help, Wendy is missing!

My Wendy was stolen from my apartment building Monday morning. I live in the Lake Merrit area of Oakland where Wendy is pretty well known by many of my neighbors and friends. I'm reaching out to my community to help me get Wendy back! OPD is pretty incompetent to get anything done so I'm reaching out to you to spread the word and look out at bike shops, craigslist, ebay, flea markets, or the streets to help me find her. she's a red 49cm Schwinn World Sport women's road bike with cruiser handle bars, a wire Walden basket, metal rack, a Public bike red bell, cork grips... pretty much the picture above. Please help me! I can't live without her, please repost and share with your friends.

I've pretty much done everything I could possibly do by reporting, placing up stolen bike ads and flyers, emailing bike shops, and double checking ebay and craigslist. Luckily we have a video of the guy who stole my bike so i will be posting that soon too.

Please, please, please help me get my Wendy back!
contact at four one five, five one three, nine five two nine, or citygirlrides at gmail dot com.

fix it, gurl

ladies, i cannot stress to you how important it is to develop a skill to learn how to fix your own bike. not only to dodge those awkward moments when you walk into a bike shop and get stared down by some bike guru for not knowing how to adjust your seat, but to also gain your sense of independence from relying on others, like a boyfriend, to fix a flat, breaks, etc. something i realized after so many years of cycling and helping my friends with their bike issues is that it feels good to know how to take care of your own things and it saves you $$$. for the longest time, i depended on my old boyfriend to fix things for me when i couldn't do it myself. when he was no longer around i'd go to the bike shop where i was good friends with the bike mechanic and instead of asking him to fix it, i asked him to show me. i think he appreciated and enjoyed doing so. since then it's only been a few times where i would have to take the bike into the shop.

it's good to know how to do these things on your own. you never know where you'll run into a flat or something where you'll only have yourself to rely on. you'll always know how to diagnose a problem and have the necessary vocab to address these issues to your mechanic. makes everyone's lives easier, am i right?

happy friday + outside lands weekend!

happy friday! it's the weekend, it's sunny, it's time to unwind and enjoy a ride.
here in the bay area we have our annual Outside Lands, which will be raging and super crazy. one recommendation that many of us locals have if your going to this awesome music event is to travel there by bike, seriously. it's the easiest way to navigate through crowds of cars and people. there will be bike valet and bike parking. the ride is fun and beautiful and will be well worth it. just check out this comprehensive list of where to rent a bike and park it here.

whatever you do, enjoy!

days around the city

when going for a ride through the city, there are little things that make this place one of the most beautiful cities to see. don't get me wrong, sometimes there are hard facts that face this place, yet, overall, one cannot help but be swept away by the inspiration this place gives to those who live here.

photos above are through my daily explorations on bike. enjoy!

besties and bikes

 best friends. the one's that go along the ride of life with you. that look out for you, bring out the best in you, and sometimes protect you, even from yourself. they're the ones who aren't afraid to get silly on their bikes with you, on the street, or wherever you are. they will ding* ding* their bells with you when cutie on a bike pedals by. they go the distance for you, even all 40-50 miles with you on bike, while singing silly disney sing-a-longs, booty dancing, laughing with and at you. they're the ones their to hold your hand, or bike for that matter. they allow you to sleep in their bed, giggling and sharing hopes, dreams, fears, and occasional boy crushes. they are the ones there for you when you get into bike accidents, get sick, or have your heart broken. they're the ones who are always down for the ride, wherever it may be, with any distance, in any circumstance, they're present with you.

this isn't really a post about bikes but a shout out to my bestie for going along the ride of life with me.
love you chica!

bike love photo

i'm tickled when finding bike love in the least expected places. i live in the perfect city that shows how much we value the bicycle and the sense of freedom it gives us, especially in a great big place that can sometimes make us feel confined to it. sf is full of little quirks like the photo above (found in the financial district.)
it's the little things right?


Wearing a helmet doesn't have to be a fashion crime. For some women, wearing a helmet can give a sense of confidence to ride safely on the road along with some city cycling training. When first riding through the streets of San Francisco, I wouldn't dare ride without a helmet. Drivers are unpredictable in these streets, road infrastructure sucks, going downhill can be daunting, and you just never know what can happen when drivers, buses, or trains aren't aware of you. Not to say that wearing a helmet is a must, we all have a choice, but when having to wear one is a must, it shouldn't be a hangup.

 recently, Cyclechic has launched a campaign "Hot In A Helmet" to empower women to ride by ridding the helmet of its geeky image and championing it as a functional accessory. Cyclechic did a photo shoot with various lovely London cycling ladies from Author Katie Dailey to Evening standard journalist Jasmine Gardner, to kick things off. Check out the gallery of those participating so far. The goal is to help women get rid of these helmet hangups so that they are empowered to get on a bike and have fun on it. What a great way to have a community of women empowering each other!

