Comment

Bike to Work Thursday May 12, 2016

Hey ya'll,

You know it's bike to work day this coming Thursday, right? You should all ride your bikes and consider checking out some of Bike East Bay's offerings, too!  

Biketopia will be doing free bike check-ups at Ashby BART from 6:30am-10:00am, next to BikeLink's tote bag and banana giveaway station, but you can get a Bike East Bay swag bag at more than 130 locations around the east bay in the pre-work hours, too. There are locations all over the East Bay, but some of the bigger stations (like the downtown Oakland pancake breakfast) put the premium goodies in their swag bags, like Chinook Books and whatnot. Here's the map all of them: https://bikeeastbay.org/Energizer

And when you get off work, head to the section of Milvia in front of Sports Basement (at Derby) for the Bike to Work Day Happy hour, with music, beer and good times.

Here's the main site, for all the informations: https://bikeeastbay.org/news/bike-to-work-day-may-12-2016

Ride on!

Comment

Biketopia's 4th Annual Bike Drive Party

Comment

Biketopia's 4th Annual Bike Drive Party

For nearly four years, Biketopia Community Workshop has been an all-volunteer workshop, helping people stay on their two wheeled machines through bicycle education. One of the best ways you can support us in our mission is by donating your under-used bicycles, parts, tools and of course financial contributions. The best time to do this is at our bike drive party, where you will meet our volunteers and many other bike enthusiasts. In exchange for your donations we will have great food from fine local restaurants, expertly crafted drinks by our in-house mixologist and some valuable silent auction items to claim as your own. Stop on by and help us get started on another great year!

Comment

Coffee Shops

Comment

Coffee Shops

Spotlight on the local coffee shop scene!

Being the perky folks we are it should come as no surprise that Biketopians can never get enough of that caffeinated stuff.  Since our opening in January 2012 the selection of spots that scratch that itch in walkable distance from the shop have multiplied, much to our joyful surprise.

To start with we can stop by Sweet Adeline, just a block down Adeline Street from our shop, to pick up a cup of Oakland's o.g. roasters Mr. Espresso drip and a mouth-watering pastry, cookie or (let's be real) a whole cake. Next, since August 2012 we've had access to Santa Cruz' infamous Verve coffee, now brewing just across the street from us at Alchemy Collective's new location.  Pastries?  Check.  Rotating single origin pour-overs served by sassy worker-owners?  Check.  What could we possibly be missing?

One taste of newcomer Rasa Caffe's house-blended chai, saffron rose latte, sweet spiced hot coffee or cardamom cold brew and it'll hit you.  Rasa means "the essence of flavor" in Sanskrit, and also happens to be the owner's first name, and flavor is most definitely what Rasa Caffe brings to our 'hood.

Since February owner Rasa Sun Mott has been serving the brews of our bicycle-driven brethren at Bicycle Coffee (heck, yes!), unfettered as pour over, drip and espresso, but also with the carefully crafted addition of rosewater, freshly-revived saffron, carefully selected spices and shop-brewed syrups, a feat somewhat remarkable for a local indie coffee shop with a legit bean supplier.  And that's not even touching on the perfectly-spiced chai, what Mott considers one of his menu's most carefully-constructed items.  What else could you expect from a chef who trained in the kitchens of Indian and Oakland Buddhist monasteries, in the kitchens of Manhattan and under the tutelage of West Oakland's heavy hitter Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen?

As with many spots nearby, these shops are currently only open during the daytime, so stop by before heading in to Biketopia.

Sweet Adeline is open M-F 7am - 6pm, Sat and Sun 8am - 5pm

Sweet Adeline is open M-F 7am - 6pm, Sat and Sun 8am - 5pm

Alchemy Collective Cafe is open M-F 7am - 5pm, Sat and Sun 8am - 5pm

Alchemy Collective Cafe is open M-F 7am - 5pm, Sat and Sun 8am - 5pm

Rasa Caffe is open M-Sat from 7:30am - 4:30pm

Rasa Caffe is open M-Sat from 7:30am - 4:30pm


Comment

Sam's Corner

Comment

Sam's Corner

The Case of the Creaky Bicycle 

Your bike has developed some odd noises. Maybe it has always emitted odd sounds, but now they’ve worsened.  There are no easy answers when locating the creaky culprit, but there are common places to look. We are going to go through a step by step process to eliminate any creaky noises.

