Archive for the ‘bikes’ Category

Know Better Your Richmond District Bike Thieves – Caught in the Act, Left Tools Behind – A Car Jack Hack

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

I’ll tell you back in the day, bicycle thieves aspired to take your whole bike, so they’d carry around Volvo car jacks the better to pry open your old-school Kyptonite U-locks. Then U-locks got better and the parts market became bigger, so now we’re in the Era of Frankenbikes with people stealing, tearing down, and reassembling bike parts to make untraceable, “new” bikes for sale on the craigslist and at fucking Laney College.

So this recent theft attempt in our Richmond District is old school. Note how the thief has modified the jack for easier concealment:

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One supposes this crime was interrupted.

So now it’s time to break into another car to get another car jack to steal more bikes to sell for $60 each to buy more drugs, one assumes.

Consult this handy chart when considering alternative careers…

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It Begins: Rec and Park Finally Gets Around to Painting Crosswalks onto the Panhandle Bike Path – But Who Has the Right of Way?

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Here you go – this is this morning:

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And here’s the result. Crosswalks are laid out all the intersections this multi-use path has with Shrader, Cole, Clayton, Ashbury, Central, and Lyon, as I was just talking about a couple days back.

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So, who has the right of way at these intersections – is it bike riders or peds? Well, IDK. I know about the arguments, I just don’t know the answers. (Is this bike path a “wilderness trail?” I’ve heard that one, from an in insurance company trying to deny coverage.)

Anyway, I’m thinking that about 25% of the peds have quite deficient situational awareness on this path (including two of the three workers seen above) and about 15% of the bike riders are stereotypical jerkwads who “knows my rights” and go a bit too fast. When these two subsets meet up at these unusual intersections, accidents happen, oh well.

We’ll see how this goes. (One hopes our RPD could put up a little signage about a speed limit and who has the right of way, if that’s not too bold for RPD to consider…)

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The Economics of Ford Motor Company GoBike Rental Theft – And Who’s Been Charged $1200 for Stolen Rentals?

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Man, a lot of Ford’s GoBike rentals have been stolen already, huh?

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(Sometimes you gotta wonder why somebody’d check out a bike rental only to push it around. That wasn’t a hill or anything. And this is going away from the nearest station.)

Anyway, wouldn’t you rather have a regular stolen bike instead of a heavy, high profile Ford Motor Company rental bike? I think most thieves would.

So, why do thieves steal GoBikes then? I think it’s for wheels, tires and tubes. These are kind of standard items, the tubes and the tires anyway:

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Usually when you see the remnants of a GoBike, the wheels are gone. Now, IDK how you’d repurpose the back wheel/hub combo, but these tires would pop right on to most mountain bikes, right?

(It’s surprising to me that these 7,000 bikes would have such standard sized tires/wheels.)

And how do thieves get a hold of these rides? Most likely when they are locked up at a station, as opposed to stealing them when they’re being rented out, else we probably would have heard of people complaining about being charged $1200 (that’s the highest in the world for these new-school short-term rental types bikes, BTW). No complaints ergo, thieves have a way to swipe these bikes when they’re locked up at stations.

Anyway, they are nice $55 tires. IMO, they are they reason so many GoBikes are getting stolen.

Rec and Park’s New Sign in the Panhandle Directs Tourist Pedestrians AWAY from the Multi-Use Path Abutting Fell

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Let’s pay off on that headline right now.

Looking east from Stanyan:

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Enhance!

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Oh here we go: Bikes to the left, peds to the right, see?

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Now I say tourists ’cause locals already know that they can tread upon “the bike path” in the Golden Gate Park Panhandle.

The real solution would be to widen this path what functions as a sidewalk for the south side of Fell, but for some reason, our RPD SFMTA SFCTA DPW alphabet soup don’t want to do that.

(And their next step will be to add painted crosswalk-type lines on the multi-use path where it intersects with what would be the sidewalks of Shrader, Cole, Clayton, Ashbury, Central, and Lyon if it weren’t for the existence of Golden Gate Park, the better to avoid any more bike v. ped accidents.)

