I love San Francisco.
This is maybe my 4th or 5th time here. Its where Stacey & I got engaged at NACCCs 2007,
my bud Philipp of European Touches & I traveled here last year
and now Otto & I would explore the city by the bay.
Our first stop was My Dutch Bike on Market Street a stone’s throw from our hotel.
Otto & I would need wheels like the bakfiets we got from J.C. Lind Bike Co in Chicago last year.
This shop ruled. Not only was it an instant step straight to Holland, it is done with unique SF style.
While Otto snoozed I snapped some shots to showcase the shop. Below is a bike that was recently stolen!
I hope its recovered quickly. Bikes like the Workcycles above and tandem for three below are still rare.
I do think that is changing as individuals and families begin to make such velo-vehicles more mainstream.
And My Dutch Bike is doing its part! The shop was stocked with an array of styles and models of bikes.
Of course Brooks was well represented. What else would you put on a Dutch bike? Or any bike really!
Unless it would be a San Marco Rolls. This heavy duty cruiser caught my eye for two reasons:
one, it looked like the fastest bike in stock and two, its name was Otto!
That was pretty funny and right about the time my Otto began to awake from his slumber.
We saddled up, dropped the stroller off and and did a quick ride to test this beast out towards city hall.
Otto was stoked. I was was too. I knew we’d have a blast this trip and decided to celebrate at a park.
We found one nestled right in front of city hall with this ironic signage welcoming visitors.
We did some swingin…
…and some slidin and then headed back to the hotel to rest up for our packed agenda the following day.
We woke up early. like 5 AM early, as Otto was still sleepin on East Coast time and we slowly got rolling.
Around 7am we finally were heading towards the ferry to make our way to Berkley.
I stopped for a moment to let Otto check out the scenery while took some photos on the Embarcadero.
A guy rolled up on a super fly Bullitt cargo bike. It was Erik Zo of ZO bags! What a killer coincidence!
We talked about all kinds of things and as we chatted I, of course, inspected his ride for neat details.
These made in SF pedals caught my eye. In my opinion, its exactly what most GR9 riders would love.
The large flat platform with skateboard griptape is ingenious. The bearings felt buttery. Great pedals!
We missed a ferry by minutes but took the time to have a mid morning snack in the ferry station.
Whilst waiting on the next boat, Otto zonked out. No way to plan for naps with a time zone shift!
But this was perfect.
He snoozed leading up to the ferry’s arrival, as we boarded and then as we crossed the bay.
I was amazed as the wind was really blowing and the vessel was super loud as we sped towards Oakland.
I bundled him up with a blanket and my softshell.
Pac bags have a removable pad which made a great pillow.
We then faced our main challenge of the day.
We had missed the early ferry and now, to avoid an all day in Oakland option, had only 1.5 hours to burn.
No one one thought I could make it to Berkeley and back in this span of time. I knew Otto & I could do it.
With only missing one turn we made a straight shot to Jitensha Studio.
This shop was one of the places I was determined to see but now would only have literally minutes to visit.
Otto stood in amazement as I blasted a frenzied round of photos
while the owner, Hiroshi, was on the phone.
These place was mystical. So much history packed into so few things in such a small space was unreal.
You just don’t see relics like this in person. Part museum part custom bicycle studio,
Jitensha is indeed unique.
Still Otto gazed around. He is used to bikes and always excited to see them but rather than B lining it
towards whichever one caught his eye, he continued to simply look around. This was cute and practical.
Hiroshi Iimura has been designing bicycle frames for over 40 years. The frames featured at Jitensha Studio are built to his specifications by various frame builders depending on the kind of bike. Custom bikes are built to order. For those who want a high quality hand made frame for a more reasonable amount, we offer the EBISU, a limited production bike supplied in a limited number of stock configurations to keep the cost down.
More about Ebisu here.
This bike was placed at the doorway before we arrived and its location was also quite practical!
I really began to regret not having more time to stay and talk.
Or even to potentially see some of this build come to life but Otto and I were running out of time…
Again, what at first seems sparse is anything but. Each specific item is stocked with a distinct purpose.
I purchased a shirt and a Crane bell for my Costello and we rolled out back towards Jack London Square.
We made it back with minutes to spare. Even I was surprised despite my confidence that we’d pull it off!
Awake for the ferry back, Otto was excited to see all the birds, boats and not blue shrouded in fog skyline.
Upon arrival our first encounter was a street troupe of ballsy Brits doing daring tricks.
10ft unicycle anyone?
Of course a stop by Pier 39 was in order. Albeit a bit sparse with sea lions, it was as loud as ever.
The next morning, our last in SF, we still had some places to go and faces to meet.
First we headed to Mojo to meet Mike from MASH. Below is his Cinelli. These frames are solid!
Mike and I talked about about bikes and bein’ dads.
The best part is when they that go together so well!
I picked up a ton of MASH goodies, photos of which will be popping up on the site very soon.
Mike and the MASH crew are legends and I hope to see them keep setting the bar for years to come!
Also while at Mojo, Otto and I met up with long time friend Chuey of Chuey Brand.
I first met him at NACCCs here in SF in 2007. For years he made caps for the shop I formerly co-owned.
Since then we have stayed in touch and Chuey Brand caps are more popular than ever!
He is also beginning to produce limited apparel runs. Not alot of details yet but I know they will be stellar.
He generously gave me a vest that I have been wearing it everyday since! Thank you again Chuey!
From there Otto and I picked up Stacey.
Yep, she just hopped in up front and after lunch with our friend Joey we headed towards our last stop in SF.
The timing was getting dire as Otto was setting a course towards naptime with a pitstop in grumpytown.
Lucky Stacey was there to keep him in good spirits as we made out way into the Mission.
Mission Workshop. These guys are the best. So friendly and everything they produce is genius. Seriously.
I last visited nearly a year ago and the company has covered an impressive amount of ground.
Not only building out a super sharp showroom here but launching storefronts in London and Paris.
Stacey was in need of some shoes for her commute and what other option than DZR?
She picked up a pair of Kowloons. More photos and her feedback on their performance will be posted soon.
Another brand I have watched make smart product decisions over the past few years is Outlier.
Its a no brainer that these guys would team up to share shelf space here.
The brands compliment each other quite well as ingenuity, quality and unique design are at their core.
Further down on the rack is the the Orion. This jacket has saved me from soaking several times already!
Thank you guys again for the hospitality & keep up the good work!
Visiting MW is always on my SF todo list!
By this time Otto was really getting sleepy and we had a Caltrain to catch to Menlo Park to visit friends.
We made the train and Otto caught his Z’s wrapping up yet another epic adventure for my little guy!
Below is a gift he received from our friend Joey and it couldn’t be a better souvenir for his first SF trip!
More photos from our adventure can be found here. Otto can’t wait to go back, I know I can’t!