Thursday, July 26, 2007

My kinda ride....

Fueled by red wine and legumes, thats what I'm talkin' about....add a latte and some chocolate and you've got the perfect ride.

Image spotted by Pablo, LAs primo Jazz/Tango bass-guitar-piano playin' phenome. We'll make a greenie of him yet.....

Monday, June 18, 2007

Bamboo Bike

I've seen images of bamboo bikes before, cool, yet more novelty and less performance oriented.

Then spotted this article in today's LA Times about Santa Cruz elite bike builder Craig Calfee, who started experimenting with bamboo frames after watching his "jaws of steel" pooch fail to make more than a dent in a bamboo stick.

Hes since built over 91 racing style bamboo bikes, including one used for the Hawaii Ironman.

Calfee's design caught the eye of a New York cyclist/environmentalist from the Earth Island Institute, as a potentially valuable form of transportation in developing countries. The two have been exploring areas of Africa, to assess the bike's economic and environmental benefits.

Will keep tabs on this, sounds like a grand idea......

My friends at Xtracycle have also sparked a revolution on this front, through Worldbike, bringing bicycle entrepreneurs together to design functional, low cost bikes to serve the needs of developing countries.

Monday, June 11, 2007

We Are "The Cyclists"

Been taking a bit of a blog hiatus these days, but had to post this, hilarious clip poking fun at the holier than though cyclists we all know

Can't seem to post youtube vids with this new blogger format, hope they fix it soon.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Spinnin' on the Ellen Show

Everyone's doing the green thing these days, even the
The Ellen Show
. For her great green episode, I got to join 15 other spinners from Revolution pedaling stationary bikes rigged to power generators, as a background scene. Fun, and a crazy coincidence, as I've been chatting with Revolution about doing something similar.....

Original idea was to have us power the TV, but didn't quite turn out that way - either technical problems or lack of planning.....too bad, but it was still fun, a trip for this non-TV watcher to see the behind the scenes.

The show featured Cameron Diaz, who reminded us to turn off the water when brushing our teeth (cutting edge, ahem) and Simran Sethi from Treehugger TV and The Green. Who was wonderful as always.

Heres the whole lot of us, sharing our brief Hollywood moment.

And now....lets rig those bikes up and put those wasted spinning calories to good use!

Saturday, May 05, 2007


Bikes, like all vehicles, take some maintainance, and occasionally break down. With skills and tools, you can fix most things yourself, but some of us lack the former....(or later, or both) and hate the idea of forking out a bunch of $ for glitches we KNOW would be a snap to fix.

Enter BIKEROWAVE. The answer to my prayers!

Bikerowave is a community-run project, a bicycle kitchen/cool DIY hangout space on the west side - a place to fix/wrench/clean your bike with guidance from a group of friendly volunteer mechanics.

They won't just fix your bike FOR you while you stand by watching dumbly, rather they will SHOW YOU HOW TO FIX YOUR OWN BIKE!

I finally made it there the other weekend, to fix a glitch on my Xtracycle.

What you can't see in this photo, somehow the only one to turn out from multiple pix snapped, is the formerly greasy chain I'm holding, my first time learning to break and degrease a chain, granted with much hand holding......

Not only was I thrilled to have my bike functioning again, having a hand in the process made it all the more gratifying.

So next time you tweak something on your bike, try a more personal approach and learn something while you're at it.

Open hours are Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 - 10:00, or Saturday from 1:00-5:00. Bring your bike, a 6 pack, and a desire to get down and dirty with your ride....

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Great Bike Corral '07

Extra bike or two in the garage? Old, neglected frames gathering dust, crying out for fresh air and open roads?

Round 'em up and dust 'em off for the THE GREAT BIKE CORRAL ‘07 at REI Manhattan Beach.

WHEN: Saturday May 19th – Sunday May 20th 10:00AM-5:00PM
WHERE: 1800 Rosecrans Ave (On the corner of Rosecrans & Aviation)
WHY: Your chance to alleviate your bike guilt and donate your vehicle to a great cause, The Bicycle Kitchen and their "earn a bike" program.

*Donate Your Salvageable Used Bikes and receive a $20 REI gift certificate, a 15% off coupon, and a tax write off.

Don’t miss the hamburgers, hotdogs, and live entertainment!

I dunno about y'all, but I'm def. there for the hotdogs. Those are organic veggie dogs, right?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Load haulin' mama

My mom, a weekend warrior, rides her Xtracycle once a week to the Sunday farmers market, loading up w/ organic goods for the week. I've written about her before, love her weekly routine.....

