Wednesday, June 20, 2012

los international interview series: To Catch a Bike Thief // Vancouver BC

Hello readers y friends;
A new series has begun. Los international interview series is exactly as it sounds. Short interviews via email (and some in person) from people outside the states – slowly starting with Canada +México.

With the help of the internet, places often seem a click away and it is a great way to become inspired and informed on people and places that are making a difference in their local area. I like this aspect of technology very much.
As I start to blog again at my own pace, I wanted to feature a handful of people and their projects that are new to me and share them as I came across them. Quite frequently these are also received via email, which is also very cool they take time to do so much outreaching.

Let me know what you think of the idea, thought it would of interest to my audience, so even made a quick little new graphic. The mobile photo taken by me at the international MEX-US Tijuana San Ysidro border, note the high bar shadows.

+   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   + 
This week we head over to Vancouver, BC to learn about: 
To Catch a Bike Thief.

How is To Catch a Bike Thief born?
TCABT: The theft of a red Schwinn Moab on January 13, 2011 from one of our team members' homes officially marked the start of To Catch a Bike Thief. Denial, anger, regret and sadness quickly gave way to inspiration.   We immediately began wondering what we'd say to bike thieves if we had the chance to confront them.  We then started thinking it would be cool if we could set something like that up on camera.  We took to the streets with a video camera to start asking people for ideas on how to confront the bike theft problem.
Before long, we decided that if we wanted to address bike theft, we'd have to figure out how to study the problem.  Building a bait bike seemed like the obvious choice because it would allow us to confront bike thieves, find out where stolen bicycles go, track down buyers of stolen bicycles and ultimately help us understand how to disrupt the chains of supply and demand for stolen bikes.  We are not the first to construct a bait bike, but we are certainly the first to attempt making and using bait bikes as part of a reality show.  

As our team evolved, people with the skills necessary to build a bait bike emerged and we began testing the bait bike in the field.  At first, we kept the bait bike on a short leash - doing round-the-clock stakeouts to capture a bike thief stealing our bike on camera.  We eventually transitioned to "lock and leave" operations where the bait bike was left out until it was taken. 

How does TCBT's team come together for this project, how did you all meet+connect?
TCABT: The To Catch a Bike Thief team are a group of friends in Vancouver BC united by their love of bicycles.  Each person has had an unfortunate run-in with bicycle theft, which fueled their motivation to do something about the problem.   The team really bonded during our first stakeout in June 2011, and have been working on developing the show ever since.

In one of your statements about the project you express: To Catch a Bike Thief takes on these deeper issues, exploring the social conditions that shape the culture of bike theft. As patterns emerge and differing perspectives are voiced, we make it our mission to disrupt the chains of supply and demand that fuel it.
Other than the exposure and promoting such issue with your series, are the police/local authorities involved? And if so do they cooperate with the growing issue?
TCABT: We're trying to involve the police as little as possible.  Our intention is not to make a law enforcement show with our web series. We are mostly interested in understanding the problem of bicycle theft - figuring out who steals bikes, why, where stolen bikes go, and how stolen bikes are bought and sold.  We realized pretty early on that bicycle theft is a much more complicated problem than it being "bad" bike thieves stealing "good" cyclists' bikes. 
We've realized that even if we were to "catch" every single bike thief out there today, tomorrow, bike theft would still be a problem.  This is the case for 3 reasons:  
1) Bike theft is incredibly easy - anyone can go to Home Depot and buy the tools you need to rip off a bike.  
2) Nobody cares about bicycle theft.  As many amateur film makers have shown on YouTube, you could sit there and steal your own bike all day long in broad day light and nobody would try and stop you.  
3) The risk/reward balance favours bike thieves.  With over 2.5 bicycles stolen every minute (, people who steal bikes are clearly winning.  At the end of the day, we want to be able to provide a compelling narrative about bike theft that frames the issue as a socioeconomic problem (not a law enforcement problem), and show how technology and social networking tools can help cyclists and communities protect themselves against bike theft

Can you talk a little more about this GPS technology and some of the experiences with your bait bike such as success stories, fights or nasty confrontations with thieves?
TCABT: We tested several different GPS Trackers in our bait bike, and found that there is a tradeoff between battery life and precision.  All GPS trackers receive longitude and latitude coordinates from orbiting satelites and then use the mobile telephone network to broadcast their location to a mapping server.  Good GPS trackers will differentiate themselves by the frequency at which they are able to update the mapping server of their location.  The trade-off here is that the more frequently an update is sent, the quicker the tracker's battery life is drained.  And when your bike has been stolen by someone, minutes do count!  Good trackers provide a vibration sensor to wake them from sleep mode so that the GPS antenna is not constantly powered up. Another key distinguishing feature to look out for is the graphical interface.  Cheaper models skimp on display and mapping features such as historical playback and geofencing, which can mean the difference between getting your bike back or not.

