Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Resolution: Fear Less

Happy New Year from California. This is my first New Year's Eve on the West Coast - and I was looking forward to watching the ball drop at 9:00pm and going straight to bed until my wife told me I couldn't.

Still, I am having a nice evening. As a bike blogger I am obligated to present a list of resolutions but instead I'll present just one.

Maybe two.

Other than 'drive less and bike more' I will simply say this: in 2016, fear less. Don't be 'fearless' since that can lead to the emergency room...just fear less. A year ago today I was afraid of 2015. I knew I was moving, I knew I needed to sell my house and shop for another in California. I knew I'd have to say bye to my family. But it occurs to me that I have a lot less to fear in 2016. So I will fear less. Hope you do too. Thanks for reason, thanks for riding, and happy new year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

#GiftsForCyclists 2015: Give The Gift of Helping Someone

I want to tell you a story about a young guy I met while volunteering at Good Karma Bikes in San Jose. His name is Dontae. I won’t be able to tell his story up to this point as well as San Jose Mercury News’ Bruce Newman did in the excellent Holiday Wish Book series, so I’ll tell a story that hasn’t happened yet.  

I can do that, you know. 

Sometimes I know how a story ends before someone finishes telling it to me. Years ago, I thought everyone who thought print books would shrink to a tiny share of publishing (while digital books were taking off) were wrong - and I said so publicly. I had the ending right.

When Barnes & Noble proposed that it wanted to split off its e-book business I told the Associated Press it was a mistake. The company plowed ahead anyway. Three years, millions of dollars and a CEO resignation later, the company backed off from that blunder. Again, I had the ending right. 

So with my credibility to predict the future solid, let me tell you a story. 

Years from now, Dontae is going to be standing in front of a crowd. Giving a commencement address, accepting some kind of award, I’m not sure. Probably both. 

And he’s going to be telling a story about his life. How he was born into foster care. How often he’d have to pack up and move to another family. How he burned down his own house to escape a violent stepfather when he was five. How he got involved with gangs. How he saw his friend get shot. 

How he turned his life around. 

How he got involved with Good Karma Bikes and their Traditional Age Youth program that helps foster kids aging out of the system. How he’s been doing since he stopped selling drugs and started being valuable to everyone he comes in contact with - in and out of the bike shop. How he's inspiring others. 

When he’s giving this speech let’s not have him skip over the part where a community of cyclists from around the world pitched in to help him raise his family after his mother recently died -  and get him where he’s going to be when he's standing behind that podium. 

As a gift to a stranger if you don’t know him - or to use money to help a stranger as your gift to someone else - you can help Dontae with this GoFundMe page and through the Wish Book. It’s a gift he’ll remember - and you will too. And your gift to the person who isn't opening a physical item is that you'll be able to tell that person Dontae's story. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding.

Monday, December 21, 2015

DIYBIKING.COM Presents; #GiftsForCyclists 2015: Park Tool School at Good Karma Bikes

If you’re a cyclist in the Bay Area and you haven’t finished all of your holiday shopping, I’m here to help. If you aren’t a cyclist in the Bay Area and you haven’t finished all of your holiday shopping…what’s wrong with you? Go buy a nice bicycle for yourself that you can ride safely. Then come back to DIYBIKING.COM. Then I can help.

Since I don’t have a lot of time until Christmas Day I want to head straight to the summit of the Difficult People to Shop For List: the cyclist who has everything. As it happens, that category has a place of overlap with the polar opposite: a cyclist who has nothing but is home from college visiting his or her parents for Christmas break.

It is for these two groups (and more) that are perfect recipients for Park Tool School, which is an 18 hour education program taking place at Good Karma Bikes beginning on January 12 and ending on January 21. The full schedule can be found here. 

This gift of wrench smarts is $250 and includes a copy of Park Tool’s Big Blue Book of cycling repairs, a 20% off discount of GKB’s retail items during the month of the session, and a Good Karma Bikes T-Shirt. 

