riding through summer

summer is here! i couldn't be more happy as i look forward to my days slowing down. there are so many things i want to do but first things first, go for a bike ride. this coming sunday i'm already making plans for a ride along the bay trail in the east bay, i've been wanting to ride it since i moved to oakland but haven't had the chance! if anyone's got some great places i should see along the way please share them. i also planned my summer around reading books that have been waiting to be cracked open, eating at restaurants on my to go eat list, watching movies that i've been que-ing up on netflix, sleeping in, planning Paris vacation, and practicing French. i think my summer is officially going to be a great one. 

what are your summer plans?

happy memorial day!

i may be one of the lucky few who got this day off but i'm way too excited to spend the day with my family and the boy watching a baseball game of the Oakland A's vs. The Yankee's. i have no favoritism for teams, as long as the game is well played, but i must say i will be representing Oakland this time, don't stop believing right? there will be hot dogs, and yes, beer. 

what are you doing on this holiday?

happy friday and summer vacay!

happy friday and summer vacation! yippy! after a grueling week of finishing my last finals finally have some real time to relax, play with my dog, go on long fun rides, and have a social life. from here on i only have a month till Paris! eek! i'll be spending most of my time working out those details and a ladies group ride before i go. this weekend is packed with fun events, just look below! i'll definitely be riding around the city playing in the sun. hope you all  have a great weekend and start to a lovely summer vacation (if youre a student)! 

bay area weekend rides and events

May 27, 2011   5:30 pm
Justin Herman Plaza (foot of Market Street)
"Critical Mass is a mass bicycle ride that takes place on the last Friday of each month in cities around the world. Everyone is invited! No one is in charge! Bring your bike!"

May. 28 | 11:15am pushoff | Meet at Mechanic’s Institute Library, Post at Montgomery
"Ride through the literary history of San Francisco. Tour neighborhoods as varied as North Beach and the Mission while learning facts, tid-bits, and heresy about the City’s writerly past. Be prepared to meet some authors along the way. Expect a two-hour, fairly easy-going ride (minimal hills!). Eat beforehand, but time permitting (and desired) we will stop in a coffeehouse for refueling.
SF Bicycle Coalition recreational rides are free for SFBC members (a $5 donation from non-members is appreciated);
rain cancels rides."

Urban Bicycling Workshop: Intro to Safe Biking (Day 1)

Sat., May. 28 | 1pm-5pm | Sports Basement, 1590 Bryant Street
"This four-hour, in-classroom introductory course is perfect for anyone who wants to feel more comfortable riding on city streets. This class will cover the basics for how to choose the right bike and properly fit a helmet. learn tips for the safest ways to ride in traffic, techniques to avoid or deal with road hazards and emergency maneuvers along with other useful gems of knowledge, like the best way to lock up your bike and how to use a bike in combination with public transit, and biking rights and responsibilities. Class is open to adults and anyone over 14 years of age; preregistration is required "— sign up at www.sfbike.org/edu

Festival – Sat. May 28 and Sun. May 29th – 10am to 6pm both days
Parade – Sun. May 29th starting at 9:30am
Begins at Bryant & 24th Streets, proceeds down Mission to 17th Street
Both the Parade and the Festival are FREE!

happy weekend! i'll definitely be around for Carnival in SF. it's traditional now that i've been going every year since i lived here and it's only because the food is sssoo good! have a great weekend!

on bike theft

yesterday while i was taking my final at school (of all places), some "smart" guy decided to try to steal my wendy. how do i know? once i took off the u-locks and pulled her away from the rack i noticed she wasn't moving properly. her wheel was crooked, the breaks where rubbing tightly against the wheel, and it was difficult to move. i looked down at my front wheel and noticed that my quick release levers where undone and one side of the wheel was out of its dropouts. i wasn't too happy about this of course, i wasn't prepared as i only lived a few minutes away, and i was only in class for thirty minutes. this wasn't what i was expecting to celebrate the beginning of summer vacation.
yet, i don't think they realized how smart i was about locking my bike. i was taught that it's always a good idea to lock your wheels within the triangle of your frame with the rack. make sure to lock it tightly that way it ensures they don't have any space to break the wheel or lock. this is how i was lucky, as i'm sure they were having a difficult time trying to undo everything and finding they couldn't.
many bicycles become stolen because they weren't properly locked. to ensure that your bike does not go missing, i strongly suggest investing in a quality u-lock. when locking your bike don't just go locking up your frame to a post or rack, that makes it easy for thieves to break the lock and take your pride and joy. also if you have quick release wheels, make sure to lock those babies within your frame. i started carry two u-locks to secure my front and back wheel with my frame to ensure there is no chance of either one being taken. when i first started locking my bike this way it was a little difficult but you'll learn with more practice. 

hope this helps you in learning how to secure your joy.
may my experience teach you to keep your bike safe and properly locked.

