So, every once in awhile, I decide to take a little trip down memory lane to my times as a bike commuter in Honolulu. Especially when it’s butt-ass cold for a sissy Californian like myself over here in Portland, Oregon. What the isht are we going to do in January, cycle peoples?
Oh man, mad props to Elizabeth for all-year commuting in Chicago…
Lucky for me, some time-traveling crystals were on super sale on Amazon.com. I installed those suckers on my Schwinn le Tour II so I can time and space warp bike commute my way back to Oahu…
… where I may have encountered a walking Shrimp Monster or something. I checked the GPS app that came with my crystals, and it pinpointed me smack dab in the middle of Honolulu. Turns out I wasn’t lost afterall, just in the middle of a Shrimp Monster protest night. Frickin’ keep calm, and cycle on – the wall told me.
So what’s a confused and befuddled time-and-space-warping cycle lady supposed to do in a time like this? Three things, obviously:
1. Steal a lavender beach cruiser from your nearest friend or aquaintence.
2. Bike to Waikiki using the new and somewhat improved bike lanes.
3. Jump in the water to clear the fog and warm up!
Maybe there were some other bikes at the beach too… Bikey friends of the coaster brake/fatty tire variety. Even a $1.25 craigslist score that the lifeguard bragged about!
And what’s a trip back to Oahu without some takoyaki at Shirokiya? Totally worth all the money I spent on those bike crystals just for takoyaki.
For those of us who did not attend Interbike 2013, meaning the majority of the bike population, I’ve got one thing to say: “Rose City-me, bikey ladies and gentlefolks!” (Think “beer-me” a la Andy from The Office…) This past week, as the Bike Commuters gang was hanging out in the desert soaking up bikes and sun, the rest of us were hanging out in our daily lives, fending off jealousy and ogling posts from Jack and RL. Or maybe that was just me. Hanging out in Portland, the capital of bikey hang-a-langs (a.k.a. not Las Vegas, the capital of Interbike 2013) I like to pretend that everyday could be considered an Interbike-worthy moment!
In fact, Portland makes me want to snap pics of bikes with my crappy i-phon skills (only one step up from Retired Asian Dad photo skills). I may not have a cool camera like RL or Jack, a camera so sweet it’s capable of capturing high-resolution bike porn like this and this and that. And I may be taking total creeper photos of other commuters at stop lights or bikes locked up at racks, but it’s all I got, damnit… and I’ll take what I can get. Maybe I could call this post “Portlerbike 2013” or “InterPort 2013” or “Lotsabikes in Portland 2013” and cross my fingers for an air-drop of SWAG.
The Schwinn le Tour II hath arrived! (Pics don’t get any crappier than this, thanks i-phon)
The mediocre photographer inside of me is inspired on a daily basis by all that this bike-friendly city has to offer. And that includes bike selfies. Yessir, this means if my bike had arms, it would take pictures of itself being shipped from Menlo Park, CA all they way to Portland, OR. Oh man, oh man, are Shwinney and I happy to be reunited! (Shout out to Chris, Aaron, Kelli, and Emily for crazy bike shipping coordination efforts.)
Now to unpack it and get it to the LBS for some pedal action.
Made it! She’s a beauty.
So it seems like my bike commuting life is getting back to normal for the abnormal Mir.I.Am, with bike storage in the basement of our building, a multi-speed orange steed at my side, and plenty of bike lanes to cruise in a flat-like-an-A-cup city. I’m all about you, Portland. Screw Vegas. Enjoy the pics, Bike Commuters:
One thing we noticed at this year’s Interbike was the reappearance of the “booth babe” — you know, “our product’s not interesting enough on its own, so let’s hire some sex appeal!” Yeah, it’s a pretty tired-out technique, and it is unfortunate that companies still resort to sex-sells tactics. We’re sure you’ve noticed photos of pretty women shilling bike parts if you’ve been following Interbike coverage on other sites. There was quite a bit of that in Las Vegas this year…most of the worst offenders were in the Chinese (!) and Italian zones.
Well, we want to flip the script here and showcase some “Booth Dudes” — RL and I noticed that a lot of the men in bike businesses are rather handsome! The difference here is that not only are these a bunch of manly pretty faces, but they also know their product lines in depth. These are the hardest working guys in the bike biz — folks who are passionate about what they do and have the know-how to back it up. Try getting detailed specs from a booth babe!