So if you’re giving a gift that falls in that Venn Diagram zone between the person who has everything and the college student who has nothing - look to Park Tool School at Good Karma Bikes - their retail shop is open today and tomorrow between 2:00pm and 6:00pm if you need other gifts as well. And if you want to exchange gift ideas on Twitter or Instagram, use the hashtag #GiftsForCyclists. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

All I Want For Christmas is for Drivers to Slow the F*** Down

    Ghost Bike on the Corner of Monterrey Boulevard and Lewis Street in San Jose two weeks ago.

I had to assist in the birth of two ghost bikes recently. 

You know what a ghost bike is: it’s a bicycle painted entirely white chained to a location where a cyclist was killed by a person driving a motor vehicle. And yes: the word you want to use is ‘killed.’ I’m not going to call these things accidents. Dropping a 15mm wrench on my foot is an accident. These are more.  

Anyway, the way both events happened was I learned someone wanted to build a memorial while volunteering at Good Karma Bikes. The searches began with me scouring the racks of recently donated bikes. 

Good Karma Bikes does not want bicycles that are beyond repair or  bikes that originate from a department store - the former for obvious reasons and the latter because they’re made of cheap materials. But some make it inside anyway, and my eyes find them first. Stupid questions enter my head. Did this person like mountain biking more than road biking? Were they short or tall? Would they be insulted that they are being memorialized by a rusty Roadmaster instead of the classic - but irreparable - Schwinn?

   Ghost bike spotted on my most recent visit to London

In the end I just pick out the largest bike I can find. Hopefully drivers will notice it and remember to slow down and cyclists will see it and remember to take as much ownership as possible over their personal safety. 

I also hope motorists reading the subsequent news coverage - if there is any - will ease off the accelerator as well. But the stories, like the one about the killing of Jeffrey P. Donnelly in Palo Alto and the the killing of Rosamaria Ruminski in San Jose - are short and almost never venture into the bicycle user’s life or the emotional aftermath of their death. I have yet to see reporters interviewing shattered families a year or more after a needless traffic fatality, or hold city leaders accountable when a deadly intersection remains unchanged months or years after the blood has been washed away from the pavement. 

  Ghost bike in New York City. 

But the news stories about driver error appear quickly forgotten. A reminder of that was seen this week another San Jose Mercury News article: California now wants a licensed motorist to be behind the wheel of all self-driving cars so they can take over if something goes wrong. I can only shake my head and ask: why isn’t this the other way around? I want self-driving technology in every car ready to take over from any human driver who stupidly doesn’t slow down when facing the sun, who chooses to blast through an advance green, and who chooses to go ten to twenty miles an hour over the speed limit. 

I’m still hopeful the days of the angry driver, the distracted driver, the careless driver, the tired driver are numbered. But until the clock really starts running down, motorists need to drive slower. You’re not a professional driver on a closed course. You’re an amateur driver on a crowded course - and your vehicle is a whole lot deadlier than mine.

   My fixie (switched to a single-speed freewheel and bearing a sign bought from Staples)

So remember: if you’re driving so fast that you don’t see the cyclist or pedestrian you’re driving too fast. You can wait an extra four seconds to get where you are going. Use the gas pedal less and your eyes more and maybe everyone can get home to their families this holiday season. And if you're riding in the car with someone with a heavy foot - call them on it. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Cyclists and Giving Tuesday: How & Where to Give

Welcome back from Thanksgiving! I'm digging out holiday decorations at my house - including this favorite that hasn't seen the light of day since I left Connecticut. 

