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Home » Archives » May 2007 » The Hum of Singers

Thursday, May 31st
The Hum of Singers
No, not modern music, sewing machines. And okay, they are Juki industrial sewing machines, but they are stitching knickers as I write!

Our fill-in order of Classic Wool Knickers will be done in time for the second week of June, when we'll begin shipping backorders on a first-come-first-served basis, naturally. So place your orders now to get yours sooner!

Once those are done, we begin production on our long-awaited Hemp City Knickers! They turned out great, and I can't wait to get a pair for myself. (My sample had to go back to the factory as a sewing guide....)

And don't forget--in case you already have a pair of woolies--we are now selling Kookaburra Woolwash, the best laundry soap we've found for not only wool but any other fabric, and it's entirely biodegradable and made in an earth-friendly manner as well. The perfect laundry soap for the conscious commuter. We're trying to get our favorite local dry cleaner to try it out for their wet clean ops, and they are enthusiastic about the idea.

And since you gotta kick back sometime, don't forget our Stainless Steel Insulated Coffee Mug--steel is real, lasts almost forever, and keeps your brew warm--so no energy wasted reheating it! Take it to the coffee house to use in place of those stupid paper cups.

Okay, enough sales pitch for today. Get out and ride!

Richard Risemberg on Thu, 31 May 2007 07:35:37 -0800 [link]  

Tuesday, May 29th
How About "Accommodate a Bike at Work" Week?
It was Bike to Work Week, so may I say something inflammatory? Perhaps even derogatory? They can take their tepid attempt at do-gooding and cram it up their...bureaucracy. (How was that?)

What are we doing, by asking folks to bike commute one week each year, is proving to them how tough it is to do. It is not just battling traffic that is tough. It's stabling one's trusty steed at their destination.

It's an Automobile Infrastructure. A diamond-lane, turning-lane, parking-lane nation in a double-yellow, tow-away, 616-bike-lengths-a-minute (35mph) world. We are just clinging to the parking meters...literally.

But, given that Amsterdam has just announced their upcoming 10,000-bicycle parking structure at the central train station, it is a little hard for me to feel okay about using a parking meter to lock up my bike. It's even harder to justify locking my bike to a rack designed half a century ago, before there were quick releases or the need to secure the frame, and not just the wheel. In 21st century America, the damned things don't work.

What we need is a Bicycling Infrastructure. An outside-the-velodrome world where bike riding is the sensible choice and a good fit. We can do it--if we start with one good bike rack....

Gather 'round, friends, let me tell you about Accommodate a Bike at Work Week!....

Gina Morey on Tue, 29 May 2007 08:24:18 -0800 [link]  

Sunday, May 27th
The Smallest Bike Shop
It being Sunday, I rode down to the beach about twelve miles away and cruised along the famous Venice Boardwalk for a while, lazily pedaling the fixie among the sparse crowds of a cool May morning.

There was the usual array of painters, potters, and poster makers, henna tattoo artists, political ranters and ravers, street musicians, homeless comics, and so forth, facing off with the T-shirt shops and pizza parlors and bars and stoner shops and ethnic dress shops (and a lonely but exhuberant synagogue), all vying for the attention of the sandaled and bikini'd tourists and somewhat ragged locals drifting along between the city and the sand. The sea, bespeckled with surfers, grunted contentedly to my right, and the morning haze was beginning to clear, when I saw bicycle bits glinting to my left.

I circled the fixie round, and came upon what must be the smallest bike shop in all of North America, no more than ten feet wide and barely four feet deep, crammed with old frames, wheels, spare parts and tools, and with a nice little Zeus track bike hanging from the singular rafter.

Chatted up Don Olson, the bike wallah, who was a very nice fellow and who seemed to know his way around bike parts and wheel building, and learned he had been there only fourteen weeks, but that business was steady if a bit slow.

I did not have a camera with me, but I highly recommend a visit to 1313 Ocean Front Walk for those who live withing pedaling distance of Venice Beach.

It tells you something about the economy of the bicycle that a viable bike-based business can exist in a space barely big enough for two close friends to share a coffee.

Made my day!

Richard Risemberg on Sun, 27 May 2007 17:17:13 -0800 [link]  

Friday, May 25th
More Knicker Knews
That nice little New York Times review had a salutory effect on our meagre finances but has really depleted our stock. Currently we have only sizes 36 and 40 available for immediate shipping; however, we have arranged for another run of the Classic Wool Knickers to be produced simultaneously with our new release, the Hemp City Knickers, so we will be able to fill any backorders within a month.

We may also put our remaining stock of Classic Wool Knickers in black on clearance soon, but our first brick-and-mortar retailer, Orange 20 in East Hollywood, has first dibs on those.

More news soon!

Richard Risemberg on Fri, 25 May 2007 09:46:31 -0800 [link]  

Thursday, May 24th
Bicycle Bell Ensemble
This is the kind of serious silliness that makes life worthwhile: the entire Bicycle Fixation staff (Rick & Gina) will join with other LA riders to eprform in Patrick Miller's Bicycle Bell Ensemble, playing a two-movement composition by composer David Semien in conjunciton with the opening of the "Origin Is the Goal" exhibit at LACE.

