Category Archives: Inspiration

Chinese photographer captures everyday riders on invisible bikes

Click the photo to see the others in the series.

You may have seen this photo series already since it first bounced around the blogosphere a couple years ago. But it’s new to us and we thought it was cool so we’re sharing in case you missed it, too.

Zhou HuaSen is a Chinese photographer who created this series of people floating on “invisible,” i.e. digitally removed, bicycles. The effect is neat for the everyday commuters he captured, but we wondered if it would also be interesting to show other types of riders without their wheels. Like racers–would they look cool? silly? Maybe that depends on the lens through which you view bicycle riding. (Sorry.)

Interesting note on crediting sources: We originally saw the photo series on one of the many blogs that posted about it, but it took some digging to find the original blogger, especially since somewhere along the way people started misspelling the photographer’s name (as Zhaohua Sen). Our best guess for the originator is this post by My Modern Met where you can see the rest of the images, but if we’re wrong, feel free to correct us. Also, here’s the closest thing to a bio page we found for the photographer himself.



Top 10 “Hey, did you see this?” bike innovations people sent us this year

People often send us links to bike-related products, companies, or Kickstarter campaigns that catch their eye. Sometimes we’ll get the same referral from many people, creating a natural filter for the most noteworthy innovations.

Below are the creations that were forwarded to us most often this year. Some hit the scene earlier than 2013 (like this one), but it seemed like this year was when they really landed in people’s consciousness. Or at least their inboxes.

Click any photo below to learn more.

Summer in Seattle and a Bike-in movie this weekend

Dear Seattle, have you looked outside recently? While most of the nation has been enduring oppressive heat and humidity, we’ve been enjoying the sunny days and mild temperatures that characterize our glorious summer months. Yes, this is normal for us during this season (Cliff Mass explains why), but hasn’t it seemed a little extra phenomenal this year? If so, you’re not imagining things; this summer has been one of the nicest on record for pleasant weather. Meaning it’s really good even by our standards.

Let’s take advantage.Bike-In Poster

This Saturday, the Northwest Film Forum is hosting its annual Bike-In Movie event at Cal Anderson Park on Capitoll Hill. Oh it’s gonna be fun. There’ll be games and prizes, local vendors (like us!) with booths, bike valet parking, and all your bike-riding buddies with picnic blankets and snacks and their “it’s so great to be outside right now” faces. And a movie of course! “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure,” arguably one of the best bike movies of all time, and one we love so much we once showed it at the shop for a movie night.

If you join the fun, stop by our table and say hello. We’re going to have a ring toss! You can play it, along with our Twitter photo contest (follow us here). Tweet @hubandbespoke and @nwfilmforum #seattlebikein with one or both of the following:

1) A picture of your best Pee-Wee pose (preferably with your bike).
2) A picture that incorporates your bike into a recreation of a famous movie scene.

We wanna see your creativity! We’ll have a little prize for the winner, who will be announced via Twitter right before the show starts.

The bike fair starts at 5 p.m. and the movie begins at 9 p.m. You can invite your friends to the event on Facebook. See you there!

A good book. Also, overnight bike trips are fun.

A guide to biking simplyjust ride book

We have a new book for sale in the shop called “Just Ride,” by Grant Petersen, founder of Rivendell Bicycles. I’ve long been a fan of Petersen’s take on bicycle design, which favors practicality and comfort over speed for the many who don’t race. But I was curious to learn more about his general “velosophy” (his term), so I picked up a copy for myself.

The book was a fast read, with lots of useful tips and insight for both new and experienced riders. I particularly appreciated Petersen’s firm-but-never-mean-spirited criticism of the way bike racing has adversely affected everyday bike riding, influencing everything from bike apparel to frame materials and geometry. Although he critiques much of the cycling-as-sport perspective, I was left with the overarching impression that Petersen is just trying to simplify things, to get us past the hangups of gear and weight and having to go super fast all the time, and encouraging us to “just ride” for the fun of it or as a practical means of transportation (as most of the world does).

It’s hard to talk about this without worrying that some feathers will get ruffled, but I share my thoughts in the spirit of encouraging more people to ride. I think Petersen shares that same spirit. Given that, and the loads of practical advice he dispenses based on decades in the bike industry, I highly recommend the book. 

