Archive for the ‘bikes’ Category

Government-Subsidized “BAY AREA BIKE SHARE” Tries to Rip Off Tourist for $300, Only Steals $150 – When Will BABS Solve This Repeated Issue?

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Suffer Fabian:

“Wow, watch out guys, especially tourists, that’s a total rip-off! Wrongly assumed it would be like bike share services in Europe, 30 minutes free of charge and for a day pass (i.e. renting the bike for the day) would cost me 9$. Took 2 bikes for 2 days for my girlfriend and me thinking I would at the end cost me something like $36 – which sounds reasonable for those heavy, sometimes poorly maintained bikes. They charged me at the end more than $300! Ridiculous. Cannot see how this is a sustainable service. Ended up paying half after intense discussions which is some relief, however for $150 I could have rented out 2 high-end mountain bikes for that price.”

Here’s what the tourists see:


I know there are more words around this image, but I’m just telling you what the tourists see.

Is BABS aware of this issue? Yes, but it just doesn’t give a fuck. They’re all like “fuck you, pay me,” or actually, they’re like oh, well, just pay half then. That’s the deal – get charged waaaaay too much money by mistake and then talk your way down to 50% of the overcharge. It’s like a unwritten BABS policy now.

And believe it or not, BABS would have only a 1.5 star Yelp rating but for its hectoring of customers who dare give it a one-star review, and but for the shill 5 star reviews.

It goes on and on:

I’m giving one star because the quality and condition of the bikes is absolutely horrible. All the bikes are heavy pieces of junk! Forget investing in more docking stations Bay Area bike share, invest in better bikes!! I’ve been to many cities around the world and all the bikes there looks way better than the ones we have here.

Perhaps BABS deserves its abysmal two-star Yelp rating?

Here’s Your Chance to Try BAY AREA BIKE SHARE for Free – FRIDAY FRIDAY FRIDAY, November 20th, 2015 – Get Your Code Now

Friday, November 13th, 2015

The problem with this

. and sponsor Bay Area Bike Share’s first-ever Free Ride Day on 11/20! Get your ride code today

…is that November 20th, 2015 isn’t exactly going to be Free Ride Day, it’s going to be more like Free Ride for a Half-Hour Day.

And if you think I’m quibbling, check out how our tourists have reacted to us subsidizing this program for them:


(And that’s even with the requisite number of 5-star shill reviews – some, perhaps, with a profit motive…)

And some private company will end up making millions off of this program what costs us tens of millions of dollars, oh well. And this is the same company what profits handsomely when people, including lots of tourists from all over the world with perhaps not the best handle on English, interpret phrases like FREE RIDE DAY as a FREE RIDE DAY or RIDE ALL DAY FOR $9 as RIDE ALL DAY FOR $9, but then end up getting charged $68.50 or whatever instead of the $9.

(My problem is that the minimum charge to pedal one of these expensive yet heavy rides around the block just to see what it’s like is $9.)

But look what’s coming up:

“On Friday, November 20, riders can enjoy free Bay Area Bike Share trips, courtesy of Target and Instacart!

Taking advantage of the promotion is easy. Register here (or at right) to receive a free 24-hour pass code by email. Then, on Friday, November 20, use that code at any Bay Area Bike Share station. The 24-hour pass, typically $9, will cost nothing thanks to Target and Instacart.

A credit or debit card is required as usage fees still will apply to all trips over 30 minutes. Riders can choose to take multiple rides during the 24-hour period simply by going to the kiosk and selecting “Request a New Ride Code”.

Station locations and real-time bike and dock availability can be viewed at or by downloading the free CycleFinder app for iPhone or Android devices.”

So Friday will be your chance to try things out.

Bon Courage.

BAD TO THE BONE: The Banana-Seated, Electrified, Chopper BIkes of Frisco – A Schwinn Stingray on Steroids

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Out for a cruise on the Golden Gate Park Panhandle bike path:

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Good times!

Tech-Bro Fever – Catch It

(Compare with more conventional Stingrays about town – scroll down.)

The Big Wheel Bike Craze Goes Mainstream: Bicycles with 4″ Fat Tires Available at City Target West

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Or online:

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Choose wisely

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Nevertheles, I’ll continue recommending the Marin Bikes Factory Sto

Life in Ed Lee’s San Francisco, Fixie Bike Edition

Monday, September 28th, 2015


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Drinking Coffee to Warm Up While Driving to Work, Market Street, USA – Look Ma, No Hands!

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

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A Tad Serious for the Panhandle Bike Path, Non? Is This a Sport or Just a Way to Get Around? – Both?

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

IDK, how fast do you need to pedal on this downhill stretch of the Panhandle Multi-Use Trail what with the stiff prevailing tailwind and the super-light bike and the super-skinny tires?

