things i never ride without

it may seem a little silly to write about things i don't dare ride without but i thought it would be useful for new riders to learn what is useful for an everyday ride. mind you, this is only for short distance rides for groceries, school, work etc, less than 10 miles. of course i always bring my helmet, sun glasses (good for sensitive eyes to sunshine and wind, good for those with eye allergies too), something reflective for visibility at night (here a reflective helmet bow), coat and scarf, rosebud salve (my lip/hand saver on cold dry days), always colorful leggings for visibility (wool for the cold days), fingerless/mitten/gloves (multiple use for not so cold/cold days), bike lights of course (my favorite being cateye lights, lasting batteries), a water bottle (that i forgot to photo), and a u-lock and keys. what are some things you never bike without?

Ladies Who Ride Part #4

happy friday! today i bring you one of the first ladies i meet in the bicycle ladies blogosphere, Eva.Lu,  one thing we bonded a lot on in our first interactions over the interwebs is our  schwinn twins, and since, she has always been a great inspiration and friend to me. I have to say that this lady has been one of the leading voices and movers of the cycle chic movement with her cute vintage finds, shoes, bicycle d.i.y. tutorials, world travels, and inspiring cyclechicsundays. i swear this girl makes you want to get all your girl friends dolled up and ride onto adventures at home and around the world as she makes bicycling an effortlessly adorable, fun, and adventurous lifestyle. for those of us who know Eva and have been inspired by her are very lucky!

Hailing all the way from the O.C, I give you
My name is Eva and I blog over at & cyclechicsundays. When Tina first mentioned this splendid series I grew eager to read each week’s submissions. Now that it is my turn I am honored to share the company of some of the most fun and interesting female voices of the {bike}blogosphere. 
Now I must admit I’ve never really sat and thought about why I ride bikes. So I sat down and began to make a mind map ( yes, I’m a mind map kind of gal ) and before I knew it I was at the bottom of the page. Luckily I was able to whittle down to the nitty gritty of my ‘why I rides’ and since my visual skills trump the written ones I’ll explain with pictures …


all photos: courtesy of

sf and east bay farmers markets

they say it's supposed to snow in the bay area this weekend. i'm not sure i like the sound of that but i don't advise going out having snow adventures on your bike as we don't know what to expect here, so... i composed a list for non cycling weekend farmers market exploring. i included both SF and East Bay Area Farmers Markets, here's a list i thought you'd like for your weekend local farmers market exploration.

San Francisco Alemany Farmers’ Market
Bayshore and Putnam, San Francisco, CA
Saturdays, 5am-5pm

San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market
Ferry Building, on the Embarcadero at the foot of Market Street
Tuesdays, 10 am – 2 pm
Thursdays, 10 am – 2 pm
Saturdays, 8 am- 2 pm

San Francisco Heart of the City
Market Street and 7th Street, San Francisco, CA
Sundays, 7am-5pm; Wednesdays, 7am-5:30pm

Mission Village Flea & Certified Farmers’ Market
2955 18th Street (between Florida & Alabama) San Francisco, CA
Saturdays, 7am-4pm

Berkeley - All Organic Farmers' Market

Shattuck Avenue at Rose Street, Berkeley, CA

3:00pm - 7:00pm Thursday
Berkeley - Center Street Farmers' Market

Center Street at M.L.King, Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA

10:00am - 3:00pm Saturdays
Fremont Farmers' Market

Fremont Boulevard and Bay Street in Irving, Fremont, CA, 9:00am - 1:00pm Sundays
Hayward Farmers' Market

Main Street between A and B, downtown Hayward, CA

9:00am - 1:00pm Saturdays
Oakland-Grand Lake Farmers' Market

Splashpad park at Grand and Lakepark, Oakland, CA

9:00am - 2:00pm Saturdays

Oakland-Jack London Square Farmers' Market
Embarcadero and Broadway, Oakland, CA
10:00am - 2:00pm Sundays

Old Oakland Farmers' Market
Ninth and Washington Streets, Oakland, CA
8:00am - 2:00pm Friday
Oakland-Fruitvale Farmers' Market

