Friday, April 30, 2010

Big Bike Nite in SD Tonite! Critical Mass, Streets For People, 30th On 30th!

It's another perfect day in SD. Why not celebrate it w/ 1,000-1,200 other cyclists at San Diego Critical Mass, one of the largest, free, monthly bike rides in the Western Hemisphere?

As per usual, the ride meets at 7pm at the "Big Fountain" next to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.

A new pro-bike/walk/livable streets advocacy group in town, SD Streets For People, is encouraging cyclists to ride down 30th Street tonite in lieu of 30th On 30th; an event where 30th Street-based, locally-owned restaurants/pubs/taverns offer special deals on food and drinks.

Streets For People is working on bringing a Ciclovia event to San Diego. In the meantime, the group will be working to make existing events--30th On 30th, Walkabout, etc.--more friendly for pedestrians and bicyclists. 30th On 30th, an event which embraces drinking, would be safer for all people if participants opted to ride a bike rather than drive. Tonite there will be an effort to promote that idea:

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US DOT: 'What We Know About Bike Infrastructure: People Want It'

United States Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, posted an extremely on-point entry on his official blog earlier this week. Since declaring in September that 'distracted driving is a menace to society,' Secretary LaHood has continued to impress me. Now he's championing bike infrastructure. I hope local and state agencies follow suit (assuming that the infrastructure is well-planned, unlike bike lanes striped in door zones). This is a breath of fresh air. Thank you, Secretary LaHood, for listening. Here's his entry copy/pasted verbatim:

What we know about bike infrastructure: people want it

We know that 90 percent of the people are not going to be cycling to work or around town. But that opportunity and that kind of alternative is something people have said they want.

Bicycle Commuters 2

They said it in a recent study by Transportation For America. They said it last week in Tupelo and Hernando, Mississippi. They've been saying it in Portland, Oregon, for years. They're saying it in Washington, DC.

Portland Bike Plan
They said it after an interview I gave in the New York Times earlier this month. And New York bicyclists have said it loudly and clearly with their pedals, increasing their numbers by 28% in the last year alone according to a study by Transportation Alternatives.

And in response to an All Things Considered interview, NPR listeners have been saying it over and over on the NPR website. You can listen to the NPR piece below:

Facebook profile pic On Facebook, I sometimes have trouble seeing my own wall posts because bicycling fans have been so busy posting their support for DOT's bicycle-pedestrian initiative in such strong numbers.

Lancearmtrong Twitter profile pic Even Lance Armstrong, America's 7-time Tour de France winner, has added his voice to the mix, urging his 2+ million Twitter followers to listen to the NPR story about bike infrastructure in America. Thanks, Lance!

Why devote resources to a transportation mode that fewer than 10% of the nation is using? Well, bike infrastructure is relatively inexpensive--particularly if you compare it to, say, adding a lane to an existing roadway. Now, imagine if those people who do bike around chose instead to make all of their trips in single-occupancy vehicles. Our already congested roadways would be brought to a halt.

Bike commuting

So, even for those folks who have no interest in bicycling, this relatively low investment actually pays dividends for those who still choose to drive. Everybody wins.

Bike Commuters And the fact is, as Washington, DC, DOT Director Gabe Klein noted on NPR, "We see a direct correlation between our investment in bike infrastructure and an uptick in usage. When you make it hassle-free and inexpensive for people to use a certain mode, they will use it."

I'll say it again--because I want my online friends in commercial trucking and the people who make their living behind the wheel, to know--we are not out to make their jobs any harder than they already are.

I know they're paying a lot of taxes to use the roads, and I appreciate that fact. But we're talking about making their jobs easier by taking vehicles off those roadways and easing congestion so the trucking community and bus and taxi drivers can deliver their goods and passengers more smoothly.

Look, in the 54 years since President Eisenhower launched the interstate system that connects America, we've committed almost all of our transportation resources to highways. Part of our commitment now should be to create alternatives to congestion.