Also, you can send pics of yourself rocking your helmet at to share how hot you look in your helmet or just have a browse.

scenes from a bday weekend

 birthdays are amazing when you're able to be with the people you want to be with, doing the exact things you want to do. i couldn't have asked for anything better than an adventure through the north bay, biking, hiking, beach bumming, and eating delicious food and ice cream by the water. there where lots of relaxing moments in between to just enjoy the loved company and beautiful surroundings that gulfed us in awe. 

 Saturday, we rented a car and stopped a few places to hike through, then drove out to Stinson beach where we were able to have a nice walk and relax by the waves. the life that was there is absolutely amazing, so many people having a great time under the sun, enjoying the outdoors and each other. it's always refreshing to rediscover these parts that are so near home, it makes me wonder why i don't go out on these trips as often as i would like to.
Sunday turned out to be a bike adventure throughout the city to Sausalito. i've done this trip before the new bike path was developed on the GG bridge and down it, which makes a world of a difference on this experience. the challenge of riding steep hills and getting wind blown just makes the experience a delight. when you have loved ones or friends in town, it's always a good idea to show them the wonders of riding the golden gate bridge to Sausalito. it' was a wonderful challenge that was rewarded with ice cream then a trip back to Fisherman's Warf for some IN-N-Out Burger's. the weather was perfect for a weekend like this and i couldn't have asked for any birthday gift better than the person who joined me on this birthday adventure.

also, thank you all for the birthday wishes. much appreciated. hope you had a great weekend.

Le Tour

TDF! i've been following like it's my religion. there's a sort of excitement i get from watching all these bikes being hauled up mountains surrounded by beautiful landscapes. i can't imagine the physical challenges these men face on a day to day basis but i admire them for their hard work! and of course i'm rooting for the Brit Wiggins! boy is killing it! (Valverde, you can have your win for today).
i remember last year in Paris watching the final race to Champ-Elysees, the city was livid, crowds of people from around the world talking about TDF history and who they think will win the final race. it was exciting and i haven't been able to keep away this year. i don't know many girls out there who are into bike sports, let alone, the TDF, but if you're interested at all in keeping up with some of the final stages arriving, check out these sites below and enjoy!

Etsy Bike Finds

bicycle ear warmers via Grettahoneycut

happy hump day! 
every now and then i'll come across some really creative and practical items for bicycling on etsy. some items above that i'm super excited about is this elegantly painted bike bell, a bike saddle cover for relief on those hot summer days, handlebar cozies where you can slip your hand in for those cold commutes, ear warmers you can attach to your helmet, and a crate for your run to the farmers market. it's always fun to come across some really great items on etsy, i'm always impressed by the creativity behind the work. there are links to the shop and product  below the photo if you're interested in learning more about it.

summer fog and days

fog. overcast. sunny. windy. sprinkling. fog. overcast. a whole days ideal weather in the bay area. this sort of weather is typical and usually has me wishing for warm sunshine all throughout the day. yet, also makes me want to crawl in my bed with a good book. not ideal if one wishes to partake in an adventure and ride throughout the town but these days i've been laying low, so to speak, and learning new things like gardening and cooking. it's the perfect time of year since school will have me glued to a text book by next month. i love summer. i usually like to use my free time to learn new things, gives me an opportunity to learn a new skill or partake on a new experience. i haven't always been good at cooking but i'm out to learn how to become better at it and boy am i making progress! gardening is something i loved doing since my old neighbor used to invite me over in spring to help with her garden when i was a teen. i enjoy doing these things which has taught me a few things about life, patience, and rewards for it. 

is there anything special you like doing with summer? what's summer like where you live?

no matter how far you go

i'm still dreaming of tropical weather, lightening storms, beaches, swimming in the ocean, and being consumed with new experiences. i haven't had much to say here in the last few days in regards to bicycles, just that traveling has been an adventure and blessing for me this last year. i used to travel a lot when i was younger, trips to mexico were frequent, romania, england, hungary, and throughout north america. i'm still making plans to get out and see more of the world, not sure how i'll do it, but i will. i read this amazing post on Converge Magazine, it was titled "Why You Should Travel Young."  one phrase that caught my attention the most was "Experience the world for all it's worth. Become a person of culture, adventure, and compassion." i couldn't agree more. i have a friend who was recently in Africa whom i've been following up on. her story of falling in love with Africa, its people, culture, music, etc. was breathtaking. she was challenged with her experiences, trusting in a higher power to give her clarity, meaning to her path, a call in life. i guess this is the adventure we find when we place ourselves in unfamiliar situations. we learn to adapt but that takes time and can be frustrating but hopeful. in these times, life is the grand adventure we're learning that will determine our future.