34th Avenue and East 12th Street, Oakland, CA

10:00am - 3:00pm Sundays

on perspective

after school yesterday i had an impulse to explore, but i decided to do things a little differently: explore by  walking. that's right kids, no bike. well, i started my morning a little different by first painting my nails. as a cyclist and coffee slinger, i don't have the best fingernails for cute looks, my hands are worn from my hard work with coffee grinds and bicycle grease in my nails so i used a dark color so the stains hid well. then voila! purple sparkly nails! post school, i started my way home then decided that i didn't want to ride my bike out, so i started wondering and found some beautiful and interesting sights in the pointing finger photos above. after a long walk, i was inspired by new sights, neighborhoods, people, and odd structures that made me think a little differently. i wrote later in my sketchbook, "instead of riding my bike, i walked everywhere. sometimes you just need a new perspective." walking was exactly what i needed. do you do anything differently to gain a "new perspective?"

link love

Over in the twitter lands there are always some really interesting conversations about bicycles (you can follow me to get in the know.) here are just a few fun facts being shared around this week.

A few new readers have been asking for tips on shopping for a new bike. although i don't have a personal post to refer you to ( i will soon!). But I have a friend, CB, who will guide you on shopping for the perfect bike for you. Check out her post here first, then read her other post here.

i get by with a little help of the sun

happy hump day! anyone else enjoyed yesterdays sunshine in the bay area! yesterday i snapped these photos as i was riding to the lake merritt japanese garden where one of my assignments was to sketch the it. it was a perfect day to spend time in a garden, being inspired by nature and thoughts, sketching is now becoming one of my favorite pass times. speaking of creative, i've noticed in the blogosphere that a lot of ladies out there have been writing about their sketch books. on my part, i have two, one for sketch assignments and one for inspirations. i find that they really help me to organize ideas. once i get those babies all spruced up i'll be happy to share. any other bike ladies out there like to sketch too? 

holiday's with charlotte

with yesterday's holiday and some sunshine, i went out for a ride with dear charlotte. it's been a while since i took her for a spin in our new city. it's such a different feel whenever i ride her, it's slower of course, as she is a cruiser, but she handles these roads with ease as if they were made for her. we don't mind that till wendy is out of the shop later this week. it certainly was nice having a day off from everything and to be able to enjoy conversations with friends, the fresh air, and patches of sunshine, we even stopped by italy! (jk, hence the mural photo) i'm not sure how the rest of this week is going to be but all i know is charlotte will be along for the rides, rain or shine. hope she can handle it. 

how did you spend your presidents day?

Love of Helmets


Going totally crazy about Nutcases new Hearts helmet. I mean, it's super bright and layered with lots of love and protection for your head. It would even match my bike, Wendy, with the bright red hearts. Talk about cute! I saw this photo on the NUTCASE facebook page but haven't been able to find it on their website, perhaps someone out their might be able to help out a lady? I'm on the look out for some cute bike finds this week.

no riding on rainy days

so what's a girl to do when she can't enjoy the sunshine cause it's pouring outside? well, saturday was real bummer cause it was pouring so i decided to take Wendy in for a tune up. it's time she had a real check up cause she's been a little squeaky since i've been riding her in the rain a lot this past week. after i dropped her off for her tune up i decided to walk around in the rain. with proper gear on i got some coffee, got a book to read, went home and baked cookies, crafted, watched a movie then feel asleep listening to the rain. it's lovely knowing that as soon as i pick up Wendy from the shop she's going to be ready for some more rides without being in squeaky pain.

also, i'm sure some of you know about the Slow Readers Book Club, i think it's still on for Finny, i just started reading it and hoping to have some interesting chats regarding the novel. hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Ladies Who Ride Part #3

happy friday! today i feature a dear friend of mine, cb, whom i've connected with due to this blog. everytime i meet new friends through the interwebs i realize how happy i am that i started this blog. these friday features are a lot of fun, i get to connect with everyone on a different level, and i get to see other lady bike bloggers connect with each other as well. just to reiterate,  one of my goals in featuring lady riders and bloggers is to create, connect, and expand a community of voices of those who are a part of this big and small movement of bicycling and blogging. i keep saying community because we are so few and all over the interwebs and world but we come as supporters, mentors, inspirations, where many women who ride are inspired by many of these ladies who live their lives loud and share their stories of why they ride. 

