At the end of March, I took a short trip to San Francisco with RZ for a little work, a couple days of much needed relaxation, and biking, of course. We rented Public bikes from Live Fit Gym in the Mission for $40/ day, a bit on the expensive side, but the bikes were in pretty greaet shape, and they came with sturdy locks. It was also the Easter weekend, yet they opened their doors for a short period to take back our returns on Easter Sunday. Thank you Live Fit Gym! These were the first Public bikes we've ever ridden. They were a pretty smooth ride, even despite the wear and tear due to being rentals. The one drawback I might see, if I were to purchase one, is the gear system. It's not internal, so it may require more attention and cleaning than my current Linus Mixte 8 which has an internal hub. Overall, they took us everywhere we wanted to go all over SF, and that was worth it.
We neglected to take photos of our bikes but these are the models that we rode:
My bike was pink, not really my flavour, but what can I say? I had a bike, so I was more than happy. Richard's was a simple white one with red cable housing:
On the first day, I popped into Huckleberry Bicycles to meet Brian, Jonas, and Zach. Riyoko has been available at Huckleberry for three and a half seasons now, but as I'm in Canada and they are in SF I had never met Brian, Jonas, or Zach, nor had the opportunity to see the store in person. I had seen the store online and corresponded with the trio via email and phone over the past seasons, and I was quite excited to be able to visit. The store is gorgeous: old cement, and hardwood flooring, wood fixtures, friendly and knowledgable staff (shout out to Erin and Isaac), and bikes, bikes, bikes, accessories and clothes. It is full of wonderful product from SWRVE, to Chrome, to PedaLED, and of course riyoko! It's soon to be under renovations for expansion, so I'm sure much more swag and bike candy will be available. I am so happy and honoured to be carried at such a beautiful shop - Thanks Brian, Jonas, and Zach!
(Oh, and p.s peeps - there is a fresh new batch of riyoko Three-Way Armwarmers available at Huck's, so get'em while they're hot!)
Next, we headed down to the House of Nanking, one of RZ's old haunts, for a bite. The sign is the best; the food was so-so.
That evening we attended the campaign closing party for 'The Spinster', "a psychological thriller that follows a cycle vixen in search of true love into the dark, shadowy depths of romance". The film is written, produced and directed by Kristin Tieche a.k.a Velo Vogue. It involves the San Francisco bike community on and behind the camera which is very inspiring, and I am told that riyoko lace Tights make a saucy appearance somewhere in the film too!
The party was held at the Nooworks boutique, a local avant-garde lifestyle brand of apparel and accessories that uses ethically sourced materials. Every season they work with different artists to creat their prints and styles. I got to reconnect with Gwen, one of the designers extraordinaire for Nooworks, who is also a co-founder of Pedal Savvy, the crew responsible for many of the great fashion shows put on at Interbike, the SF Bike Expo, and in the Mission District over the past few years. Itw was excellent to see Kristin and Gwen again and to see the inspiring work they are doing. They were some of the first women cyclists in the industry that I connected with when I started riyoko. They are two diversely talented women, and I look forward to seeing them again on my next visit.
Oh! and btw, Kristin surpassed her kickstarter goal for the film's funding! Yeah! I can't wait to see the cut and editted version when it's ready!
On Saturday, we biked down to the Ferry Terminal Farmers' Market to meet up with a couple of my closest friends from my days in Japan, Doug and Yukiko, and their two scrumptious rug rats, Maya and Japhy. Yukiko is an amazing textile and fabric designer, her label is called Chinpinch. Everything she makes is awe striking in detail, and full of love and craft. Doug is currently the Kitchen Manager forFarmhouse Culture Kraut locally sourced and organic sauerkraut in California. They have a booth at the market, so we got to sample a bit, and hands down, it is the best sauerkraut I have ever had. Since I am not a big fan of sauerkraut, this means something when I say it. It is even better than any of the sauerkraut I've sampled in Austria, which is pretty darn good ( and again, this is coming from someone who does not really fancy sauerkraut). We liked it so much I even brought a tub home. It leaked slightly in transport, and even after that, I can still say it is worth it.
Kraut barrels at the market:
Doug and Yukiko's guy, Japhy really digs the kraut. I kind of know how he feels because after the one tub we have is gone, that's it for us until we head back to California again.
(p.s on the kraut. Farmhouse is in the running for an entrepreneurial award, the Mamachia Entrepreneur of the Year award. If you want to vote you can do so here. I'm not sure who else is in the running, but like Japhy, all I can think about is the kraut.)
After the market, we walked our bikes with the D & Y clan down to Chinatown for dim sum. We took our time getting there, catching up, and I got to chat at length with Maya. It was the first time I got to hangout with the kids actually, as they were not born the last time I saw Doug and Yukiko. After dim sum we headed to City Lights Books and then reluctantly parted ways - to be continued next time.
Sunday was our last day in the city and we took a nice long ride from downtown to the ocean. We almost got rained out, but we stopped along the way for some traditional American brunch at 'It's Tops' while we waited out the downpour.
After the rain subsided we rode through the Haight,
over through the Golden Gate Park and straight to the ocean. I love Golden Gate Park.
I love the ocean.
Sigh. Next, we rode up to Delores Park to try to catch the Hunky Jesus competition, but missed it by a few minutes; so we returned our bikes, and started our trek home via BART and airplane back to Calgary. A bientot San Fran! See you again soon! and for a longer stay next time!