In our web series, we ended up using the Livewire FastTrac device from Brickhouse Security because it sends 10 second location updates and has a battery that lasts much longer than claimed thanks to the smart vibration sensor that wakes it from multiple sleep modes.  The graphical user interface is the best of all GPS Trackers tested, and the customer service provided by knowledgeable  service reps by phone or chat made the purchasing process very pleasant.  The downside to this service is that it is offered by monthly subscription only and requires an ongoing monthly fee of $40 (about 25 pounds) per month to remain active. 

We've been pretty fortunate in our interactions with bicycle thieves that no one has been especially difficult, and in all cases, we've been able to get our Bait Bike back from them.  We're hoping it stays that way, however, one of our newest team members - Toler Thompson - has a background in providing security and has already proven to be an asset as far as analyzing human behavior during interactions with bicycle thieves is concerned to determine whether or not they are telling the truth.

Would you like to share future plans for your project, and is there a plan for TCAB to grow as a global community?
TCABT: We've been very fortunate in the level of support we've received from the cycling community and beyond for our project and we want to take advantage the help so many amazing people have offered us.  In the near term, we are developing our web series locally for season 1, but are open to expanding to explore how bike theft works in other cities such as San Francisco, New York and LA.   
We hope that our website, becomes a hub for cyclists interested in bike theft to learn how bicycle theft works, how to protect one's self against it, and watch entertaining videos about people who try to fight the problem!

We've also received tremendous interest from TV production companies that are interested in working with us to develop our show as a broadcast television show.  We're currently working with an Emmy Award winning production company to create a pitch to some major networks and are pretty optimistic that we'll be able to get a shot at a TV show as well!

Where can we find further information/links for our readers to learn more?

**check out more of their videos below:

- - - - - - -
Feel free to leave comments/questions/feedback for them to see.
Thanks y gracias very much to Ingo Lou for introducing me to TCABT and (+his awesome team) +for participating!!

DISCLAIMER. The series as the blog itself, are non-profit/non-payed/and unfiltered/unedited. Thank you for reading.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Santa Barbara in B+W


January, 2012
24 hours in Santa Barbara, California.
325 miles south from San Francisco, 250 miles from Mexico, 2800 miles from New York.

Plenty of Spanish tiles, white walls, a large record store, new and used. One nice coffee shop with Verve beans, close enough to the Bay Area and far from it at the same time. A myriad of UCSB students on bikes, mostly cruisers. Warm January weather, the sidewalks come with a flip flop soundtrack, the Pacific Ocean. Breeze.

Elsie's is rather quiet on a Sunday. "My name is not Elsie, but I have something for you" and she puts on a few songs from the Olivia Tremor Control.
I have been floated.

She hands out a round of anchor steam for the handful at the bar. Lovers, friends, strangers, visitors, locals and a big bowl of popcorn. An old man minds his business chain smoking in the back patio.
And we are in cruise control.



Friday, June 15, 2012

Azealia Banks, the Sartorialist y BMX in Tokio

the 212
While reading some Madrid music news, I came across the 21yr. old Harlem rapper Azealia Banks.
Her new album 1991 dropped 2 weeks ago.
The photoshoot video is below with one of the songs in 1991.
*Audio(song) heads up - explicit 

And below Liquorice, the first video for her new album 1991, styled by the Mugler/ladygaga/panda fashion panda master mind Nicola Formichetti.
**Also explicit version.

the sartorialist
Also taking place in Madrid, Scott Schuman aka the sartorialist has an exhibit at Loewe June 14 to August 5th in case you happen to be in Spain.
image captures from the video below
Bicycles are constantly featured in his photographs. Him and Garance often mention bicycles as their main way to get around.
I admire people that can ride around with white shoes looking that spotless. Mine would have mad coffee stains before even putting them on.

Ride Tough You Little Boys
Found this cool Stussy+BMX video via vimeo. 
For Summer 2011, Stussy and W-Base from Shibuya, Tokyo have joined forces on the "How I Roll" 26 inch old school BMX original model bike. This cruiser type style is built after the late 1970's/early 1980's flavor dirt bike and is packed with details. The frame is made from 4130CR-MO, metallic blue alumite hubs, rims, break covers and neck with the classic "Ride Tough You Little Boys" Stussy phrase.

