Archive for the ‘bikes’ Category

You Might See a Bunch of GoBike Bikes Here, But All I See is a Bunch of Corporate Marketing, Sry

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

Marketing to yoots, 1960’s:

And marketing to yoots, 2010’s:

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Coda:

The Real Reason Behind Ford’s Move Into Bike-Sharing – Why would an auto giant want to start an urban bike-sharing business? Here’s a hint: It’s not about the bikes.

A Rough Start for Ford Motor Company’s GoBike Bicycle Rental – Let’s See What Users Have to Say

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Oh, here’s one. Actually, ever since these new bikes came out I haven’t been able to cross The Bridge without seeing tourists on branded bikes heading to or coming back from Marin County. I suppose if they cost only $12 per hour to rent, then that price might seem reasonable compared with that charge by the legacy local bike rental businesses already established in tourist areas, so over to Sausalito they go:

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And here’s your vox populi, the three entries into Yelp the past week:

“I picked 2 Bikes for the day pass for $9.95 each. I thought that was good price for a day and only rode 2 hours and 15 minutes and returned the Bikes. However, they charged me $73 that is super expensive.

Original price was $88, now $149, a increase of $61.

“…irritating pricing structure: you only get 30 minutes at a time even if you buy a day pass. Apparently this structure was a result of pressure from Blazing Saddles on the government to protect their high margin tourist business. These heavy bikes can’t take you far in 30 minutes, so I think that’ll have to change for the system to work for anyone other than the most casual occasional user or dedicated bike share enthusiast. The bike we got on a day pass ended up costing an extra $6 for a grand total of $16 for 48 minutes of bike riding.

That’s how things are going in our Brave New World of Corporate Marketing In The Year Of Our Ford 1.

How Tourists Get Their Rental Bikes Back to Frisco from Sausalito – Some Might Consider This Cheating – Saving $48 in Ferry Fare

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Once you’ve made it to Sausalito, getting back to Fishermans Wharf to return your rental bike can be a chore with all the uphill, right?

And the heavily-subsidized ferry system for some reason would collect a whopping $48 to take this foursome to the Ferry Building, and don’t forget about the long wait sometimes (and I suppose some get turned away at the end of a day).

But if a taxi driver could somehow carry four (4) bikes and four people up the hill and over the bridge, well that would be great. Thusly:

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And there was another taxi doing the same thing just ahead, so I guess this is a thing, I just didn’t think this was possible.

As long as the driver got you to the Toll Plaza of the Golden Gate Bridge, well that would work out great.

 

Here’s How Ford Motor Company’s GoBike Bicycle Rental Scheme Moves Its Bikes Around: A BIG TRICYCLE

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Here’s the scene from the E’ville Eye News:

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At first I thought, wow, they must be using their burliest worker to push this trike trailer around, but then I saw the battery holder(?) beneath, for the electric assist, one assumes.

This is a better look than GoBike predecessor Bay Area Bike Share, which was known for its Mercedes trucks what would park wherever, like in the slow lanes of Market, for example:

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Or like this, also double-parking on Market:

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Or like this, halfway on Market and halfway on the sidewalk – IDK if this is considered better behavior or not:

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And sometimes all the way on the sidewalk. Again, IDK if that’s considered “better” than simply double parking.

And let’s not forget about BABS supes – they could park in the slow lane of inbound Market as well, because, IDK:

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And then with the illegal turns off of Market, like making a awkward left turn going inbound Market onto Sansome. Again, I don’t see how that could have been legal yet it was routine.

(Hey, QUESTION: Does Michigan-based FoMoCo think that $16.13 per hour really is at or above “living wages” in the bay area in places like Frisco, E-Ville, Oaktown, Berzerkeley, etc? Mmmm…)

Anyway, like I said, a bike trailer is a better look for Ford’s marketing division than a big truck…

It’s Happening Already: NUMEROUS Ford Motor Company GOBIKE Bicycle Rentals Being Ridden to MARIN COUNTY, and Back

Friday, July 7th, 2017

This was the fear of local bike rental companies when they heard that Michigan-based Ford Motor Company and New Yawk-based Motivate International were teaming up with SFGov to spend mid-eight figures(!) to market “FORD” around Frisco.

And then somebody(ies) pulled this switcheroo what would’ve turned the “last mile” 30-minute maximum service of Bay Area Bike Share (BABS) into a three hour tour. A three hour tour, sponsored by FoMoCo.

But then things got reversed and so our tourists still need to fret about checking in within 30 minutes, or they face a financial penalty, a pretty severe one, actually, costing some tourists hundreds of dollars (even after getting the 50% discount what they’ll offer you if you complain enough, from Singapore, Bremen, Timbuktu, after seeing an unexpected charge on their Visa bill.)

No matter – here are some of the brand-new FORD bikes returning from Marin County…

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…heading towards Marin County…

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…and heading towards the Golden Gate Bridge or Fort Point or who knows, but even this dude is straying far away from the intended use zone, non?