This week, she was interviewed coming into the city's bike valet area, and her quote ended up closing this article on the program,

"Mary Ann Cummins, 70, has equipped her bicycle with side bags large enough to hold her artichokes, greens, broccoli and fresh Gaviota strawberries. "My God, I forgot my eggs," she said, and hastily returned her bike to an attendant."

That sounds exactly right. The part about the eggs that is.

Article made me sad for Johnnie, whose personal bike/pet watcher service has taken a hit due to the program.....I think next time I'll leave my Xtra w/ him.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Xtracycle diaries

Just noticed that the Xtra crew have a new blog, the xtracycle diaries.

These lads are changing the world with two wheels, a sense of humor, and lots of love......

.....fueled by veggie burritos and good tunes.

I've been carless for a few weeks, lent my Volvo to a friend, and have little impetus to fetch it. The test is always my weekly cooking class: toting a load of farmers market veggies, pasta for 40, vegan chocolate cake w/ frosting, knives, bowls, and cutting boards galore - a seemingly impossible task sans car.

Yet doable and an adventure, always, with my trusty pedal powered uber-machine.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


4 avid cyclists/snowboarders/adventurers build a bikecar, and take a rather involved snowboarding roadtrip, pedaling all the way.

Trying to curb global warming? Making a grand statement? Or just having some serious fun adventuring?

Thats for the viewer to decide.

(Via C.I.C.L.E)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Rock The Bike

A partnership between two cutting edge cyclepreneurs in the bay area, Rock The Bike is about making bike-street-party culture hipper than ever, taking fun on two wheels to new heights, and keepin' it fresh.

"We're developing a new school of bicycle advocacy, working off of the old writer's adage "Show, don't tell." If you want more people in your community to ride bikes, then get out their and make it look fun, cool, and sexy."

Thursday, March 15, 2007

My Xtra moved to Ecovillage!

My Xtracycle headed out last night for an extended home stay at LA Ecovillage, under the expert care of Somerset Waters.

A musician, journeyman electrician, bike mechanic, and renewable energy wizard, Somer lives CARLESS IN LA so will no doubt put the Xtra to good use.

Last night we gathered at my friend Dan's house for the bike swap. Was highly impressive watching these two super-skilled bike mechanics perform the operation......wish my night photography were clearer!

Heres Somer getting to know his new sidekick.....

I will now be riding my friend Riley's Xtracycle - as a spin instructor/trainer, her marathon daily sessions running/spinning leave her too tapped to bike commute. So I'll adopt her "princess", while mine gets a taste for life on the east side......thrilled to know my favorite little companion will be tooling around LA in such good hands, tapping into the unique Eco-Village/Bicycle Kitchen east side culture. Go get 'em tiger!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Water lite: 40% fewer chemicals

Than leading plastic-encased brands.

I recently lost my Soma water bottle, so thought I'd take this opportunity to remind people about plastics' pernicious leaching propensities.

Plastic may or may not leach toxic chemicals into our water bottles, at levels that may or may not have long term impacts on our endocrine system, that may or may not affect our reproductive system.

So we may or may not want to play it safe, by avoiding plastic when possible.

On the cycling front, I've searched for an eco-friendly, non-plastic, lightweight alternative for some time now. The front runners thus far:

*My lovely new SIGG bottle. This I use for commuting. For distance/sport cycling, doesn't quite meet most cyclists' featherweight criteria;

*The Soma Bottle. Though plastic, at least a better alternative for cyclists, a special non-leaching plastic that won't make your water taste like a chemical reduction sauce;

*That light-weight, bio-plastic bottle that won't disintegrate after a few rides......damn, isn't out there yet.

When in doubt, avoid the plastic altogether.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Freaked out by Global Warming

Thats right, Kipchoges freaked out.

Watch how he deals with his freaked-out-ness.

You're freaked out too?

So what are you going to do?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Green Living Workshops in Santa Monica

A bit of a departure from strictly bike related, but as biking fits into the larger "sustainable living" family, going to plug this great local resource....

Sustainable Works, the organization I currently work for, offers ongoing "green living" workshops, 6-week community classes on how to adopt clean, green lifestyle changes into your daily routine. Next cycle starts Wednesday, March 7th, 7-8:30 at Wild Oats.

With no personal bias involved (of course) classes are fun, informative, and actually inspire people to make real changes - saving water and energy, cutting back on waste, slashing utility bills etc. in a social, group setting.

Instructor Barent Roth, who some may know as the local Green Drinks organizer, is an industrial designer, former professor, and extremely knowledgeable about all things sustainable.

Additionally, members learn alot from each other....classes often attract people who are experts in a particular area, and want to broaden their knowledge. Photo here shows one of our workshop members Dave Chameides leading a discussion on transportation. A renewable energy expert, (Dave has retrofitted two cars to run on vegetable oil) he now gives inspiring talks to school groups all over Los Angeles, and was kind enough to share with us, his class was a hit!