It's Giving Tuesday and I highly recommend you take part if for no other reason to squash the images of people Thunderdoming* at department stores over Thanksgiving Weekend. Here are some places you can give: 

Good Karma Bikes: You can text GoodKarma to 50155 to or use their website to donate to Good Karma Bikes. Also, since it is now December GKB is having a lot of nice promotions: buy one tube get one free, buy a child’s bike and get a free helmet, and if you wear a Good Karma Bikes shirt (which you can buy there as well) when you shop you get a 20% discount on your entire purchase. They are at 460 Lincoln Avenue in San Jose and are open weekdays from 2pm to 6pm, Saturday from 10am - 5pm and Sunday from 11am to 3pm.

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition You remember they unveiled their VisionZero toolkit this past summer at their annual summit. Even though creating roads that don’t kill people doesn’t sound like a tall order in a civilized world, it unfortunately is and the more that is done to promote VisionZero the fewer bicycle and pedestrian deaths we’ll have. The link to donate is to SVBC is here. 

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition San Francisco is a special place to bike. So far I’ve only been able to appreciate it in bits and pieces - like the other day when I went to Mission Bicycles and was struck by the work of art that is created each time they make a work of art.

Sadly, I am not the ‘Michael’ the white board is referring to. But let’s give ‘Michael - whoever he is - and everyone else who lives and works in San Francisco better streets for cycling. The donation page for SFBC is right here.

There are too many great cycling-based organizations for me to list but this is where to start. It’s giving Tuesday, so give a little before you mount up. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding.

*I just invented that term. Use it freely.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Cyclist's Thanksgiving Message

I’m thankful I can ride a bike and that I can #choosethebike where I live and work.

I’m thankful that when confronted with the other 10%, I know someone who does.

I’m thankful that if my bike is stolen, I have friends who will help me look.

I’m thankful I’ve never had to write a ‘Homeless-Please-Help’ sign on the side of a bridge abutment and pounded my fists in frustration when I forgot how.

I’m thankful for the drivers who wait for a chance to pass me and give me plenty of room when they do.

I’m thankful for cycling activists who fought for years to make bike lanes, slow speed limits, available bike parking and countless other things usually taken for granted. 

I’m thankful for a comfortable saddle, handgrips that don’t feel like rocks and bike gloves that don’t seem to magically shrink mid-ride.

I’m thankful for Good Karma Bikes in San Jose, Ohio City Bicycle Co-Op in Cleveland, BikePort Co-Op in Bridgeport and other bicycle based nonprofits that improve lives.

I’m thankful REI followed my lead and made a stand on Black Friday.

I’m thankful that no matter where I go in the world the bicycle knocks down language barriers.

I’m thankful I can ride after Thanksgiving dinner and feel less guilty about the second slice of pie. 

I’m thankful for the plastic Yoda action figure that sits on my desk after traveling 3,000 miles on the dashboard of my Honda Element when my wife and I drove safely from Connecticut to California (I got my sister, who lives in New York, an identical figure for her birthday and she put it on her dashboard for her Thanksgiving travel. Today I’m doing the same thing. Yoda solidarity or #Yodadarity as we can’t be together this Thanksgiving.)

I’m thankful for all who are mindful of their neighbors on and off the road.

I'm thankful. 

Thanks for reading and thanks for riding. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Three Nice Things You Can Do With A Bay Area Bike Share Bike

Today you can use a Bay Area Bike Share bicycle for free. Really. It’s a cool promotional event, and as someone who has used bike share extensively in London I can attest to the value and fun-factor of bike share. 

On a normal week I’d suggest one take a bike share bike on say, I don’t know, mountain biking at Santa Teresa County Park, a ride through the drive-in at a grotesquely overrated burger chain, and so on, but this has been a mean week.

Actually, I take that back: A small number of mean people have gotten a hold of megaphones and, in loudly turning their backs to Syrian refugees, are literally going out of their way to make the U.S. seem a lot less compassionate than it really is. Me, I want to give all Syrian refugees bicycles as welcome gifts and I’d guess most of my readers would want to do that too. 

