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Top Five Bike Lists

On today's show, we played a lot of top five bike lists – everything from the top five reasons it's great to bike in San Francisco to the top five tips for being an urban female biker. Listen to them all, plus a few extra, here.

Chris Hoff, KALW sound engineer

Top five bike gripes

5. San Francisco hills. These mighty obstacles have forced the strongest of us to dismount on occasion and walk our trusty steeds up their towering heights. Or, just go around them.

4. Drivers talking on their cell phones. Sweet Fancy Moses.

3. Potholes. Many a broken spoke and busted wheel have fallen victim to these diminutive demons.

2. Oblivious pedestrians. A close second: oblivious pedestrians talking on their cell phones. 

And my number 1 bike gripe: taxi drivers. 

Seth Samuel, KALW sound engineer

Top five sentences from Mark Twain’s 1917 work, “Taming the Bicycle.”

5. No--and I see now, plainly enough, that the great pity about the German language is, that you can't fall off it and hurt yourself.

4. In order to keep my position, a good many things were required of me, and in every instance the thing required was against nature.

3.The bicycle had what is called the "wabbles," and had them very badly.

2. We got up a handsome speed, and presently traversed a brick,  and went out over the top of the tiller and landed, head down, on the instructor's back, and saw the machine fluttering in the air between me and the sun.

1. Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live.

Jayme Catsouphes, KALW volunteer

Top five totally BS reasons I don’t bike to work

1. It’s too hot.

2. It’s too cold.

3. I’ll do it when I buy ------ accessory.

4. I forgot to pump my tires to exactly 100 PSI

5. But if I take the bus, I can read!

Ali Budner, Producer, Your Call

Top five favorite bicycle words

1. Pannier-- pa-NEER?  pa-ni-AY?  PAN-ee-erh?  ..is actually a Frenchword for “basket.”   

2. Derailleur--is another French one meaning, "to go off the rails."  This gadget derails my chain from one gear to the next....so I stay on track. 

3. Saddle--is just a seat.  But.. my bike DOES feel like a trusty steed. 

4. Housing--(The most affordable kind in San Francisco!) is a casing over the gear and brake cables.  Even cables need homes...

5. Freewheel --lets me keep my feet still while coasting down a hill.  But best of all: "To freewheel" means: “To move freely, independently, and unconcernedly.” And that’s why I love being a biker.

Katie Styer, bike messenger and KALW volunteer

Top five bike messenger gripes.

5. Office suits asking with mild amusement "oh man, is it wet out there?!" when you are soaked through on a rainy day.

4. Bike commuters using the best lock-up poles and racks in front of the most heavily trafficked buildings. All. Day. Long.

3. Muni buses that "pop" the air pressure valve on their brakes the exact moment you pass by.

2. The slow service-entrance elevators you have to take (560 and 550 Mission are the worst!)

1. Last time I checked, my ten speed didn't come with a colastomy bag. Can I please use the office restroom?!

Jen Chien, KALW volunteer

Top five trends started by bike messengers

5. 80's sunglasses. (post-2000)

4. duct tape wallets

3. rolled or cut-off dickies

2. fixies (for fashion, rather than function)

1. "messenger" bags!

Holly J. McDede, KALW volunteer

Top five ways in which biking in Oakland differs from biking in New Jersey

1. No one, except my dad, rides his bike in New Jersey

2. In New Jersey, I try riding my bike, but usually end up getting scared by cars and call a friend to pick me up

3. In the Bay Area, it is possible to leave your bike on a bus bike rack. Not so in New Jersey. There are no bus bike racks. There are also no buses.

4. In the Bay Area, there are bike paths! For bikes! Me! And others! With bikes!

5. In the Bay Area, bikes are vehicles. Like cars. In New Jersey, they are pedestrians. So they are people.

Alex Candia, Youth Radio

Top five tips for being an urban female biker

5. Riding a bike doesn't mean you have to sacrifice fashion. I suggest wearing leggings, and wedges. Leggings mean your skirt can be as short as you want; wedges are cute, comfy, and won't get stuck in your pedals. 

4. Take your date for a ride. My boyfriend and I had our first date on bikes, and we still bike around all the time. It was a major selling point for both of us. It’s fun, spontaneous, and you can still hold hands!

3. Be adventurous: There are so many awesome things to do in the Bay Area that are way more fun on a bike than utilizing other forms of transportation. Plus, you don’t have to worry about parking let alone parking tickets.

2. Know your bicycle friendly routes: As a female biker, having an angry driver yelling profanities at me, or someone obsessively honking at me because they think I’m cute, is not how I want to start my day.  I generally avoid these types of confrontations by riding on bike friendly boulevards throughout the East Bay, And YES those routes DO EXIST!  

1. Safety: Now, I’m not promoting drunk bicycling, but I’d much prefer heading home from a party or local bar on my bike than to get behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle. Just saying!

Meles Gebru, Youth Radio

Top five tips for customizing a fixie bike

5. Handles: Customize your bike to fit your biking needs. It’s important to have handle bars to fit the way you ride. My handle bars looks like mini poll bent up on both sides, so i have two ways to ride my bike.

4. A fresh color job: Color says a lot about your bike. My bike frame is red with white wheels and a baby blue tape wrapped around the handle bars.

3. Comfort: When I ride my fixie I want to be seated comfortable, as I roam or speed out. My seat is pretty narrow but it’s perfectly shaped to me.

2. Brakes: Fixie riders are known for speeding on a bike and a number of fixie riders skid and think they don’t need brakes but it’s important in order to avoid collisions. I’ve had my shares of experiences. Safety first, I recommend getting brakes.

1. Make it your own: The freshest personalization you can do, is sticking vinyls and stickers on your bike. You can even put stickers on your wheels. I got TRUE clothing, FTC and AllDayPlay stickers on my wheels. Other bikers change the colors of bike parts with no type of color coordination. But eye catching if you ask me. It gives onlookers an insight of who you are.