this post isn't about bikes but adventure. i know it's hard for many of us to travel; expenses, time, jobs, managing families or homes, etc, however, one thing i loved about riding a bicycle and living in the bay area, is that i have so much more of california to explore. those bike tours are still calling me and although i may not be able to make a trip out of the country, i can make one here where i'm surrounded with beautiful mountains, forests, beaches, rolling hills, and lovely new people who are taking on their own adventure. traveling is good, no matter how far you go, go for the experience.
hope you all enjoy your weekend. 
happy friday!

happy fourth!

happy fourth of july my american friends. i just got back from mexico (picture above was taken on the beach of puerto vallarta) but now i'm in los angeles with my familia. we are spending the day the right way, on the beach. i hope you all enjoy your holiday! 
happy celebrations

hola, from puerto vallarta!

hola, i'm currently in puerto vallarta, mexico, enjoying the serene beauty, good food, and company. my heart is happy and content here. there is nothing like a a little traveling to calm the soul and mind. hope to share more with you in the next couple of days the amazing experience this place is.
hasta luego.

summer wanderlust

just when i think i'm settled from traveling, i'm reminded that it's not quite over yet. i still have yet to completely unpack from my trip to the east coast and los angeles! i guess a part of me doesn't want it to end. i remember last year at this time, preparing for my trip to Paris. i was so excited to just get away from the mundane things of life and embark on a new adventure. Paris was no easy adventure to take, being thousands of miles away from family and loved ones, however, i learned more about myself in the best possible way just being alone. being on the road, traveling, seeing and learning new things teaches you something about your inner will and what you do not know about life. i love traveling, as far as time and the road can take me, i love the feeling of going into the unknown, not knowing what to expect, but committed to it, committed to learning from it, and taking the experience with me wherever i go next. this is what bicycling does for me too. i still consider myself new to the wonders of bicycling, but when i'm on the saddle, i'm completely open and committed to the journey. while summer officially greets us tomorrow, riding my bike and traveling during this season is the only thing i want to do right now. i'm sure many of you out there feel the same way too. 

bike tour guide and links

happy friday! with bike touring in the air, i thought i would share a little more of what i've been able to share in the past in case many of you are curious about planning a bike tour throughout the Bay Area this summer. it seems like so many people are getting on this and it makes me extremely excited to see so many taking on the fun. i hope this comphrensive list of links below helps enough with any of your future bike touring plans. many of them are from the blog, however come from my personal experiences and preparations. there are other great resources online that the posts below mention. feel free to contact me further if you would like to know a little more information about technicalities of bike touring in the bay. hope this helps! happy touring!

summer bike touring

hooray for some beautiful weather to count on as i plan a nice ride to Muir Beach with friends today. have any of you biked the route from SF to Muir Beach route before? anything i should know about or plan while i make this tour? i found some great resources online and feel somewhat confident about it. it's been a while since i've done a bike tour but it's that time of year for it. i got a couple of emails recently asking for guides about doing tours around the bay. from my past and recent research, here are some great suggestions and resources.

Bike and Roll: bike rental shop and gives really great direction for self guided bike tours throughout the Bay Area.
Stinson Beach Loop: for those who want to take a challenging ride and cool off at the beach.
Bay Trails: a comprehensive Bay Area bike tour guide of various bike routes covering 300 miles of bike trails. I usually use this site for all my tours.
Post-Car Adventuring: I used this guide last year for my trip out to Samuel P. Taylor Park. was an excellent reference and gave some inside knowledge of places to see, eat, and rest at.

hope this helps, happy bike touring!

for the love of adventure!

after a long trip out of the city, i'm feeling incredibly restless and a desire to be outside exploring. i guess a whole semester of hiding indoors does that to you. i'm planning out some bike tours throughout the east bay this coming season and making it a point to get my summer fun on my bike. i just haven't had enough of green sceneries, rolling hills, and new adventures. the climate here lately in the bay area has been so lovely and just perfect for such excursions, i see so much opportunity for making great trips outdoors. usually when summer approaches i'm incredibly energized and ready to get out and learn new things, discover new places, and try new experiences. 

can't wait to share these adventures with you, there's nothing else quiet like an adventure that's good for the soul.

late adventures

i'm back from a lovely trip in Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. this was my first time vacationing on this side of the continent and what i found was absolute bliss and a desire to never leave. the rolling hills, stretching green lands, rivers, quiet roads, friendly folks, and the absolute stillness of mind was exactly what i needed after a hard working semester. now it's back to life and giving the city of oakland a shot of fulfilling what i had left behind on the east coast, my heart. 
i'll gradually be sharing pic of my adventures, even the mountain trail biking trip i did, it was my first! hope you all have been well and haven't missed me too much. 

happy bike to work day!