- - -
have a grand weekend;

Thursday, June 14, 2012

flower power adidas clothing

These collab designs between adidas+opening ceremony seem timely for the olympic year and fresh out of the oven. Fun combinations for a sporty-esque line.
I'm liking those zippers quite a bit, though not sure if they are comfortable if you actually do move or pedal in those pretty petals. Also, I wonder if they are reflective? That would be pretty cool y functional.

These models look 12, other than that -- what do you think?



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Miércoles de mariachi.

Mariachi Wednesday.

Sunday, June 10th. La taquería on Mission street.
Captured this all-women quartet taking a burrito break at La Taquería on Mission street.
Just a few minutes before, they had sang La Negra Tomasa. I've heard this song a billion and a half times, and it sounds quite different with a violin emphasis, a sassy dose of feminine voices y make-up. Eso.

No video of course, I was busy stuffing my face.
There are many versions of the song, but below is one of the most popular ones by Caifanes. 1995 Unplugged, my BFF and I ditched school to watch this cable MTV latino special.

Caifanes has reunited after an almost 20yr-long rockstar fight and as of last year, currently touring all over the USofA +Mexico.
They recently played at the Fox theater in Oakland. The more I go to this venue, the more BEAUTIFUL it becomes. I felt like a teenager again. My knee reminded me otherwise.

Caifanes is a Mexican rock legacy and are known for their powerful lyrics and their timeless message in each one of them.
The song La negra tomasa may not be a fan's favorite as it is a cumbia song overly played out, so I've included a different one below. Here are a few words from it.
Si tu te vas, a donde voy. No me obedecen mis pies.
Ya que te escondas todo el día, yo se bien que estás dormida. Con los recuerdos de otra vida.
If you go, where do I go. My feet don't obey me.
And after you hide all day, I know you are sleeping. With memories from another life.
Caifanes will be playing in Tijuana, Mexico on June 16th.
The Toreo de Tijuana is gone as of 2007 so let's hope that this time the concert doesn't get cancelled, like it did in 1995.
But from what I've seen, promises to be a phenomenal 3hr+ concert.

Un animal, xxo♥meligrosa

1992 Estás dormida

Monday, June 11, 2012

mucha música monday

via comisario pantera

Texan psychedelic rock and shoe gazing beats soundblock me from the pop world, but occasionally the happy shiny people with their catchy bubble gum melodies leak in.
Included some borderlands beats to balance it out.

Here is some material from Tijuana › to the DF › to the UK.
Some new, some not. Thought I'd share to start the week off.
Got any recent discoveries or rolas (songs) to share? Do tell.

1. No me digas más /Comisario Pantera (+its record image above)
No me digas más is a fun cheery rock pop melody.
Reminds me of teenage make-out sessions with a millkshake after-taste and an early curfew.
This chilango quartet seems to like including bikes in their graphics.

(above: old flyer from their site)

2. Tenía tanto que darte /Nena Daconte
I had not heard of this Spanish duo until a couple of years ago. Bubble gummish pop, this video reminded me of how much I loved rollerskating.

3. The bike song /Mark Ronson
The producer behind Amy's Back to Black album +brother to Sam(DJ) +Charlotte(clothing) Ronson, presents a silly fun story within the video. Also reminds me I should have british ex-boyfriend at some point in my life.

4. Mi bici /Parchís
¡Vamos todos! These kids doing bike donuts are making me super dizzy.
I still want those rad rides though.

5. Nine million bicycles /Katie Melua
Exactly the way I feel when I lay my back on a skateboard and you know, roam the world.

6. Tour de France /Kraftwerk 
Always proud of the 80's. If it wasn't for these guys who released this track around then, I could've always sang a Gillette-commercial I'm your venus whenever I saw Tour de France. Those roadies sure like shaving.

7. Brown bike /Nortec
Last but always number juan, is this fusionesque video from my favorite contemporary vatos.
Catchy punch line. Juan (accordion hotness) +the androgynous look ala La Roux, are the delicioso cherry on top.

Books, babes y border beats. A trifecta I was born with.

Friday, June 8, 2012

videos, weekend y cervezas

If you get honked on the slow lane on the internet-share highway like I often do, these videos are for you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did, if you haven't already seen them by now. Sometimes I bookmark and take my time to watch them later, over a cup of coffee. Feel free to add any you'd like to share in the comments section, FBpage or twitter. AOL key or whatever.
There are a few additional projects, links and videos to also be posted soon, including a new series of interviews – but more on that later :)