Bike Talk: A Commentary On The Helmet Debate.

Before I start this commentary on the massive debate on helmets, I just want to say that I find it difficult to see how the cycling internet community will misread and tear each other to pieces over this subject. Some of the most exciting people that I had mad love for made we weep with disappointment because of the way they have handled the topic. I know the internet is a public place for people to share information but I personally don't find it a place to hold a debate of any type. There needs to be a sense of internet etiquette when handling topics as such and well... etiquette isn't what I see being handed on tabloids, forums, blogs, and twitter. I understand people have their personal stories and data to share on the subject but I think the debate of the bicycle helmet is bigger than we think it is.

I found some interesting articles on the helmet debate after I wrote the last post, I won't list any to protect them. Although, I did see unnecessary bashing and name calling, I believe "helmet haters" was a title? There was one that said "wearing a helmet is the responsible adult thing to do, shmh!" I even saw some debates being held on twitter, crazy. I wont mention any names but I wish we all could just sit down in the park, throw back some beers and talk about our problems with the helmet debate and hug-it-out.

For many of us who choose not to wear helmets, we accept that people aren't going to like us, will misunderstand us, and calls us all sorts of names like "HELMET HATERZ!" I accept that but from what I read based on these responses, I find that the concept of not wearing a helmet is too big and hard for people to understand. I know I don't live in a country were bicycle friendliness is a top priority in our planning policies but perhaps not wearing a helmet for one's own sense of comfort is a progressive way of thinking that doesn't measure up when it comes to safety. Yes, it's about your freedom to choose but we just don't live in the same countries or have the same policies to protect cyclists.

I don't think that this debate will end until people start to realize that the energy we spend on worrying about our safety on the road needs to be taken away from the helmet debate and geared towards organizing, writing letters to our city and state demanding laws that protect cyclists on the road, helmet wearing or not. Continuing the debate is like adding more fuel to a fire when it's done online. It does nothing positive for the cycling community. I'm just one of those lucky people to happen live in a city that takes its cycling community very serious when it comes to urban planning and bicycle infrastructure. Going to a meeting every now and then puts things into perspective for me when dealing with so many issues of community and road safety as there is a lot more involved than just wearing a helmet.

I consider myself to be aware of these experiences and I encourage you to inform yourself of your rights as a cyclist and get involved with your community or bike coalition. Many countries have a long way to go towards bike friendliness and it doesn't start at a helmet.

chained up...

hey lovelies, this is my final week of spring semester so i'm chaining the bike fun down and getting my last two school finals out of the way. i'm studying hard till the wee hours of the night, drinking coffee like i never had the habit before, and going into class super wired and out of it. don't you just love those college days? things might be quiet here for a bit but i'll do my best to keep you all posted on some fun rides and events coming up. 

till then, have a great week!

bikes make life better

have any of you seen this video peopleforbikes.org made? it's been circulating the web for some time and i just thought i would share it. many times when i'm on my bike i feel that thrill of being alive and experiencing random excitement over something found or seen. i think this is a great video capturing that thrill. hope you enjoy it.

bay area weekend events

Red Bike and Green, Richmond Spokes, P.O.K.E.R Bicycle Familia, Manifesto Bicycles, and Era Art Bar present a night of funk, soul, slaps, and dubs by Be Brown, Aebl Dee, and DJ Black, spinning on a human powered dance floor, with a custom bike display by Montano Velo of Broakland Bikes and bike parking by Richmond Spokes. $5 (free before 10) with bike parking or membership card 
ERA art bar and Lounge, 19 Grand Ave Oakland, California 9:00pm – 1:30am
Saturday May 21st, 9am-12pm
Ride 20 miles to Maker Faire with great music. Meet at the 19th Street Steps at 9AM. There will be coffee and Bike Blended Smoothies at the start! We will be rolling at 9:15AM
Sun., May. 22 | 1pm-5pm | Urban School, 1563 Page Street
This four-hour, in-classroom introductory course is perfect for anyone who wants to feel more comfortable riding on city streets. This class will cover the basics for how to choose the right bike and properly fit a helmet. learn tips for the safest ways to ride in traffic, techniques to avoid or deal with road hazards and emergency maneuvers along with other useful gems of knowledge, like the best way to lock up your bike and how to use a bike in combination with public transit, and biking rights and responsibilities. Class is open to adults and anyone over 14 years of age; preregistration is required — sign up at www.sfbike.org/edu

