Sunday, April 29, 2012


Last night, on my way back "home" from dinner with friends I just had to keep riding. I had been on Phil's monster of a cargo bike all day, all over Portland and my ass was tired and my knees were tired and the balls of my feet had spent enough time pushing pedals but I just had to ride around. The air was that special clean that only comes from rain falling through trees and the night sky was playing peekaboo through the clouds. Everything smelled alive- not just the green smell of the trees but the gentle fuschia scent of the flowers and the dark brown smells of outdoor grills and the lovely grey smell of wet concrete. Light spilled out of the little clapboard houses of NE Portland and kids were still playing half court basketball in their driveways and the streets, not bothering to stop the trash talking of each other as they suspended play to let me pass. As I rode along the streets I could see into people's living rooms and kitchens as they watched television or washed dishes or talked on the phone to people far away. All of life is lived at ground level here. I had to keep riding to see more of it. I can't tell you why, it just had to be that way. This is an easy place to be a voyeur, I suppose, and when you visit other places that is what you become. Or at least I do- a voyeur on a bicycle.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

This Is San Francisco : Outside Lands

As you saw yesterday, we have stared a little cross pollination project between us, Vélo Vogue and Wheelright.  It is always interesting to see things from varying perspectives and so here is mine, just a little late.

I grew up in what people have, once again, started calling the Outside Lands.  Its official name is the Sunset District.  On the day we were all out there the Great Highway, the road that has physically separated the neighborhood from the shore line for decades, was closed to traffic for Sunday Streets.


This road was the terror of the neighborhood when I was growing up.  Six lanes of unregulated, high speed traffic with zero areas for people to cross on foot to reach the beach.  In 1983 most of the road and the adjacent sand dunes were destroyed by massive waves that crested over the road (20 feet above above and 30 feet in from the high water line) and the whole thing had to be rebuilt and reinforced. It is a constant battle, to the tune of millions of dollars, to keep this road safe for car traffic.  The whole road is built on sand dunes (most of which are a protected bird sanctuary)!  I am not sure why anyone thought that was a good idea and every year we are reminded it wasn't.

End Of The Earth

 At that time the road was redesigned with traffic control and crossover points at every street.  Pedestrian paths were created along the sides of the highway and we all thought it was great!  It never occurred to us to want more.  The whole Outer Sunset was in the throws of deep decline and anything we got seemed like manna from heaven.  Now, I think there are many, many people who not only dream but work toward shutting this highway down and turning it into open public space.  I think they will succeed and I look forward to that day.

 Today, when it isn't closed to traffic, bicyclists have to share the side path with joggers and dogs and walkers.  It is a beautiful path but it isn't enough.  The whole coast should be open to people to roam freely, to ride a bicycle or fly along on their skates or teach their children how to kite board.  I don't say this because I hate all cars, I say it because I have lived with this road and its impact on the neighborhood for 40 years.  The Outer Sunset deserves better.

Beach Rider

In the meantime, there is always the beach. Miles and miles of beach to love and live on and be a part of.


So while I left the Sunset happily in 1984 to live in the Mission District, there is always a part of me that lives there.  There is always a part of me that misses the salt air and the fog horns and the never ending barrage of sand blowing into my home even with the windows closed.  I miss the kites flying above and the crazy surfers who head out daily to freeze in the violent surf and the pot smokers and the teenagers having bonfires as the sun goes down.

A little video of a regular day on the Great Highway.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

This Is San Francisco: The Outside Lands

We have a new series that we are doing in collaboration with the fine ladies over at Velo Vogue called "This Is San Francisco." check out the first of the series. this series will consist of pictures we each capture at one event, or place, during each month to show you SF through our respective camera lenses.


a few sundays ago was sunday streets in SF. it closed the great highway and that was fantastic to see!

here's how i experienced that sunday.

it started with joining a ladies only ride.

Ladies of leisure ride passing thru #sundaystreets

then we went through sunday streets, which is where i broke off from the ride.

penny farthing. april 2012.
Penny Farthing on the Great Highway #inkwell #bikes

deep and ian. music bike.
Deep & Ian at #sundaystreets #outerlands #sierra #rickshaw

declan grinded delicious coffee beans.
Declan grinding coffee at #sundaystreets #brannan

this is sunday streets: band. cargo bike bbq. ade&camera. bike.
This is #sundaystreets

james. 1968 coleman camp stove. cargo bike bbq. grey pacific ocean.
Cargo bike, Coleman camp stove #sundaystreets

here are the posts from velo vogue and wheelright.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

AIDS LifeCycle 2012: Ming!

last year we featured a few of our friends who were riding from SF to LA for the AIDS LifeCycle ride, which benefits the SF AIDS Foundation and the LA Gay and Lesbian Center. (full disclosure: i had a family member die of AIDS in the early 90s. f!@k AIDS!)

we have a repeat rider everyone! ming is on his second year of training.