There are several ways to go about showing compassion today with a bike no matter where you are and no matter how you feel about what transpired this week. This first one is not unique to the Bay Area: 

We think different. Dress different. Vote different. Pray different and move different. But we all have to eat and no matter where we live there are people out there who are hungry. 

Food Bank Biking is when you ride a bike, laden with as much food as you can carry safely, to a local food bank. It’s something anyone can do, and it's something we did in Stamford twice just before Thanksgiving (though I couldn’t do it with my friends the first time but instead did a food bank run in Cleveland). Look up your local food bank and, hopefully, organize friends to get together sometime and bring food to help the hungry. In San Jose, The Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties has two locations in San Jose: one on 750 Curtner Avenue and another at 4001 North 1st Street. If you choose to use a Bay Area Bike Share bike, you should be able to at least make it to the latter and back to the docking station before your 30 minute free ride is up. 

1) A Trip to Rosie’s & Posies

When I borrowed the Box Bike Collective cargo bike I brought it to Rosies & Posies to meet the founder of Cowgirl Bike Courier, who was borrowing the Box Bike since his own cargo bike was stolen (this was a story I followed closely and I am pleased to report it had a happy outcome). 

What I never mentioned is after I gave him the bike and took my Dahon Matrix down the street to get a cup of coffee at Philz, I noticed a lot of people walking by holding flowers. A lot of people. I found out later someone had bought flowers and was handing them out to strangers. Seems like a nice idea. If you like flowers you can bike there and give it a try. 

3) A Visit to Good Karma Bikes 

While I know none of you are surprised Good Karma Bikes is on this list, I must remind you once again they are in their new location at 460 Lincoln Avenue.

I admit the outside, as of this writing, looks more like the place Robert DeNiro tried to send Lorraine Bracco to pick up dresses in the final act of Goodfellas. But please don’t let the incomplete signage throw you; the inside retail area just looks spectacular and the people behind the counter are as awesome as ever. 

A 30 minute trip with a Bay Area Bike Share Bike isn’t enough time to volunteer at Good Karma Bikes, but it is enough time to ride there to buy a needed bike part, an accessory or even clothing for your own cycling needs (The retail shop is open today from 2:00pm to 6:00pm). And it goes without saying that the proceeds go to keeping Good Karma’s community efforts going. 

I’m planning to do a Food Bank Biking run this coming Sunday at 9:00am as my cycling brothers and sisters in Stamford are doing the same thing Saturday, November 21 at noon EST - but also because I just want do something to help drown out the anger, paranoia and cruelty that was on the lead story on the nightly news all week. Hope to see you on the road with a food donation. Thanks for reading and thanks for being compassionate.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Box Bike Collective Review - Part II: Reassuring California Motorists

Note: a special shout-out to all who volunteer, and to Garvin Thomas of NBC Bay Area who came out this past Saturday to cover the Great Bike Migration of 2015/Good Karma Bikes moving to 460 Lincoln Avenue. You can watch his Bay Area Proud story here and follow Garvin on Twitter. Thanks again for coming, Garvin!

So as I mentioned earlier this week I borrowed the signature cargo bike from Box Bike Collective (and wondered: how do we want our children to see the world?). It’s the first time I’ve ever ridden a long cargo bike with the linkage steering so I was excited to try it. 

I’ve long ago been sold on the concept of using a bike instead of a second car (or even a first).  Honestly, car traffic in Silicon Valley is so bad I don’t understand why I don’t run into dozens of Box Bikes on the 11-mile ride to Good Karma Bikes at 460 Lincoln Avenue. 

But a review coming through the lens of someone who already loves to bike isn't going to carry a lot of weight with the intended target of this product: motorists. To that end, I’m going to write this review based on questions I think California drivers might have since I'm sure they want to know if they can do all the things they are used to doing in a car with a Box Bike.

Here are the questions:

Can I go to a home improvement stores and buy what I want?