We know that making biking and walking safer creates more livable communities. It makes Americans healthier at a time when the US military has indicated that 27% of recruits are too overweight to qualify for service. It lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It reduces our dependence on foreign oil.

And it's what Americans have said they want.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tomorrow!: San Diego's Semi-Annual Velo Swap Meet!

It's that time of the year. The spring Velo Swap at the San Diego Velodrome is tomorrow, April 25! Southern California's largest bike swap meet only goes on twice a year. It happens in your backyard, so don't miss it.

Buyers are admitted at 9am. Cost for admission is $3. The funds go to the San Diego Velodrome. Come support and save some money on bike stuff.

More info at the SD Velo Swap blog.

Vittoria Calendar Outtakes by Matt Lingo

San Diego's Matt Lingo is globalizing. Italy-based bike tire company, Vittoria, asked Matt to shoot their upcoming calendar. Here are some outtakes:

I don't think there's a single person in San Diego who would've predicted, four years ago, that today, our friends and neighborhood would be featured in a calendar for Vittoria, the world's finest bike tire company.

(I like to ride Vittoria's Open Corsa Evo CX in the front and Vittoria's Zaffiros in the rear on both my fixed gear and my road bike. And I'll go on record saying that I have found no equivalent substitute to this set up for fast city riding).

Congrats on the gig, Matt. Can't wait to check out the full calendar. It's lookin' incredible, so far.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Stuff Your Stockings and Then Your Face

Surprise your partner or roommate by busting out the Christmas stockings early this year to fill them with these:

Yes, two of the best fixed gear motion pictures--Death Pedal 2 and The Revival--are now available on DVD. Support independent and punk rock filmmakers by purchasing multiples copies of both films here:

Death Pedal

The Revival

Once you've done that, spectate these mini-edits that have been released in lieu of the DVD releases:

DP2 Extra Footage-DVDS ON SALE NOW from Killa Kareem on Vimeo.

The Revival - DVD Teaser from Corey MacGregor on Vimeo.

If you don't celebrate Christmas, make like the Tooth Fairy and slide one these bad boys underneath your partner or roommate or friend or neighbors' pillow at night. They're bound to wake up in the best mood ever!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ride your bike to Earth Fair @ Balboa Park tomorrow

Tomorrow is Earth Fair. Zero-emissions bicyclists, this is your day. Seize it.

Balboa Park will be hosting a giant Earth Fair event. The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition will be there offering free valet bike parking. All the bikes will be supervised by Bike Coalition volunteers. One lot will be on the west side of the park, right across from the Museum of Man on Laurel St. The other lot will be on the east side of the park on the grass area of Casa del Prado, across the street from the Natural History Museum.

Ironically, Earth Fair day--the Sunday before Earth Week--is one of the worst days to ride a bike in the center city and North Park area of San Diego. Thousands upon thousands of people from all over the San Diego region drive their cars into the city area, sit in traffic for upwards of an hour, and get frustrated looking for parking all so they can check out the festivities at Balboa Park. The optimistic side of me hopes that the education and sustainability-related information offered at Earth Fair will, in the long run, somehow offset the carbon emitted from the thousands upon thousands of cars sitting in traffic waiting to get to Balboa Park. In actuality, that is undetermined.

At the very least, we as cyclists deserve to be treated w/ respect for being pollution-free, climate solutions everyday, but especially on Earth Fair day. Unfortunately, many of the SD residents coming from suburbs and auto-centric neighborhoods don't understand the principles of vehicular cycling/street riding which is popular in the center city area of San Diego. For example, in the Mission Beach and Pacific Beach area of SD, most people ride beach cruiser bikes on the sidewalk. In the city area, we ride in the street, which is where we belong. Upon arriving to the city area in their cars, many Mission Beach/P.B. residents are shocked to see cyclists in the street "blocking their paths." As a result, many will honk at you and engage in related forms of harassment so that you will move "out of their way." If they have giant egos and a little alcohol in their system, they may even try to fight you, if you--the cyclist--show a little frustration over their hegemonic, domineering, selfish behavior.

