Cycling: A Guide to Menstruation

There is an important topic that a few women have touched based on in the cycling community, our menstrual cycles. It's a touchy and hush hush topic for some but if many of you know me, I'm not silent to this particular subject, it's important to know one's body. I ran into this adorable book at my local bike shop, Cycling: A Guide to Menstruation, which combines well-researched information with the feel of a graphic novel. Here's a little snippet about the book:
 "Using charming illustrations, [Cycling] it is an empowering do-it-yourself guide to menstruation and an accessible educational tool for women of all ages. Cycling not only covers the basics of the menstrual cycle but also explores such topics as the history of menstrual products, the pseudoscience of "menotoxins," the possibilities of modern-day moon lodges, and more. The book is both entertaining, engaging, and is designed to make women feel good about their bodies and good about menstruation."

I appreciate this book so much because it comes from a holistic point of view, going back to how women treated their bodies naturally and used their menstruation as a time of creativity and empowerment, rather than from a clinical perspective that inflicts menstrual injustice on our bodies by our society. 

There are a few pages you can see on their facebook page and you can find it on Zoo Mouse Key Press. I highly recommend this charm for any women who wants to know more about their cycles.

things i ♥ about fall cycling

i love fall. there is a magical feeling i get when riding my bike around and witnessing the changes of the season. there are so many reasons to love this season but here are some of things i love about riding in the fall:
watching trees and scenic routes change color.
the sound of the fallen leaves crunching under my tires.
riding in the crisp air.
wearing layers, gloves, scarf, beanie etc.
smart wool sweaters for those 40 degree morning rides.
a crisp apple to eat after a long ride to school.
night riding with bright moon lighting.
drinking chai tea to warm up before or after a ride.

what do you love about riding in the fall?
bike ♥

bike ♥

ran into this video and laughed so hard because i think it says something about how much this actually displays the love i have for my bike. i personally know what it feels like to have wheels stolen and feel so discouraged, think i actually cried a few times to this video 

wheels of gratitude

hello blogiverse! apologies for the silence recently but i just want to send out a quick hello from the Bay Area wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving weekend!
remember to thank your bicycle for being your wheels of bliss, health, and adventure.

peace, love, bicycle grease.

Bike Talk: Women And The City

When your an activist weaving through the streets on a bicycle, you see the way cities and minds work without rose colored lenses. Perhaps the world becomes to us more crass and less romantic in that we are aware and confronted with the reality that surrounds us. My growth as a bicycle activist and social activist has led me to think differently in how I read the bicycle industry, urban planning, and women's roles in these realms. 

It's not everyday you'll hear a woman's voice representing a bicycle corporation or leading planning developments. They are very few and hardly listened to. One thing that I do know is that women have something to tell us about the city and life we share. Women spend a lot of their time out on the streets, in parks, talking to neighbors, shopping for groceries or household goods, sustaining neighborhood communities, and piloting their children around. Women know what it is like to live in cities, street by street, day by day, better than the men who plan and build them. There is a lot to be said by women in ways that we can nourish communities and bring life to them over the stale roads and concrete pavements. 

Women have always found creative ways to be active in these realms but mainly through the use of blogging while being fashionably comfortable on their bikes, which has reached more women in cities. Parts of this blog hold this to be true because bicycle lifestyle and activism encompasses our comforts, beliefs, and personalities as well. Exploiting women for their bodies or getting women to become consumptive shouldn't be the aim of the bicycle industry or planning. For too long cities and industries have ignored them and thus have impoverished our lives and cities by not listening to them. Although we aren't always heard in these institutions, we at least have city streets that serve practical activities and our sense of happiness and community.

image @cyclovoalicia

Bike Talk: Women, Cycling, & The Media

As far as I have always known, the bicycle was a tool to liberate women. But what happens when you use something that has been liberating to reducing women to images that react to the desires of consumption? The basic theme remains the same: women are objects to sell, to be trained to consume and be sexually consumed. Very frequently now, I run across images on sites of our sisters half naked on a bike to sell a product, and I find it deeply offensive that bikes as tools of women's liberation are used to reduce women to this.

Bike Talk: Car Advertisements vs Bike Activism

In a recent media uproar from GM's ad targeting college students to "stop pedaling...start driving," GM got pretty whipped by the bicycle community and activists. As a backlash against the ad, I informed some followers via Twitter to write GM about their "creative" division between bike and car culture. Although this did help to get GM to apologize and change their ad, many of us weren't going to stop there. For example, Giant bicycles, a large bicycle company, created their own ad countering GM's mockery of cycling (photo above). Although this is badass and many were talking about how appalling GM was for this, I wanted to take it further. 