Hailing all the way from Hayward, California I give you CB of City Birds Nest!
hi! I'm cb from the citybirds nest and i am so happy to be a part of "why we ride"! i think this is a great idea to get more people inspired to ride their bikes not just for leisure but as a way of life. i first started riding bikes full time when we moved to the nob hill area of san francisco which was about 2005 but here is a back ground story how i started riding!
i always rode a bike. i remember my first bike.  it was actually my brother's bike, but I stole it from him. it was a prize he had won for a clo's milk ad he submitted.  i had also entered the contest, but my prize wasn't nearly as cool. i am not even sure about the make of the bike, but it was white with white tires and was SUPER AWESOME! i remember falling off it for the first time and then getting back on it without a problem, but years later i had a horrible experience that would stunt the growth of my bike riding for years!
Hard to get a good picture but it's the dark discoloration above my ankle bone
i was riding on the back of my friend's banana seat and was having so much fun. we went down a steep neighbor's driveway and, throwing all caution to the wind, i forgot where to put my feet and they ended up getting caught in the rear wheels spoke. if you think that sounds awkward, you bet it was! crying and screaming in the middle of the street, i was rushed to the hospital with a sprained ankle and a really awesome scar which i will adorn for the rest of my days. 
many years later i met the mister, we moved to sf, and he gave me what felt like my very first bike lesson on my beloved maryjane. i was so so scared to get on a bike again...i didn't want to experience any of the pain that i had experienced in the past but we went to the marina where it was flat and perfect to test drive her. i was completely terrified, holding on to my grips as if they some how they would save me. there were, to say the least, a couple of hiccups that day, along with a mere mishap with almost hitting a car and riding away with bruises and scraps. i had conquered by fears and i was oh so proud of myself for getting back on my bike and sad that so many years had passed. as i became more comfortable, and expressed to the mister my likes and dislikes, we made maryjane the perfect bike for me!  
over the years I've grown to become somewhat of a bike nerd, but nowhere near as much as the mister.  however, his love of bikes has definitely rubbed off on me. and how i thank him for that! i have rode my bike ever since and rarely do we use our car, as our bikes are our main way of transportation.  
bike riding has become a  huge part of my life. at first it was a huge hurdle to cross. then it became something the mister liked to do,  so i rode because it was something to do together. then it became a healthy decision to ride a bike, and then finally it became something more.... i love the freedom it gives me. the solitary time it gives me to just think. to know that i don't need to rely on gas to get me somewhere -- just my steady pedaling and beating heart. 
the wind in my hair and the world at my finger tips. bike adventures have become a necessary way of life for me and the mister. to be able to explore the area surrounding us on a bike has become not only an everyday thing, but something we will do for the rest of lives. it means so much to me to get on my bike. when the rainy winters come, i yearn for chilled spring rides, blazing hot summer adventures, and fall's colorful scenery. my bike has become who i am today, and i am so happy that i reconnected with my lifelong friend.
my journey now takes me to help inspire others who, like me, must overcome a hurdle to become who they truly are. through my blog, the citybirds nest i offer bike riding tips, display bike riding adventures with my mister and bike riding outfits in hopes to encourage and inspire others that not only is bike riding a healthy way of living but also a practical way of living too.  as the famous freddy mercury from queen once said, "get on your bikes and ride"!!!!!

all photos courtesy of CB.

rain rain rain

i have to share that yesterday i had the worst experience riding in the rain. even those of us whose had lots of experience can't be all pretty bike photos. i had a long day starting at 6:30 am with a dry commute to work. there was a meeting i had to walk to after work that soaked me up to my thighs, it was windy and raining hard! not even water resistant shoes can fight this. for the two hour meeting i sat quietly without a complaint in my soaked shoes, mind you my feet were cold too. after the meeting i had to make it to class, still soaked. post class i had to ride home in the worst rain storm ever! i thought i would make a dry ride but as soon as i started walking to my bike, pouring rain and wind! it was cold and i was in no mood to ride home this way but i did. by the time i got home i was soaked everywhere! everywhere! use your imagination, that rain knows how to make it's way places it shouldn't. rain proof gear wasn't enough to beat this either. when i got home i rushed out of my wet clothes and put myself in front of the heater. i started to feel sick with a sore throat and  migraine. the boy made me eat a little then i fell asleep for the next 12 hours. i woke up feeling much better than i did and didn't catch a cold or flu. i hope nobody ever experiences this. those of us whom love our bikes through heat, rain, and snow know our limits. this weekend will most likely be bike easy. i don't think i could put my body through anymore rain rides.

