Shazam Failed Me But All Was Not Lost

I was in my kitchen when Citibank’s new ad came on for their double cash campaign. I could have sworn that the audio in the ad was from a Big Audio Dynamite song but Shazam wouldn’t find the tune. But I was able to find the song on one of those ad campaign production details blogs.  It’s not BAD, it’s RAC

Anyhoo- here’s the ad. The song is below that- it’s Let Go from RAC

And the song-

Gift Ideas for Bikers

Now’s the time of year when people start asking me for recommendations for gifts for their loved ones who bike. I usually say the same thing every year- depending on budget get them one of these: 1. a tune-up from their favorite mechanic at the local bike shop 2. better lights 3. socks

But since I’ll be asked, I thought I’d write a list and post it on the K-blog so I can just reference it as needed and have some links for the lazy.

1. A full-service tuneup from your local bike shop. (Bicycle Heaven in SA | American Cyclery in SF)

2. socks (defeet)

3. Better lights: DiNotte Lighting – Just a note on lights: I personally try to avoid odd battery sizes- like coin batteries. Get rechargeable lights- or get lights that use AAs or AAAs that you can recharge on your own. Triple-check to make sure you’re not buying a cute light with a crappy battery size.

4. ANYTHING from Swrve. Swrve kicks ass. They make great clothing. Just double-check your sizing. Especially if you’re a big-boy like me. Everything I have from them is great – weather resistant pants, some shorts, some knickers, a hat, jeans..
actually, I sold the jeans- I lost weight and needed to downsize.

5. Cool Frame stickers from VeloInk 


6. Gobha reversible merino weatherproof hats  – yeah, that sounds like a weird rec, but they’re awesome hats.

7. Bro, get some embro from Mad Alchemy – okay this may be more for the sport rider as a general, hey I’m riding to get groceries, but Mad Alchemy makes great (and BPA free) products

8. Speaking of creams and embro – Doc’s All-Natural Chamois Cream (with tea tree oil) is a cool gift (cool AND soothing, get it?)


9. Get some replacement lenses for her or his favorite old frames. If you know what frames your loved one has, you can get replacement lenses or updates from places like Walleva or Revant (even on eBay). It’s a good way to make a favorite old pair of glasses new again.

10. Put together a spare kit (should be $15-30 depending on how you do it)

  • get a small school supplies bag from a place like Daiso, they’re like a buck
  • get a spare tire for your friend’s bike ($7), put it in the bag along with some
  • 2 slim tire levers ($5 for the kind I like) and a small patch kit ($3)
  • and if there’s room, maybe a slim multi tool $10 if you want to splurge
    this will fit in your jersey pocket

Here’s what mine looks like:

sparekit2 sparekit1

11. A winter collar from Rapha  – yeah, I know, you could just use a nice bandana, but these are neat

12. Another nice DIY thing would be to give a bike cleaning kit that you put together (~$50 or less)

  • all you need is a $4 2 gallon bucket from home depot (the SMALL paint buckets w/ a handle)
  • some empty spray bottles from the dollar story or container store
  • a bottle of simple green to dilute into one of the spray bottles ($10 for a gallon)
  • some good degreaser (to put into the other spray bottle) ($10)
  • a good chain brush like this one (don’t bother with those chain cleaning kits) ($12)
  • some cheap sponges ($3) from home depot – look in the car wash section
  • 2 bottle brushes ($3) – but make sure the brushes aren’t too stiff, or metal
  • some shop rags ($5 for a big bag)
  • and a bottle of Boeshield lube $10
  • some stickers— for the bucket

13. And perhaps a jersey or a semi-casual riding shirt from Road Holland?


Anyway, I hope that helps give you some ideas.

Smith Optics Pivlocks Have Strong Lenses

crushed-smithsA few months ago I was riding home and had my still-new Pivlock glasses on my helmet as it was past sundown. Long story short, but they fell off and the car next to me ran them over.

I picked up the pieces and took them home hoping I’d be able to salvage some of the parts since I still had two other sets of lenses for them.Long story short, no, I can’t salvage them.

But I was looking at the lenses today and thought it was remarkable that they never shattered- no pieces came off.  Sure, they’re scratched and banged up, and basically folded over- but no pieces came off.

I never really paid attention to the safety aspect of the lens ratings before, but I guess they do matter. I’m glad someone else was paying attention.

Also- if any of you have a set of Pivlocks (not the v90s, the older set) and need/want a case and two replacement lenses, let me know before I throw them up on eBay.

Yet Another Taxi Rant?

I had a draft saved about how I had been leaning towards changing my mind about cabs v uber and their spat after having some good rides using Flywheel and “regular” cabs- in particular a ride with a great Yellow Cab driver who had been driving for 20-30 years(!). But you know what – screw it.

I went to update the draft and the same day a coworker had a bad experience because of a cabbie yelling at her for wanting to use her credit card (she didn’t have cash– and I think originally summoned him via Flywheel – which he had a problem with). So screw it. I’m back to where I was opinion-wise. I’m sure there are some great cab drivers out there and I’m positive there are some goofy uber drivers but the taxi industry is dying because of their own ineptitude, and I don’t mind.

I should have just written a rant about new uber/lyft drivers who drive part time in SF who don’t know the city at all because they live elsewhere (two drivers in a row from Modesto who didn’t know the city)?

We’re pretty lucky in SF to have a transit system that goes (almost) anywhere, and an abundance of bike paths, and multiple companies vying for our $ to take us from point A to B. I should stop ranting about it.