As with most things, I think it's necessary to call out the bullshit created by car culture. For a starter, GM has a large hand in history and present in its development of the destruction of our environment, economy, labor, along with the exploitation of sex, women, natural resources, and poor laborers. You may not see it the way I do but if you can try to understand how advertisement and corporations work, you'll see. GM also has a hand in the intoxication of soil, water, landfills, and is listed on the top of 1 of 20 of 100 corporations listed as the worst polluters of the environment (source). Let's take it further - Did you know, last year, our government settled with MLC (New GM) for them to pay 773 million dollars to clean up their act? Great one may think but realistically it's going to take them decades and trillions to save the environment they damaged. They can keep trying to look innocent by developing hybrids and cleaning up sites but where does that landfill from demolition go? Whose cleaning it up besides poor laborers who will be exposed to those intoxication's? I dare those CEO's and executives to go out and do it themselves.

I know it's no fun reading about the injustices that exist among us created by large corporations such as GM but it's seriously time to wake up and fight back the corporations that attack bicycle culture, our environment, and the lives affected by it's forces. Cycling activism never meant staying pretty on a bike and raising a middle finger to car culture. If we want to break it, the way it breaks us, we have to expose its dangers, disasters, and manipulation in our politics, environment, and lives. I think it's time to start raging against the man or machine, don't you?

Give Me 3 California

"Give Me 3 is the California Bicycle Coalition's campaign to ensure that California drivers give bicyclists at least 3 feet of space when passing from behind."

"The debate over SB 910 seems to boil down to this very clear choice: we can continue to prioritize vehicle traffic flows over other forms of transportation, or we can enable more people to safely choose bicycling for transportation by making our roads incrementally safer. 

AAA and CHP (acting as AAA's surrogate) seem to advocate for the status quo: unimpeded traffic flows at the expense of bicyclists' lives, but without any evidence that SB 910 would actually bring about the problems they see. This has been AAA's political orientation for years. For its part, CHP is acting from a windshield view of the world instead of recognizing their duty to safeguard all road users, including bicyclists. If CHP were responding as safety officers instead of as advocates for drivers, they would be forced to acknowledge that passing-from-behind collisions kill more bicyclists than any other type of collision. Is this a condition they're willing to ignore?"

i urge readers and bicyclists in california to support this campaign by either by spreading the news, donating, or writing a letter to Gov. Brown. if we can get more bicycle companies, coalitions, or groups involved with this campaign, i'm sure we can get Brown to get behind this too. other states have done it, why not california in all it's supposed progressiveness? well, although AAA is just another form of a self interest automobile money giant, we have to remind ourselves that it's by our demands as a whole that we can make the streets feel safer for those wanting to commute by bicycle.

for more information visit Give Me 3. get involved, send a letter, and spread the word!

the bicycle as a tool of awareness

advocacy streams into all aspects of human rights. some of us fixate on just one aspect of justice and advocate for it but we are affected by it in many aspects of awareness. in light of what's happening around the globe as people gather to protest the economic inequalities of our nations and governments lack of responsibility (i say nation because we as people are responsible too), the people are beginning to become enlightened, and realize that something must be done, that we as a people must do something when the peoples government fails to help it. i always think of what the bicycle has meant to individuals, in history, and even so now in mobilizing new thoughts in environmental, social, political, and economic development and justice. failed social policies and systems design failure on a massive scale, thus we are faced with issues that call us to question the inequalities of the conditions which we live amongst one another and move through our cities. the way the bicycle plays into this awareness is also a solution to the issues that come into question.

some say the bicycle can save the world. do you agree?

yarn bombed bike racks

found at Lake Merrit

sometimes even amongst the fragmentation of bicycle infrastructure and road experience, there is always something a little exciting to see like YARN BOMBING or "knit graffiti" here in Oakland. i love the idea of Yarn bombing as reclaiming and personalizing sterile or cold public places, it gives a warm sense if community. i've seen yarn bombing all over the internet but have finally seen it at home and just find it so cute. i'm aware that there are guerrilla knitters in Oakland adorning the city with yarn bombing and i'm just happy to see it being spread throughout. who ever you guys are keep it up!

"Some might call it Enlightenment"

i tend to see the world in a different light, perhaps that is the effect of the bicycle. the quote at the bottom pretty much sums up the types of thoughts that run through my head when riding through the city. it's hearty and delicious to ponder...