Training ride day

1. hi ming! you now have one aids lifecycle ride under your belt.
congrats! how was it?!

It was intense! I know sometimes that "intense" is used as a euphemism
for "bad," but that's not what I mean. I mean that I had so many
emotions while doing the ride last year. I was of course so hopeful
that this many people cared enough about this issue to volunteer their
time and energy and to fundraise for an end to HIV/AIDS. I also was
inspired and moved by the many HIV-positive people who were doing the
ride. Of course there were many moments when I was (extremely) crabby
about my sore legs, aching back, arms, butt, etc.. There were times
when I was struggling up a hill (or on a seemingly endless flat) by
myself feeling like I wanted to cry, then another rider would come
along and give me encouragement, or someone standing by the side of
the road would be cheering (just for me!) and hand me a little paper
flower or maybe a high five that would get me through. I also learned
a couple of important things. One, now I understand why people make
those faces when they are using the foam rollers. THOSE THINGS HURT.
Two, now when my chain falls off when I'm shifting to a low gear I
just shift back into the highest gear and keep pedaling. That chain
just hooks right back on - no need to stop and painstaking put the
chain on and mess with the derailleur etc.! I'm sure that's a metaphor
for life or something.

2. let's talk training. how has it changed from last year now that you
know what the ride is like? are you doing more or less?

I'm definitely less anxious about training this year, now that I've
done the ride once. However, I'm having a little more back pain this
year, so that's a challenge. I would say I'm doing the same amount of
training as last year, but am less _kan-cheong_ about it, taking my time to enjoy the scenery and rests.

3. fundraising! any fun dinners or parties planned? how can people contact you?

I've been kind of behind on fundraising this year! I'm hoping to do
one midweek dinner next week (Wednesday May 2nd) and maybe a brunch on
Saturday May 12th. They'll both be relatively low-key, I think. Or of
course, feel free to drop by my donation page, make a donation, and
send me a note with your donation that you want to come to the
dinner/brunch! :) [Insert crafty laughter here.]

4. now that this is your second time, how has your reason for doing
this changed? if it hasn't changed, please remind our readers why you
are doing this great ride.

HIV/AIDS is still something that marginalized communities (people and
especially women of color, LGBT people, the poor) are especially hard
hit by, and that's something we should all really be looking at and
working to make right. Doing the ride is just one small thing that I
hope helps to raise awareness and also provide some much needed
services in San Francisco. Also, similar to last year, my birthday
falls during the ride! First official year of my third decade, I will
be somewhere in the middle of California, hopefully going at 12 miles
an hour ;).

a big thanks to ming for sharing and please don't forget to donate to his page. i mean how can you refuse those sock monkey socks?!

Sock monkey socks.

Monday, April 23, 2012

a truly SF bike...

in case some of you missed the memo, a few days ago was April 20. in case you don't know what that means, in numerical form it's 4/20, or a nickname of pot/maryjane/marijuana/etc. there were lots of celebrations in SF for that reason. seriously.

a few days before 420, i was in the lower haight, which some may know also houses a lot of medicinal mj clubs. it was only after 4/20 that i made the connection about this bike and the "california national holiday" of 420.

A truly SF bike...

this bike was parked in front of toronado, a very excellent beer place for beer lovers.

happy monday y'all!

