Oakland, Berkeley, And East Bay News, Events, Restaurants, Music, & Arts
I loved the Paul Vetter quote.
Hundreds of hours go into organizing this event; from the dozens and dozens of volunteers, the good food and beverages, the efforts to make registration as seemless as it is, to the amazing athletes who have been training for this ride for months.
If you can't ride this year, then please consider joining us at the Capitol.
-Cuts to Education Makes Us Bleed!
Claremont PTA President
I had a similiar plight to yours. Shopped on and off over the course of 2 years while occasionally riding the old road bike I had that was very ill-fitting and made my back hurt. After a solid few months of test rides and research last summer, I ended up with a public bike. I'm small (under 5'2") and needed the smoother ride of a steel frame. It ended up being quite expensive, but was the only one I could find that fit my specs without a custom build, which I wasn't about to undertake. I got the M8 and am very happy with my purchase (except it's not the best for carrying up or down stairs). They had a monthly special free rear rack and lock when I got mine. Get on their e-mail list as I think they do a different such offer each month.
great article! lots of heart in this group of riders and volunteers
p.s. Gotta give some props to the Spoke. The new owners have worked super hard to turn the shop around from a dingy rat's nest of steel and spokes. It's becoming a new community anchor for the dead zone between Temescal and UC Berkeley. They really are super duper and I love that they're right around the corner from my house!
Go for the bike you fell in love with! The Linus or the Public will get you looks and get you places.
You might also check out the stylie Raleigh roadsters at Bay Area Bikes (http://bayareabikes.com/) on Webster. The Raleigh Superbe is a quality bike. Giv'em a call and see if they have last year's model on sale.
Don't forget to save some cash for a bike lock, a cute bell, a basket (and a helmet, if you're into that kind of thing). If you lock the bike right -- through the frame, cable the wheels or get a set of locking skewers -- and don't leave it in sketchy places like Ashby BART overnight, it's a 90% guarantee you won't lose it.
By the way, you are SO not a gas guzzling outcast. If there's one thing about bike people, it's that we're always on the lookout for our next perfect bike. And you're a gal on the lookout for a bike. That makes you part of the in-crowd, right there. Good luck and hope to see you on the road!
Enjoyed the article - you are not alone in your plight! Getting into the bike scene via purchasing a bike at a (potentially snooty) bike shop is tough! You might enjoy an old Raleigh 3-speed or a similar Mixte - sorry but I don't know where to find such a thing in the bay area necessarily, but my friend got one in Philly that is awesome, vintage, smooth, and not too attractive to thieves.
Did you not like the Public bike your friend rode? Their frames are hi-ten steel (I think) like the Linus, so not the lightest or best ride but they are stylish and functional commuters, if not a bit expensive.
Here's a blog I made about converting an old steel racing frame into a commuter, along with other snapshots of bikes that might inspire you (and your helpful boyfriend, ahem, to build something suited to your exact needs!) - http://mceuro.blogspot.com/2011/05/jills-p…
Its too bad you are such a sucker for following shallow fashion trends in your total life.. keep safe withing your hipster parameters and make sure you wear the right uniform.. If you really wanted something good to ride instead of a fashion accesory, you would just buy a Trek 7000 or something like that.. I feel sorry for you.
Lesson learned? Too confusing/frustrating/difficult to find a bike? Hopefully not. Sundays are notoriously busy for most bike shops, assuming it's when EVERYONE wants to fix/buy a bike. Try a weekday, when someone has time to consult with you. Just as one wouldn't simply walk into a car lot and buy a car without a little research, a bicycle demands the same thoughtful attention. Fit, price point, and utility all needs consideration. Craigslist is extra hassle, trading time=$$. The folks at The Spoke have always been extremely helpful without an ounce of attitude when I've wanted to fix/sell/buy a bike. Heck, they will even sell your bike on consignment! Riding a bike is a thoroughly enjoyable experience well worth any time you invest into finding the right one. Dont despair, car driver, keep your chin up and have a little patience. It's worth it!
Thanks for the great article. 2012 will be my third year riding with this group, and each year they become more effective and organized. Donations can be sent to the group as a whole on their website, or to individual riders like me (http://rideforareason.dojiggy.com/DESPERAT…). (sorry for the plug)
You should go back to Manifesto and ask about their used bikes. They sell some really excellent, low cost refurbished cycles that are just as good as the new ones but more character. There's also Street Level Cycles at Berkeley's Aquatic Park for cheap but cool used bikes, or Tip Top Bike Shop on Telegraph in Oakland for new bikes but A+++ service.
If you aren't planning on working on a bike yourself and don't have tools then definitely get one at shop. If anything needs fixing or adjusting you can just take it in and they are glad to help, often for free.
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