"The most vital element for the future of our cities is that the bicycle is an instrument of experiential understanding.
On a bicycle, citizens experience their city with deep intimacy, often for the first time. For a regular motorist to take that two or three mile trip by bicycle instead is to decimate an enormous wall between them and their communities.
In their cars, the world is reduced to mere equation. “What is the fastest route from A to B?” one will ask as they start their engine. This invariably results in a cascade of freeway concrete flying by at incomprehensible speeds. Their environment, the neighborhoods that compose their communities, the beauty of architecture, the immense societal problems in distressed areas, the faces of neighbors… all of this becomes a conceptually abstract blur from the driver’s seat.
Yes, the bicycle is a marvelously efficient machine of transportation, but in the city it is so much more. The bicycle is new vision for the blind man. It is a thrilling tool of communication, an experiential device for the beauty and the ills of the urban context. One cannot turn a blind eye on a bicycle - they must acknowledge their community, all of it.
Here lies the secret weapon of the urban renaissance."

it doesn't stop here

since my recent experience of my rear wheel being stolen, i have made some small steps into adjusting into life without a bike (for the moment, it sucks). i have always realized the meaning of my bike, the way it weaves into my daily activity, thought, and the dependency i have on it as many means, not just mobility. i know i shouldn't put such a value on material things, i could care less about my cell phone, my laptop, or my wallet, but my bike is so important in my world, and i would have it no other way.

i sent BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) a letter concerning bike theft and lack of bike racks at their stations. i don't know if they will even respond to me or raise a finger to any concerns in what is mentioned in the letter but i have prepared my spirits to not stop at this one. a few weeks ago i had a friend who's rear wheel was stolen at the same station too and since my bike became another source of bike theft exploitation in this area, i'm realizing the problem is being ignored and perhaps undermined by victims and these institutions. well, speaking up is my thing. i come from a long line of outspoken strong women that confronts issues at it's face (thanks mom!) and i'd be damned if i stopped here. 

i hope those of you in the bay area will speak up more about bike theft too. it's definitely an issue worth exploring the means to finding a solution because it's really just out of control.

thank you all for your kind words and encouragement these last few days. it's a total bummer going through the motions because for me it's not something that i want to just replace and forget. i see too many bikes in this area being taken advantage of where i put myself in the persons place and think how much it sucks to return to your bike and have something of it ripped from you. i know many of you know this feeling too and how much it sucks. so thank you for your words and comfort. i just hope that in the end something good will come from all of this.

words on bike theft

my bike is the one thing that i look forward to from a long day of work and here i find my pride and joy pillaged. my work commute into San Francisco leads me to Lake Merrit Bart Station where i have to shill out my lunch money to get to and from work by train, where already, there is not enough bike racks to fit the many bike commuters that need to park here. instead they have many unnecessary bike closets that you have to pay an arm and leg for. so what other choice do we have than to lock our precious prizes on parking meters. these bikes are far from the bike racks, usually hidden by bushes and easy targets for all sorts of bike theft. bike theft doesn't always happen out of carelessness of locking your bike, you can have all the swag that makes it hard to steal but thieves don't care even if it's out in the open and nobody is saying a word just going about their merry little lives. for the majority of you who don't know me, when i'm heated i get results so here is my word, i'm declaring war on bike theft and writing like hell to Bart and my city officials to get some mother f-ing bike racks up in this station, seriously. get with it Bart. we keep talking about how bad bike theft in the Bay Area is, well let's do something! i know i have way too much on my plate already but my bike is my world and i value others' bikes just as much as mine. so if institutions want to ignore and let thieves get shady, then i want a war.
things are gonna get fun around here... 

Bike Talk: Thoughts on Bicycle Advocacy

Bike advocacy wasn't something that I always imagined myself blogging about. There a ton of other things I love just as equally as my bike like books, my dog, coffee, music, architecture, politics, art, theories on pop culture, or comedic conversations with myself on a daily basis (I think I am funny and mean well) but I chose to blog about my experience and personal views of life on a bike as a woman. The reason is because the experience of being on a bicycle gave a new thought on how I interact and view the world. I have always loved Mother Earth, it's part of my culture to take of her, but I also learned to love my sense of independence on a bicycle. Not just independence in being able to go anywhere as I please with this mobility but being independent from financial obligations to a car, insurance, transit system, and in some aspects the law (parking tickets etc.). 

To take it even further I also think it intellectually free's me in my experience on the road to how I view others. I share the road with and have to be aware of how I treat them while looking out for my own and their safety. The more independent I find myself from relying on certain things to make me more mobile and efficient on the road, or in life, I become aware. Seeing how I truly view and act to the development that we have been given environmentally, socially, and consciously. Do you ever think about how your environment and experience influences the way you think and behave? Have you ever thought about how your bicycle makes you view the world differently? Or how it has made you less dependent on other things? I'm sure it has but most importantly how has it changed you as a person?