saturday May 21st,  East Bay
Check out Bike To Market Day website to see participating markets  
"Keep your legs limber and cycle on over in support of your participating East Bay markets for the 2nd annual Bike to Market Day, May 21, 2011. Cyclists all over the East Bay will receive discounts and other selected goodies at participating markets when they make this day’s shopping trip by bike."

have a great weekend everyone! if you have a local bike event coming up please send me a message, i would love to share it on le blog. cheers!


hey guys, i have really exciting news! first, citygirlrides.blogspot.com is now citygirlrides.com. it's so much easier to say right? i've been struggling with telling people the longer version and find that they can't remember the name. it feels so good to have my own site!
second, i booked my ticket for Paris! july 2- aug 2, a whole wonderful month of being somewhere completely unfamiliar is alright by me. i'm writing myself notes on places to visit and ride to, if you have any suggestions, recommendation about traveling, biking, places to visit, museums, food, clubs, etc., fill me in i want to see everything!

treasure finds

bikes and books, my two favorite things. dog eared books, my favorite book store in san francisco on valencia street. you can always find something sweet there, if not a book, then a sticker about sharing the road with bicycles. 

bike basket notes

yesterday while running errands i got this cute little note in my bike basket. it's so sweet to receive notes like these, they truly put a smile on my face. lot's of people ask me how i can handle riding my bike without worrying about my hair or clothes, rarely do i have an explanation, cause honestly, i just like to dress up a lot, kind of like when i was little, i would go through my moms closet and wear her dresses and shoes (the secretary 70's outfits of course) since, that kind of stuck with me like my bike did. i love my bike and my clothes, they make a great match!

east bay bike party: happy 2 yrs recap

friday night was the not just the celebration of the east bay bike party birthday but also the birthday celebration of my sweet friend CB (happy birthday!) the route took us everywhere through oakland to north berkeley and back. lot's of balloons, ribbons, presents, music, goodies, and drinks were had as we took breaks between park stops to dance and mingle with friends and new acquaintances. it was really a great time meeting lot's of new people and riding with such an amazing group of people. thank you east bay bike party and happy 2nd birthday, can't wait till next month!

bike to work day recap

happy monday kids, it's back to the grind but i can't stop thinking about all the great fun i had this past weekend! so much to share. first off, bike to work day was a major success. even mayor ed lee rode his bike to work! my bike partner in crime above did some volunteer work for the sfbc at the energizer station at embarcadero where i went to visit her before we left off to the bike from work party. lot's of new friends and fun was made but i can't remember a bike to work day where i've seen SO many bikes around the city. it makes a huge difference when your city cares for the safety of its citizens on the road. so glad we have our city reps supporting the bike community. if your more interested in the details of bike to work day you can read more here:  On Bike to Work Day, Electeds Unite in Support of Future Bikeways.

how was your bike to work day?

happy friday

happy friday friends! today i woke up feeling a little exhausted from yesterdays bike fun but it was a great day for bike to work day and party. i hope you find some time to get on your bike and have fun. the weather here in the bay area has been wonderful and i plan on taking full advantage of it. i do promise to head out to the east bay bike party tonight, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! have a great weekend and remember to ride your bike!

p.s. plans on a womans ride is coming up. any volunteers to help coordinate the event would be so great!

bay area weekend rides and events

Friday May 13, meet up at 7:30 Frank Ogawa Plaza Oakland
Party Theme: Birthday Party
May 13 6pm-9pm
650 H Florida ST
WTF is open to all women, transfolks, genderqueer folk, femmes, and other people who've had gender bias, homophobia, or transphobia keep them away from the wrenches! Regular drop-in BK hours. Check out their blog (http://bikekitchenwtf.blogspot.com/)
Berkeley Bike-In Movie at Trumer Pils Brewery
Brought to you by the Bicycle-Friendly Berkeley Coalition and the East Bay Bicycle Coalition
May 13, 2011 - 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Feature Presentation: With My Own Two Wheels
$5 Admission, $5 Trumer Pils beer.  