The first movement is a group improvisation over a beat provided by the composer, played while riding from the Hollywood & Vine Metro station to the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions gallery on Hollywood Blvd.; the second movement will have us playing from a graphic score inside the gallery, to the accompaniment of our blinking taillights.

Tuesday, May 29th, shortly after 7PM at the Metro station for the first movement; 8pm at the gallery for the second movement.

Details in the "Origin Is the Goal" flyer.

Richard Risemberg on Thu, 24 May 2007 09:55:05 -0800 [link]  

Monday, May 21st
The Road to Carfreedom
Paul Fox has contributed another article in our growing series on the "Evolution of a Bicyclist." he recounts the progress of his return to transportational bicycling after a few years of thralldom to the car, and his progress towards his ultimate goal of a carfree life. Go to The Road to Carfreedom and enjoy!

Richard Risemberg on Mon, 21 May 2007 08:20:25 -0800 [link]  

Thursday, May 17th
Classic Wool Knickers Reviewed in New York Times
The New York Times' Fashion & Style section had a brief review of several bicycle knickers today, including our own Classic Wool Knickers, tested by Manhattan bicycle messenger Pablo Airalde. We were judged the "most stylish of the bunch," and apparently a number of people agreed, as we have been packing orders all evening.

Take a look yourself at the New York Times.

The actual reviews are in the slideshow.


Richard Risemberg on Thu, 17 May 2007 23:14:42 -0800 [link]  

Monday, May 14th
New Issue of Carfree Times
The latest issue of J. H. Crawford's Carfree Times features an extended article on Röthelheimpark in Erlangen, Germany, a new development designed to be almost entirely carfree. A quote:
There is a large shopping center on the northern edge of the district which is reachable by bike within minutes. Some residents say their car often stands unused for weeks. Nevertheless many of them seem not to care about the high costs of owning a car (even an idle one), which shows that Röthelheimpark is generally a place of medium- and higher-wage families. Many people do seem to be interested in car sharing/pooling, however.

The new residential area was not planned from the start as a carfree district. If this had been the case, then there would almost certainly have been opposition from the beginning, as has been the case with other German cities. As a high density built environment most streets in Röthelheimpark are much narrower than usual, allowing cars to pass through but not to be parked since they would hinder any other vehicle (including ambulances and fire trucks).
Also included are articles on a new fully carfree development in Abu Dhabi, and articles on freight trams, the ethanol scam, and more. Richly illustrated with photos.

To read this quarter's issue, go to

Richard Risemberg on Mon, 14 May 2007 21:28:06 -0800 [link]  

Pittsburgh Bike Bash Coming May 18th
Hey, if yinz are in Pittsburgh, take notice:
Mark your calendars bike people!!! Bike Pittsburgh is turning five and you’re invited to celebrate this momentous occasion with us! There’s going to be good food and beer (provided by local East End Brewing Company), as well as a brief award ceremony honoring dedicated bike advocates. We’ll also be showing the short bike advocacy film, Contested Streets.

You will also get to see a sneak preview of our hard work on Pittsburgh’s first commuter bike map since 1991!! Come see the progress of this momentus occasion. The map is projected to be on the streets in early July!

It’s going to be a great time!

When: Friday, May 18th (Bike to Work Day), 6-10pm (movie starts at 7pm)
Where: Attack Theatre (corner of Penn Ave & Mathlida in Garfield)
Donation: $3 with membership card, $5 non-member

For more details, go to Bike PGH

Richard Risemberg on Mon, 14 May 2007 21:17:41 -0800 [link]  

Wednesday, May 9th
Dutch Commuter Bikes in LA?
But that's what I saw this morning on my ride to the office: a handsome middle-aged blonde lady riding an American copy of a Dutch commuter through tony Larchmont Village at around 7:30 in the morning. When I greeted her and complimented the bike, she said, "It isn't fast, but I just use it to go to work."

Which it just warmed my heart to hear! Looks like she was riding the Amsterdam, complete with chaincase, skirt guard, generator lighting, fenders, and rack.

Hope to see more of that sort of thing soon!

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 09 May 2007 20:16:53 -0800 [link]  

Friday, May 4th
Black Gabardine Knickers on Sale
I have a selection of Bicycle Fixation Classic Wool Gabardine Knickers on sale at 20% off on eBay right now. I've got the Hemp City Knickers coming in in a few weeks, and need to make room for inventory, and the black doesn't sell nearly as fast as the charcoal gray, so I figure the $20 off might help them along. If these sell out soon, I'll put the remainder up (including other sizes) next week.

I've really got to diversify in styles before I diversify in colors, so that's another reason to move the black out, and of course I need to finance the Hemp City Knickers.

So if you like black wool knickers, buy them now! I probably won't produce them again for a couple of years, since there's a good bunch of projects in the pipeline I need to make room for.

Not seconds, not irregulars, just first quality fine black gabardine bicycling knickers for $79.00 plus shipping.

See them now on eBay!

Richard Risemberg on Fri, 04 May 2007 06:35:23 -0800 [link]  

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