I think this is one reason why I started writing about bicycles and advocacy. I know many people write blogs for various reasons but this is mine really. I'm always thinking "how do we make streets safer? How to we invite women, children, and minorities into the bike community?" Whenever I open up blogger I'm immediately brought to statistics of daily views and such which I honestly don't give a shit about. What I do care about is what people have to say and how these words I make you think. It isn't called advocacy to get compliments about how pretty my bike is or how cute I am but to create a community and bring awareness of the struggles that even female cyclists have. So here, you have my cheesy and dorky enthusiasm for bicycles here to stay.

sf fog

so it seems like the san fracisco fog has returned today. it's actually a great big welcome on my part considering how hot it has been for the last couple of weeks. i love the rolling fog and how it settles on our fair city, how it cools you down after pedaling up hills, and how it gives san francisco a distinctive smell of redwoods, it's refreshing. the fog is one of those things that makes you love and hate san francisco but for many of us, we actually love it. sunny days are welcomed of course but we would rather have moderate temperatures to wear our sweaters and scarfs. especially when biking, the fog cools you down when it is  much needed. i hope it sticks around for a while, it makes my commutes to school serene and takes my mind into a haze of contentment.

 is there any type of weather that you love riding in your cities?

demand bike and pedestrian funding

i hope many of you had the opportunity to listen to Obama's speech to Congress recently on creating jobs in America. there was a line that he used that caught my attention, "Everyone here knows that we have badly decaying roads and bridges all over this country. Our highways are clogged with traffic. Our skies are the most congested in the world."

what interested me in writing this post was to point out that although economic woes in this country have left our states in debt, it has also caused neglect to find recovery from decaying infrastructure. clearly this is no accident, just a reflection of the state of our economy. it costs money to get incentives on infrastructure of all types to pass but the truth is that our Senate does not want to spend it. places like Mexico, where students got fed up with their government lack of interest in creating bicycle lanes took the matter into their hands and paved themselves bike lanes. perhaps that's what we'll need to do in the future if it calls us to. my word to you all who want better road infrastructure and bike lanes is to demand Washington to support bike and pedestrian funding. as hard as it is fighting your way to sharing one lane with the driver next to you, fight and do the same with the Senate, keep taking the roads, keep writing letters to the state demanding laws that protect yours and others safety on the road. although we think that it's a long way towards creating a bike utopia, the road towards the actual creation of a bicycle utopia is in the way in which you decide to participate. this is the most important voice you have in this matter. keep biking.

happy friday

happy friday everyone! it's starting to get a little quiet on the blog here but don't fret because it's been a wonderful week full of bike rides, friends, school, and a load of homework. commuting everyday is my breath of fresh air amongts the chaos so there is something to be said of that, other than that my bike is my therapy. so, enjoy your rides, wherever you are.

have a great weekend!

be awesome

everyday i ride 7 miles to class during peak traffic hours. it takes me a good 40 mins to get there, so i take my time and obey the laws but when i do that, i get honked at. drivers think i'm in their way although i have a right to be in the lane just as much as they do. i'm not an entitled cyclist, trust me there is nothing in that word that can deem a cyclist entitled especially when you have streets and laws that serve the purpose of vehicles. telegraph street in Oakland is a bustling road with wide lanes to fit lots of cars and parking but no bike lanes until you enter Berkeley. i see lots of cyclist riding this street, especially students. i don't like my rides to be stressful at all, and i like to think that i'll get to my class safely, but when somebody comes at me all crazy because they can't wait for the light to turn green, i get little miss smart ass on a bicycle to reply "aw, you can't wait two seconds for the light to turn green? that's too bad." i'm not going to lie, i won't move for drivers if they are name calling, acting irrationally, honking, and getting too close when they are a threat to me and the environment, even if it is just for two seconds. to be a cyclist in a city, you have to always be on guard, never distracted, always looking for risk, always having a plan for the next two seconds before you. this is your brain working for survival.

so, the moral here is that like the message in the photo above, no matter how many hatters be honking at you because they can't wait for two second for the light to turn green,
ride responsibly and be awesome.

route and commute

hope you all had a great labor day weekend, at least for the american's. while everyone was celebrating with picnics, bicycle rides, and bbq's, i was celebrating the holiday by working cause i consider myself that lucky to have a job in an economy like ours. well, although i didn't get to have a chance to go out for bicycle rides and what not, i made the most of my commutes to work and did a route change, taking the quiet streets. Velouria of Lovely Bicycle did a recent post Side Street or Main Street, and it got me thinking about my commute. as much as i love and swear by google maps for my commutes, i had to make changes as i used to take the busy roads where there are bike lanes and shares but i always found these routes to be stressful to ride through. it's stressful because i'm overly cautious and ride slower where there is a lot of pedestrians, cars, and traffic lights to get through. i started finding the quiet streets because i was really tired of dealing with assholes on the streets, for realz. they come in all forms and i'm just over it. in finding a new route, i was looking for something with less stops, less cars, and more bike lanes. i was lucky to find the first two but not so much in the last. yet, i found a route that i finally found fitting to my comfort level. in taking the side streets, i feel like drivers are more aware and more willing to share the road as long as i communicate with them. it's a nice change from the bustling congested streets to quiet roads that leads me to my destination with much more ease and delight. 

now that 30 days of biking is on, routes are in check, Wendy's chains are greased up, i'm ready to make my daily 16 miles sweet, bring it.