Friday, April 20, 2012

friday fun times: donate bike parts edition

this weekend SATURDAY our friends over at san francisco yellow bike are collaborating with san francisco bike party and speakeasy brewery for a parts drive! donate your spare bike parts and bikes to SFYBP! and then drink some beer. responsibly of course. the SFBP ride meets at 3:30 in hayes valley and headed straight to the brewery.

flier by melinda collins

it is going to be a GORGEOUS weekend out in SF. already in a short sleeved dress. i hear some bikey bloggers will be trolling the streets of north beach. JUSSAYIN'

have fun y'all!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

with my own two wheels

let's take a few minutes to leave san francisco, and visit the countries of zambia, ghana, india and guatemala.

this video shows the lives of four people whose lives have been transformed by bicycle in very different ways. a farmer can visit aids patients as a caregiver as far as 10 miles away and make it home in time for dinner. a disabled person is now a bike mechanic at a bike co-op created by boston's bikes not bombs. a ninth grade girl can now go to school and discovers she likes solving math problems. the air quality for one guatamalan farmer led him to founding an organization that helps rural mayans by inventing bicimaquinas, a 100% recycled product. they are half discarded bike, half old (formerly polluting) machines. bicimaquinas are transformed into a new machine that "fills the gap between the artisinal and the industrial."

this is brought to you by hubub films, world bicycle relief and bikes not bombs.

please be sure to take some time out of your day to watch.

h/t to bike hugger.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

destiny, Dalí y drawings

Hello all.

Slowly taking small steps online and to writing, wanted to share some thoughts and a little Dalí.
It has been over a year that I needed to be checked-out in a both figurative and literal way. This blog has continued to grow and connect with many, influence many and I am so proud of it. Not only I admire the women that are part of it and have fond respect for each of our very different personalities and backgrounds. They are also superb friends, have been there in my darkest days and I love them very much. I do.

A fatal bicycle accident changed my life. Being reclusive and becoming a full time pedestrian is a new aspect of my life and a new perspective that I had not experienced in the last 10 years I have been mostly transporting myself around San Francisco on a bicycle. There is no pattern to grieving, and taking this one day at the time has been one way I have been able to somewhat deal with it. I am a big advocate of not forcing things at all, so little by little, here I am.

I don't believe in destiny much, but I do believe in the forces of the universe; how they somehow connect people at some point and how the world often becomes quite small. The outcome you take out of it and what stays with you is how you continue to deal with the future. I met one of my brother's school colleagues this past week and we had a pleasant talk over coffee and soup. We talked about his projects, classes him and my brother had together.

He took a large set of portraits of my brother for one of their photography classes 4 days before his accident. I admire his strength and initiative to get in touch with me. It was a powerful afternoon and I think we both needed that time to share memories, exchange thoughts and we both found a strong connection with our mutual love of film. He showed me a bunch of his short clips and school projects. He graduates college this year.

I leave you all with this trailer we both watched together while at the cafe. I still remember the first time I saw a Dalí drawing in elementary school and made me proud to always make my teachers 'upset' for having a mess of drawings and colors with most of my notes. All the way up to college, it is how my memory has worked, by drawing. I love drawing and I'm glad I have never stopped doing so. I think it is important to never stop doing certain things in order to connect within yourself.

A bicycle did change my life, and my life has changed because of a bicycle. So many things have changed and at this point and often it all feels like a blur, which somehow struggles to find meaning.

To conclude my thoughts this Sunday afternoon, here is a video from a collaboration between Spanish artist Dalí and American animator Disney released in 2003. The music is by Mexican song writer Armando Dominguez. Not sure if it has made the rounds on the internet at some point, but it has been nice to find myself almost entirely removed from the web for quite a bit.

thank you all, and have a nice day
<3 meligrosa

Friday, April 13, 2012

friday fun times: shower cap edition

need i say more? checkered side mirror, patterned shower cap.

Shower cap. Checkered mirror. Bachelor party planning #walden

a reader of ours, el tejano, posted some more pics of golden gate park's parking woes. here are a few. go over to his flickr to check out the rest!

How's this work now?


Monday- still not better

these pictures might illustrate a little more of what is confusing some people in my description in this post. sorry! is not the easiest to explain, which is probably why there is confusion surrounding it in the first place. i plan on going to the park at some point this weekend and see if i can get more pics of the confusion. but also more pics of empty spaces so you can see what it is supposed to look like.

have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thug Life

The bicycle gangs of San Francisco don't care about colour and they are recruiting young.

Red & Blue

All you need to hang at the corner is a bicycle.

The Best Always Comes Back Again

I took this picture in April 2009.

The New 'Senior Moment'

And KT got 'em again over at Vélo Vogue. It is because they are just too awesome for one blog!