i hope everyone has a lovely weekend and gets in some good dry rides.

facts and confessions

photo courtesy of sahra
although this may not be a pretty picture of a bike, it's rather a picture of me in my favorite day to day activity, coffee drinking. this post is rather about facts about me that was awarded me by cb who did a 7 facts herself. they are actually pretty fun and give readers a chance to get to know you on a more personal level. as a blogger with a wide interest and involvement of the blogging community, i had noticed that other ladies like SRSLYLIZ,  Leigh-Ann, Kyla Roma, and Kelly Ann had done 6 confessions. i absolutely loved reading them and felt like i was engaging with them on a new level. personally, i like to keep a level of privacy in my own life but i am willing to share 7 mixed facts and confessions about myself.

-i am a hippy to the core, i don't like to admit it but i'm as green as they get without dreadlocks.
-i don't own a brush, so i don't brush my hair. i don't know very many people who don't but it hurts.
-i am extremely lady like in my tastes but far from lady like in my thinking, behavior, and language.
-i named my bike Wendy after Wendy Bird from Peter Pan. Charlotte was named after the writer Charlotte Bronte. i have a thing for English literature, writers, characters, and naming my possessions and pets after them.
-i'm a major Francophile, you should see all the books i have on French food, writers, history, art, etc.
- i don't wear pants, just skirts and dresses. they're more forgiving (especially when you eat too much).
-i was in a bike accident last year that damaged my left hand for the rest of my life. i have a hard time performing certain tasks that requires repetitive motions. it really cripples me for days so i wear a brace while typing this. but hey, at least i can predict the weather with it!

how about you?! i actually do enjoy reading peoples facts and confessions. can't wait to read what everyone posts.

color my life

yesterday i had the chance to do a little exploring via biking and walking in sf. to perk my spirits up i wore a favorite color combination of mine: red, blue, and yellow. i couldn't help notice how everything around me was vibrant with color after the rain. i love moments when i'm sensitive to my environment and all the color that surrounds me with gray skies. i got a little carried away as i went vintage shopping and picked up some beautiful silk scarves and cookies from Birite Market to bring home with me. it's the little things that i miss about the city that i try to revisit so i don't forget the colors that it painted my life with. i do really wish the grey skies would go away though, i've been riding the winds and enduring the rain without giving myself any other choices, but some days, my body could really use a rest. the bottom photo is my favorite, it's chocolate bars with wall paper like wrapping, i feel in love with these but was unwilling to spend ten dollars for one of these bars. maybe when i find ten dollars on the street i'll be more willing to spend freely. until the grey skies go away, i'm going to keep looking for colors that brighten up my day.

EBBP: Mustache Ride Recap

friday night was my first East Bay Bike Party ride as a resident of this side of the bay. this months ride was themed MUSTACHE RIDE! i went all out and decorated Wendy's spokes with some mustaches, classy! she still has them, the dudes love it. as my first group ride in the East Bay, i sure had a load of fun. what i mean is that there were a lot of fun challenges like long uphill rides (thank god for sf hill training) with a sudden sweet relief of down (yahoo!) hill rides. it was a diverse crowd of people from kids on bikes to skate borders. there were lot's of cheers from drivers, lovely neighborhoods, and star gazing sights too, i even got to see Orion's belt! the 11 mile ride went through Lake Merritt and Piedmont with a few stops for some dancing and hydration. i'm so grateful my girl CB was there too, i was kind of shy for my first ride since it was like an introduction to Oakland and it's bicycle culture. i look forward to attending more rides and sharing the excitement. i wonder what next months ride with be?
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