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Anyway, I’ve got more shots iffin you want me to dig them up. But I haven’t seen anyone pushing them uphill, which would almost be mandatory for most tourists if they wanted to actually try to make it back to town without relying on a ferry boat.

And of course, this Comes At A Time when our local SFMTA just paid some dude $75 an hour (TCOE) to pen this FU letter to anyone else who would dare compete with our local SFGov-approved Ford Motor Company / Motivate short-term bike rental monopoly.

Do these tourists know how much they’re spending, or are they just confused? IDK.

JUMP Electric Bikes, from Social Bicycles, Spotted in the Wild – Let’s Hope Expensive Motivate / Ford “GoBike” Rental Doesn’t Interfere

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

You know, the way they, Motivate International Inc. / Ford Motor Company, lobbied SFGov, hard, against harmless Bluegogo bike rental just a little while ago.

This wasn’t a photo opportunity, just a random sighting of people testing out this new program in Golden Gate Park today.

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One imagines they’ll let you use these rides for more than a half-hour…

North of Panhandle Area REJECTS Losing Four Parking Spaces for a Ford Motor Company GoBike Station – And SFMTA is Cool With That

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

I’ll tell you, I was unaware of this issue:

“To Hayes/Cole and Panhandle Residents: Thanks to all who signed our letter, telephoned, emailed and spoke at the SFMTA hearing on Friday 6/17/2016. SFMTA Senior Planner Heath Maddox confirms that they will NOT site a bike dock at Hayes and Cole Street. From his email:

‘…We (SFMTA) do not issue permits for bike share stations in front of buildings where the residents and/or property owners object. Motivate will need to find another spot in this grid square.”

Way to activate and organize and engage neighbors!!!”

So let’s see here, all this reminds me of:

  • The recent campaign to prevent Google buses (from the actual Google) from stopping at the #21 Hayes bus stops at Clayton;
  • The campaign to prevent Facebook buses from continuing to use a stop at Hayes and Masonic (so it got moved to Fell and Masonic, and of course, a ton of people along the three affected properties complained about that, but obvs not enough); und
  • The campaign (operated by minimum wage workers hired temporarily off of craigslist by an area coffee kingpin) to “save” one of two SFMTA bus stops on the same side of the same short block of inbound Hayes between Masonic and Central

I don’t exactly get this standard from SFMTA Senior Planner Heath Maddox – if people object to the SFMTA doing something, then it won’t do it? I don’t think that this is the actual standard IRL.

On the other hand, if you yammer enough at the SFMTA, it just might take away parking spaces from those who don’t know how to yammer as well, you now, those poor souls who live just a few blocks away.

Some would call this democracy.

Three-Hour “GoPass” from Ford Motor Company’s Expensive “GoBike” Bike Rental: Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Hey, remember Sunday? I do. Well this is how FoMoCo’s GoBike bike rental pricing webpage looked just two days ago:

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But this is how it looked a few hours later on Monday:

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See the difference?

Now it’s not my job to worry about how much money local bidness makes, but the existing home-grown bike rental companies of Frisco have a point when they recall how the focus of Bay Area Bike Share was going to be on the “last mile,” so the upshot was a 30-minute limit on each rental period with SEVERE penalties for taking a bike out all day, ’cause otherwise heavily government-subsidized BABS would be in direct competition.

Well, I guess Ford wanted to get something out of its $50 million investment so the three-hour GoPass was born.

But now it’s dead.

As you can see.

Of course GoPass would not have “killed” our local bike rental industry, despite what they might claim.

And I’ll tell you, it’s already hard enough for our tourists to go uphill on lightweight 21-speed rental bikes in Sausalito, thusly…

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…and thusly…

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…so imagine how much harder would it be or them to make the same trip on heavy, clunky, single-speed, bikeshare-style Ford GoBikes?

On It Goes…

Flower Delivery Truck, Frisco-Style – Ancient Specialized Hard Rock Mountain Bike Retires, Finds a New Career

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

As seen in our Presidio:

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A New Low for Walmart: The $35 Bicycle, Assembled

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

It’s a real bike with shifters and whatnot. Kind of heavy. And there were others there for sale as well.

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My current ride is one what costed $74 – a (Bike-Shaped Object) (BSO), pejoratively. (It replaced the $98 model what got stolen in the 94111 in 2016, Frisco being the west coast capital of bike theft ‘n all.) I didn’t think my wiener would appreciate the saddle so it got replaced. And the goofily-sized 27.5 inch rear tire lasted like two months – it got replaced with a Schwalbe anti-puncture commuter model for $35. I have another Schwalbe as well, ready to go as soon as the front tire flats out or wears out. A $15 U-lock (with 5 keys!) has sufficed so ar.

Anyway, you can buy a real 21-speed bike, prolly aimed at the teen market, for $35, sometimes, at Walmart.

America, what a country!