A post takes time to brainstorm, and to voice thoughts +ideas onto words, fotos +links, nevermind creating a video. Editing, bringing together content, information and many of the those elements are certainly time consuming, however more accessible tools and software become, putting good footage together continues to be a craft of its own.
So, good job everyone.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L O S   E V E N T S :
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Saturday, June 9th: Lake Merrit 
Before a few Bay Area videos, wanted to show this event this Saturday, sent to me by the beautiful SF woman on wheels many of you know, Katie. Loving the Espanglish:
A Day at the Races & A Night of Cervezas
Saturday June 9th
12 - 3pm
Bicycle Sprints around Lake Merritt
Race, bet and view from the southeastern side of the lake.
Yes! You should race! Especially ladies! Yes! Wear a costume!
Because what else advertises your cycling prowess
than your best pair of spangly tights
and wearing your wonderwoman underwear on the outside.
5 -10pm
Prizes and After Party at Parkview Terrace, Oakland
more info: website || facebook
Saturday, June 9th: The Bridge on the Big Screen  

"The Presidio Trust and the Walt Disney Family Museum 
present a Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary commemorative film festival featuring seven movies 
starring the “international orange” superstar."  

Before catching the classic film, enjoy Off the Grid food 
trucks and music with players from the Whiskey Family Band

Bring a blanket or low lawn chair.

Approx. 8:30PM
More info: link
via the Presidio's newsletter.

Saturday, June 9th: BICInema in Tijuana 
BICInema Cine por la Movilidad Sustentable By BiciEstación (Revolución entre 6ta/7ma)
8PM Ladrón de Bicicletas / Ladri di Biciclette
Ven este sábado a las 8pm con tu bicicleta a la Biciestación. Veremos una película... Palomitas gratis a quien venga en Bicicleta.
event link: facebook

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B A Y   A R E A   D O S E   O F   V I D E O S :
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Thief steals Special Olympian's bike outside church
Saw on the news this cancer survivor got his bike stolen, really hope this bike is found. 
Spread the word, full article here: link

Mission cyclists talk biking
Ramona + pair up for this video. Hope it keeps going as a series perhaps, I'm personally a bit thrown off with the mention of helmets directly shown as time trail-esque helmets, so I'm confused as audience, but not sure if I'm missing something(?). Ramona, feel free to chime in. 
Other than that, the Mission is indeed flat, colourful and full of bikes. 
Sara is very nice; I have yet to visit Pushbike's new location.

IORMB (I'm in Oakland and I'm Riding My Bike)
Meanwhile some Oakland love, Victor Murillo's video +his pretty smile:
"Come take a nice stroll through Oakland with McSlappy, Da Scraper Bike King, and The Original Scraper Bike Team. #IORMB #OriginalScraperBikeTeamInc"


Bike wedding, SF style: Greg & Mel
An adorable couple, a cute wedding video. Congratulations to Greg +his beautiful lady! ♥
via wheelright 

/previously posted: Greg in 2009

Recology: what we save
Here in San Francisco, we recycle and compost.
This video is nice, who wouldn't enjoy a Golden Gate Bridge like the one at the end, framed on their wall?

"San Francisco diverts 78 percent of all waste generated in the City away from landfill disposal through source reduction, reuse, and recycling & composting programs." via link

Support your local shelter: adopt!
This is where my beloved black cat Velcro came from. Much love to what they do.

"Humorous video and catchy tune with a serious message: break the cycle of puppy mills. If you buy a puppy online, chances are that puppy came from a puppy mill. Adopt from a local shelter or rescue group, or buy from a reputable breeder." Find out more at

- - -
Have a good weekend, y practice kindness.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Deeply sadden, RIP Robert Yegge

My heart, sympathy and prayers go out to the family, loved ones, friends and anyone that has lost someone in their lives this young.
22 is a beautiful age, and this USF student's life got cut short. I'm beyond deeply sadden to read these news today, as it hits home extremely hard. My brother would also be 22 this year. It is something unimaginable and the pain of a sudden loss as such, is just beyond unbearable.

Rest in Peace Robert.

LINK USF Student Robert Yegge Killed by Truck Driver at Oak and Franklin | Streetsblog San Francisco
A memorial picnic for Robert Yegge is planned for this Sunday at Marx Meadow in Golden Gate Park. The SFBC will be joining Yegge’s friends and family on a bicycle ride to the picnic from the McKinley statue at the east end of the Panhandle, departing at 11 a.m., in remembrance.
/previously posted August, 2010 Nils Yannick Linke

Tuesday, June 5, 2012



The internet without cat pictures is like the telephone without gossip.

Velcro turned 4 years last month.
Adopted from the SF SPCA 3.5yrs ago, she is a beautiful black cat, with super soft fur – rather shy to any strangers.
Likes to stand in front of the TV during ESPN or basketball games and follow the ball as if it was
a catnip laser ball. She is a jock, and means the feline world to me.

Got some comments asking for more of Velcro, so here she is.