I’ve already explained with the Bikeducken that yes, a cargo bike can carry lumber. I didn’t need to buy an entire sheet of plywood to build a workbench, but I did need molding for an interior door in my garage. So I went to Lowe's, locked the bike up, and bought four seven-foot pieces of wood. 

And I deployed a genius feature of the Box Bike:

The removable aluminum racks - known to carry large stepladders and surfboards - fit and lock in spaces on either side of the bike, and I pedaled home with confidence. As you’d expect, a bike this long doesn’t turn on a dime but the steering is surprisingly sensitive: After the first few miles of riding the Box Bike I found the handlebars would cooperate perfectly well with a gentle nudge. Lumber will get home with ease - and no straining to tie it to the roof of your car.

Can I go to the grocery store to buy bottled water? 

The short answer is, of course, yes. But having a cargo bike does change your shopping habits. At Nob Hill Foods, while paying for my groceries, I had an unexpected impulse to rent the Rug Doctor. My living room carpet hasn’t been cleaned since I moved here from Connecticut and I knew I had the cargo space. Spontaneously renting a carpet cleaning device just isn’t an urge I have when I go buy eggs on the fixie

Can I still race up to a red light even though I have to slam on my brakes and wait for it to change when I get there?

A bit of background here: I’ve found California drivers are mostly much more polite than drivers in Connecticut or New York. The biggest downside is there are a lot of them and many - more than any other drivers I’ve encountered in my life - tend to race up to a traffic light as though the cars are children and the red light is the teacher about to tell a story. 

This is where the electric assist of the Box Bike comes in. It has three modes (low, medium and high) and you can reach the control without taking your hands off the handlebar. This means if you’re approaching a red light, you can hit the control button with you thumb, put the electric assist on high, and zip up to a traffic control technology over 100 years old.

(In case you’re wondering, this bike does have a ‘throttle only’ button but it only moves the bike at about walking speed so it’s meant for helping you get up to speed from a dead stop or help you move a loaded bike while walking it). 

But back to the red light: when you get there, you can hit the disc brakes by gripping the handles. The brakes on the Box Bike are great but I did wish for regenerative braking that would charge the battery while slowing down (as some electric assist systems have). 

Now if this is the first electric assist bike you’ve ever ridden you may complain about the wildly inaccurate battery gauge. This is normal. Both the complaining and the wildly inaccurate battery gauge that seems to come with every e-bike I've ever reviewed. Total range and battery consumption will vary - I got to Good Karma Bikes at 460 Lincoln Avenue in San Jose and back again (about 22 miles round trip) being sensible with the battery, so chances are it’ll handle your commute. Not only that, but on this morning’s trip w/a 38 pound load I had the electric assist system off for five miles and didn’t mind at all. 

Can I pick up a pizza?

Mountain Mike’s largest pizza is 20” in diameter and the box couldn’t fit better in the cargo hold. The pizza is protected, doesn’t move much, and will get home quickly. It’s also kinda shielded from the wind, so it’ll still be a good hot temperature. The depth of the cargo box means you can carry a lot of pizzas and even wings. It's also almost impossible to reach the food and snag a slice while you're waiting at a red light.

That's a good thing. You know, don't drive distracted

Can I carry my child in comfort?

I covered how much better it is that a child has a nice view of the world instead of a view of a tablet/backrest of your Kia combo in my first post on the Box Bike. But I've also never seen an unhappy child riding in this style of bike. 

Since I didn’t have a child available I gave the sculpture I welded from a single vintage typewriter (called ‘Making a Friend at the Rowayton Arts Center show last year) a ride to the local school and back. The helmet rattled a bit over the bumps, but the 20” Schwalbe Big Apple tires handled the uneven pavement with ease and every weld held. If my sculpture holds together, so too should your child. 

Can I take it through the drive through window at the In-N-Out Burger?

