Queens Day in SF April 27th 11-5pm

Dutch Queens Day is happening this year -April 27th at the Murphy’s Windmill, in the GG Park. Orange of course is the color of choice. Come celebrate with good food, music, kids activities, beer and dutch treats. Our ORANGE conference bike will be there taking people back and forth between De Young Museum and the Windmill. Bring your bikes, bring your kids. Meet new and old faces and not only people but doggies in costume.
Volunteers needed go to this link: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A044FABAF28A31-volunteers. To read more go to SFDutch.com

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Tires for Sale Vredestein, Schwalbe and more….

Different sizes on sale Retail for $45 and up. Now on Sale while supplies last. More not shown…

37-590            40-635            47-559           50-559           54-559            60-559

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Supermarket Street Sweep

Congratulations Melissa Anderson for hauling in 239 pounds on the MDB Shop bike and raising $297.69 at this year’s event.

We set the bike up with 2 huge plastic bins (available at our store for 100 bucks a piece) to hold as much food as possible.



Interbike, Vegas, & THE REST OF THE WORLD: Taking a Gamble at Subjective Evaluation

By Josh Boisclair                                                (please see accompanying photos on our flickr site)


“One step forward, two steps back”

I will admit that Vegas and large crowds are not my natural habitat, so many of my observations might be overly-negative and tainted with Tecate….. but the fact that Interbike is hosted in Vegas really makes a lot of sense,–(even to me, and I actually ride my bike to work every day); especially when you consider that when it was projected to not be in vegas this year there was a massive uprising among venders and attendees and so in Vegas it has stayed. Stumbling past the street souvenir vendors along the busy Strip, I couldn’t help but think that Interbike should have their logo printed on those popular souvenir Vegas shirts that say “What happens in vegas, stays in Vegas”, if they in fact don’t have those already, and i would be seriously disappointed if i missed the opportunity to own such a shirt. I arrived on The Strip, but only after the $7 airport beer, $12 airport bloody mary, and the free-but-programmed airport-bartender greetings and small-talk attempts, and the largely uneventful, but environment-killing and resource-wasting flight, and everything seemed the same as the year before, and the year before that, and the year before that. Instantly, you can’t help but notice that everyone is walking around outside and in public drunk, (or at least on their way there), smoking, holding a cocktail glass or a tall can of Coors Light, and under the influence of a prescription, or a back-of-the-alley-under-the-table drug…or three. Then, you go into the Casinos and there are the older folks, almost all overweight and aging poorly, sitting at their chosen slot machine, waiting to be hit in the head with their American Dream, –(“The” American Dream died when Burger King came out with “My Whopper”)– at all possible costs. Inside the Interbike Arena, the observations differ, but only slightly: A small, portable bar right at the entrance, with a very professional bar tender, $7 bud lights, and he knows how to make a real good bloody mary. No one was smoking that i could tell, but some of the “new products” made me wonder what some may have smoked, beforehand…..


Luckily, most all the attendees seem to be in Vegas Mode, which to me, means senses numbed from all the over-exposure, unable to make full sense of any one thing, instead lumping every little piece of input into a large sludgy mass of Information to be sifted through and cleaned up later. Like Vegas, everything jumps out at you with a loud voice yelling “try me!”–it’s all so new, loud, big, bright,–it is utterly impossible to make any sort of analytical assessment of anything at first, despite that fact that that’s what I’m there for. Luckily, after Recovery, I am able to,–two days later to be exact. The first day of the event is pure acclimation, walking around in a sort of stupor unable to speak, and definitely not wanting to get into an in-depth bicycle-related conversation with a professional. I did manage to snap a few photos though, which came out very poorly due to my unfamiliarity with digital photography–just another new thing to try to figure out along with everything else. The first bike i noticed was a mixte frame made by Bilenky at the Paul booth. That bike won a best-of award at NAHBS. This bike also set the mood and although vague, the theme of the show this year, as far as i could tell anyways: extreme attention to detail, high-end, custom, local, family-owned..…. While I didn’t see any north american frame-builders with booths, their bikes were everywhere, at larger companies’ booths, displaying the larger companies’ goods. California-built custom bikes and Cali-based companies were everywhere, Renovo comes to mind, also right at the entrance, locked up to a pole, displaying bike locks. Fixed-gear urban bikes still have a surprisingly strong presence and the one that stood out was Livery Design gruppe, with very original ideas and immaculate attention to detail. The Fixxxy thing might not be a passing fad after all!–I have reconsidered leaving my own fixed-gear bike hanging, full of shame, in the rafters……–maybe i’ll take it out for a spin again. The Sturmey Archer booth also displayed their products on custom hand-made bicycles instead of production Raleighs. I was however, in a constant state of disappointment, it started out quite mild, but then grew and grew as i saw hardly any! decent “city” bikes, utility bikes, or cargo bikes. Biria, Bobbin, Linus, and Nirve all displayed entry level and economically priced city bikes; while Gazelle and Pashley had the higher quality bicycles. Trek, while not there, had an aluminum Omafiets on display at a car-rack booth, proof of an awareness of sorts, but no commitment. The only real cargo bikes there were the Gazelle Cabby, the Dutch ID Filibus, and the Johnny Loco (with its ridiculous parking stand). And out of those three, The Cabby and the Filibus are the only bikes worth anyones money. Gone were last year’s cheap chinese cargo bikes, so at least no one got turned-off to cargo bikes this year, although the Johnny Loco is not too great but luckily was neatly hidden in a corner. Yeah, there was the newish Civia Halsted truck bike, a classic example of another hundred-year-old design re-introduced as a lower-end bike, and made to appear very boring instead of cool and useful. The Yuba Mundo was there of course, and with ineffective sales approaches as i overheard the following: “i don’t know about that long chain”