So, beware of the massive automobile traffic jam that results from Earth Fair. But hey, at least there's demand to attend, right? I wish attendees would seek out a more sustainable, low-carbon or zero-carbon method to arrive.

Earth Fair is great. I love the intention and spirit of it. But for cyclists who practice sustainable living, Earth Fair is one of the worst days do ride a bike in the city area.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

CBC Asks for Urgent Action to Help Protect Cyclists from Careless Drivers

The California Bicycle Coalition (CBC) is asking for urgent action that will help protect vulnerable road users--cyclists, pedestrians, skateboarders, etc.--by creating penalties for careless driving that causes bodily injury. CBC is backing Assembly Bill 1951 meant to curb careless injury-inducing driving and is asking anyone that agrees w/ this cause to send in a letter of support. The letter needs to be received tomorrow, this Friday, April 16, 2010. Here's more detailed, pertinent info copy/pasted from the CBC email:


April 14, 2010


Help CBC push for increased penalties for careless driving

On Monday, Apr. 19, the Assembly Transportation Committee will hear Assembly Bill 1951, authored by San Francisco Assemblymember Tom Ammiano and sponsored by CBC. The bill proposes tougher penalties for careless drivers who injure others.

This bill faces an uphill battle -- the California District Attorneys Association has vowed to fight our efforts to criminalize rule-of-the-road violations that injure motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. We need your help in demanding safer roads for everyone.

Please send a letter of support for AB 1951 to the Assembly Transportation Committee chair and the bill's author by Friday, Apr. 16. These letters will be referenced in testimony at the Apr. 19 hearing at the State Capitol.


Various sections of the California Vehicle Code define driving offenses and specify penalties. Section 21070 defines a violation of Vehicle Code Division 11 provisions (basic rules of the road) as an infraction. Sec. 42001.19 imposes a base fine of $70 for a violation of Sec. 21070 that results in an injury; a violation causing great bodily injury is punishable with a base fine of $95.

AB 1951 amends Sec. 21070 to specify that a violation of Div. 11 that results in an injury may be charged as a misdemeanor. The bill amends Sec. 42001.19 to specify that a violation of Sec. 21070 that causes an injury is punishable by a base fine of $145 and from 5 to 90 days in jail.

Penalties for all injury-causing driving offenses must be comparable and must reflect the seriousness of the consequences for victims. The fines currently specified for injury-causing violations of Sec. 21070 are less than half the amount of fines for other kinds of injury-causing driving offenses, even though all use similar definitions of "injury" -- Sec. 21070 fines are even lower than those for some non-injury misdemeanor driving offenses. Unlike all other injury-causing driving offenses (including some non-injury offenses), fines for Sec. 21070 violations are not punishable with a jail or prison sentence.

Criminal penalties for careless driving will help protect all road users, especially those most vulnerable in a collision with a motor vehicle, including bicyclists, pedestrians, runners, skateboarders, road construction workers and farm equipment operators. According to data published in the Alliance for Biking and Walking's 2010 Benchmarking Report, bicyclists and pedestrians in California are disproportionately at risk in vehicle collisions: they account for 1.1% and 10.6% respectively of all trips in California and 2.9% and 16.7% of all vehicle collision fatalities in the state.

Deterring careless drivers will help hold down healthcare costs borne by health insurers, employers and taxpayers. The San Francisco Injury Center for Research and Prevention at UCSF tracked the treatment of pedestrians hit by cars within San Francisco and added up their costs. From 2004-2008 that cost was almost $75 million -- an average of more than $20,000 per injured pedestrian over those five years -- with 76% of the total costs publicly funded by Medicare, MediCal and other public funding sources.


Using this downloadable sample letter (Word doc), send a letter of support for AB 1951 to Assembly Transportation Committee Chair Bonnie Lowenthal and copy Assemblymember Ammiano. If you can, write the letter in your own words using the template as a model.

