Tuesday, September 7, 2010

going Public...

I was able to steel a little me time
on my last day in San Francisco.

Being the planner I am,

I did two things as soon as I knew I was

headed to the City for work a few weeks earlier:

1. I promptly made a hair appointment at my favorite salon with my favorite gal

2. I promptly typed an e-mail to Public Bikes to schedule a test ride

As luck would have it, both were in the same location.

The first time I entered South Park

oh so many years ago

I felt like it was a hidden gem,

a secret place of solace

in the middle of my City.

I was pleased to find out
that Public was now located in my park.
To think of what life would have been had this been there a few years ago.

Oh to have seen into the future...

I took out two Public bikes for test rides.

First the three speed - M3.

Of course I was immediately drawn to her basket.

This was the small and it was definitely too small for me,

an experience I do not have often!

I am 5'4" and would not recommend this bicycle for anyone my height.

They had told me in the store this would likely be too small,

they of course know their product.

But it was good to have the comparison.

I still think she's cute.

I then was offered the eight speed (M8) for a spin.

This was the medium, and a much better fit.

Zoom...off I went!

I was not sure instantly how I felt about Public Bikes

as I was riding them.

I love good design, and they are good design,

but are they good bicycles?

I had to chew on this for awhile.

But I knew when H picked me up from the airport

and the first conversation we had was a lengthy one

about Public Bikes,

and my thoughts on them,

that there was something to all this...

It may get long winded here folks...hang in there...

First off,

if you will recall,

a few years ago I began my search for this basic bicycle:

-A Dutch-Style Bicycle

-A Dutch-Style Bicycle that was not as heavy as the real deal

-A well designed bicycle

-A relatively inexpensive bicycle that was pretty, but if she was stolen my heart would not be broken.

-A relatively nondescript bicycle to the average thief, but a gorgeous bicycle to me and those folks who appreciate good design.

-A bicycle with more than three speeds so I could better navigate hills and get further afield

-A bicycle not made in China

-A bicycle that was not a piece of crap

More here:

The Criteria
The Criteria revisited
The Obsession
The Inkling
My First Post about a Dutch-Style Bicycle

Well, I have to say that the Public Bike would have completely worked for me on almost all points.
Though I now have another bicycle that I deeply love,
The Pashley Princess Sovereign,
the Public M8 would have fit the bill nicely and Public is only going to get better.
Comparing the two really is not fair, but here goes...
Both bicycles get you where you need to go in style;
one is a classic ride to which there is no equal
the other is full of class, but updated for the modern age.
Two well designed rides, each of a very different purpose.
In life you often get what you pay for,
and I think this is a valid point when it comes to these two bicycles.
That is not necessarily a bad thing, just a point to make.
The Pashley is like a classic luxury automobile that can hold its own when tested, take anything you throw at it, and remains steady and strong.
It needs to be taken care of, appreciated, and savored but is not meant to be left in the garage. A faithful friend always.
The Public is your sexy go-to-friend that gives you what you need when you want it, wants to be abused a little, and is meant to be savored by all. Definitely not a flake, Public is your fun time cruising friend always ready for a good time not taking itself too seriously.
Can I tell all this from riding a bicycle for a few minutes? I suppose not, only time would tell.
Time has revealed much to me about the Pash as I am sure it would about the Public,
but that's my gut reaction and I'm sticking to it.
Do I regret having the Pashley now that the Public is out there? Hell no.
Do I wish I had a Public as well as the Pashley? Yes.

One of the most distinct features I noticed about the Public
was the more aggressive seating position,
you are definitely more leaned forward,
but as Dan explained to me (that's Dan down there in the picture),
Public put a lot of thought into that, especially in regard to the hills of San Francis
I can see it, it makes total sense.

For people like me who want to know:
The M8 is still a bit on the heavy side, 31.7 lbs. But big deal.
The bicycles are made in Taiwan - if you know anything about bicycles and a thing or two about manufacturing in general, you know there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that.
The rest you can do some research on and figure out, I am not a techno geek.

It was an absolute pleasure talking to Dan.
Like I said, I am not a techno geek,
but I can certainly talk up a storm with someone
who is as passionate as I am about beautifully designed
functional bicycles.
Once I divulged my blog identity,
we were off and running about many topics.
Dan's enthusiasm is contagious -
he encouraged me to take some shots of the space
and shared with me some inside scoop on the future
as it relates to Public.

I can not divulge what I know,
but I can say that what I know is exciting,
and confirms that Public Bike
would have been the bicycle for me.

There are moments in life
where you realize the sum of your past
and the possibility of your future.
Like many things in life ~ what could have been...