30 days of biking challenge

i'm sure many of you have been beating yourselves up over and over trying to convince yourself that you'll eventually get on your bike and commute. well, here's an opportunity to do it and share it with many others around the world. there's a pledge that many new and old cyclists are partaking in commuting by bike for the month of September, rain or shine, anywhere we go, we ride! if you've ever been curious to know what it's like for many newbies and oldies to commute by bike and would like to hear some of their experiences, check out the 30 Days of Biking website to see what others are saying. if you feel like partaking in a great challenge with many others around the world, find out how you can be part of the challenge here

 i commute by bike everyday but the greatest challenge so far is commuting to school, a whole 6.5 miles between home and campus, a good 40-45 mins, twice or four times a day, is rather exhausting. including the commute to work, and all the adventures i have in between, calls for much adventure to be shared.
i'm excited to see many bloggers and twitter friends partake in this years challenge. can't wait to hear your stories and share the experience. if you are partaking in it, let me know and share your experiences with me as i blog about it here.
happy bicycle adventures!

the bicycle as symbol of freedom

photo: giffard riene
yesterday, my English professor brought up the subject of freedom of choice in modern society. he went on joking on the idea of the individual in society having the freedom to choose on buying a car but then questioned how much freedom do you then have when you make the choice to buy into something that gives constraints, through laws written by society that determines how you drive. although modern society loves the idea that the individual has "freedom of choice," society limits our individuality with given constraints that limits our freedom to choose as we are told what is right and what is wrong. as always, i like to challenge assumptions and connect my experiences with the bicycle. for me personally, historically, and perhaps universally, the bicycle is a symbol of freedom. when i was at the Velo Expo in Paris, i had noticed that many ads and posters used the bicycle as a symbol of liberty, this got me thinking of the bicycle throughout time and how it's meaning has played a role in our view of freedom. in how i personally have come to view the bicycle as a symbol of freedom is rather political; freedom from capitalistic development, a symbol of resistance against harming the environment and buying into the life that i'm taught that is meaningful. i know i live in a world that has been given to me, not by my own choice, but to me the bicycle is a form of freedom of choice where i can go off and discover the world without any restrictions and to me this is transformative to how i view the world and choose to live life.

i really hope i don't sound too academic up on here but this was something that provoked a lot of thought in how we individually and collectively view the bicycle, you feel my groove? it means something different to each of us right? so, what does the bicycle mean to you?

Women's Bike Blog Directory

Attention bike ladies, there is a wonderful comprehensive list of women's bike blogs that the lovely Barbara Chamberlain of  Bike Style put together. I personally love this list as I love meeting ladies who ride and blog about their experiences. If you are a lady who rides and blogs, leave a comment at the bottom of the post with your blog site so she can add you to the list. The list is quite long but this is a good sign that more women are riding, having a voice, and having a place to connect with each other. We each individually have our own unique voices and experiences and it's always refreshing to hear what other women are doing in the bike world. Every now and then I enjoy stalking a few blogs and saying hi and perhaps adding a few to my own list. So go check it out, make some friends on the interwebs, and hear what each other has to say about the way they like to bike.

Bike Talk: The Real Dirt Of Cycling

There are always the good, the bad, and the ugly, of cycling, but this is a post about the bad and the ugly. As much as the bicycle has become romanticized in photography, blogs, magazines, and movies, it is not all as pretty as we all make it seem. Often times many of us use photos and share our pleasant experiences on bicycle, like the one above. After a commute, I find my hands or clothes are somewhat marked by chain grease or dirt. I'm sweaty, sometimes smelly, red in the face, cut or bruised on my feet, shins, or ankles, exhausted after carrying my bike up and down 3 flights of stairs (twice in a day), and frustrated about an encounter with a car, pedestrian, or cyclist. 

shakin from east to west coast

in california earthquakes are normal, we feel a little shake we think "no big deal" and go back to our daily tasks. maybe we'll check our phone messages, twitter, facebook, the news, and let everyone know there was an earthquake, "dude, did you feel that?" "naw man, what happened?" 
i grew up in L.A. were we often get earthquakes. in grade school we had earthquake drills and learned how to react calmly in case of an emergency. now I live in a city that is constantly visited by little 3.6's that has San Franciscan's saying "i knew it, it's too hot, this is earthquake weather." even i said it. when we get waves of heat surging into our fair foggy city, we don't find that normal at all. the rest of california can be burning (sometimes literally) and we are wearing jackets and scarves. since its recently been so hot here in the bay area, we had two little shakes that we shrugged off and went about into our day, where the day before the East Coast experienced a 5. 8. and we californian's still remained indifferent. i'm not saying we have no sympathy, we just hope you all are okay and not earthquake shocked. 
i also read of hurricane's heading for the east coast too. dude, we don't get those here. so i hope you have bikes in your rescue kit. they come in handy. bicycles have historically played a role during tragedies. remember when japan was recently hit by that major earthquake? followed by hurricanes, well they used bicycles as a mode of transportation to evacuate and get home when their cars and traffic failed them. even during both world wars were oil was being rationed, bikes were being used to transport troops. so just know east coast, that the world, and us californian's are not indifferent to tragedies, we've had our fair share of natural disasters. just remember to have your bike ready and come to california.