If you've experienced or witnessed a collision involving a careless driver, briefly describe the circumstances -- but remember, our focus is on careless driving only. This bill does not address reckless driving, speeding or DUI, which are already subject to substantial penalties.

If you're a member of CBC, a local bicycle coalition and/or a bicycling club, also mention that in your letter.

Be sure to keep your letter as concise as possible. Long letters aren't necessary for showing support and may not get read.

Send your letter via U.S. Postal Service or fax, or deliver by hand. Delivery by email is OK so long as the signed letter is included as a PDF attachment.

Full text of AB 1951

Fact sheet about AB 1951

"Broken," Bicycling Magazine, Jan-Feb 2008

Comparison of penalties for driving offenses causing injury or death

About the California Bicycle Coalition

The California Bicycle Coalition is a non-profit education and lobbying organization working to improve bicycling conditions throughout the State of California. CBC's mission is to create safe, healthy and livable communities in California by promoting bicycling for transportation and recreation. Learn more about CBC.

Monday, April 12, 2010

San Diego Custom Bicycle Show 2010: A Photo Essay

The 2nd-annual San Diego Custom Bicycle Show was one of those events which further increases your appreciation for bicycles and riding. The craft-work on display was stunning. The frame-builders were diverse in age--ranging from legendary builders to up-and-coming ones. Builders came from Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and throughout California. Everyday of the show was a blast and I'm sure there wasn't a single builder or attendee who regretted making the trip. I was at the show Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and I'm ready for more. Here are some photos I snapped:

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(Welcome to San Diego, California. Jeremy Shlachter, frame-builder/owner of Gallus Cycles, ventured out from Forth Worth, Texas for the show. Jeremy and I befriended one another last year. This year, Jeremy, and his friend Jared, and I rode around on a mission for the best salsa in town. Over the course of the weekend, we probably consumed half of SD's chips n' salsa supply. No crumb left behind!).

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(Mark DiNucci of DiNucci Cycles shows off his frame which won the Best Lugged Frame Award at the North American Hand-built Bicycle Show a couple months ago).

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(Mark DiNucci, based in Sisters, Oregon, built this bike for himself in 1985. It was probably my single favorite ride at the show. DiNucci worked for Specialized for 13 years and now he's focusing more on DiNucci Cycles. It's also worth mentioning that he was giving out his own brand of DiNucci Brand Cycles hot sauce mini-bottles at the show. Don't even bother checking Ebay for this item because I'm keeping mine...Salsa seemed to everywhere last weekend; and appropriately so).

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(When I read on Mark DiNucci's blog that him and Bruce Gordon have been friends and colleagues since the 80s, I wasn't all that surprised. The two are not only legendary, master frame-builders but they're also both witty tells-it-like-it-is characters. According to DiNucci's blog, he helped pioneer the carbon-framed bike w/ titanium lugs at Specialized 22 years ago. That Specialized frame was bonded on Mike Lopez's table. 22 years later, Bruce Gordon's impressive carbon frame w/ titanium lugs (above) was bonded on the exact same table. In case you're wondering, Mike Lopez was also at the SD Custom Bike Show representing Serotta. In other words, the 2010 SD Custom Bike Show was quite a historic moment in terms of frame-building. Bruce Gordon's carbon/Ti bike (above) was the first bike that greeted you upon entering the show).

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(Megan Dean, frame-builder/owner of Moth Attack cycles, showed off her fast-looking city and track bikes).

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(Megan, a track racer herself, is raffling off one of her frames to benefit the Encino Velodrome which has, apparently, experienced some financial troubles. For more info on how you can help out the Encino Velodrome and possibly win an ultra slick Moth Attack frame, check out Megan's website).

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(I'll take it! This Bilenky (in my size) looks fun to ride. Velo Cult (in San Diego) picked this bike up, so now I may actually get a chance to ride it. Hmm...).

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(Winter Bicycles from Oregon was back again this year).

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(Digging the non-painted steel finish).

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(Brian Baylis re-defines the expression 'custom').

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(Not shy about where he's from. Not too many track bikes look this royal and this fast).