Correction- Ramona Wheelright is the VV awesomeness on the other end of the link : )

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

parking confusion in golden gate park, as predicted

as we predicted last week, there was some confusion going on in golden gate park this past weekend with the new bike lane project.

these shots were taken by prawnpie while he was in golden gate park. he took some video too that i have to get my hands on to share. let's just say a lot of near doorings and tons of confusion occurs.

as you can see, cars parked in the new bike lane during a busy nice weekend day in golden gate park. a door is open behind the biker showing a danger zone that shouldn't be there in the first place. the car is parked illegally. the striped lines indicate the separation of parking and the bike lane...NOT a parking spot.

but, it does look confusing doesn't it? there were MTA people passing out notes reminding people where to park.

how long do you, dear readers, think these floating parking spaces will take to catch on?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Face of Evil

Ever wonder what bicycle thieves look like? In SF, a couple of them look like the two below.

Please call 911 if you see them. If you have any more info you can contact Police report # 120/171/670 Officer J Lopez #373 Officer J Felix #2027 Mission Station 415-558-5400 415-601-4145 cell

Thanks to MissionMission for the heads up!

Monday, April 9, 2012

bicycle safety in sf

on friday i alluded to an incident that happened recently here in sf. it's horriblehorrible thing, something is wrong when people get hit by cars, bikes, etc. or seeing pedestrians scurrying across the street because they are scared to be hit. that is a failure in urban planning.

here's a local npr radio show which discusses the aftermath of this incident which, for worse, gets a disproportional amount of coverage versus when a car his a pedestrian or a cyclist. i am not excusing what happened, especially based on what we know so far but here's some discussion...

San Francisco prosecutors are deciding whether to file charges against a cyclist who recently struck a pedestrian in a fatal collision. While bike accidents leading to pedestrian fatalities are rare, this is the second such incident in the past year. With more and more cyclists taking to Bay Area streets, we take up the issue of bicycle safety.

Host: Michael Krasny

  • Leah Shahum, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
  • Elizabeth Stampe, executive director of Walk San Francisco, a pedestrian advocacy organization
  • Al Casciato, captain in San Francisco Police Department
  • Bert Hill, chair of the Bicycle Advisory Committee, which considers bicycle transportation projects and policies and makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and other SF city and county agencies
  • Herbert Weiner, San Francisco resident who has gone before the SFMTA board to discuss his concerns about Muni, transportation issues and cyclists

Friday, April 6, 2012

friday fun times: alien bike rider

lots of serious stuff going on in SF's bikey community this week. i'll save that post for monday.

in the meantime, it's time to bike party and to ride with all sorts of people...or aliens?

Stranger in a Strange Land

hehe, have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

the price of gas

as much as we don't really espouse "we told you so" attitudes around here for biking for transportation, i couldn't help but notice the price of gas the other day.

That ish is spensive #sf #soma #rideabike #gas

wow. and, i don't know if you can see, but this station is very close to a freeway entrance in SF's soma neighborhood. look at how many cars there are! to be fair, there was a giants game, and that always increases the traffic in the neighborhood, but...what if it didn't. there is free bike parking for giants fans. maybe the skyrocketing price would convince some people to CYLRAB.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

bike lane project...

this one is pretty exciting. it's in golden gate park along jfk drive. JFK has seen a few improvements in recent years, including a surface repaving which makes it feel like butter to ride to the beach. wheeee.

but now they are moving parking from curbside to create a curbside bike lane. protected bike lane!

Bike lane project

but...we have seen some people confused. to be honest, if i was a tourist and didn't know that the floating white paint meant a parking spot, i'd be confused too. but some people seem to be getting it. perhaps it's growing pains. i've seen this sort of parking in nyc, so i know it can catch on.

will post more pics of confusing white paint soon!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Family Riding

In San Francisco there are three things you can find in magnitudes of hugeness- taco trucks, bicycles that are poorly locked and have unlubed chains, and dogs. They are usually in some combination.

Dino, Dog, Man

Here is a bicycle/dog combo completed by my friend Deep and his little sweetie, Baozi. It was their first bicycle outing (Deep was in severe cookie withdrawal so the dog needed to learn how to be a passenger. Now.)

Crazy San Franciscans

I am accustomed to seeing Deep like this, with rickshaw and fiancee in full swing.

What's That

Now, we will all have to get used to this view. Personally, I am waiting for the fiancee/dog/music system combo to be truly impressed.

Deep rides with many other SF dog families.

A Corner Of The Mission

Dog Taxi

Gwen & Mr Peanut

The Whole Package

This guy wins!!

3 Pair