Bolts are a good place to start. Metal on metal threads can be noisy if not adequately greased. Weather and time can dissipate grease and thread locking compounds and noises that develop thereafter are entirely normal, albeit dreadful.  Do your best to locate the guilty bolt or bolts and go about removing them. If by removing certain bolts causes components to be moved out of correct alignment then take note of their position so that upon reinstallation, the bike will be as you last rode it. Measurements of saddle height and handlebar angle are the most common components needing this extra step.  Once you’ve got those bolts out, clean them off with a rag and isopropyl alcohol or a basic degreasing solution. Simple Green is cheap and effective.  A small dab of grease to the threads will suffice. There is such a thing as too much grease. Grease takes up space and excessive gobs of the stuff will attract dirt and dust and can lead to trouble down the road. Reinstall those bolts and torque them down to spec. Replace them entirely if they are rusty or pitted.

Saddle rails and bolts are the second suspects. Measure your saddle from the nose to the center of your handlebars. Jot this down for reinstallation. Remove the saddle from the clamp. Clean the rails and clamp, and apply a light lubricant, Tri Flo works wonders to the bolt and clamp cradles. Consider lubing the junction where the rail enters the saddle’s shell. Remember not too much grease again, this can attract dust and grime. Reinstall the saddle.

Take a quick look at your wheels. Check your quick release skewers.  See that both your wheels are firmly clamped to the drop outs.

            In all likelihood your bottom bracket/cranks/pedals is where your noises are coming from. The power you translate into forward motion on your bicycle is first pushed through the pedals, then cranks and finally the bottom bracket. Pull off those pedals and remember the left pedal is reverse threaded and labeled separately. Clean the threads and grease them for reinstallation later. Remove your cranks with the specific tools called a crank arm puller. Remove the bottom bracket (BB). Inspect the threads in the BB shell and clean the inside thoroughly. Use a wire brush if the threads are steel.  Apply grease to the internal threads of the BB and the threads of your BB cups (this applies to standard threaded BB’s only).  This might be a good time to determine if your BB cups/bearings are still usable or require replacement. Reinstall the BB if it is still fit for use. Remove the chainring bolts from your cranks, and wipe them off with some degreaser. Dab the threads in grease and reinstall the chainrings to the crank arm making sure to align them correctly. Typically there are markings to note proper orientation of the rings. Older systems might not have these, nor require a specific orientation upon installation. When torqueing the bolts down do so gradually in a crisscross pattern. Do not simply torque each bolt in a circle. The chainring can sit irregularly on the crank arm spider and alter shifting and performance. Reinstall the crank arms and apply grease to the spindle if splined. There is some debate as to whether greasing a square taper BB spindle is a good idea. I am in the camp that heeds the possibility of over tightening the crank arm due to the grease allowing the crank to press on further than it was designed to.

Determine whether the pedal bearings are within usable parameters. Replace or adjust as necessary. Reinstall with fresh grease. Get them on tight.

            If you have a rear derailleur clean your jockey wheels. They get dirty and dry and can affect not only performance, but make a lot of noise. If they are dry they might require removal from the rear derailleur and disassembly for cleaning and greasing. Clean your chain. Apply chain lube and wipe off the excess.

            Check the bolts on your stem. When riding lots of torque is applied to your handlebars and that torque has to make its way through your stem. Grease the stem bolts and install in a star, or back and forth pattern.

            Is your chain rubbing the front derailleur cage? That is an easy fix. Either make an adjustment to the front derailleur itself or adjust its position using your shift lever.

            If you’re bike is still making noise there are a number of other places to check. Creaks, clicks and noises can be hard to pinpoint. Inspect your frame for cracks or other damage. Hopefully it is not the case that your frame is flat out broken, but it happens. When all options have been exhausted, there is only one thing left to do. Ride fast enough so that all you can hear is the wind rushing past your ears. 

Comment

Youth Spirit Artworks

Comment

Youth Spirit Artworks

Youth Spirit Artworks (YSA) is hosting an exhibit and art sale on Saturday June 21st called “Rhythm and Rattles”. This event will have music and food and feature the artwork of their young artists. Music by AVOTCGA and Hector Lugo. Please stop by, check it out and support our young and talented local artists.

YSA is an art jobs training program which is committed to empowering and bettering the lives of homeless and low-income San Francisco Bay Area young people, ages 16-25. The mission of Youth Spirit Artworks is to use art jobs and jobs training to empower and transform the lives of youth, giving young people the skills, experience, and self-confidence needed to meet their full potential.

We at Biketopia have enjoyed working with some of the youth coming from YSA ever since we first opened our doors. The work they are doing with Berkeley’s youth is amazing. These young adults are getting job skills training through art which include: professional communication, resume writing/building, project planning/execution and gaining sales experience. In addition to this they are learning valuable life skills through workshops on how to be more health conscious and non violent conflict resolution through yoga.

    Youth Spirit Artworks is located at 1740 Alcatraz and is open M-F from 3:30-6:30. Here is a link describing all of the ways you can support their work. We are amazed at what is going on in our neighborhood especially with organizations like YSA, and we will be bringing them to you every month in our newsletter.

Comment