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(Brian Baylis is one of the most respected builders for a reason).

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(While this Rock Lobster single-speed cyclocross bike was present last year, it's still one of my favorites. I probably spent more time talking to Paul Sadoff, Rock Lobster frame-builder/owner, than any other builder at the show (excluding my buddy Jeremy from Gallus). I've done the math--There is an extremely high chance that I will end up befriending someone who decides to name their bike company after experiencing a live performance by the Talking Heads and the B-52s. Paul and I discussed ideas for a custom utilitarian/cyclocross Rock Lobster bike that I want to build in a couple years).

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(Bill Rider--old dude, new ideas).

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(Solid. Front rack weld job to the fork).

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(After the show, Gallus frame-builder/owner Jeremy (blue messenger bag), his friend Jared, and I rode up Bachman Street hill to head back into town for a party at Velo Cult, a pre-party at Adams Ave. Bike Shop, and a salsa/burrito party at El Zarape; one of SD's finest, most affordable Mexican restaurants. These Gallus builds, pictured above, were probably the only two bikes on display at the show that were used as transportation devices for leaving the show).

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(Documented evidence of salsa consumption. We picked up from El Zarape and rode to Adams Avenue Bike Shop to chill w/ Richie Ditta (MASH, Adams Ave.), Andrew Lee (Adams Ave. owner), and the rest of the Adams crew).

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(Making some minor adjustments to this fine machine. Check out the Gallus website for more info).

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(Everyone at Adams Ave. rolled over to the official SD Custom Bike Show afterparty which took place at Velo Cult on Sunday nite. The shop was packed and the good vibes were flowin' like the refreshments and the free vegan cookies).

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(Jeremy and Stephen Bilenky, frame-builder/owner of Bilenky Cycle Works based in Philadelphia).

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(Frame-builder Brian Baylis (left) and Velo Cult owner Sky Boyer (right), along w/ Sadilah frame-builder/owner Chuck Schlesinger (not pictured), and Ybarolla Bicycles frame-builder/owner David Ybarrola (not pictured) were instrumental in organizing the SD Custom Bicycle Show).

The San Diego Custom Bicycle Show brought a handful of legends, mixed w/ young up-and-coming talent, all into one room for a historic experience. The weekend, packed w/ seminars, great discussions, new concepts, world-class frame-builders and their bikes, never yielded a dull moment. Thanks to everyone who helped make the 2nd annual event a reality.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

This Weekend: San Diego Custom Bicycle Show

The 2nd Annual San Diego Custom Bicycle Show is this weekend.

Here's a list of who'll be there, according to Velo Cult:


Brian Baylis
Sadilah Handmade Framesets
Ybarrola Bicycles
Joe Bell Bicycle Refinishing
Bohemian Bicycles
Courage Cycles
Townsend Cycles
Bruce Gordon Cycles
Kish Fabrication
Charter Oak Cycling (Bill Rider)
Gallus Cycles
Bill Holland Cycles
Blaze Bicycles
MAP Bicycles
Courage Bicycles
Rebolledo Cycles
YiPsan Bicycles
Winter Bicycles
Vendetta Cycles
Wolfhound Cycles
Lyonsport Custom Frames
Victoria Cycles
Rock Lobster Custom Bicycles
Dan Cunningham Cycles
Keith Anderson
Mark DiNucci
Taylor Bicycles
Ruegamer Sports
Bilenky Cycle Works
Caletti Cycles
Moth Attack
DeSalvo Custom Cycles
Milano Sport


Velo Cult Bicycle Shop
Pacific Coast Cycles
Henry James Bicycles Inc.
Sound Cycles
Adams Avenue Bicycles
San Diego Bicycle Club
Sock Guy
Moment Cycle Sport
SelleLogica Saddles
Far West Milano CC -Vintage Bicycles
AIDS Life Cycle -Ride to end AIDS
Mel Pinto Imports
Nova Cycles Supply
Fit Kit
The Arthritis Foundation
Andy Schwartz
Electra Bicycle Co.
Swrve Cycling
Homebrewed Components

Last year, I really enjoyed work by Slowcraft Maldoror, Brian Baylis, Rock Lobster, Bilenky, Moth Attack, Ditta, Thatcher, Gallus, and Proletariat. Of that group, Baylis, Rock Lobster, Bilenky, Moth Attack, and Gallus will be returning this year. In fact, Moth Attack is back w/ a cause; she'll be raffling a custom frame to benefit the Encino Velodrome.