Saturday, May 14 · 11:30am - 2:30pm
meet up at the Ferry Plaza SF
more details in link above

May 14, meet up at 8am at City Hall, San Jose
Bike The Limits get its name from last year’s routing, which rolled along the San Jose City Limits for 30, 60, or 100 miles! This year’s route will have a similar theme. The short route will cover about 33 miles, the middle distance will be a metric century (100km ~ 62 mi), and the full ride will be 100 miles long! The routes will be designed such that the shorter routes will follow the initial portions of the longer routes before breaking back to the start point.
more detail in the link above.
hope you all have a great weekend and great rides, see you out there!

bike to work today!

hope you all have a safe and fun ride today. i've been hearing from a few friends that they'll be commuting on their bikes from the south bay, east bay, and north bay into san francisco. even new riders all over the city are taking the day to challenge themselves to ride to work. so great how people are taking on two wheels for the biggest bike event of the year. also, i can't wait for tonights celebrations, i hope to see some of you out there on the road and perhaps at the Bike From Work Party and Fashion Show in san francisco, come say hi! just remember to reward your hard efforts and that the destination isn't always the point, it's the journey along the path that counts the most.

Gear Up For Bike To Work Day

bring out your bikes, spruce them up, make them pretty cause tomorrow is bike to work day. i mentioned before that the bay area is busy with various activities dedicated to this cause. one thing that our city coalitions are working on this year is making Bike to Work Day  a welcoming opportunity for even more people living and working in the Bay Area to test-ride the joys of bicycling in our beautiful cities. considering i travel from sf, berkeley, and oakland, i look forward to seeing how each city celebrates this day. with many events showing up, here are some details on the bay area's bike to work day events... 

San Francisco
25 energizer stations Market Street, the Panhandle, Valencia, Polk, and Third Streets will all have stops for free coffee, snacks, and “bike doctors” at the ready to keep cycling travelers fresh.
Thursday, May. 12 | 6-10pm, DNA Lounge, 375 11th St.
"You're invited to the SF Bicycle Coalition's fun and fabulous Bike from Work Party and Fashion Show!Come by and bring a friend! See models showing off the latest in bicycling style during the bike fashion show styled by Gwendolyn Lee Productions. DJ Cats + Dogs will be spinning the jams, there will be sweet raffle prizes and complimentary bicycle valet. $5 for current SF Bicycle Coalition Members, $10 for non-members or join at the door ($35) & get in free. Food available for purchase."

East Bay
110 energizer stations will be in place at popular bike junctions throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
"The EBBC’s Bike Away From Work Party at 9th and Washington Streets in Old Oakland is expected to be the biggest in the Bay Area, said Rivera. It’ll be jumping with live music, the Cyclecide bicycle rodeo, and an award show for the Bike Commuter of the Year and Bike-Friendly Business Awards for Alameda and Contra Costa Counties."

a-b-c's of tuning your bicylce

a-b-c's of tuning your bicylce

hey ladies, i though you would appreciate this video i found circulating the webs created by etsy and susan lindell of recycle-a-bicycle in brooklyn. it's a d.i.y. tutorial on tuning up your bicycle. it's very simple and easy and shows you the a-b-c's of maintaining your sweet steel steed. 

A Community for Women Cyclist

Recently I had the lovely opportunity to meet Nona Varnado at Push Bike SF for her trunk show featuring gorgeous pieces of women's cycling apparel. Nona is extremely talented and active in her community in New York, collaborating with various bike organizations and shops to provide a community for women who ride bikes. For bike month, Nona had worked hard to provide a ladies program for bike month with bike rides, fun d.i.y. tutorials to help you learn how to fix your bike, movies, and shows to help women fall back in love with their bikes and community. 

Along with bike months activities, she has release a woman's online cycling community called the bird wheel: The Bird Wheel is a group of passionate women cyclists who share a focus on cycling, from building world class custom frames, fashionable cycling apparel, local bike shops, to public policy advocates that make cycling safer for everyone. This is a story of simplicity and passion between two beautiful creatures. These women aim to reach beyond cycle chic and present inspiring stories, useful reviews of female specific products and moments of bike zen to sharing the things you love.

