Saturday, June 27, 2009

After the coffeehouse

So I mentioned in yesterday's blog that I was probably going to check out Wheelhouse Bikes. I had enough time before meeting up with friends and found it easily enough.

Oh man, I had no idea I was going to find the bike shop of my dreams. They stock Batavus and other European style city bikes including Omafiets (or "damecykler" for ladies) and Opafiets (or "herrecykler" for gentlemen). They also do custom builds/modifications turning beach cruisers into surf cruisers. I'm so not into beach cruisers but the surf cruiser I saw looked pretty awesome. They stock both classic/retro bikes and street/mountain/modern bikes but I'm always intrigued by the "sit-up-and-beg" bikes.

The guys working at the shop were totally nice and imformative. I mentioned that I owned a Flying Pigeon and was told by my Los Angeles bike guy, Josef, that he sold another to a guy who works on bikes in SB. I was worried that when I did move up that I would not be able to find someone who could work on my bike. My Flying Pigeon is doing fine, I've had minimal problems on it since I got it and most were from flats on the rear tire and I wasn't able to work around the enclosed chain case (and that one time my extra long cardigan got caught in the chain case while I was speeding home). I do remember Josef telling me that some of the FPs are just faulty because of the chinese workmanship but after replacing a few things on my bike, it's pretty smooth.

Well, I didn't have to search hard enough to find the one Flying Pigeon owner in Santa Barbara because the Wheelhouse is his shop. He wasn't in so I'll have to come back and see him, that will not be a problem because I'm sure this shop will be my new bike shop hang out once I move up here. And it's relatively close, I don't have to walk a few miles, take a bus, then the subway, then the light rail train to get to it :)

I got a tour of the shop, they stock Basil accessories , Alchemy Goods and Nutcase helmets. I love all these brands, Basil because they are so stylish, Alchemy because the products are made with recycled tires and tubes (I need a new wallet) and Nutcase because I don't like the helmet I have (it's old and so not my style). (EW)

They let me take pictures, so now, on to the bike pr0n!!

These Bakfiets are perfect for hauling along your significant other, children, friends or goodies from Costco.

Look at this crazy cargo bike!

OMG another view of this crazy cargo bike!

some Batavus bikes

An Oma bike and some Xtracycles

that brown thing in the back is a surf cruiser, if it's still there the next time I visit, I'll get a better picture.

Basil (pannier) bags and Nutcase helmets <3

DUDE! This is a conference bike, 7 people can ride it.

I've never seen these in person, only on youtube:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Project: Escape From L.A.

yeah, I've been pretty quiet lately, neglecting my blog. But for good reason! I've been stressed out of my mind with my latest project which I dubbed: Escape from L.A.

See a few months ago, I decided that I cannot be in a cubicle, stuck in front of a computer for the rest of my life. Tendonitis (repetitive motion injury) helped in my decision making. And the fact that I'm not getting paid much. And the fact that biking in LA/SFV is a nightmare (see my previous post about industrial van vs bicycle stalking incident, FYI, LAPD never got back to me about whether or not the City Attorney is going to let me press charges).

My boyfriend also factors in on my reason for moving. He lives up north of Santa Barbara and ever since we started going out last October I've fallen in love with Santa Barbara (and Santa Ynez, Solvang, Los Olivos, etc). I come up whenever I can. Santa Barbara is a small town of a little over 400,000 people. Well, not exactly a small town but I come from Los Angeles, so it's small to me. :) It's got a great bicycling infrastructure, I've only seen one small road in all of my explorations in this town that did not have a bike lane. It's a college town so there are a lot of bicyclists of all ages and types riding about. I'll be starting school at SBCC this autumn, want to work on my prerequisites and get on the waiting list for the nursing program (I was serious about getting out of the frakking cubicle).

I brought up my Flying Pigeon on Amtrak a while back and biked around, got a few compliments on my bike. I usually see a lot of road bikes or beach cruisers up here, but Josef from Flying Pigeon L.A. assured me that he sold a FP to someone who fixes bikes up here so I gotta find this guy.

I move in a week. I had a job lined up but due to the recent budget cuts in California (by our esteemed Governator) the job I was a shoe-in for is not available due to a hiring freeze. Too bad jobs in public service/medicine are the first to suffer when your state is facing bancruptcy. So, at this time, I am job hunting like crazy and making sure all my little items are packed. Got a u-haul reserved for next friday for a room a friend is going to rent to me that's a 20 minute walk to the beach :D and easy biking distance to, um, EVERYWHERE (YES!).

So, if any of my readers know anyone in the Santa Barbara area who knows how to work on european style city bikes, or at least any bike with an enclosed chain like mine, let me know. If anyone wants to get together for a slow ride to explore the area with me, send me a message :) I'm currently blogging from NorthStar Cafe on State St and got the caffiene jitters. May swing by WheelHouse Bikes, they look like my kind of bike shop, even though my boyfriend is loyal to Bicycle Bob's. He doesn't have to know... :P

now for bike porn!

This is my Pigeon at the Santa Barbara Amtrak station, the train cargo lady said I needed a lighter bike. LOL! Even the train station is lovely up here.

ZOMG look at this bitching bike!

I want to find the owner and tell him/her that this bike is so freaking sweet. I love the box. (taken at the beach, in Santa Barbara, near State St)

out riding

out riding
riding my flying pigeon