Being from New England, I only knew In-N-Out Burger existed because of the film Fletch Lives - the sequel to the major motion picture, Fletch

Then, the day after I got here, I began noticing them scattered around Silicon Valley. When biking by an In-N-Out I’d see mostly the ‘In’ part: namely, cars lined up at the drive through window. 

Wow, I thought. I guess this is a real thing. 

It made me assume that if one were riding a Box Bike and were turned away at the drive through of an In-N-Out that would be a deal breaker for a motorist reluctant to give up their car. So I decided to give it a try. 

Arriving at the closest In-N-Out around 12:20 yesterday afternoon, I was awestruck at the line of motor vehicles.

The line - at least 15 cars long -  was in the shape of the letter ‘P’: it started in the Kohl’s parking lot, turned right, led to the order window and turned sharply left to go to the exit. I positioned myself behind a white Toyota Camry and waited long enough to memorize the tag number. 

I have to tell you that you don’t really grasp how ridiculous drive through windows are until you’re waiting at one on a bike. Maybe inside a car you fiddle with your smartphone, listen to the radio, text the person in the seat next to you - and so on, but when you’re on a bike all you see is what’s going on outside the car. I caught glances of people in their cars - who of course can't speak to one another because they are in cars - oblivious to how plain bizarre it is that their strictly emissions-regulated vehicles were pushing exhaust into the air for over 20 minutes waiting for a burger

Because the line of cars stretched into the Kohl’s parking lot, I heard an occasional honk by a flustered shopper trying to get out of his or her parking space. Meanwhile the bike rack next to In-N-Out was nearly empty. 

In addition to wondering if I should have brought sunscreen, I began to wonder how special these burgers are. Were they formed by the hands of Nigella Lawson and served by Jennifer Beals? Seriously, what was the draw? I had to stay to find out. 

I wondered if I’d be turned away at the order window, but as it turned out a young man with a tablet was outside, walking to each car, taking the order. He greeted me professionally and I made my order: a cheeseburger and fries. 

After what felt like two seasons of ‘House of Cards’ later, a nice woman at the window took my money, and a few minutes after that I was served my food by yet another nice and professional In-N-Out burger employee who wasn’t a celebrity.

I put my food in the cargo box, pivoted the bike around to the right, and parked in an open space. In full view of the crawl of cars and trucks slouching through the line - and still hearing the occasional car horn of a Kohl’s shopper trying to leave - I ate the most overrated hamburger I have ever eaten. And the fries reminded me why I no longer eat fries regularly, so I only ate a few. I fought an urge to scatter some fries in the cargo box and leave them there to give the bike a more authentic, car-like feel. 

But the point is…I did it and so can you, California. You can use Box Bike for just about everything you use a car for. And $3,400 for a vehicle that can fit through a normal sized door, easily carried by two adults, and makes a better environmental statement than any Access OK bumper sticker, it is a fair price - I especially feel that way since I’ve spent almost one-third of that amount this year repairing my car before my Nine Morning trip from Connecticut to California, another one-third in the months since my arrival, and another third between the cost of gassing it up and the achingly expensive set of tires I bought last week. 

California drivers, if you’re still skeptical, if you still think you need to own a car, that’s fine. I own one too, but I’m sure that with a Box Bike you’ll do what this site has been calling for: using our cars less and riding our bikes more. Your car will last longer and, even more importantly, you’ll have more fun. 

This morning I strapped my Dahon Matrix in the cargo box and easily pedaled to downtown San Jose to meet the bike’s next user: Cowgirl Bike Courier. Look for it anywhere in their service area and check out Box Bike Collective so you can buy your own. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What Does Your Child See? First Thoughts on a Box Bike

Note: Good Karma Bikes has now moved to its new location at 460 Lincoln Avenue. The retail space reopens today at 2:00pm and they are once again accepting bicycle donations, so if you have a gently used bike (that isn’t from Walmart, Target or some other big box store) please donate - and like Good Karma Bikes on Facebook. 

