Archive for the ‘bikes’ Category

The Infamous Fell Street ARCO Gas Station Offers Helpful Queuing Tips for Its Customers, Via an SFMTA Graphic

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Ah, memories.

P1200317 copy

Things are better now, at Fell and Divis, usually. We lost a few parking spaces on Fell, but, you know, the Needs of the Many, yada yada yada…

The SFMTA’s Current Approach to Bikes in the Broadway Tunnel Doesn’t Seem Better Than the Old Approach

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

After years of work and study…

BROADWAY TUNNEL BICYCLE PROJECT: Staff has sent a work order to
the Signal Shop to have the bicycle symbol flash when turned on. (No
updates)

…this the result, eastbound – a blank, nonsensical, K-Mart-looking diamond what lights up when cyclists are sensed in the BT:

7J7C7366 copy

The old method of alerting drivers was similar, but it actually made sense to drivers when it wasn’t operating.

(The SFMTA seems to think that dreaming up crazy new ideas is its obligation – if you’ve never seen things before anywhere else in the world, that’s proof that the SFMTA is showing “leadership,” apparently)

Now here it is when it’s actually working, which I’ve never seen before, courtesy of Google Maps (from the northern lane – G gives you a choice):

Capturelkjlkjlkj copy

The big issue is how to handle bikes in the tunnel.

My method, westbound, from Chinesetown, is to walk the bike unless I see the rare ped, and then I dismount and stop while the ped passes me. In practice, this usually means riding all the way through. I think this is agin the current rules, but I don’t think I’m risking getting a ticket or anything.

Now eastbound is a different story, since the grade is generally working your way. The technique is to wait for a wave of traffic to go through and then enter when drivers idle at the red at Larkin. You’ll have a few cars pass you, but that’s better than just blithely ignoring traffic the way most do. Or, you can just ride on the sidewalk, remembering that you’re a second-class citizen when doing so.

Anyway, it seems that the generally dull-witted SFMTA is sophisticated enough to understand that going east and west is different thang here, so that’s good.

So do we want to encourage people to ride through this tunnel? IDK. I’ll tell you, westbound, uphill on the Geary Tunnel is worse and the Stockton Tunnel is way better.

I don’t know what the options are at the Broadway Tunnel. I’m sure most of them are very expensive…

Surprise! Bicycle Use in San Francisco Has Stopped Growing on a Per Capita Basis, Per This Official Report

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Here it is, a brand-new SFMTA PDF, published in May 2015:

Annual Bicycle Count Survey 2014

And here’s your nut graf, on the topic of Bicycle Use, as seen on Page 5:

“2013 vs 2014: … 1% increase.”

And here’s your summary, also seen on Page 5:

Capturejgfjfdf copy

Now let’s add in a little population growth in the 2013-2014 period:

It’s boom time in San Francisco: Population, jobs are growing

And all this adds up to the headline above.

(And, coincidentally, these are the days of falling membership at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, from a claimed “over 12,000″ to well less than 10,000 these days.)

What can explain this all?

There’s no SF Bicycle Plan injunction preventing new construction these days – that ended a while back, right?

And the weather – the weather the past few years has probably been most bike-friendly since before the First San Francisco Bicycle Boom back in the 1800’s.

Here’s the reaction so far – I’ll show all that I can find, which isn’t all that much:

Grab your pom poms:

Tim Papandreou ‏@tpap_ May 15 2014 SF bike count report is up! 206% increase in cycling since 2006! Go team!”

So I guess we’d call this spin? I mean this report, or something like it, comes out every year, right? And we already knew* about the Great Fixie Craze Of The Late Aughts what made bikes cool again, so why focus upon what we already knew? The new news here, the actual news, is that Bicycle Use in San Francisco Has Stopped Growing on a Per Capita Basis, right? Moving on…

…to this, from Stuart Rob Anderson’s Black Angus Steakhouse Square Cow Fun Bar District Five Diary

Bicycle count report: “Bicycle use slowed down with 1% increase”

The bicycle Count report: A closer look

I should point out that a “1% increase” is an actual increase and not a “decrease.” And also, the reported increase is actually a little bit more than 1.5% IRL, so that’s on a par with the population increase over the same period – I mean, it’s a really close call here. The big point is that the recent era of rapid growth has ended.

I can see why SFGov wanted to delay this news until Bike To Work Day 2015…

*Or I should say I already knew, since I have more years decades hours miles on a bike in San Francisco than you, Gentle Reader, or anybody at the SFBC, or anybody at the SFMTA for that matter. Yes, bike use in SF is way up since the 1980’s, since the 1990’s, since the mid-aughts, yes, freely conceded.

It Looks Like Somebody Wants a Wider Golden Gate Park Panhandle Bike Path – Or, is Planning for One, Anyway

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

I’ll tell you, in my day the Panhandle Bike Path was a mere eight foot wide. And then it went to twelve foot, the way it is now.

But how about 16 feet – what the heck would be wrong with that? JMO.

Anyway, they just got finished repaving the southwest corner of Fell and Masonic, so the bike path got widened to 14 feet, if only for a short section:

P1220942 copy

I’ll get my 16 foot bike path, someday. (Prolly with a laundry list of expensive aesthetic “improvements” that I won’t notice, but anyway, someday…

A Sad End to a Road Bike – It Looks Like It’s Been Run Over by a MUNI Bus – Harvest Harvest Time

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Severely taco’ed rear wheel and  kinked seat stays:

P1220530 copy

But as you can see, there’s nothing left to harvest, so there’s nothing left to do but wait for SFGov or the Recology monopoly to haul it off.

