New Bike Culture cafe in East Bay looking for kitchen crew

Nov 13, 2008Posted by in Blog | Comments Off on New Bike Culture cafe in East Bay looking for kitchen crew

Craigslist posting:


Startup Bicycle Culture Cafe!!! (oakland/berkeley/emeryville)
Date: 2008-11-09, 8:35PM PST
Startup bicycle service salon and culture cafe is seeking a cafe/kitchen manager. Must have 2+ years management experience in a cafe/restaurant/bar environment. The position will be an opportunity to design and run a kitchen in a unique casual dining and cultural space which fosters and supports cycling, healthy living and good food! Oakland-area location is currently in negotiations. Cafe slated to open late winter/early spring.f
Competitive salary with ownership/investment incentives. We are open to any level of involvement, from a vested employee with incentives to a full investment partner. Send resume and cover letter for consideration.
The Bicycle Salon is a revolutionary business concept whose time has come! It will combine a pub-style eatery with a non-traditional bike shop where the focus will support of the growing East Bay bicycle culture. We will not retail bicycles, but focus instead on unparalleled service with do-it-yourself workstations and technical assistance in a “salon” style format that will set us apart.
The cafe portion of our enterprise will serve food and beverages throughout the hours of operation. We will adhere to the principle of simplicity in preparation, offering a limited but authentic menu, selecting a few items to specialize in. We aim to be a destination not simply for our service station, but for our few exquisitely prepared menu selections! The lounge will include a resource library with bicycle related books, periodical subscriptions, and wireless connectivity. Covered and indoor bicycle parking will always be available.
The service department will be open concurrently with the cafe as a unique offering to the bicycle culture of the SF Bay Area. It will feature both DIY workstations for self-repair, and professional mechanics available on a walk-in or appointment basis. We will draw customers who need bicycle repair and those who will be drawn to the energy of a space bustling with good food, tinkering, and a non-traditional atmosphere that celebrates cycling!
* Compensation: DOE – salary plus incentives    /   Full Investment Partner
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Don’t worry, no cubicles yet.

Jul 3, 2008Posted by in Blog | Comments Off on Don’t worry, no cubicles yet.

Don’t worry, no cubicles yet.

Rock the Bike Office in Berkeley CA
photo: Paul McKenzie

Welcome to Rock the Bike, where we average 2.5 laptops per employee. Yes, we are thrilled to reach untold levels of productivity in our airy new office! This room had always adjoined our workshop but only now did we have a chance to use it, after 2 years in Unit B and 7 years on Channing way. Leif, Ben, and I put in the bamboo floor and built the desk. Took us two days.

Leif building a desk

And we’re stoked. We can open that window and pass invoices and packing slips to whoever’s working in shipping that day. When it’s closed the space is fairly quiet and dust free. It’s fun rolling around on bamboo. The materials for the project cost us less than $50. Guests will have a space to look at product literature, press clippings and bike magazines, Rock the Bike videos, all while checking out the action in the bicycle customization station on the other side of the window.

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Weird coincidence

Apr 4, 2008Posted by in Blog | Comments Off on Weird coincidence

Weird coincidence

This afternoon in the workshop I got a call from Joel, the drummer from Afrolicious and Pleasure Maker (Thursdays at the Elbo Room). I met Joel when we were on the 2-Mile Challenge tour together. He said,

“Sorry I couldn’t make it to your gig last week, I was working.”

“Doing what?”


“Moving? Like for cash?


“How much they paying you?”

“18 an hour.”

“Dang, I’d offer you work at Rock the Bike, because we need help with assembly and packing and shipping right now, but we normally pay only $12.”

“That’s OK man, I’d totally work for you, because I believe in what you’re doing.”

“Really? Thanks Joel.”

“No problem. And you should come by the Elbo tonight.”

“Thanks, I’ll try to make it around 11. Can you put me on the guest list?”

Then I got home, had dinner and got a text from Julia about an event at Cellspace.

“OK I’ll swing by, but I’m going to Elbo later.”

The exhibit at Cell Space was an incredible cardboard city about 20 feet by ten feet, with a miniature helicopter floating around. There was a miniature remote control helicopter flying through the skyscrapers of the cardboard city. It’s up until April 17. Gotta go see it!

Anyway, after checking out the city, I suggested a cruise so we left. It was me, Julia, and Tyson, whose chain sounded like a chorus of crickets. We had a great ride up to Billy Goat hill, and watched the city. It was late so I had to coax them to come with me to the Elbo Room. But it was a downhill cruise awaiting us so it wasn’t that hard. Three abreast on Cesar Chavez was really nice. Julia was saying we felt like a bike gang. The Plush Red Down Glow on my my mom’s Electra was sweet. Sometimes it’s good to ride a totally simple bike. I can see the appeal of fixed gear bikes. I just love me knees. Anyway, we roll up to the Elbo Room. The woman at the door let all three of us in. Sure enough, Joel was in his element playing along on traps with Afrolicious. During a set break I got to introduce him to my friends and catch up a little. We danced until 1 or so and then cruised. I sprayed Boeshield on Tyson’s chain and said goodbye.

