Monday, June 30, 2008

S.F. Chronicle Publishes Bike Commuter Article in the "Style" Section

In an article by Amy Moon, The Chronicle( on the web) covers the current minor exodus from car commuting to biking and even walking.

What caught our eye was one of the pictures published in the print edition was one of Cheryl Brinkman with our (now hers) Soma Mixte prototype(built up by American Cyclery).

<<Cheryl Brinkman also became an almost daily bike commuter in the past year. She lives in the lower Haight and commutes 2 miles to her job as a product manager at McKesson Corp., in the Financial District. About her wardrobe, Brinkman said, "I've altered it for the better and only one thing that I don't wear now that I bike so much is long full skirts."

"My main thing is getting to work not feeling like I just had a workout," said author Judy B. (her full, legal name), who lives in the Fillmore and commutes to her job as a legal assistant in the Financial District. "If I'm kind of going along, rushing to make red lights, and realize I'm breaking a sweat, I go whoa, slow down," she said. "San Francisco has ideal biking weather because the coolness is a perfect balance to the heat I generate riding my bike at a reasonable pace."

Graduate student Lisa Foster refuses to let the peddling keep her from wearing her pumps, as she wrote in an issue of the San Francisco Bike Coalition's Tube Times.

"I really think bikes are made for people who wear heels," she said. "You don't have to walk in them. It's so much better." (That makes a lot of sense actually.)

While it's impossible to know exactly how many new cyclists are on the streets, bike-store employees and bike-rack attendants at BART stations say that the numbers have jumped as dramatically as gasoline prices over the past six months or so.>>

Today was a great morning to commute...not too hot, not too cold or windy...and the sea breeze is cleaning out most of the wild fire tainted air of last week.

For the rest of the article, go here.

Geometry for the Buena Vista mixte frame is up on main website now. Keep visiting the blog to find out when production models will go on sale. We have pushed back the release date a bit. Sorry to those who were patiently or anxiously waiting.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Quake City Rumble, SF, July 3-6, 2008

July 3-6 marks the fifth running of the Quake City Rumble in San Francisco. This year the top male and top female get roundtrip tickets and entry into the North American Cycle Courier Championships in Chicago. This will surely bring out some intense competition.

All proceeds from the race itself go to San Francisco Bike Messenger Association Broken Bones fund established to help local messengers with medical bills after an accident.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Next Month: The Soma Nomaoi Horse Festival

We are always stoked when someone tells us there is another meaning tied to the simple word soma. When we started Soma Fabrications, we were told there had been a Japanese bicycle brand in the 1970's with the name Soma. It meant "running horse".

Last year we found out more info regarding soma in Japan. Soma is a city in the Fukushima Prefecture. The 1034-year old Soma Nomaoi Horse Festival or "Wild Horse Chase" takes place every July there. In this historical event, 600 mounted samurai in traditional Japanese armor, with long swords at their side and ancestral banners streaming from their backs, parade across open fields. There are also various competitions like one to capture a flag shot out into the field by fireworks, wrangling "wild" horses, and straight out racing.

No Helmets Required:

Unlike bicycle races, helmets are not used during the competive events since they are ornamental and not very secure and can trip a horse, if they fall off during an event. But they do compete wearing these very cool ancestal banners. Who thinks these would make awesome safety flags on the daily commute? (Images from Charminda and Samurai Dave. Find out more here and here. Want video? Go here.)

Monday, June 9, 2008

New Double Cross....Vodka


Double Cross is a brand new "luxury vodka" from Slovakia. We were not just impressed with the name, but the killer bottle design. They also have an interesting logo/coat of arms with double cross bars. We were playing with a similar logo for our new Double Cross frame graphics, but dropped the idea. They got their inspiration from an ancient Slovak coat of arms. We got our inspiration from "V for Vendetta".

Double Cross Vodka is due to hit bars in late summer... to coincide with the launch of our Double Cross DC(disc & canti) frame.

Just kidding about that "coincide" thing.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Soma 'Velodrama' Track Bars and 'Straight' Bars

New schwag for your perusal.
If your shop hasn't heard about these, send them over here or ask them to give their distributor a call.
They are available now in small quantities. The Velodrama is a 31.8mm CrMo Track Bar. It is the same bar as the one IRD will be releasing as the SuperDrome CrMo, but they let us borrow their design for colors they didn't plan to do....powdercoat pink and white.

We also have new aluminum straight bars in polished anodized colors. (5 degrees, 500mm long, we are planning to do zero degrees in the future, but this is what we's got now.) Besides anodized we will also have one in white, which will look nice on our Rush frame.