Happy Bike to Work Day Bay Area!
all over the bay we are celebrating our annual bike to work day event with fun events, goodies, and an after work bike party/happy hour. speaking of parties and happy hours...
Oakland will be hosting theirs in Old Oakland, 9th and Washington Street, 5-8:30pm.
San Francisco will be hosting theirs at Public Works, 161 Erie St (Near Mission and 14th St), 6-9pm.
i don't work today, that's for the weekends, but i will be riding to my second to last final this afternoon in Berkeley then to Oakland's bike happy hour. if you're there, come say hi! i'll be taking pictures of all the action. 

more shine

hot coffee on a hot morning, a wood pecker waking the neighborhood up at 5 am, and a morning ride to the library for finals studying. i can't believe it's my finals week and i'm feeling pretty confident about all that's ahead of me. i can't say enough that the end of the semester came in perfect time as the constant warm sun has bless our days. with all this sun, i'm making some exciting plans this summer, a community gardening class, a trip to mexico, and building my own herb garden.

also to celebrate the last week of school, it's bike to work day this thursday. Oakland will be having a Bike Happy Hour Party in Old Oakland to celebrate Bike to Work Day and you're all invited this Thursday, May 10! look for me! i'll be the girl with the camera taking pictures and having a grand time. hope to see you there.

happy friday

well happy friday, sunshine, and coffee! it's been a long week of studying and writing massive policy papers on biofuel production and groundwater contamination. i'm quite over writing science papers so i'm taking a little break to enjoy my life outside confined walls of libraries and my home while getting a little sun.
  i realize that i only have one more week of school, studying, and finals! then it's off to boston! i have yet to do any research on what's cool and not but i intend to just explore things once i get there without any major agenda till i find something i want to experience. and of course a bike ride is definitely needed, so that's where you come in! 
bike rentals, bike paths, bikey things, events, and information are needed. and i know many of my followers are from boston, so what do you have to say boston kids?! hook a california girl up and show me how you do it!

may is bike month!

it's may! yay! and may is national bike month, which puts most of us on the brink of excitement because what else is better to do than ride your bicycle all month long in the spring weather? for some of us, last months 30 days of biking was a great challenge to get us going the distance, now this time the Team Bike Challenge is celebrating bike month with a challenge emphasis on team effort, and there's a competition! the team that rides the most miles, wins! needless to say, i'm always up for a good game, saving the planet, and working with others at it. if you're interested in joining, sign up, and and let's join forces!

i'm really looking forward to all the bikey fun and celebrations here in oakland, like Bike to Work Day! what are your cities doing to celebrate bike month?

east bay bike month needs volunteers!

greetings east bay riders!
bike to work day is just around the corner and to make it happen the East Bay Bike Coalition could use your help. volunteers earn a free beer at the Bike Hour Party on May 10th and a special invite to our volunteer thank you party at the Hot Italian Pizza in Emeryville after Bike Month. all of the accomplishments at EBBC are possible throughout the great work of volunteer teams.
it'll be a great time to connect and encourage people to love riding their bikes to work!

visit at their volunteer opportunities for bike month page and select a position for volunteering for bike to work day. if you have any questions in regards to volunteer opportunities contact max hunter at

hope to see on the road
*ding ding*

oakland love

it's days like today that make me love oakland. 
there are numerous reasons why, and just to name a few, we have a greater melting pot, group identification by ethnicity or sexual orientation is not prevalent in gay, latino, black neighborhoods, we basically live in harmony as neighbors. it's a as-you-are-vibe here. there's a sustainable do-it-yourself work ethic and resilience for fighting for oakland. we even go so far in supporting our terrible baseball, football, and basketball teams. the food around grand lake and parkway are just as good as sf's. we have slang and a music culture that spreads all over the bay, civil rights history that's been in the books, sustainability and environmental justice movements where a sense of community is more profound. 
it's unfortunate that a lot of people i know have a stereotype of oakland and label it as dangerous or ghetto, blame the media, but in reality it's a vibrant community. 

what do you love about your cities?

happy earth day!