“oh, that’s the least of your worries”

“oh, so what is my biggest worry?”

“………” silence, he had nothing, and so moved on to the next slot machine. Box Cycles was their with a Christiana trike, it wasn’t selling; Nordic Bike Project had a Pilen, and that was it! Tons and tons of high-end racing gear though: mountain, road, and cyclocross; clothing, racing saddles, sunglasses, socks, jerseys, BMX bikes, trick bikes, and little bikes; American Express was even there giving away “free” pens, actually more like shoving them in your face as you walked buy saying “sir, your pen”

“no thanks man, that thing is too sharp, i might stab myself with it”


Being at the Gazelle/Yepp booth was a breath of fresh air though, especially since it was right there with Pashley, –complete with a genuine british dude who was the real deal and not an actor; Moulton, and the re-introduced Gerry Burgess line. The Dutch overall had a solid presence with Basil, Gazelle, and Yepp. Dutch ID was there, but in talking with them you couldn’t help but notice the lack of enthusiasm and eagerness to off-load their bikes on display for cheap so they didn’t have to haul them back. –No, Dutch bikes/commuter bikes/city bikes/utility bikes were not a trend at this year’s Interbike, even though in every major city (ie: the real world) they are gaining popularity at an alarming rate. There was a noticeable trend at the show however, toward small-wheel bikes–full size bikes with 20 inch wheels, in fixed gear, road, and commuter configurations. These spanned from the awesome $14,000 full stainless-steel Moulton to various $200 chinese fixed gear bikes in 1000 different colours. Surly had a strong presence with solid, affordable, and practical goods, and their Pugsley bike has spawned TONS of, (ok, at least 5) imitators, and these huge-tire bikes were everywhere!–who knew?–They do make it easier to ride over logs as was observable at the Surly booth sporting log rollers for people to test their skills on. Carbon fiber and steel seem to be the materials of choice these days, with less and less aluminum and titanium. Modern builders and companies also seem have developed a hatred for, or at least a severe disliking for straight, round cross-section frame tubes, or maybe there was a recent tubing bender sale worldwide that i missed out on. The ground level had the most interesting stuff, most notably were not one, but two! reintroductions of the Pedersen frame design, one with electric assist front hub motor; the Tortola Roundtail bikes, (no real reason to make a frame like that other than “hey! it’s Vegas–er, Interbike!, loosen up man!” …….; the Solowheel provided a great spectator sport; and the Circulus–a mini velodrome where you could show off or break your nose.