I don't know about many of you ladies but I'm inspired by her activism to bring women cyclist and community together through rides and through a website. I've always wanted to organize a ladies ride but since school rules most of my time I have yet to get on that wheel. Perhaps during summer? 

I'm learning that sometimes you have to take action to make communities happen, you have to reach out and although some people might not reach back, you'll always find others who will. Perhaps what we ladies need to do is start organizing our own events and make some noise with our bike bells in the streets to say that we are here to ride.

sunday streets sf: mission

the mission district will always be home to me and since i've moved to oakland i haven't spent much time there, unless i'm hitting up my favorite taqueria. this round of sunday streets brought me back home where i have a saying that the sun always shines on it's people, and it did just that. the community was alive, music, food, children, shops, families, car shows, art work, skating, hoolahooping, and anything else fun you can think of took place here. i was fortunate to ride there with my bike partner in crime where we ate, danced a little, and rode around to check out everything. it was a perfect sunday to have such a fun event. i must say, sunday streets is really bringing the community of the city to life.

happy friday!

it's friday and the weekend is here. the weather is beautiful, the flowers in bloom, birds are singing, what are we gonna do?
the bay area is super busy with great activities for it's bike community and of course your's truly will be around to capture the way we celebrate on bike. hope you all have a great weekend, and if you don't know what to do, ride your bike!

Bay Area Weekend Events

May 6, 2011 @6pm/ride out - 6:30pm
Grand and El Embarcadero (Lake Merritt, by the pillars)
Friday, May 6 | Gather 7:30 PM, Rollout 8 PM | Meet Justin Herman Plaza | Route:http://tinyurl.com/3rjbdxy
Spring, that beautiful time of year when the sun comes out, the flowers bloom, and people come out to play. Cultures from around the world celebrate the rites of spring so let's celebrate it Bike Party style. Ride to celebrate this beautiful time of year.
Post SF BIKE Party, The Bikes and Beats party at Public Works (161 Eerie St.) begins at 10 pm.
 "a nightcap at Public Works called Bikes and Beats that benefits both theWigg Party and Sunday Streets, and combines bike enthusiasts with dancing fiends for an all-night fiesta. Before we even get into the DJs who will be bringing the boom, let's run down the list of cool activities on tap for the night: DIY bike crafts, live custom screen-printing, a bike art exhibition, bike fashion, street food vendors, live painting, and "jaw-dropping" raffle prizes."

Saturday, May 7 · 12:00pm - 3:00pm
2278 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, California
"East Bay Bike Party is supporting the first Oakland Art Ride and would like to invite you out to ride! Rock Paper Scissors (who've done Art Murmur) have now created the Oakland Art Ride. It's like Open Studios meets the bike. Look for this ride on the first Saturday of every month and show your support for Rock Paper Scissors and the Oakland Art Ride.
The Basics: The ride starts at noon at Rock Paper Scissors. It's a tour through west and north Oakland to view different art galleries."
Here is the map for the ride:
Spokeland Grand Opening!
Saturday, May 7, 10-8pm
WHERE: 1121 64th Street, Oakland CA, 94608 (at the corner of Marshall Street)
Spokeland will be holding bike workshops
12 PM: Brakes workshop
3 PM: Shifting workshop
5 PM: Flat-Changing workshop
They are asking for a $5 donation to participate in a workshop, but no one turned away for lack of funds.  The workshops will be held in, or immediately outside shop.  Once you enter the gate to PLACE, walk all the way to the back of the lot and you’ll be at the shop.
Sat., May. 7 | 2pm-6pm | Fort Mason Center (Laguna at Marina Blvd.), Room C362, San Francisco
"This four-hour, in-classroom introductory course is perfect for anyone who wants to feel more comfortable riding on city streets. This class will cover the basics for how to choose the right bike and properly fit a helmet. learn tips for the safest ways to ride in traffic, techniques to avoid or deal with road hazards and emergency maneuvers along with other useful gems of knowledge, like the best way to lock up your bike and how to use a bike in combination with public transit, and biking rights and responsibilities. Class is open to adults and anyone over 14 years of age; preregistration is required — sign up at www.sfbike.org/edu"
Sunday Streets SF, Mission Route 11am-4pm
it's the Mission, you know what that means, fiesta! bring your family, friends, bikes, skateboards, and have fun!

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