Anyway, for better or worse…

Old NISHIKI Mountain Bike from the 1980’s is the Un-FordGoBike: Old, Cheap, Light, Reliable, Sustainable, and NOT an Advertising Vehicle, At All

Monday, September 18th, 2017

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Old: Well, sure, just look at it. (Reminds me of the “MOTIV” “brand” bikes I bought for $199.99 at the South Airport Drive (which is,oddly, located north of SFO) Price Club (loaned it to a bro, told him how to lock it up in the Tenderloin, was ignored, so it got stolen) and at a Costco (road it for 13 weeks, then sold it at the end of summer, then came home). And it also reminds me of the Trek 8000 I bought for $560 (retail was $899 and similarly had a saddle what towered over the handle bars – 4 inches higher in altitude IIRC) that had “luxurious” LX shifters what were two generations newer than this Nishiki. In any event, this Nishiki is old.)

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals are new new new.

Cheap: Well, sure.  You could buy one  yourself for less than the $150 it’ll cost you just to get started or just one year with FORD.

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals will run you $1200 if you happen to lose one. (IDK if they’ve made people actually pay this amount, as the publicity would be highly negatory, good buddy.)

Light: Oh yes, quite.

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals are heavy metal, designed to be clunky. (On a lark, some roadies rented some GoBikes to race them across The Bridge and up Conzelman to the top of Hawk Hill. It was treated as a kind of a joke given the design of the Ford Motor rentals. (And even though this speed contest violated some clauses of FoMoCo’s detailed and lengthy agreements, some at Motivate, International promoted it on social media, at least for a while.))

Reliable: Well, sure, just look at it. It’s honest machinery what shows you how it works.

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals need a whole crew of workers what get paid just 15% more than the bare minimum wage. (Are they experts on the new-school rear hubs by now? I hope so.)

Sustainable: Well, sure. What’s stopping this Nishiki from going another 40 years on the mean Streets of San Francisco?

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals are mostly funded by something like $50 million worth of Ford Motor Company marketing money. Who’s to say that this K(ontract) will make it even the seven years specified? And that brings us to…

Not an Advertising Vehicle, At All. Well, sure, it says NISHIKI on it, but there’s nothing stopping you from taking it off – I mean that wouldn’t violate your Rental Terms or your Rental Agreement, etc. Right? So that’s part of the reason why Ford is paying to buy up parking spaces in Frisco – the advertising placement.

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals are Advertising Vehicles. That means that if the Ford Motor / Motivate International people happen to catch you on one of their rental bikes, you know, and then take a picture of you, or make a video of you, well, you’ve already signed your rights away to YOUR image. See what I mean? (Oh what’s that, you don’t care? All right, well I bet I could point out something in the agreements that you wouldn’t cotton to.) Myself, well I’m not worried about my photos rights cause any images of me on a FoMoCoGoBi have gotta be fakes, plus I don’t think there’s any advertising edge to be garnered using my image anyway.

So there you have it, Yet Another Corporation Trying To Make Money Off Something That Oughtta Be Free, 2017 Edition.

SKATING, NO BICYCLES: How Some Alter the NO SKATING NO BICYCLES Stencils on the Golden Gate Park Panhandle Jogging Path

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

This is what it could look like – this is my Photoshopped version to duplicate what somebody described to me:

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Anyway, the message is to leave this path to sk8trboies, one assumes…

The Term FRISCO is Having Another Great Year – “Frisco Bay Sting-Rays” – License Plate: “FRISCO,” Natch

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

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Presenting the Ford Motor Company GoBike, Gold Edition

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Finally, a rental bike what doesn’t advertise FoMoCo:

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Mystery Rental Bikes on the Streets of San Francisco: “Beyond” – Electric-Powered, Real Gears, Better than a Ford GoBike?

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

Well, obvs. this is better than the likes of a clunky, 40-pound, Ford Motor Company GoBike “bikeshare” rental bike. For one thing, it’s got an electric motor:

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But I don’t know where this rental bike is from. Hence the mystery…

Burn: Locally-Owned Blazing Saddles Bike Rental vs. The New Yawk-Based Competition: “$32 per Day vs. $150 per Day”

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Here it is:

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Of course, Ford Motor Company paid to have these old BABS rides replaced with Ford-branded rolling advertisements, so this hit piece is outdated now. But the Ford / Motivate International people DID try to sneak in a three-hour rental scheme just recently. So yes, these rental bikes are all competitors in a way.

Tourists get confused by terms like “DayPass” and try to ride these hefty bikes all day for “just $10.”

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Anyway, it’s hard to make it across the GGB without encountering “bikeshare” rental bikes competing with legacy rental bike businesses

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I think legacy bike rental businesses will still be around in 2025, but I don’t know what will happen with “bike share” after the Ford Motor Company contract runs out…