please be safe east coasters, we are thinking of you here in the west coast.

a taste of indian summer

yesterday the bay area was sizzling. i have been anticipating our indian summer since i've saw way too much rain and fog during my summer vacation in paris. i welcome sunshine on the real, it's a super mood booster but in san francisco we're not accustomed to mid 80's temperature. we like our bay breeze, our rolling fog, and do just fine with 65 degree overcast weather. san francisco is a city where you always need to be carrying a scarf and jacket just in case, maybe an umbrella too (you can see in my basket the blazer under my bag). i can appreciate days when it's warm out but then i tend to complain when i sweat a little. the entire bay area is this way, we are not accustomed to sweat when walking for 5 mins. when i was young and living in L.A. i would stay indoors with a sweater on because i despised the heat, it doesn't compliment my fall wardrobe. there, i said it! san francisco is my body temperature's dream city come true! occasionally i read that some other cyclists experience hot hot weather conditions and usually i think "thank god SF doesn't get that hot, or that cold." are we spoiled here in the Bay Area? yes we are, we don't hide it, we love that we have moderate temperatures, we don't like seasons, only when we go on holidays. and when we can't ride our bikes cause it's raining, we are pissed, but screw it, we still ride anyways cause that's how hardcore we are. and when it's hot, everyone in san francisco is out riding around like the sunshine will never return, why not? this is an occasion to ride!
how do you spend your summer days on bike?

i'm back!

hopefully none of you will ever have to experience going weeks without biking over an injury. i have a hard time listening to the doctor when he says "no biking!" biking is my therapy, my joy drug, so i've been doing short commutes here and there and running a few errands on bike but being out of the house and moving feels great. plus we've been getting lot's of sunshine here in the east bay so i need to take advantage before summer ends right? i'm not 100% but i'm a dreamer that's a go getter so i guess i can say i'm back!
school is starting this week so i imagine being incredibly slow on posts. i hope you guys will hang in with me this fall semester as i assume many of you will be going back to university too. i got to revisit the old bike commute route and realized how much i missed having that time to breath just before a long lecture and work day. also, Wendy is getting a new license to park and ride around campus, we are required by law to have one. i wonder what many of your college bike commute experiences been. have or do any of you commute to school on bike?


this weekend the unexpected happened on sunday. my dog and i go out daily for an early morning run or walk  together. when walking downhill i twisted my foot and injured myself. sounds silly i know but i have the worst of luck with this foot. sad to say that my weekend was spent in recovering from this injury, welcoming 5 days of relaxing recommended by the Dr. i've gone through two other foot injuries on the same foot and now made it my third. i call it my silly foot. of all the walking, running, and riding i do, why this incident? it was so silly, a bad step downhill turned into a swollen and bruised tendon. luckily it wasn't fractured or broken. i haven't tried cycling but i doubt i'll be able to until it is healed. i'm going to put the blog down for the rest of the week and live through you all. i hope you all have a great week and some fun stories for me cause i'll be reading until my eyes fall out.

happy friday & bay area events

happy weekend everyone! i'm looking forward to getting out in the glorious sunshine we've been having and riding all over this city. thank you all for your responses in this weeks posts on helmets and the "slow bike movement," i thought them stimulating and loved how everyone shared a little about their experiences and thoughts on the subjects, i think everyone is valuable to the wave of bicycle culture in a unique way.
i found that yesterday's post on "hold your bike" seemed to sync with posts from various sources such as Mia Birk's - "The Big Idea-Stop and Stay Stopped" on and Streetsblog San Francisco's - "Pedestrian Hit by Cyclist..." all holding a common thought: “I feel like we’re at a tipping point and that we have reached Critical Mass with bikes, and with power comes responsibility"- Stampe. responsibility is definitely something to take into account whenever we set out into our communities on two wheels, we must always be looking out for each other's safety and respecting the fact that we all must share the road.

so with that said, i hope this encourages you a little further to connect with in your community. there are many wonderful events going on here in the bay area and i hope to see some of you out there, don't be shy and come say hi!