Overnight bike rides: very fun, minimal hassle

One of the highlights from the book is a chapter called “S24O,” which stands for “Sub 24-hour Overnight.” Petersen’s term applies to any overnight bike trip that takes participants away from busy city life but then returns them in less than a day, usually in time for work the next morning. Because it’s such a short trip, it requires less planning and gear than a multiday tour, and if anything goes wrong (I forgot my headlamp/patch kit/toothbrush), the limited distance and duration mitigate the effects.

The chapter made me think of a great S24O ride I took a few years back with Juliette, David, and a few of our friends to Whidbey Island. We met downtown after work on a Tuesday afternoon and took the Sounder commuter train to the Mukilteo ferry terminal. We hopped on the ferry and then rode our bikes a few miles on the island to a farmhouse where our friends were staying. We built a fire, made dinner, and hung out before camping for the night. The next morning we caught an early ferry and an early train back to the city, and all of us were at work by 9 a.m. The trip was a blast, and it’s one of my fondest bike memories. And it made me realize how much I’d like to do another S24O soon.

What about you? Do you have any favorite S24O rides that you’ve done or would like to do? Please share your experiences or ideas in the comments section below.

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Bike Share programs around the world spark ideas for Seattle’s

B-cycle bike share in boulder
Boulder’s B-cycle bike share, which I used last year to get the last 2.5 miles from a bus stop to my destination. It was fantastic!

I highly recommend this excellent article from Grist on bike sharing. It cites numerous examples from around the world (here’s a handy map of them all), which spark several ideas for shaping the Puget Sound program (already in the works):

  • One bike share in Germany uses “station-less” bikes that are parked anywhere and located by smartphone. Sound familiar? The increasingly popular Car2Go program in Seattle uses the same model. I already tweeted @Car2Go asking why not start Bike2Go, if not in Seattle, then in other cities they service. Feel free to do the same! =) 
  • Clear Channel started the well-known and highly successful program in Paris called Vélib’. Seattle has no shortage of potential “anchor” corporations that could do the same or at least take a supportive role, yet according to this PSBJ article, Puget Sound Bike Share is still seeking sponsorship. Looks like Microsoft, UW, and REI are already in on the action, or are at least offering statements of support. Anyone from Boeing, Amazon, Safeco, Nordstrom, Alaska Air, Costco, Nintendo, Raleigh USA, etc., etc. reading this? Seems like a golden business opportunity.
  • A program in Hangzhou, China, integrates its bike sharing with other local transit options like bus and subway. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if Seattleites could use their ORCA card to access bike share?

What features would you like to see in our local bike share program?

I really like the article’s concluding statement: “Having bikes ready to go on the streets encourages more people to try out biking, and once they experience its convenience, speed, and lower cost, they then advocate for further improvements to cycling infrastructure — like bike lanes, paths, and parking — making it even easier for more riders to join in. This “virtuous cycle” means that it is increasingly likely that bike sharing could soon show up in a city near you.”

What a fantastic way to increase ridership, and what an extraordinary opportunity for Seattle.

Join us for breakfast

As mentioned in our recent newsletter, we’re celebrating the birthday of Hub and Bespoke’s muse with a breakfast meetup… at Tiffany’s of course.


On the morning of Saturday, May 4th, we’re hopping on our bikes and riding downtown to Belle Epicurean, a café and bakery, to grab breakfast. Then we’re riding to Tiffany’s to enjoy said breakfast. Want to join us?

When & Where: May 4th, 8:30 a.m. at Belle Epicurean; 9:15 at Tiffany’s.

What to wear: Your best Audrey or George attire. Please dress to impress! Gifts for those who participate.

Why: Lots of reasons. Such as…

1) Audrey was an icon of style and elegance who also happened to enjoy riding a bike. This is our way of celebrating her.

2) We really liked “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

3) We live in a beautiful city and we’re excited to dress up and start our weekend with a lovely breakfast downtown with you.

Images to inspire your outfit:

More inspiration at this GlamAmor blog post. See you for breakfast on the 4th!