happy earth day! hope many of you in California got to enjoy the gorgeous weather we had all weekend. personally, i did enjoy those breezy evenings on bike, coffee in the bright cool mornings, and the faithful bay area fog rolling over. did any of you do anything for earth day? make a commitment? plant something?  or participate in a community Earth Day event? 
i finally got around to recycling all my old bike parts, tubes, and tires that where accumulating in my closet. i hope they find a new bike to adorn.

there were some really good readings i found this weekend around earth day and thought you would like to read them. hope you enjoy them!

donate a bike or parts

east bay, got any old bike parts you can donate? students from uc berkeley are holding a bike drive for earth day. so take out your old bikes, saddles, wheels, handles bars, cranks and such and donate them to a good cause. it's a great way to sustainably recycle your bike, bike parts and do your part for communities and earth. 

if you're interested in learning more about cycles of change check out their site:

living in the bike lane

it's been a long week but i have had a lot of fun riding in all this beautiful california weather! today i'm celebrating my first final exam as complete along with community projects. the end of the semester and time is pressing but for now i'm just trying to enjoy the sun and ride.

on a good note, i just finished designing a blog for food justice advocates and non-profit in West Oakland, Mandela Marketplace. we will be launching the blog in the next few weeks but i'm also really excited to announce that i will also be part of their contributing bloggers. as any cyclist who loves food and sustainability knows that fresh food access and security in low income communities is an issue. that's where we see grass roots movements in community gardens, food co-ops, and non-profits teaming up and creating networks to educate and bring fresh food to marginalized communities. 
there's a lot of good brewing up in this project along with others. can't wait to share more with you guys plus all the good bikey fun i'm having.

walking in the rain

it's raining, it's pouring, and i walked the day away. i have a thing about walking, it's always been my thing since i was a little girl, i would openly refuse car rides because i wanted to see things: houses, parks, gardens, neighborhoods, or stop by the library or coffee shop for some hot cocoa. 
walking is one of my favorite activities. and lucky for me i have a dog i love walking everyday. there is always something new for us to discover or friendly dogs and people to meet. when i was recently visiting my family in l.a, i took a day to discover and walk through downtown l.a, i was disappointed with the lack of parks or garden squares to observe people or even just to sit and rest. the bay area has me really spoiled with these sorts of amenities and well, i just cannot live without them now. there's a sort of relaxing and observational enjoyment in being able to walk in one's city and be surrounded by its greenery.
i read an article recently on the lack of walking in America recently in the Slate, stating that walking has been "engineered out of existence." perhaps for most of America, this is true, suburbanization has planned these cities to be car dependent but i find it a strange concept and myself lucky to have such amenities to walk to.
i guess such days when walking in the rain is necessary, it gets one thinking about how cities or towns inform our movement, travel, health, accessibility to services, and enjoyment of the places we live in.
walking is food for the heart, body, and mind. sometimes i don't mind journeying on foot, sometimes it's a nice break from riding the bicycle to get a different perspective.

NEON Pastel by Nona Varnado

This Spring and Summer 2012 has been a new season for women's cycling apparel by Nona Varnado, designer of women's cycling apparel in NY. The new collection is an array of neon pastel colors, skirts, dresses, and light fitting tops to make you feel and look good for seasonal rides.
on a side note, I'm highly supportive of Nona Varnado apparel which utilizes ecological responsibility while using high tech fabrics that makes you look and feel good while riding your bike. 
Personally, I'm particularly fond of the corral speed skirt and might have to make that investment for summer bike tours ahead :)

Take a look at her spring and summer collection along with other collections on their LifeStyle section. what pieces are you particularly fond of?

Making Helmets Fun

I get a lot of compliments on my red and white polka dot helmet by Nutcase. Trust me, I love my helmet, it's fun, cute, and definitely gives a different quirky vibe to biking. I'm not a huge fan of wearing helmets but I do wear one on my commutes and I get a lot of cyclist and drivers smiling and saying "I love your helmet." I LOVE IT TOO!!

I remember my first helmet being pearly white which I decorated with a reflective bow on the back. In a way it became "me" while I added some fun stuff to personalize it. I love this helmet differently though not just because it's fun colorful and has polka dots but because it speaks a bit more about the fun side to bicycling. Biking is fun and shouldn't everything else we do on it be fun too?! 
I've seen a lot of cyclist make their helmets their own by adding reflective dots, stickers, toys, or dinosaurs. Nutcase designs really fun helmets too, which is probably why I now sport one theirs. If I was going to wear a helmet, I was going have fun with it. And find a way to love it. I know I'm not the only one who hates wearing helmets why not have a little fun with it right? 

Do you do anything to make your helmet be a bit more "you?"
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