Only in Las Vegas will you find drink holders in the bathroom stalls and a great Public Monorail that nobody uses, and only at Interbike will you see many of the bikes on display there. Go back home, and bikes people are riding and things people are using seem only vaguely familiar to what was seen in Vegas; and the city or town you go back to after the show is probably nothing like Vegas either, (unless you live in LA or Reno I guess). Only in Vegas can you walk the street intoxicated with an open container, and only at Interbike will you see a bicycle with strings instead of a chain, a 60,000 dollar carbon e-bike, and a long line at the electrolyte replacement and sports-drinks booths, as everyone is trying to cure their hang-overs with the free samples. Only in Vegas is it OK to make a fool of yourself, as i did donning my translucent green “Las Vegas” visor, promenading intoxicated down the Strip and through the Disneyland attractions, trying to blend in, and not stopping until it became painfully clear to me that my Converse All Stars were not made for walking (and it was past 3 AM); and only at Interbike do I go three days without riding my bike. But, maybe we should all be walking everywhere anyway, instead of taking advantage of the extreme low-impact efficiency of the Bicycle;–many an ex-Pro road racer suffers from Osteoporosis at an early age…….This year’s Interbike makes it clear that bicycles are still toys. No doubt, you could go to Vegas and hit the jackpot oneday, then being able to afford many of the bikes on display,– I mean, imagine cruising the Strip in the Blacktrail Non Plus Ultra(!) instead of walking, or taking a cab, or taking the monorail, or……..(gasp!)–riding a normal bicycle! I will admit, I was expecting at least a carbon cargo bike this year, maybe even a carbon rack or two, many more ultra-high-end commuters with titanium and stainless-steel frames, and more things like the string bike or the Elliptigo, alongside a good selection of practical urban commuter and cargo bikes. Nope. There’s always next year, and maybe it’s time for Interbike to be held in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland, New York, or Austin…..but I don’t think it will happen: we like our video-game lifestyle here; we are severely addicted to every single decadent, superfluous pleasure of Vegas/Interbike.





Introducing Umberto Dei Bicycles

A Pioneer of Italian bicycles, Umberto Dei was building bicycle frames as early as 1896. His legacy continues in part, with the Imperiale. This Beautiful Italian Machine represents timeless style and mechanical simplicity so often lacking in the trendy world of modern bicycle design. It displays immaculate attention to detail, while quietly and completely capturing the essence of  “Bicycle”. The quality of its construction is top-notch, and we enthusiastically carry these fine machines for those who desire the Beautiful; the highest of quality; a simpler machine for those less demanding, but ever-so important escapades. These are not bikes you would necessarily leave outside in the rain all the time, nor bang around in bike racks, or lean awkwardly against poles–they are just too nice for such treatment, and deserve to be properly cared for. For those casual rides through the city or into Wine Country, down to the cafe, the farmers market, or to the movies, this bike will shine. However, we do not recommend leaving this bike unlocked and unattended; do not expect to carry 100 pounds of cargo, or carry two children to school on the Imperiale. Rather, expect the joys of Sunday rides to the local park, picnics on the Coast, evenings out on the town, and riding to work in style, all the while owning not only a piece of history and functional art, but personal transport which will provide decades of enjoyment.


Umberto Dei Regale

These Italian Bicycles are still built as they were almost 100 years ago: steel cottered cranks, 26 x 1 3/8″ wheels on the ladies step-through frame, 28″ wheels on the men’s; rod brakes, steel chaincase, steel lugged frame, and beautifully plated proprietary hardware throughout. They come in two sizes (57.5cm men’s, 51.5cm ladies), one colour, and one speed. Slightly modern additions include aluminum alloy rims, which provide outstanding braking performance, and a tire-driven bottle generator, which powers the lights. And yes, these bikes have rod-actuated rim brakes (with built-in front brake modulator), and steel cottered cranks. Both the cotter pin and the rod brake have often been subjects of ridicule outside the Professional Bicycle Mechanic community, due solely to the amount of time it takes a skilled Mechanic to properly install, service, and set-up rod brakes, and the various methodologies required to properly replace and service cotter pins. Many bike shops today will not even touch a bike with such features, yet these classic mechanical gems make the Imperiale a true and honest Classic, not a re-production. These days, we all move so fast, looking too distantly and too briefly at too many things. We are bombarded with schedules, timelines, traffic jams, pollution, and much more. The Umberto Dei Imperiale represents a different time and place in history, bringing us back to an era when more of us actually had time to do things right, to perfect things, and to truly enjoy anything and everything life has to offer.

come check these bikes out, they are amazing. It’s really like going back in time to see these.

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Queens Day for Holland is coming soon to SF!

On April 30th each year, the Dutch gather to celebrate the birthday of the Queen of the Netherlands. Why not celebrate this year by dressing up in orange and riding a bike through the city of San Francisco? Come along on one of two orange-themed bike tours, where you can join the Dutch in their celebration of Queen’s Day. Also will have a booth at Union Square where Queen’s day events will be held. Stay tuned for updates on after parties : )

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What is a Dutch Bike?

