Rock The Bike: BLOG

Bicycles take to the Freeways in Los Angeles…

Apr 11, 2008Posted by

a daring new group is now planning for rides on LA’s 405 freeway….

A baby-jogger based sound system with beautiful form.

Apr 8, 2008Posted by

Most trailer based and baby jogger-based sound system look like this:

It’s really refreshing to see one that creates a new form, the audacity to use a front-firing 15″ subwoofer! Yet it still doesn’t look like a big bubble, thanks to the clever sheet metal work.


Bike Culture Blowin’ Up, Car Culture Goin’ Down in Los Angeles…

Apr 6, 2008Posted by

April 22nd, 2008 has officially been declared Car Free Day in Los Angeles. The birthplace of the Freeway is making way for the bicycle – 15,000 are expected to participate in this celebration.

See attached link for more info……

Weird coincidence

Apr 4, 2008Posted by

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:


The coolest lighting setup we’ve seen in awhile

Apr 4, 2008Posted by

Derek Pearson modded Rat Fink / Xtracycle combo with custom skateboard snapdeck, Down Low Glow, and quad taillights.

Check the latest lighting mod from photographer Derek Pearson: A Pink Fink / Xtracycle combo with custom skateboard snapdeck, Envy Green Down Low Glow (matching the skateboard wheels), Plush Red DLG in the front, and quad Serfas TL 1000 taillights.

“Those taillights are serfas tl 1000 and I’m bummed to say that they just discontinued the line. Raddest taillights ever.”


New Down Low Glow video set to “Boda Boda Rap” by Fossil Fool and Lawi One

Apr 1, 2008Posted by

Here’s a cool video compilation of the Down Low Glow shots we’ve posted to Flickr over the last two years.

The music in the video is a track called “Boda Boda Rap” I worked on when I was working in Kisumu, Kenya for . My partner and friend Ed Lucero had found us a sweet apartment, and he had been there for almost a year when I arrived in March 2006. I was trying to help Ed finish up the marketing and monitoring for the Big Boda Trial Market, for which I had raised the funds. It was hard work selling bikes in Kenya, but Ed and I had great teamwork and lots of fun together.

Anyway at night at the apartment, Ed’s friends would come over. When they met me, I told them I was a rapper and gave them a sample. I told them I was writing a song about the Boda Boda bicycle taxi operators. The next night they came back with Lawi One, and we hit it off immediately. He installed a bootleg copy of Fruity Loops on my laptop and we would make beats until the battery died, then go out cruising in the warm Kisumu night air. He wrote a verse and I wrote three.

On my last night in Kisumu, Thao and I took a cab to his recording studio in a dank basement. It was me, Lawi One, and his friend who wanted to sing backup but who I thought had no rhythm. We laid down the track in about 4 hours. Thao and I left to get on the night bus to Nairobi. A month later Lawi One emailed me the MP3 and it’s the only thing I have of the song. But my other friend Chris Okiri emailed me to say that the local radio station was playing it every so often.

I lost touch with Lawi One last year. I think he moved from Kisumu to Sweden of all places. But I don’t have his email anymore. Maybe someone who knows him will search for his name on the internet, see this and contact me.

Grocery Run…

Mar 29, 2008Posted by

Cat wanted a ride too..

Spring Update

Mar 28, 2008Posted by

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

Earth Day Eco-Party with Fossil Fool and Shake Your Peace! At the Marin Headlands Hostel

Mar 23, 2008Posted by

Posted by fossilfool
04/19/2008 – 16:50

Ride out to the headlands with us and experience awesome dance music and a midnight hike.

Imagine this place at sunset with 80 people rocking to pedal powered sustainable rock n’ rollers SHAKE YOUR PEACE!, and Fossil Fool, the Bike Rapper get people moving.

Then imagine a midnight hike out to here:

More info coming!


Fossil Fool, Cello Joe, and DJ Sergio performing at SF’s Little Baobab, followed by midnight cruiser ride

Mar 22, 2008Posted by

Posted by fossilfool
03/25/2008 – 22:00

This Tuesday night, come on down to little Baobab for performances by Fossil Fool, Cello Joe, and DJ Sergio. Late that night, after Sergio spins, we’ll have a little mission cruiser ride.


9:00 — Cello Joe Just back from the Pleasant Revolution tour

10:00 — Fossil Fool, the Bike Rapper

11:00 — DJ Sergio