If you missed this awesome event last year, then you have a chance to redeem yourself. You can get 20% off your ticket if you purchase it online on or before April 7.

The event takes place in the Mission Valley area at 500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, California 92108. More info, including details on the after-party at Velo Cult and pre-show rides, can be found at San Diego Custom Bicycle Show.

Starting Tonite: Tuesday Nite Races at the Velodrome are back!

New seasons are upon us. Starting tonite, Tuesday nite races at the San Diego Velodrome are back! Every Tuesday nite from spring to summer, you can catch races for free beginning at 6:30pm and ending around 8ish. For a schedule of the evening visit the San Diego Velodrome's website.

(The San Diego Velodrome at Morley Field Sports Complex in the North Park neighborhood of SD. Mapped here.).

(The races signify that a new season--in terms of competition, weather, and lifestyle--are here. Photos by the great Jay Spongberg).

Last year, Matt Lingo put together this short video of a Tuesday nite race:

Tuesday night velodrome races from Matt Lingo on Vimeo.

Before the races, Nathan aka BabyNate who bartends for the North Park bar Toronado, is organizing a new pre-TNR special for cyclists. Every Tuesday from 3 - 6pm, cyclists and only cyclists who ride to Toronado will be able to purchase pints of draft beer for $3. Toronado (4026 30th st. & Lincoln) has about 35 quality beers on tap, so you're bound to find a drink you'll enjoy.

Nate mentioned in a personal conversation that he may only offer the special for cyclists who ride to the bar w/ a helmet. Not sure if that will be the case tonite. If you're a 'yay' or 'nay' on that, let Nate know in person. He's looking to get feedback from bar goers on how to improve the nite.

Either way, ride safe and sober.

Philly Rapper Reps Urban Bicycling

Philadelphia-based rapper Jamil Kayin reps urban bicycling and has made his riding passion a centerpiece of his career.

Prolly Is Not Probably posted up an entry about Jamil Kayin last week, and I figured I'd share since Kayin is a bicyclist who uses the mic to proudly rap about riding. His song "Life Is Sweet" features clips of Kayin riding through the streets and dropping tracks (no pun intended) about his Track Pro Fixie w/ gold Deep Vs!

Whether you like the beat or not, Prolly brings up a good point; at least he's not rapping about Hummers and cars. The lyrical content of the song is great. It's pretty damn posi-core and I like how Kayin describes the bicycle as a vehicle for enjoying city life--'An urban cowboy in the street. I wanna show y'all that life is sweet.'

Keep it up, mang. Hopefully it'll get some new people on bikes.

Three Manivela Deliverers Place in Top Five at Local Race

Riders for Manivela Bicycle-Driven Food Delivery are quick. So quick, that 3 riders who deliver food for the on-call delivery service placed in the top 5 at a local alley cat race last weekend.

The alley cat race was organized by Bogus Alley Cats in lieu of the Death Pedal 2 Premiere.

Manivela is a 3rd-party food delivery service who receives calls from both restaurants and hungry people. The company has exclusive delivery relationships with The Linkery, Pokez, Eddie's Place and more. Alternatively, any hungry person can have food delivered to your house/place-of-work by calling Manivela (619-512-FOOD) directly to place an order for a pick-up at any restaurant w/in the fairly wide delivery zone.

For more information visit the website,

Call Manivela up today and get your food delivered to you by some of the fastest cyclists in San Diego!

Previously: Manivela Bicycle-Driven Food Delivery Featured on Channel 6's "The Green Scene."