During last year's parking wars I got slammed with tickets. I reluctantly parked my girl 'Niti (that's her name) and took to walking and riding public transportation. It was amazing to see how much money I saved and how much better I felt-reduced my waistline and carbon footprint in one fell swoop! Still, riding Aunt Clara and BART most definitely lack spontaneity factor for making impulsive moves. In response, I dusted off my '90s era Bianchi Eros (Baby B), and solicited assistance from my good friend and riding "G", C. Brooks. After a few adjustments- two new tires, an inner tube, and some chain oil-CB got me on the road and I've been pushin' it like a 15 year old ever since.
During our visits to local bike shops to pick up parts and advice, I noticed an overwhelming attitude (not mean) just a look that says, "you don't know what you need, I do. Just shut-up and let me solve your problem!" I'm familiar with this attitude since my riding enthusiast (bike SNOB) of a son deals with me in much the same way. My logic: I need bicycle parts, service, and advice. Maybe I should visit a place that provides parts, service, and advice. I'm just getting reacquainted with biking and if I need to spend the money anyway, why can't I just get some questions answered without that condescending smirk?
While rollin' around on Baby B, I found...Manifesto Bicycle on 40th @ Webster. These folk have managed to create a shop that exemplifies Oakland-inclusivity. I was met with smiles (not eye rolls) and genuine interest in helping me get the right gear for MY NEEDS. My needs? I like that.
"We want you to come in and talk about bikes" explained co-owner Mackay. "We (she and her partner Sam) wanted to create a bike shop that feels like a skate shop." "Sam has been a bike enthusiast and mechanic his whole life and I'm an entrepreneur. When we started riding together it was like "ta da" this makes sense." To top it all off, these partners are Oakland Lovers and the rest is his(and her)story. They offer a nice selection of city rides and accessories as well as a complete mechanic's shop. Check out Bike Church on Sundays from 11-12. "Services" are held to empower riders to fix "your own" and share experiences with the local riding community. There's even coffee, live music, and vegan doughnuts. Hallelujah Baby B!
Visit Manifesto's website for more info and bicycle love.
For more biking fun, peep these Oakland biking originals as well:
The One Woman (Bicycle) Street Team: DJ Black
Earlier this year DJ Black got clipped by a car while on her bike while promoting Hella Gay or one of the many sets she throws in Oakland. The next day, girl was back on the streets promoting wearing a silk headscarf and some big shades. A true warrior DJ!
Last year Mr. Oakland and DJ Oliver hosted Black's 17th annual Halloween set. All I can say is, damn, damn, damn!! Almost 500 attendees and beautiful fun had by all. This year is Black's 18th Annual Halloween Extravaganza is being held this Saturday October 30th @ The Oasis 135 12th Street. DJ Black's Allstar DJ Crew for the night include Abeldee, Vladamir Computin, Miggy Stardust, fflood, Oliver, and of course, Black as Black! Also Aima the Dreamer http://www.aimathedreamer.com/ will be performing. Be festive because there will be a cash-prize costume contest hosted by Mr.O! Be ready the throw dat!
For more info, see the invite @
"Welcome To the Freshness"
Punk Funk Mob: New Bar-Raising Video
Oakland based Punk Funk Mob have released the first installment of their latest music video Andie's Flowers. I'm intrigued: Beautiful woman, palpable angst, and a pocket knife? Leila could snap @ any moment. Will this end happily? New pieces to the puzzle will be released everyday @ 11:01 AM until 11/1/10. Can't wait to see how this all plays out. Check out Leila Chapter 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bm-A4-WLIdA The revolution may not be televised, but the web will do just fine. Quincy and Femi: Don't stop! PFM's latest release, Revolution, is available on itunes and @ Amazon. www.punfunkmob.com
Vulcan Blind Tiger Speakeasy November 6th
Think: Interactive dinner theater meets a prohibition-era set. Become a "one-nite member" of the Lucid Dream Lounge and soak up champagne, good food and 12 live acts with talents ranging from a french cabaret singer to an aerialists to 3 live bands to a opera singer (bravo to my girl Michelle Jasso) and more-intimate and flavorful. The stage winds throughout the audience and the menu includes fried chicken and even grilled cheese to exemplify this family home style joint. Real theater that's on the edge. The "donation" is $20 or $10 (if you arrive in a period costume). Attendance has exceeded 125 @ previous productions so get out. It's a speak easy, so you gotta do a little work to connect. Ya mean? Details @ http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=126653270722574653270722574
Until next time...Oakland Stand Up!
Happy Halloween Ya'll!