I was fortunate to meet a fellow named Alex at the recent Cargo Bike Festival in San Jose. I also met his organization, Box Bike Collective, and his signature product that he welds himself right here in California.

I’m also fortunate that I have a chance to review this handmade cargo bike in great detail: It is about eight feet long and, unlike anything I’ve ever pedaled in my life, has the cargo box in in the front. 

These bikes are not uncommon in Europe but aren’t seen too frequently in the U.S. That’s unfortunate because, right out of the gate, this is what it means to not only #choosethebike but choosing not to own a second car - or even a first car. I know I’m not alone in feeling like California (and most of the U.S. for that matter) deliberately arranges itself so that every adult must have their own car.  But most trips are less than two miles from the home and if you can carry a lot of things with a bike (I do have a long and happy history with saluting the cargo bike) it’s all the more reason to use one.

Now the Box Bike has a child’s seat that allows two kids to sit side by side. I’ve seen people - including, of course, Emily Finch - do this. Having a child or even two isn’t necessarily a one-way ticket to Minivan-ville if you opt for a Box Bike. 

And as I began riding this bike (and, yes, getting used to the linkage steering) I began to ask how do we want to show our children the world? 

If a child is sitting in a Box Bike, this is what they see:

If a child is sitting in a child’s seat in a SUV, this is what they see:

And that view is rather generous when you consider the growing number of kids who are using their parent’s old iPads in the car with the vacant, 1,000 millimeter stare that is too common with today’s youth. In Box Bike, they actually see something other than a tiny screen or the back of a car seat. 

I also got to thinking that if enough people move their children around with bikes then, in the future, the kids will be less likely to see smog in the air and asthma inhalers in their hands. 

So that’s just something to think about as I put this bike through more paces, which I am doing all week. For more information about Box Bike Collective, visit their website, and remember: Good Karma Bikes is reopening today and is again accepting donations. Today, remember to #choosethebike....and, while we're at it, choose to avoid stupid red cup controversies by going to a local coffee shop - like Lorca in Stamford or Moonbeans in San Jose - instead of a national chain. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

If you live in San Jose (or Silicon Valley, for that matter) this video is for you. Take a look and send to your Bay Area Friends. Thanks for watching and thanks for volunteering to help Good Karma Bikes move. 

Follow me on Twitter: @michaelknorris 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween! Be Safe and Be Seen!

Just wanted to take a moment to wish a Happy Halloween to my cycling brothers and sisters around the globe. 

I’m probably going to hand out candy tonight (though I wish my budget allowed for minitools or, better still, Blaze Laserlights) as a chance to meet some of my new California neighbors. No matter what you go as, no matter what you do, be safe and be seen.

And once again: if you live in the Bay Area please sign up to volunteer and help Good Karma Bikes move. The big move is a week from today, your help is needed, and you'll still need to work off those fun-size Kit-Kats you'll eat tonight. Visit and sign up for a shift to help. Cyclists you don’t even know (and/or haven’t met yet) will be grateful (and I will be, too). Thanks for reading and thanks for riding.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Good Karma Bikes having a Big Sale (and Still Needs Volunteers!)

Just wanted to give folks in San Jose and the Bay Area a reminder that Good Karma Bikes needs volunteers to help them move so please visit to sign up for a shift. They’re taking down workstations this Sunday and have a lot of other things to do leading up to the big move day on November 7th.

Also if you’re looking for a bike now take advantage of their moving sale beginning Saturday (Halloween): all bikes over $175 are 30% off, kids bikes start at $5, As-is bikes starting at $10, Mountain bike tires $5 and all used clothing is $2. Also they have a lot of good stuff on Craigslist right now. 

So please volunteer for a shift and buy a bike for yourself or someone your life. Remember: every mile you ride a bike is another mile-long buffer between yourself and your next big auto repair bill. See you at Good Karma Bikes, and as always thanks for reading and thanks for riding.