Bikes

Everything about bikes.

Shop local disrupted: The bike shop

We talked to Paul Olszewski, 64, owner and general manger of Valencia Cyclery in the Mission since June 1, 1985, about his business and it didn’t take long for the topic of the internet’s impact to come up. ML: Why the bicycle business? PO: I’ve always enjoyed bikes – ever since I got one when I was a teenager and...

Fourth Mission fixie race to attract cyclists from around the world

Athletes, messengers, and even some professional cyclists will come pouring into the Mission District this Saturday for the fourth annual Mission Crit, a 40-minute fixed-gear bike race. The crit (short for “criterion”) sends riders around and around a triangular course from 16th to 17th streets along Treat Avenue and Harrison Street, no small feat at the speeds these cyclists reach....

Mission Bicycle hopes to end bike theft with GPS

Cyclists who have had their bikes stolen might be familiar with a video of a San Francisco Police Department bike theft specialist luring a bike thief with a GPS-tracked bait bike. Well, if Mission Bicycle Company has its way, that kind of tech will be standard in bicycles of the future. The Valencia Street boutique bike shop has launched a...

Music, Makers and Civics at Sunday Streets

A somewhat blustery and slightly overcast day didn’t deter hundreds of pedestrians and cyclists from strolling or cruising along Valencia Street on Sunday. Live music in the streets and clouds of bubbles are hard to resist. But the civic engagement groups were particularly noticeable at this particular iteration of Sunday Streets as well, with both local political hopefuls and a plethora of...

Valencia Bike Counter Activated for Bike to Work Day

After being vandalized last week, the brand-new Valencia Street bike counter is back to counting cyclists in the northbound bike lane on Valencia Street between 17th and 18th streets, just in time for Bike to Work Day. In the early afternoon, more than 1,500 cyclists had already passed the counter (give or take a few skateboarders, who also trigger the sensor).  ...

Neighbors Discuss Bike Share Program’s Expansion to SF Mission

Cyclist hopefuls and other interested parties bent thoughtfully over maps last Thursday night, placing stickers on potential locations for new bicycle sharing stations. Bay Area Bike Share is planning an expansion to new locations throughout San Francisco and held a meeting at the Mission Neighborhood Centers to explain its program and get feedback. Residents and visitors can currently sign up...

Random Mission Cyclist Brawl Inspires Song

A towed car sparked a brawl between two cyclists on 20th and Valencia streets last week. It all started with a bullhorn-wielding cyclist accusing a tow truck driver of “property theft” and being a Nazi sympathizer, and escalated when another man, who had previously been observing the commotion while standing shirtless on his balcony, decided to get involved. There is no evidence that the...

Lost SF History: A Bike Messenger Retrospective

Art-deco bikes hung from the ceiling.  Paintings from around the world adorned the walls. More than a dozen bands – and one trapeze act – waited to perform. The audience? Hundreds of bike messengers. That was the scene at the SOMArts Gallery on the Labor Day weekend of 1996.  The occasion was the very last Road Rash Bash – a recurring show put...

SF Bike Messenger Life: Sprinting and Flying Sandwiches

“Hey, Jesse, what’s your 20?” Heather MacKinnon, a friendly blonde woman from Boston, asks into her clunky black walkie-talkie. The sleeves of her black and red t-shirt are rolled up, exposing pale arms filled with tattoos. “Market and 9th,” Jesse Rodarte shoots back, responding to a radio code for location that dates back to the 1930’s. Our 20 is the...

SF’s Weather and Pay Lures More than Tech Workers

Jerry moved to San Francisco from central California specifically for his job. Gabriel, as well. And no, neither are in tech. At a time when 20-somethings are moving in droves into the city for tech jobs, it’s easy to forget that there are other draws besides coding and startups. It happens that San Francisco’s weather and culture are particularly suited...

Sounds of the Silent Ride: Remembering Slain Cyclists

  Anthony Ryan lost most of his front teeth when he was hit by a car while riding his bike. The driver was running a red light, and Ryan was in the hospital for three days, but he was found at fault in the collision. Nonetheless, he’s determined to cycle on. The co-organizer of this year’s local Ride of Silence, an...

Stolen Bike Wheel Brings Police Presence to Flea Market

Items that shouldn’t be sold at Arriba Juntos Flea Market: food, booze, pornography, and stolen bicycle parts. But last Sunday morning, bicyclist Kirk Scott said he found his rear wheel, stolen from the 16th Street BART station, at the flea market a block away on Mission Street. He said his wheel was for sale amongst about 20 other wheels, bike lights,...

Racing Through the Night With No Brakes Allowed

Seasoned athletes on customized racing bikes hurtled along Treat street Friday night right alongside first-time riders for the first local fixed-gear criterium race through city streets. The Mission Crit (short for “criterium”), a 40-minute, multi-lap sprint open to anyone with fixed-gear bicycle and a few dollars for a registration fee, is only the second race of its kind in San Francisco....