Note the rapt attention....and can you spot the bike in the background?

Groups meet weekly for 6 sessions, each week covering a different topic (water, energy, waste, transportation, chemicals, and food/shopping) in various community venues around town.

To sign up for next weeks workshop at Wild Oats, or to keep informed about upcoming courses, just drop me a line: or call (310)458-8716.

And if you do join, do your best to bike, bus, walk, or carpool.

Monday, February 19, 2007

How to: load bike on bus

Saw this little illustrated how to and had to post for my friend Siel, who has expressed some concern about the whole bike on bus thing.

Shes gone carfree, which I'm way impressed with - something I keep yapping about but haven't yet pulled the "sell" trigger. I'll definitely proclaim it to the world once I do. Meantime, for anyone else a little wary of using the bus bike rack, check it out.

Just about every city with bike racks on buses have their own little instruction page, so clearly this is a shared concern, simply a matter of trying it once.

I used to do this all the time living in Santa Cruz, but haven't yet in LA, my obstacle has more been figuring out the bus system, again just a matter of diving in. But what if you're on tight schedule, and the racks are full? I'd rather be safe and just ride, but its a nice option for commuters going a long distance.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Workout for the planet

I admit it, I spin.

Though I find the premise somewhat ridiculous, i.e. people driving to sit on a stationary bike and burn calories (I ride there mind you), I love my friend Riley's class at Revolution Fitness....she plays kick ass music, does her best to get me in on my tight budget.....and inspires many first timers to get out on the road and RIDE.

But what if....what if all that energy, currently vaporized into body heat and sweat, could be recaptured and channeled into something useful?

I've heard it takes alot of effort and steady pedaling to generate enough power for small tasks, but were talking about an entire room full of people, all breaking a sweat to go nowhere, squeezing a days work frustration and road rage into a fierce 50 minute workout.

I've been dreaming of this for years. And so have others...this image from Adbusters is from a design contest, didn't make it into the issue, nor has the concept been developed but ITS TIME HAS COME!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Chocolate and bicycles

As if these two aren't already a match made in heaven, add a super ecologically-friendly, socially-conscious, uber-fair-trade component, and you have Choco Sol.

The Toronto based chocolate store provides a rich, sensory journey, inviting chocolate lovers to dive into the full, rich cocoa experience - from the beans' origin in Chiapas, Mexico, to their Northern destination, where they are ground by bicycle power and transformed into Manna.

Sadly for me, the company is in Canada, or I could order a choco-gram delivered by bicycle!

I've always known chocolate is good for my psyche (at least in small doses) but check out some of the other benefits, listed on the website:

*Promote cardiovascular health
*Protect us from toxins
*Increase the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain that promote positive outlook
*Counter acts clinical depression
*Balances brain chemistry
*Build strong bones
*Detoxify the liver
*Support healthy pancreas functioning

I could say much, much more about this sweet project, but you'll have to read for yourself, I've gotta go find some chocolate RIGHT NOW!!!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Prevent a massive CARonary: Critical Mass

What do saturated fat and automobile traffic have in common? In steady doses, and without preventative measures, both lead to severely clogged arteries.

This was highly apparent at last Friday’s celebratory Critical Mass ride, the 2 year anniversary for Santa Monica and the official Bikewinter 2007 launch. Over 300 cyclists gathered at the Santa Monica pier to celebrate the fossil-fuel free fiesta....

....while grueling gridlock brought LA traffic to a screeching halt.

As if planned to underscore the event’s message, an accident on the dreaded 405 freeway spawned a fustercluck of epic proportions, clogging arterial routes, trapping motorists in their metal boxes, and sending the collective blood pressure through the roof.

Read the rest of this story here:

Friday, February 02, 2007

Green Ambassadors and the Rubbish Rig

Not only is it a pedal-powered boat, its made out of recycled-plastic bottles. If THAT doesn't turn you on......skip this blog.

This brilliant application of reuse combines the talents of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, two bicycles, 75 plastic bottles, Marcus Eriksen, 4 plastic bread cartons, the Green Ambassadors, a 50 ft. plastic bag rope, one Barbie doll head, and Sara Laimon.

Sara is a femme force I met a year back at green drinks, saw her next at her going away to Brazil party, and then various green gatherings; fitting that I'd catch up with her at green drinks tonight.

The plastics issue originally drew me to Sara, but I've since discovered she's working on far more, a revolution of charged youngsters aiming to spread the word - to other youngsters.

They've been making waves every since. Brewing biodiesel, appearing in documentaries, tabling at alternative energy/transportation events, generally kicking plASStic.

