Category Archives: speakingofbicycles

Seattle Bike Share

In Seattle for a wedding. Here’s a view of San Francisco this morning, with the Bay Bridge People Path in the foreground (aka “the world’s longest bike pier,” because it only includes the east span of the bridge). BTW we’ll ride it this semester.

aerial view of San Francisco Bay, with Alameda and Oakland in foreground and San Francisco and Marin County in background.

two brightly colored bicycles, one bright green and yellow, the other orange
Bikes from two of the three new stationless bike share companies in Seattle, LimeBike and Spin.


Seattle has 3 different “stationless” bike share companies (2 depicted above). To get to our seedy motel from the airport, I first took a light rail and then a “LimeBike” (that’s the green and yellow one).

A short video of riding a LimeBike on Seattle’s 27-mile multi-use Burke-Gilman Trail.



EVENT: Pedal-In Sunday September 17

This bike ride features talks by many noted San Francisco area writers, artists, and activists.

Unfortunately, I will be in Seattle for a wedding and will not be able to attend!

In conjunction with the opening of The Commons, a new gathering space at Headlands’ Center for the Arts, the Studio for Urban Projects with Packard Jennings, will host a “pedal-in” to the Headlands campus. The ride will feature a series of talks focused on bicycling as a way of claiming public space from our city streets to our parklands.

Public space is critical to assembling political energy and informing community dialog. Modeled after the “ins” (teach-ins, sit-ins, bike-ins) of the 1960s and the political action they inspired, the day will connect the history of bicycling, the environmental movement, and social protest to contemporary action. It will provoke us to consider the commons as an opportunity for shared action.

Preparing for Project 1 Presentation

screen shot of linked page
Screenshot of TED site

On Tuesday, you’ll speak to the class for 4 to 5 minutes (no longer), giving us your assessment of someone’s credibility. You pick the someone — but there has to be some connection to the wide world of bicycles.

Be sure to review the assigned readings, videos, and the credibility assessment handout from last Tuesday’s class.

Please read these instructions carefully:…-assessment-talk/

IMPORTANT: Using your phone or computer, make 2-3 recordings or yourself rehearsing your talk. If you want to get an A grade on this module, you should record 3. Post the recordings to YouTube (you can control the privacy settings) and submit the link to Canvas. Normally you would submit on the blog but that’s not working for some reason.

Questions? Feel free to call or text.

Giro di San Francisco

Every Labor Day (the first Monday in September), San Francisco hosts a bike race called the “Giro di San Francisco.” Giro is the Italian word for “tour” — in years past, the race went through North Beach, an historically Italian neighborhood.

Once upon a time, the race was known as the San Francisco Gran Prix, and some of the world’s greatest pros came to SF to suffer on the steep hills of Fillmore Street.

The Giro is now a relatively flat “criterium” race (meaning a lot of short, fast laps, which is great for spectators).

The Giro has caught the attention of Funcheap:

The race promoter’s event flyer is here:

Lots of folks take video while in the race:



Get Ready for Fall 2017

The Fall 2017 edition of Speaking of Bicycles is just around the corner. We’ll meet for the first time in our assigned classroom on the Lone Mountain campus at 12:45 pm on Tuesday, August 22.

If you have a bike, feel free to bring it to campus! Because we are an urban campus, there are some special considerations involving security and storage of bikes. Best to email me before you arrive so I can help you figure that out (

Frequently asked questions:

Why aren’t there any books at the bookstore?

Great question! All course materials (such as readings, videos, etc.) will be available at no cost to you. Many of the materials are “open source” and available to all; others are restricted by copyright and will be available only to students in the course.

Class is four hours long! How will I survive!

Good point! Instead of meeting twice a week or three times a week for shorter class session, we’ll meet for one long session once per week. But don’t worry, it’s not going to be a long lecture! In fact, we often won’t meet in our classroom at all, but instead explore some part of the campus or the city. But still, it’s a long class — hopefully the professor will bring some snacks.

Do I have to ride a bike around San Francisco?

Great question! No — but we will travel around in San Francisco, but there are lots of ways to do that. A bike is probably the cheapest and most efficient way to travel in the city, but other ways work great, too (walking, driving, public transit, taxis or transportation network companies such as Uber).

Because we’re going to be traveling around, it’s best to dress comfortably, with practical shoes, layers, and a backpack or bag that’s not too heavy.

How can I learn more about the class?

You can start by looking at the Syllabus link and other links — Modules, Partners, Policies, etc. (above).