilantes Strike Again on Valencia” on Streetsblog.
Even in places like Omaha or Wichita, safe street advocates are resorting to gluing plungers to demonstrate the need and effectiveness of protected bicycle lanes.
If you live or work in San Francisco, the next human protected bike lane action is planned for Thursday, May 25 from 5-7pm. Sign up here receive communication.
If you’re fed up with lack of action in your city for protected bike lanes, maybe you can organize a small group of like-minded people to form your own guerrilla street group similar to SFMTrA. All you might need are some plungers, glue, cones, signs and passionate people.
Since 2013, PUBLIC has been proud to work with Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants to provide fleets of custom PUBLIC bikes for Kimpton’s 64 boutique hotels in 33 cities around the world. Every Kimpton hotel guest can use a custom PUBLIC bike for free to explore surrounding neighborhoods. We worked closely with Kimpton Hotel Born in… Read more »
Since 2013, PUBLIC has been proud to work with Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants to provide fleets of custom PUBLIC bikes for Kimpton’s 64 boutique hotels in 33 cities around the world. Every Kimpton hotel guest can use a custom PUBLIC bike for free to explore surrounding neighborhoods.
We worked closely with Kimpton Hotel Born in Denver on a handful of special custom bikes to elevate their unique design sophistication.
We’re really proud of this collaboration and excited to share a few photos of the final products.
About the Kimpton Hotel Born collaboration, Creative Director Ellen Bruss said, “When we started working on the brand, one of the first expressions of it was a custom bike using the plaid that is part of the design palette. At that point, we didn’t know if we could do a custom bike. PUBLIC made the dream become a reality. We hadn’t ever worked on a custom bike before. The PUBLIC team was very helpful with explaining what we could do and what we couldn’t do. They guided us on how much to wrap, since wear and tear are a big issue. They also helped figure out ways we could push the boundaries. They customized the cables and stripes to fit our design, and they took on the charge of having a custom Hotel Born name plate fabricated for the front of the basket.”
Bruss continued: “As far as the EBD design process goes, it began with picking the right bike for the audience and also finding one that the base colors were something we could match our palette to. The wrap crossovers were a challenge since the plaid pattern is complicated. And getting the scale right was important so we did numerous versions of that. We couldn’t have done it without a really collaborative, can-do PUBLIC team.”
Let us know if you’d like to work with us on fleet bikes for your company or organization.
When you visit Kimpton Born Hotel, as Ellen Bruss noted, “the customized bikes will be front and center, one of the first brand expressions you’ll see when you get to the hotel. Guests will be able to use them to go out and explore the neighborhood.”
The city of New Orleans, Louisiana, knows how to throw a good party. From Jazzfest to French Quarter Fest and dozens of smaller festivals in-between, people from all over the world flock to New Orleans to take part in these vibrant celebrations. The most popular and well attended of all the festivals in New Orleans… Read more »
The city of New Orleans, Louisiana, knows how to throw a good party. From Jazzfest to French Quarter Fest and dozens of smaller festivals in-between, people from all over the world flock to New Orleans to take part in these vibrant celebrations.
The most popular and well attended of all the festivals in New Orleans is Mardi Gras, attracting over one million people each year. Mardi Gras falls on Shrove or Fat Tuesday and while that day is reserved for the largest amount of celebrating, the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras, known as Carnival, are filled with organized parades, eclectic costumes and general revelry.
“Mardi Gras brings out so much creativity” says Marin Tockman, owner of New Orleans-based bike shop, Dashing Bicycles. “The float ideas are always so fun and so witty. Larger parades will have decorated bikes (think unicorns or sea monsters) in-between the larger floats and thousands of people can see how creative people are incorporating bikes into the parading fun.”
Tockman offers some advice for folks looking to dress up their bikes. “Keep it simple so it’s safe to ride, but add some fun fringe, sparkly fabric or even beads to your handlebars or helmet. Make sure to leave room for a cup holder and add wheel lights to brighten up our streets while you bike at night.”
Not only do bikes get dressed up for parades, but with the heavy tourist traffic during Carnival they become a superior means of navigating the city. “Riding a bike during Mardi Gras is the thing to do!” says Tockman. “Zip to any parade, amazing restaurant or live show in any corner of the city, hassle-free.” If you choose to get around NOLA on a bike during Mardi Gras you won’t be alone. Says Tockman, “So many people choose to bike that sometimes when biking to a parade feels like a festival in and of itself, with everyone dressed up and having fun along the way.”
With so much to see and do during Carnival how do you decide which events to partake in? Tockman offers the following insider tips on what to do and see by bike during the five days leading up to Mardi Gras, and on Mardi Gras itself:
THURSDAY Bike to Muses. It’s an all-female super Krewe parade that heads down St. Charles, featuring the city’s best high school marching bands.
FRIDAY Check out Morpheus, a parade that rolls uptown. And there is always tons of great live music shows along Frenchmen Street.
SATURDAY Head to Endymion in the afternoon for the amazing floats. Or check out the local walking parades that happen, like the 9th Ward Marching.
SUNDAY Hit up some family parades along the St Charles route, especially Bacchus. Beware of the Box of Wine parade, the revelers take in copious amounts of wine beforehand.
MONDAY Rest and finish your costume ‘cause there’s only one day left till Mardi Gras! It’s a good night to catch a few throws or music in the French Quarter.
TUESDAY The big day is here! Mardi Gras rolls out early and lasts all night, so make sure to fuel up beforehand. First things first, catch the Bone Boys waking up the neighborhoods with their cast iron pans. Then head to Zulu, the largest African American Super Krewe parade for phenomenally well-dressed folks. By late morning, head to the French Quarter and take part in the St. Ann Parade which finds thousands of people meandering through the beautiful streets following battling marching bands to the river.
Says Tockman, “While the whole week is pretty nonstop, it’s some of the most fun you can ever have, especially if you make time to cruise through it all with a bike.”