Sara has big plans to educate and inspire the nation's youth, yes all of them, on environmental/social/progressive issues.....we'll keep an eye on her.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Bike Fiesta of the year, comin' up this friday.


*Because its the 2 Year Anniversary of SM Critical Mass.
*There will be lots of bikes, and rad, beautiful people ON bikes.
*Because rumor has it that Yolanda will soon be riding again.
*Because you don't wanna miss the AFTERPARTY......which kicks off 2 weeks of bikeadventures.

Some random images from last month's ride.....chose this first one b/c there in the background, I spot Molly, an amazing young woman I met last year, sparking a solar revolution at Samohi....

And Zack, the man who pulls it all together.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

a ditty sittin' pritty

Here's one more reason, not that we need one, to sing the Ditty Bops' praises.....check out Amanda on her Xtracycle, loaded up with goodies, a bouquet adorning her snapdeck. Photo was touched up a wee bit to reflect her techni-colored dream bike. Hot stuff.

I've long admired these two incredibly talented musicians/revolutionaries. Not only are they phenomenal singer-songwriters; listen for yourself here, they are big time bike advocates and all around progressive go getters - toured the US last year on two wheels spreading good vibes and inspiring tunes.

And they are coming soon to Mccabes, I'll finally get to see 'em live!

Thursday, January 25, 2007


A break from two wheels....well call it a recovery post.

Melissa from LA Green Living tagged me, to post 6 things people may or may not know about me, and may or may not care. And then I cyber-tag 6 other bloggers to do the same. So here goes:

I come from a line of carousers. My maternal grandfather Joe Huber was a beer brewer from Germany, and my dad’s father started a line of smokin’ clubs and restaurants in LA, what I would give to go back in time....

I was such a tomboy growing up that my parents had concerns about my future gender identity. When told to wear a dress, I’d don my OP shorts underneath and remove dress when we arrived at x event. My mother used to sing me a fill in the blanks song, “daddy is a BOY, Simon is a BOY, grandpa is a BOY, but, Anna is a _____”.

I’m a former fencer. Yes, like the 3 musketeers. Captained my college team, made it to the NCAAs my senior year, athletic careers been downhill since.

I was so fascinated with mold in high school that my first boyfriend courted me w/ a moldy peach, left on my doorstep on Christmas eve. Ah young love...

I had major vampire-phobia as a wee lass. I'd hide cloves of garlic all over my room (and find months later, moldy....) and fall asleep with my fingers forming a cross in front of my throat. The power of old black and white films.

I’m also a violinist, though you wouldn’t know it these I am with a chamber music group in Santa Cruz after a concert we gave.

And now I tag....damn girls, you’ve taken almost all my blog-amigos! - I'll reach out beyond the borders here to: Tim (brand new blog!), Maya, Leila, Rajiv, Jennifer, and...Riley maybe she'll update her 'bout a post on your upcoming event hint hint???

Monday, January 15, 2007

Thursday, January 11, 2007


And you thought YOUR morning commute had become nippy!

Nothing like the scene above (Tim Harvey sporting winter studded tires for a Siberian Cruise), LA BIKEWINTER 2007 promises sunny rides, clear skies, and a solid 2 weeks of mobile street parties, all on bikes of course.

The impetus for BIKEWINTER 2007 spun from the steady BIKESUMMER 2005 momentum, rolled right through the BIKESUMMER/WINTER 2006 season, and is now gearing up for yet another extended bike bash this february.

Preview of coming atractions:

*An opening night party, immediately following the 2 year SM Critical Mass fiesta;
*Group rides to sample vegetarian food, local coffee roasters, and hot chocolate;
*The second annual Chocolate Aphrodesiac ride where the image here was taken;

.....and many more - all deets on the Bike Boom Calendar.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Bike seat for precious cargo

How do you carry your groceries AND tote your tyke around? Try the Peapod, an Xtracycle attachment for tots. I would've LOVED this as a kid. My folks used to have this rusty old bike with a built in kiddie seat, I remember begging them to ride me around the block, so much fun.....but who says you hafta grow up?

My friend Paul shares my sentiments, here he is attempting to get in touch with his inner child.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

LA's fearless femme spokes woman

She’s tall, blonde, and charged with a mission long overdue: to make LA a more bike-friendly city.

Monica Howe, recently featured in an excellent LA Times profile, is the new outreach coordinator for the LA County Bicycle Coalition. Since taking the position last year, Monica has hit the ground....riding, a good thing as she has much ground to cover.

As she puts it, “Los Angeles is really the last big city to realize that bicycling is a good idea.”

Intrigued? Read the rest on Worldchanging LA,, where I'll be contributing (what else?) periodic bike related biz....