Any harvestable parts were probably gone within a half-hour…

KRON-TV’s Big Stanley Roberts vs. the Little Lebowski of the Southern Wiggle: “I Don’t Want To Release This Footage”

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Welcome to ‘Merica, Dude:

Bicycle Dash Cam: Just Hold Your Cellphone in Front of You with Two Hands and Pedal Through the Panhandle

Friday, April 24th, 2015

I’ve never seen this – Brocephus was holding his mobile, almost certainly an iPhone 6+ ’cause you know, horizontally to record his ride on video:

7J7C5802 copy

Look Ma, no hands!

The Best Stunt Uber Has Ever Pulled: Basically Giving Away Nutcase Bike Helmets in Philly Today

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

It seems odd how hostile our local San Francisco and state California Bike Coalitions are in regards to head buckets. The idea of requiring the use of helmets is a real Membership splitter, something like 50-50, so it’s best not to spoken of, one supposes.

OTOH, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and Uber are offering up $60-something bike helmets for ten dollars today, instant delivery included:

Capturefsfsggg copy

I think I got me a first-generation Nutcase, the kind will the less-sophisticated latch. I think I’d install the Uber app to get in on this deal, were it offered in Frisco…

Anyway, pretty good, Uber!

“RIDE SAFELY: GET A BIKE HELMET ON DEMAND

APRIL 21, 2015 POSTED BY PHILLY
Uber is committed to connecting Philadelphia with safe, reliable, and affordable transportation options. And with this week’s launch of Indego, Philly’s new bike share program, we’re extending that commitment to bicycle safety.

Request HELMET in the Uber app to receive a Nutcase Metroride commuter helmet on demand in exchange for a $10 donation, which will go to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, a champion of Indego.
HOW IT WORKS

On April 23 at 11am, open the app and request HELMET
A driver-partner will arrive in minutes with your Nutcase Metroride commuter helmet*
You will be charged a $10 donation per helmet, which Uber will match and donate to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia
Limit of two helmets per request. Available while supplies last or 4pm, whichever comes first
The Metroride adjustable helmet fits most S/M and M/L head sizes (21 5/8″ – 22 3/4″ or 55 – 59cm)—it may not fit heads outside of this size range
The HELMET option will be available in the Philadelphia area, from 63rd Street to the Delaware River from West to East, and Lehigh Avenue to Pattison Avenue from North to South.

Interested in donating more than $10? Visit the Bicycle Coalition’s website.
ABOUT THE METRORIDE HELMET & NUTCASE
Style meets safety with “The Original” Metroride commuter helmet from Nutcase. Designed with commuting in mind, the Metroride features a lightweight frame, ventilation for a cooler ride, and a removable visor for sun and rain protection. The Metroride is one size fist most (S/M and M/L; 21 5/8″ — 22 3/4″ or 55 — 59cm) and comes with an adjustable spin dial, as well as foam padding for a customized fit. The Metroride is certified CPSC/CE/ASNZS for bicycle riding.

Portland-based Nutcase has been designing innovative and stylish bike, skate, snow, water, and motorcycle helmets for the past seven years.

Man, Teaching Adults How to Ride Bikes in Golden Gate Park Involves a Lot of Pushing of Bikes – A Lot!

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

I’ll tell you, I’ve taught people how to ride bikes over the years, and I’ll tell you the amount of hours spent teaching all those people how to push bikes, well, that has been exactly zero.

And yet in these courses, as seen in the Panhandle, that seems to be all they do, just pushing bikes around in formation:

P1210151 copy

And we can’t have a helmet law in CA because that teaches people that cycling can be dangerous, and yet helmets and safety vests appear to be Job One here.

Just saying….

I’ll tell you man, the people who want to ride bikes in Frisco are already riding bikes in Frisco. They don’t need to be coaxed or cajoled – they’re already doing it, you know, naturally. And if you, and you know who you are, if you think that this is the way to get a five-fold increase in cycling in San Francisco in the remaining five years ’til 2020, well, you’re sadly mistaken.

Is bike riding a religion or just another way to get around town?

You tell me, Babe.

You tell me.

Oh No, Shaming! – “Referee the Wiggle” Event Coming April 23rd to “Red Card” Cyclists at Infamous Waller and Steiner

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

I’ll tell you, I’m not a big fan of the vaunted The Wiggle bike route and here’s why:

FOR MOST PEOPLE, THERE’S A BETTER WAY TO GET FROM THE PANHANDLE TO DOWNTOWN, TO GET THERE AND BACK AGAIN

That’s why. This was my stab at promoting the Northern Wiggle,* aka the McAllister Pass,** aka the Hastings Cutoff. *** Some people listened, but most did not, oh well.

Anyway, aside from this route being a third of a mile shorter and faster and safer and relatively ped-free, it NEVER gets any SFPD Bicycle Enforcement Actions, the way, say, the intersection of Waller and Steiner gets.

Speaking of which, now more people are joining the SFPD, to “referee the Wiggle,” if only for a short time.

Here it is:

Capturegdgggg copy

“Referee the Wiggle
Thursday, April 23, 2015, 3:00pm – 3:30 pm
Waller and Steiner st – The Wiggle

While 95% of cyclists using the Wiggle are really incredibly respectful of other road users, there is that small minority who give us all a bad name. I’ve always wanted to dress as a referee and hand out yellow and red cards to bad cyclists (and maybe some cars and peds too) and I’m using NOW! as my excuse!

Come join me in shaming the few bad cyclists out there and making the Wiggle just a little bit safer and more courteous!”

*I, myself, wiggle from street to street north of the Panhandle on my way inbound to Fulton and Scott – it depends on traffic.

**The pass over Alamo Heights, which the Southern Wiggle route mostly avoids by generally following the route of the former creek what used to drain the kind of valley where the Golden Gate Park Panhandle sits now.

***Named for Landsford Hastings, a distant cousin, surely, of UC Hastings’ Justice Serranus Clinton Hastings.