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I’ll tell you, you don’t need to pedal at all, from Stanyan to the fucking DMV (and Beyond, if the traffic signals work in your favor) – just really pump up your tires and try it sometime.

I’ll tell you, you know who else mixes up sport with transpo? The good bulk* of your BMW drivers, who cause more than their fair share of problems on our roads, despite having better-than-average reflexes and whatnot.

A good portion of your BMW car drivers need to slow the fuck down, and certain other people, perhaps you, see above, might need to as well.

That’s my point.

Just saying.

*Some purchase Beemers as Just Another Luxury Brand these days, of course. These people are excused…

Biker Gang, Divisadero – Schwinn Stingrays Everywhere – 4505 Burgers & BBQ

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

705 Divis:

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Explaining How This Cyclist Got a California Stop Ticket at 6th & Cabrillo While I’ve Gotten Zero Tickets in 25 Years

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

This is the scene from two days back, southbound 6th Ave betwixt Cabrillo and Balboa.

I’m assuming the bike rider got a ticket, ‘specially since he seemed to be ignoring the cop even after siren whooped once, and then again.

And here’s the thing – Bro slowed way down for the stop sign, on a pretty big slope, he showed respect for the stop sign, about as much as the typical car driver would have. Even so, the Richmond Station cop on the dirt bike pulled him over anyway. See?

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I myself, heading north, back to The City, didn’t have a chance to come to a complete stop before I heard the whoop-whoop noise, but I certainly did after.

Anyway, here’s the thing – the cyclist either didn’t see the cop coming west on Cabrillo OR the cyclist ignored the cop ’cause he didn’t think he’d get pulled over.

If I were the cyclist coming downhill, I DEFINITELY would have seen the cop and I certainly would have come to a complete stop once I saw the cop.

Gentle Reader, how many people living today have more time on a bike in SF County the past quarter-century than I? Precious few, I’ll tell you. Junior the Bike Messenger, certainly, and most of your career-level SF messengers, and some of the “founders” of Critical Mass still living in town, certainly. And, due to a couple somewhat-SFMTA/MUNI-related mishaps, this has been a bad year. However, I’m still in the 99th percentile, and I’ll tell you:

You gotta show respect for the po-po, unless you want to spend hundreds and thousands on tickets over your lifetime on a bike in Frisco.

Is this two-faced? I suppose. But what do you want me to do? I California stop on bikes, and in cars. It depends on the circumstances. And one of the big circumstances is if a cop is right there looking at you. Of course one should be looking around all the time anyway, for other bikes, for cars, trucks, peds, everything

Admittedly, bikes were (seemingly) invisible to the SFPD back in the 80’s and 90’s, so I had a bit of an advantage over the riders of today. But my biggest advantage is paying attention – that’s the key.


Anyway, that’s why I have more miles and fewer citations than the average…

DEBUNKING: San Francisco Chronicle’s Repeated Claims of How “Mountain Biking Started on Mount Tamalpais”

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Here you go:

“How mountain biking’s mega-success started on Mount Tamalpais”

Right here:

“When Joe Breeze did what thousands of Mill Valley kids had done before him — stood on Miller Avenue across the street from the 2 a.m. Club and stuck out his thumb to hitch a ride — he didn’t know he was changing history.

Let’s chalk some of this up to a kind of CW Nevius-style local rah-rahing.

Now let’s compare that with a less patriotic, a less Bay Area-centric source like Wiki.*

What’s that, it was only the “mega-success” of MTB what got started on Mt. Tam?

Al right, but that means Cascade Canyon Road is on “a western ridge of Mt Tam …”

“They all came together to race Repack, a steep downhill drop on a western ridge of Mount Tam, plummeting 1,300 feet in 2.1 miles.”

…as opposed to it being on nearby Pine Mountain, right?

Here’s the map:

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So on this map (which isn’t exactly pointing north, oh well) the peaks of Mt Tam are on the lower right, and Pine Mountain is on the left across a chain of lakes, and Cascade Canyon Fire Road (aka “Repack” – you can’t expect Marin Co guv’mint/The Feds to honor that bike-centric name) is in the upper left.

Here’s another map, with Mt Tam way off your screen, down and to the right – knock yourself out.

Anyway at least now, a Chron writer is showing his/her work. So, if you think Pine Mountain / the San Geronimo Ridge / Cascade Canyon Road/Repack is a part of Mt. Tam, then, maybe mountain biking gestated, a little, on Mount Tam, sort of.

But if not, then not.

I’ll tell you, IRL, Repack is way far away from the West, Middle, and East peaks of Mt Tam, so that’s why I’m saying mountain biking was NOT born on Mt Tam.