Sunday, August 23, 2009

Escape to the Mission

There's always the Mission when fog plays its gray tones all over NOPA and parts west. And isn't this what the Wiggle bike route is for on the weekends? Get us to the Mission!

Today was all Mission-all afternoon. First stop: the Mission Bicycle Company on Valencia near 18th in the old New College of California Building (and before that, the career-making Valencia Rose performance space and club). Fellow SF Bicycle Coalition member, Jefferson with the ready smile, greeted us at this new fixie bike shop. He joined an awesome Group of Eight staff led by co-founders Zack Rosen, Zach Klein, and Matt Cheney. Eyeing our lavendar SFBC T-shirt, Jefferson pointed to their exclusive offering of Bike Coalition hoodies and Ts. "We're the only bike shop in the city to carry the line."

Suitable for framing and hanging -- but you really, really want to ride then -- their custom-made bikes are stunners. "Itzaboy" in powder blue, "Spring Awakening" with wake-up green, canary yellow and blue accents, "Dark Violet" sets the pace for Halloween with"sinister matte black" and "violet Australian rims." "Design orange," I want it. Really, if only for the colors, check out their site and then visit the shop. On fixies like these, you'll also want locally designed, casual but fine bike wear: check their special line.

The Street Food Festival on Folsom beckoned. Sponsored by the exceptional La Cocina, a gem of a resource "cultivating food entrepreneurs," the food feast is enormously popular. The closer we got, the more we wished we had come earlier. All the parking meters and traffic sign posts were slung with bikes five blocks away. (Good thing SFBC's bike parking crew was in full operation on site). Admission to the festival was free, but the huge lines to get the tasty fare discouraged us. NOPA's Poleng Lounge was offering its best, but 20-30 minutes to wait when Poleng is just a few blocks away? Or tacos and mole when Green Chile Kitchen is down the block from home?

We ditched the food lines on Folsom (wishing them all well) and backtracked to Mission Pie. Vegan pot pie with okra, tomatoes, onions, and wheat bulgar. Quiche with bacon and radish greens. Taylor-made coffee with walnut pie. Very happy in the Mission today, and ready for the ride back to the fog, dreaming of a Mission Bicycle.

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