Biker Bling



Bike nerds, take note: San Francisco designer, artist and force on two wheels Jonny5 creates biker-friendly bling that’s both aesthetically pleasing and full of purpose, especially when it comes to the goat population (more on that later). Using old bike parts like these cast-off down-tube shifters for necklaces ($35) and tossed bike tires for belts ($20), Jonny5 and his one man show Zero Per Gallon strive to give self-identified bike dorks accessories that reflect their free-peddling lifestyles.

As the name Zero Per Gallon suggests, Jonny5 is none too pleased with gas guzzling vehicles and the idiots who drive them. But those of us who do get behind the wheel (as opposed to on top of two of them) can take heart in the fact that this local artist dislikes one thing more than environment-killing motorists. And that thing would be the goat population. And you will probably ask yourself why. And we will suggest reading on for our mini interview with Jonny5:

What’s your favorite bike route in San Francisco?

Fulton St, from Divisadero all the way down to Civic Center. Why? Cause you get a little warmup on the uphill to Alamo Square, then a sweet view of the city, and then you get to bomb down the hill, zipping past old Victorian SF, with that huge gold dome, all shiny, rapidly looming larger as you zip towards it on a road with almost no traffic. (It’s probably the Washingtonian in me that likes riding near fancy, European-style, publicly-funded buildings.) Twin Peaks is a close second, but probably only because I’m a sucker for hills.

What’s the worst street for bikers in San Francisco?

There are SO many… Let’s see… Geary’s not so fun, but at least it’s well-paved. Masonic is pretty scary. There’s one tiny road in GG park, called Middle Drive, that’s so bad it must have been created in some sort of let’s-see-how-poorly-we-can-pave-this-road competition. Oh, and Cesar Chavez isn’t the funnest to ride on either. I once got two flats tires, in a block, in the rain, in the dark, on Valencia St., so I sorta hold a grudge against it, but it does have that sweet bike lane.

Why do bikers need bling?

Lemme put it this way: If the idea of slumping into an over-cushy car seat, turning on the monotonous/soothing/soporific voice of NPR, and stop-and-go-ing it mere miles, only to sit there, clogged up, in a procession of 2,000-lb combustion-engine glory, while getting fatter, and lazier, and more fed-up, and getting SO used to that way of life that it seems normal is absolutely horrific to you, then bling, in some form or another, has a place in your life. Biking is like a little adventure every day. Sometimes it’s social. Sometimes it’s a style show. Sometimes it’s a soggy sufferfest. But it’s not monotonous, or soul-sucking, or detrimental to public life in cities. So, bling: it’s like a spicy red pepper to get you going on your adventure. Besides, studies show that you ride faster if you’re smiling, and bling tends to make me smile.

How does it feel to be absolutely, 100 percent goatless?

Look, there aren’t too many people in this day and age who stand up and do what they know is right at every opportunity. Goats are a huge problem – perhaps our biggest problem – and there are a precious few people standing up strong against them, so my hats go off to them. A couple of examples: There are some brave souls in Gavle, Sweden, who’ve spent the last 41 years ritually burning down a 40-foot-tall straw goat every Christmas. There’s Tracey Arnold, a 26-year-old Australian woman who got drunk at a Friday the 13th party last year, stole a goat, broke into a church, slaughtered it in a satanic ritual, took some photos of her friends and the detached goat head, and then put the head in her freezer. Unfortunately, she was caught, and fined, and forced to apologize, and forced to undergo psychiatric treatment, but hey, she was fighting a good fight. Why are these people heroes? Because lurking among us, there are people like Jennie Grant, the president of a group in Seattle called the Goat Justice League, who has said that Seattle “would be a really charming city if we were a place people could keep minifarms with chickens, goats, a vegetable garden and fruit trees.” She must be off her rocker! Goats are evil. There’s no two ways about it. They embody evil and they must be stopped. So how’s it feel to run a company that’s 100 percent goatless, guaranteed? Well, it takes hard work, but it warms the cockles of my heart.


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  • Alex

    Totally tasteless! Not one Campagnolo shift lever in sight.  And there are so many beautiful Campa ones compared to these ugly examples. Think form and function!