I headed upstairs and parked in front of the computer like I normally do when I should be sleeping. I checked the What’s Hot page on Rock the Bike. I noticed a comment on my post about JoyRider clothing, entitled bicycle fashion:

“Bravo! A clothing line that is not centered around spandex! At Velo Vogue, we also applaud cycling in normal fashionable clothing. Clothing lines such as Joyrider will help de-marginalize cycling for transportation! Looking good!”

So I clicked the link and sure enough it’s a hip little blog about San Francisco bicycle fashion, with lots of fun photos. And there at the bottom of the page, ladies and gentlemen, was Joel Elrod, riding with a companion in Golden Gate park, wearing a black hat and a cool T-shirt:


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Spring Update

Mar 28, 2008Posted by in Blog | Comments Off on Spring Update

What’s up bike people? I just wanted to give you a little update on Rock The Bike as we head in to the Spring.

Rock The Bike is growing! Last year this time there was only one employee, me. Now there’s five of us! I’ll get you a picture soon. There’s Emmeline, who balances the books and crunches the numbers, Paul, our in-house pro videographer photographer extreme athlete, Leif, our product designer, and Melanie, our customer service rep and outreach specialist. And I am now working 100÷ on RTB, having stepped down from running Worldbike, as I had since 2003. (A huge salute to Worldbike’s new director, Kristna Evans, who is on a mission to take Worldbike from a rough-and-ready grassroots bike-focused nonprofit, to a international poverty-focused NGO using bicycles as a tool for economic empowerment.) With each of RTB’s key new hires, we shift from amateur to professional in their area of focus.

And as I hail this moment of losing our amateur status, I must acknowledge that we’ve been less than perfect in some areas this past year, including our customer service. So if there’s anything that’s bugging you about about a Rock The Bike purchase or product, please let us know. In particular, if you had to deal with a delay of more than 2 weeks on a Down Low Glow purchase without proper communication from us, and would like a shipping refund, please let us know. Please use the contact page on the left and select “customer service” as the topic.

Phew, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me tell you some of the cool things we’re working on this Spring.

I guess I’m ready to announce that we’re hard at work on a new version of our flagship product, the Down Low Glow. I’ve used the DLG almost every night for the past 5 years. I’ve used all the colors except Royale Purple. I love the DLG and know that there are aspects of the current version that I’m really going to miss. But the new version will without a doubt solve the waterproofing problem we’ve battled from day 1, and be much simpler, with fewer things to attach to your bicycle in order to use it. The new DLG will be a much more ‘manufactured product’, whereas the current one was I think correctly described as ‘cottage industry’ by Velovision’s Peter Eland. We currently make every DLG system by hand in our West Berkeley workshop. There are so many parts and so many steps involved in making it, many of which are rising in price, that we are now forced to raise the price of our trickle-charged DLG systems by about 10÷. The price change will go into effect April 8, so please take that into account if you are planning to buy one. Customers who purchase a DLG system between now and our early summer release of the new DLG will get access to industry pro-deal pricing on the new one. So if you’re psyched to buy the DLG now, go for it. I promise you won’t regret getting started sooner than later with this amazing product!

Let’s see, what else? We’re now the exlusive North American distibutor for the Yuba Mundo, a heavy duty cargo bike that will make a great platform for custimizing to your unique cargo. We’re becoming, in a sense, long-wheelbase bicycle specialists, because we also carry and install the Xtracycle FreeRadical. So if you want unbiased advice on which cargo utility bike platform is right for you, please contact us.

We entered the Bicycle Film Festival with an extended version of our Innovate-Or-Die piece on the Choprical Fish. We’ll be doing lots more on-the-ground documentation of San Francisco’s bike culture in the coming year, now that Paul McKenzie is on board.

We’ve also doubled our square footage in our workship.

Well, I think that about covers it. If you’ve read this far you must be interested in our little company and our crazy mission to “bring the light, bring the beat”, and help each of you truly rock ou on you’re two-wheeled thing. I thank you for your support and interest, whether you’re a customer, a fan, or just a web surfer.

Paul a.k.a. Fossil Fool

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Why don’t ‘they’ make more stylish clothing for commuters? ‘They’ do.

Mar 6, 2008Posted by in Blog | Comments Off on Why don’t ‘they’ make more stylish clothing for commuters? ‘They’ do.

Why don’t ‘they’ make more stylish clothing for commuters? ‘They’ do.

Do you wonder why they don’t make clothes for bike commuters with more subtle style, less spandex, and fewer bright logos?

They do. Sometimes you just have to wait until ‘they’ come by your workshop community looking for welding help on a clothing rack.

Joyrider Clothing rain coat

Nan Eastep heads up Joyrider Clothing — a custom line of clothing and bags for city riders. This is the front of her new bike bag, which features a really spacious roll-down bag, some nice front pockets for phone and wallet, and a structure that hugs your sides to support the weight as you rock back and forth on climbs.

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