August 12, Meet up at MacArthur BART at 7:30pm
August 14, From 11am – 4pm, Tenderloin/Civic Center

have a happy weekend!

hold your bicycles

i live in a city that accommodates all sorts of cyclists and many are usually commuters in a hurry to get to work. during rush hours i feel safe whenever i find myself in a group of cyclists when riding downtown of san francisco, but it's hard to enjoy my commute when i have to watch out for the next rushing cyclists to fly by me. i don't take pleasure in racing someone to pass a light, i've got nothing to prove dude, i just wanna ride my bike. i'm not really one to speed my way through a bike lane either. i'm one of those cyclist's that constantly get's passed by and left in the back of the group, stops when the light turns yellow, and patiently waits behind a bus to pick up passengers. i know fast riders hate me! thinking "omg, when is she going to move so i can squeeze through this lane." sorry if it was you but don't make me jeopardize my safety so you can save yourself 10 seconds, mmkay? i don't like to be in a hurry when i ride, i have nothing against speed (especially when going downhill!) so i always give myself time to enjoy the air, maybe interact with others around me, and find places that i would like to visit or grab a cup of coffee. i also find when i'm not in a rush for any reason, i'm less stressed, confident, and safe on the road. i'm aware and allow myself to communicate with drivers, cyclist, and pedestrians. you would be surprised how many people appreciate this and always allow me to move ahead. i know there is a whole movement called the "slow bike movement" but i just like to consider this as the reason why the bicycle became so popular. thinking back on my visit to the Velo Expo in Paris, a lot of photos referred to the bicycle as recreation, it encouraged people to take a holiday on a bicycle, to experience freedom, and to discover the world about. i think the bicycle was meant to be just that (even in a commute).

what are your thoughts on the "slow bike movement?" how do you like to ride your bicycle?

Public Bikes M3/D3 Sale via Planet Gear


if any of you ladies or gents are looking to for a new bike and have been drooling over Public Bike's beauties but would like to purchase one at a low price, Planet Gear is the place to go. they are having a sale on  Public Bikes model M3 or D3.  the sale runs August 9th through August 16th. is a women owned and adventurous retail community offering the best pricing on cute casual apparel, active gear and travel destinations that focuses on a healthy living and a healthy planet. be sure to sign in and check out their weekly discounts and saving opportunities! happy shopping!

note:  there is a $125 shipping and building fee that comes with each bike

Bike Talk: To Helmet Or Not To Helmet?

Every now and then I like to add a little controversial subject to the blog. I can't be all pretty pictures and x's and o's, I'm a real person here with real thoughts and I like to talk about real stuff! Since I've been back from Paris I've developed a new habit of not wearing a helmet when riding my bike and it feels liberating, kind of like not wearing underwear. I'm going commando! Well, not really but it feels great to not wear a helmet. When a bike partner was like "dude, where's your helmet?", all I could say is, "I don't feel like wearing it." They were surprised and said "You came back braver." Not sure I feel braver, but it's true guys, I stopped feeling all freaked out about everything because riding a bike in Paris was not dangerous... but the law here doesn't tell you that because it's your fault for not wearing a helmet and having a hemorrhage since that car hit you, despite who's at fault. 

I think helmets are great, they do save lives, children should absolutely wear them. I think they are completely necessary depending on what type of cycling you are participating in and depending were you're going, or type of commute you have, you probably should wear one considering the awful laws that punish cyclist and not drivers depending on where you live. There's a lot of controversy over helmets where some countries absolutely detest the helmet and some countries make it a law for you to wear one.

In my recent experiences in riding in paris, I noticed that I rarely saw a cyclist wearing a helmet unless they were training or bike messaging. I asked my French roommate about the French's view on traffic laws and cycling and they told me that the french detest helmets because bikes are not dangerous, the fact that there are so many cars on the streets makes the roads unsafe for cyclist and pedestrians. Great point! I mentioned before that people don't really respect vehicle rights in Paris, although they drive like lunatics, because the driver will be heavily punished for injuring a cyclist or pedestrian, so a driver lives in greater fear of punishment from the law. You see, it's the opposite here, sort of, and that's seriously intellectually disabled in my opinion because there's a complete giant protective shell over one person where there isn't on another. You don't have to be a genius or have experience in a terrible accident to see that one does more harm than the other? Or do you?! More people die from fatal car accidents everyday, more than they do on a bicycle, but this isn't just common sense or genius, it's a proven fact.

My point in all this is that the helmet is not the problem, it's the laws that don't protect the cyclist and place them in fear of the law and vehicles. I think fear is an unhealthy way to run a country but that's just how some countries like to operate and suck the power from the people right? 

I've avoided this topic for a long time because of the psychotic neurons and emotions it stirs in people and the divisions it creates in the cycling community. i mean, people go batshit crazy over this topic! Calling each other this and that and judging them when they don't know anything about the author's life or experiences with the topic, what kind of society does that? And i'm not trying to provoke arguments here either, I'd rather have you say nothing if this starts to make your blood boil or eye twitch, quit stressing, and take a mental health day. I'm just practicing a basic freedom on MY blog ya'll. Like i'm practicing the choice to not wear a helmet just so I can go pick up cat food and pie ingredients 5 mins away from home at the nearest Trader Joe's. I'm not saying that I'm not going to ever wear a helmet again, although I would like to, I'm just choosing my helmet battles a little more wisely.