Marcus, our friend and a handsome face at WTB/Freedom
And, last but not least, the ever-so-dreamy Corey P (in the black shirt) of Dainese. Corey used to be one of our sponsored racers over at Mtnbikeriders.com, and this young man is a hoot to hang out with.
There you have it — our roundup of handsome, friendly faces at this year’s Interbike. Give these guys a hand for all they do for the bicycle community…both in providing great products, but also in prettying up the place for the rest of us!
Companies try to attract attention at Interbike in many different ways. Some have celebrity appearances, others have crazy givewaways. Some do loud music, others design glamorous displays. And some wear costumes…a time-honored tradition, even rocked by our friends at Banjo Brothers from time to time.
Ryders Eyewear took the cake this year, though…a “Back to the Future” theme complete with gullwing DeLorean motorcar and metallic lame’ costumes!
These guys were a hoot, and were good sports when we asked to take their picture. And, judging by the volume of people and activity in the Ryders booth, those costumes were paying off.
Hey *cycle* LADIES! (<— a la Beastie Boys.) Back in June, we were contacted by LUV Footwear to review their funky-colored, lightweight, multifunctional Dream Flats. An unusual suggestion for Bike Commuters product reviews, I know. But, I thought about the cross-section of my activities this summer (teaching, meetings with the City of Asheville, biking, walking, and wading in the river) and agreed immediately to test some kicks.
Here’s a peek at the product specs from their marketing specialist:
LUV Footwear presents the Dream Flat, a revolutionized ballerina flat that fuses artistic expression with anatomical performance. The versatile Dream Flats deliver a kaleidoscope of colorful, stylish offerings with a comfort experience of athletic, weightless support. LUV Footwear releases collectable, limited edition Dream Flats seasonally, each with its own fun, cute, and beautiful personality.
Extremely light and flexible
Waterproof, and they float
Anatomically shaped and supportive insole
Protective toe cap
Collectible, colorful designs released seasonally
At the beach or park
After running, cycling, or yoga
Materials: EVA outsole, lycra upper
Retail price: $40 adults, $36 toddlers and youth
LUV Dream Flats come in a buttload of different colors, so many that it wracked my brain on which to choose… Since they rotate their patterns and colors every season, I thought I’d choose a solid, neon, and a patterned pair to try out for summer:
From top to bottom: Metallic Pewter, Large Lunar Dot Grey, and Neon Blue
If I had to summarize the imdb movie blurb of the LUV Dream Flat, it’d go like this:
Dream Flats: a chickmance starring Julie Bowen and Kristen Wiig. Two friends throw caution to the wind and fulfill their childhood dreams of biking across the continent to open a white-water rafting shop in Costa Rica.
Okay, that was random. But, what I’m trying to say is that these shoes are amphibious, fun, and cuter on my foot than I expected. They’re like a bougie, more socially acceptable version of those Vibram foot-glove things. I could wear them biking (maybe not all the way to Costa Rica) and then jump in the water at my destination.
If I were Roger Ebert, I’d give the Dream Flats two thumbs-up for versatility! One day I biked uphill to work in them during a 15 minute summer rainstorm… and the flats looked better than the rest of my outfit when I arrived at the studio sopping wet! On the Fourth, I wore them to hike to the waterfalls, walk about downtown, and even biked to the bars for a 3 hour dance party. Cute and comfortable, yet sturdy enough to kick in some good pedal power.
And if I had to throw rotten tomatoes, I’d say the only downfall is that the inner lining becomes loose under the toes after several wears in and out of the river. They do take a bit of breaking in, but no blisters necessary. The 37 was perfect for my size 6.5-7 ducky foot after a good 8 hours in the Dream Flat.
For 40 bucks a pop, these Dream Flats are everything they claim to be. Here’s a Mir.I.Am dorkin’ about town slideshow for those of you who wanna judge for yourself if these look good on your feet:
And if you want some goodies, and you’re the type of cycle lady to cruise the streets despite the summer rains, the LUV Dream Flats can take you from office to kayak with a bit of style. Would you rock flats over clips like Hannah, Karen, or Dottie? Until the end of July 2013, enter the promo code “BikeCommuters” to save 20% off at LUV footwear online.
Wanna get a free pair of chickmance Dream Flats for some summer pedal power? How about a Bike Commuters + LUV giveaway? Just follow these steps:
Leave a comment below describing your favorite pair of kicks for summer bike commuting.