Josh’s Top Ten Features of a “Real” Dutch Bike

Many bicycle companies are now using the terms “City Bike” or “Dutch-Style” to label their “Commuter” or “Utility” models. Sadly, even though these bikes are often said to be based upon or inspired by “real” Dutch bikes, they’re often lacking many essential features, which would otherwise make the bike complete and ultimately enjoyable and practical. A traditional Dutch bike is a “rain-or-shine, night-or-day” bike for getting you wherever you need to go comfortably and conveniently within the town in which you live, all while wearing normal clothing and shoes and carrying whatever it is you need to carry. Additionally, the bike will last for decades amassing minimal maintenance cost. Below are the top ten features to look for in a bike that all ad up to making this possible.

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Cargo bikes and the Information Revolution, by Josh Boisclair (MDB mechanic)

Our mechanic Josh is a fervent utility bicycle enthusiast. Here are some of his personal thoughts and opinions on various cargo and utility bicycles. Enjoy!

Cargo bikes and the Information Revolution


Bicycles that carry stuff have been around for over 100 years. Some of the earliest know examples are the Monark Long John, still in limited production, and the Dutch Bergreijer company, who made various styles of cargo-carrying bicycles. There does however, appear to be a relatively recent “revival” of cargo bicycles (at least in America) throughout the last few years, due to a number of factors. First of all, bicycles in general have been gaining popularity since fuel prices are high and climate concern is high. As Americans, we tend to think “large” and desire to move all about easily, often carrying loads of useful cargo or loads of crap. Either way, we like “stuff” and now more and more of us are looking for ways to carry our stuff by bicycle. This desire is nothing new at all: the traditional Randoneuring and Porteur bikes of France, the Transportfietsen of Holland, the Bakfietsen of Holland, and the Long John of Switzerland, and the Postal bikes of England are all tried-and-true examples of this. One thing that has changed rather recently however, is the way we buy things, and they we gather information-(often misinterpreted as learning) about things. The Internet has changed the way we live in almost every way.   » Read More »

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New Year Resolution. Try My Dutch Bike for Rent in February! See how quickly you lose pounds just by riding and having fun!

We will rent our Gazelle Basic in men and women to give you a glimpse of what it feels like to ride an Authentic dutch bike. No need for lycra. Come in a skirt or dress slacks. Heels and loafers preferred with our nice block pedals. No need for pant straps. Our bikes have coat and chain guards. Oh did I mention they all come with bells so no need to say “on your right!” Just pass if necessary but most likely you will be passed! No sweat since you will be enjoying the views and riding in style! Stop for a coffee and lock your bike with the attached wheel lock and plug in AXA chain we provide. Hassle free and practical!

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Holiday Gift! $100 off shipping with purchase of bicycle in December 2010!

Looking for a Holiday gift? How about one of our hand built bicycles from Holland, Germany, Italy and soon to come Denmark. These gifts are not only beautiful to look at  but more importantly a vehicle that can transport your kids, groceries and cargo without spending a dime on gas, insurance, stress or maintenance not to mention not having to own spandex. See a recent article in the SF Chronicle  for holiday gift ideas. To think we are considered a luxury item. I would say more an investment that will last a life time.  http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/11/23/SB2J1G93FC.DTL

Gift or not here are some other reasons our customers ride a bike. Riding is Healthy, Green and Perfect transportation for many cities in the U.S.

Josh Boisclair-”It is very gratifying to accomplish those rare feats by bicycle like hauling a few hundred pounds of stuff, moving by bicycle, transporting other bicycles by bicycle, etc. The bicycle as a machine is actually quite remarkable.”

Dennis Budd- “ No other man-made invention gives me more joy on a daily basis then the bike… Personally, I ride because it is FUN, practical, faster than the alternatives, makes my heart work and keeps me feeling youthful.”

John Calaway-”Biking around SF everyday is a great experience as the city is blessed with incredible natural and cultural beauty that is often best appreciated self-propelled, either walking or on foot.”

Brenda Pitts-” I needed: a sturdy, durable bicycle that would protect my clothing and that would allow me to carry heavy loads to and from my office…”

Photo of Brenda Pitts by Meli Burgueno

Kristin Tieche-”The bike lane gives me a direct route to feeling free and vibrant… I fill my lungs with air and take in all the sights and sounds of my bustling community…  And parking is never an issue – it’s always door to door service!

Come by our store and see our beautifully handcrafted bicycles imported directly from Europe. We can even add a dutch clog to your keychain!

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