Buck for a Bike

Recipients of brand-new bikes from TurningWheels for Kids
What are your memories of your first bike? For many of us who grew up riding a bicycle, we understand how a bike can make a difefrence in the world of a child, you will appreciate and find that TurningWheels for Kids (TWFK) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing a new bike to every underprivileged child that has ever wanted a bicycle. TWFK was founded by Sue Runsvold, a Nurse Manager at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. On July 14, 2011, TWFK announced a Buck for a Bike campaign to raise money for bikes to donate to needy children in Santa Clara County. The goal of the Buck for a Bike campaign is to get at least $1.00 from every one in Santa Clara County’s 1.7 million residents, to build a bicycle endowment fund. Local bike shops are going to be part of the effort by hosting donation boxes. But, your help would be greatly appreciated.
Every year TurningWheels for Kids has a big bike build where 700 volunteers come together to assemble more than 2,000 bikes for needy kids. With the Buck for a Bike campaign, the organization hopes to raise money to provide at least 3,400 bicycles for needy kids in Santa Clara County
Currently, TWFK donates 2,400 bikes in Santa Clara County. The goal is to provide at least 3,400 bicycles to meet demand in Santa Clara County, and to extend operations to the rest of the Bay Area. Some of the agencies that currently distribute the bicycles donated by TWFK include Catholic Charities, Bay Area Rescue Mission, City Team Ministries, San Jose Fire Department and San Jose Family Shelter.

The “Buck for a Bike” campaign will run through December 10, 2011 in order to coincide with the “Big Bike Build.” The annual “Big Bike Build” is when the community comes together to build thousands of bikes for kids in downtown San Jose. Funds raised from this campaign will go towards purchasing the bikes needed for the “Big Bike Build” as well as the “The Bike Doctorz” repair clinics which are currently being held three times per year in low income neighborhoods where children are able to walk their bikes to the clinic safely.
To learn more about the “Buck for a Bike” campaign, please visit or “Like” Turning Wheels for Kids on Facebook.

i heart you, bicycle

happy monday! now that i'm back in san francisco it's time to rock out on riding my bike because wendy and i have been separated from each other for too long. if bikes can be besties then wendy is definitely my bestie. i just don't see how any other bike would do, she's my girl. i guess that's why people say riding a bike is theraputic, cool because it saves me money from having to go to therapy and talking to a complete stranger when wendy knows what's up. she's been through these steep hills, she knows the push and pull through the bay winds, and knows how to move with me as i dodge a few car doors. i almost forgot how fun riding in san francisco is! i definitely know my body has but we'll work on that. there are so many places i'm dying to ride to, like the dahlia exhibition at Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, across the Golden Gate Bridge up to Sausalito for taco's!! the list goes on but one thing i love returning to is feeling that fog on my face when riding, god i've missed you san francisco.

sweet friday

happy friday! so glad to be back in san francisco although it presents a challenge since my head is still in Paris. adjusting to pacific time has not been easy at all but returning to my bike and daily commute is just heavenly. rolling through these hills is another story, let's just say i have some adjusting to do.

in friday news, if you're in the bay area tonight, there is the SF BIKE PARTY with the theme of Steampunk, very Sherlock Holmes and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. meet up at United Nations Plaza, rolls out at 8pm.

in other happy news, one of our lovely lady bicycle bloggers S of Simply Bike announced the birth of baby C. we've all been anticipating you baby C, welcome!

thus far it's been a sweet friday. i can only anticipate the weekend to be just as sweet. i hope your weekend is filled with adventures wherever you are!

final days in Paris

i'm back in San Francisco and ready to move forward with new adventures! coming home was a long journey and it left me missing Paris painfully but i'm so happy for the memories and experiences i gained from it, ah Paris! the photos above are of my final days in Paris were i spent a significant amount of time exploring all the little details that i just couldn't miss like visiting the Moulin Rouge, walking through Montmartre, seeing the Sacre Couer, having tea and musing through La Musee de la Vie Romantique where one of my favorite writers George Sand used to visit and write frequently. during the weekend i strolled through the largest flea market in the world of Les Puces and found some vintage French stamps, bowls, and books. i also had the pleasure of experiencing some of the greatest creperies in Montparnasse. i loved the experience of having one savory crepe & one sweet crepe with a side of cider, so delicious! when i got tired from walking i set up camp along the Seine to soak up the summer sun where Paris Plage was thriving with other sun bathers, children, and picnickers. i also made sure to see the sparkling lights of Mademoiselle Eiffel and kiss her goodbye.

thank you all for being incredibly helpful and supportive while abroad. i know traveling alone is sometimes challenging when one doesn't know a place very well but i always felt like you guys where there with me to guide me through Paris and i'm glad you all enjoyed the journey with me. as we know, this is just be another journey to greater adventures. 
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