Cargo Bikes Can Be Cool, Okay?? Also: Hot Takes on Valencia Bike Lanes

Cargo Bikes Can Be Cool, Okay?? Also: Hot Takes on Valencia Bike Lanes

We just received a boatload of demo Dogmas dropped off here at the shop, from small to large (as in I can shred on one of them at 6’6”). We also received a 55cm black-on-black Grevil should you wanna give it a try. Give us a ring or shoot us an email and we’ll get you set up. FYI one of our very own, Bryan, took the above snap of his personal demo Dogma.



I love my Atlantis (each newsletter features at least one snap of it lol), but I had a wonderful opportunity to get a new 66cm Soma Wolverine. In the interest of getting a bit creative, I tried to limit myself with the components and order as much as I could from the Soma catalog. Save for a few bits (the saddle, brake levers, bar end shifters, spokes, nipples, and rims), all the rest is from the selection of 4,500 SKUs that Soma has. I was blown away that a whole bike could be built from just one spot and one that looks as good as this one does.

I used to have a Ritchey Swiss Cross Canti that was sooo good even though it was just a little twitchy for me. It was also maxxed out with 38mm knobbies and I was left always wanting just a little more. The Wolverine can take 45mm with fenders and is currently running 50mm Cazaderos. Sick. It still has a bit of the sprightly handling that I loved with the Swiss Cross while adding a much more grounded feel with the front end.

This bike also has a dynamo system like my Riv. I went with a front light from Kasai that throws a more conical beam which is great for riding on trails. I stuck with the 6-bolt thru-axle version of the Kasai that I have on the Riv since it’s been pretty great so far.

I haven’t ridden a drop bar bike in about a year so it’s been weird getting back to it and I happen to like it alright. Since I have the bars so high up, I don’t notice much difference in the ability to put power down when riding though I do notice a change in riding style from the Riv. With the Riv, it feels like I can put less input and it just cruises along. The Wolverine feels like it needs constant input to keep rolling. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing - this is a monstercross bike and necessitates more of a hands-on kind of riding style.

I’ve done some cx-style loops in GGP, hit Sutro, and did a muddy loop through Marin last week. 40-ish miles with 6k feet in climbing over stairs, through mud, down loose gravel, and over some rocky shit. I gotta say that this things feels fun and maneuverable like my old Swiss Cross, but without any of the jumpy characteristics that made me question whether each descent was my last. I’m stoked to get this thing out for a longer ride on one of my days off.

If the Wolverine sounds like something you'd be interested in, our shop has access to the full Soma catalog.



**First of all, I gotta give photo credit for the still above. It’s from the IG of Terry B, one of my favorite cycling-related people out there. Be sure to check out his stuff on YouTube, too.**

I figured that it would be worthwhile to bring up/discuss the changes coming to one of the larger commuting corridors for cyclists here in the City. A plan has been implemented for center running bike lanes on Valencia, a plan backed by both SFMTA and the SFBC. I think that this is a really bad idea that ruins this corridor for both cyclists and drivers.

Though a bit more on the militant side with its views generally, I really like Streetsblog SF and the opinion that it has regarding this update to Valencia. The linked article and others on the subject write about the increased danger for cyclists when either entering or exiting the lanes in the middle of the road. Think that’s going to be good for drivers? Not at all. I believe more cyclist/driver conflict will exist and commuting for all will suffer in the Mission.

The current scheme whereby cyclists are shielded by parked cars just works. Cyclists stay out of the way of drivers and drivers needn’t worry about cyclists save for at street corners should they be turning. The rest of Valencia is a different story. The bike lanes are in between the lane of travel and parked cars which means a lot of people double park in the bike lane, pushing cyclists into traffic. That’s bad for everyone. Drivers don’t expect cyclists to be in their path and cyclists have to maneuver around yet another obstruction in the bike lane.

I want commuting to be easier for everyone, not just cyclists. How can that be better achieved? Fully separated bike lanes the likes of which are currently around 15th & Valencia. Yes, it takes a bit more time and money. Yes, it’s going to be disruptive while being implemented. The bike lane in the middle of the street may take less time and seem like a good thing, but it’s a shortcut that’s only going to make things worse.

I dislike the car-centric approach that London Breed, SFMTA, and SFBC have taken. I dislike it most of all because it’s said to benefit cyclists first while making things tougher for everyone on the road.

Until next time,

Luke <3

P.S.: All of our old newsletters are now on our site as blog posts here.

Back to blog