Archive for the ‘bikes’ Category

If You Want to Get From the Panhandle to Downtown Quickly, Forget About the Wiggle and Just Take Oak

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Thusly:

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If you want. There’s really only one block that’s kind of steep, but think of all the stop signs you won’t have to blow through.

They used to have a kind of bike lane on the left side of Oak but it’s gone now.

But the right side looks all right and traffic doesn’t move all that fast so it works.

(Coming back is a different story, much steeper going uphill on neighboring Fell and Page.)

Happy trails.

New Pavement for Fell and Oak, At Least for the Bike Lanes – Changes are Afoot

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

The cyclist is next to the temporary left turn arrow, but the marks on the right that you can see a part of are indecipherable.

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I think they’re going to put shrubbery on the right side of the lane – we’ll see…

Eurotrash at “The Chaya Brasserie” Gape in Wonder Upon Seeing Their First Critical Mass Bike Parade – Embarcadero, USA

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

They were delighted:

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“Creators of “La Nouvelle Cuisine Franco-Japanese” located in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, and Venice…”

Dawn Patrol: The SFPD Rousting Bleary-Eyed, Bicycle-Thieving Hippies at 6 AM in Golden Gate Park, 94117

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

This is what it looks like, in the middle of the Panhandle halfway betwixt Fell and Oak, sometimes, when Park Station goes on we-own-the-night Dawn Patrol:

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SFPD Crown Vic radio cars do OK driving on the grass, until it gets too muddy in there.

Look out, sleepy hippies!

If You Ever Wanted to Take Your Stair Climbing Machine Out for a Ride, This ElliptiGO Bike is for You

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Small wheels and it costs $3500.

Maybe this is for runners with bad knees.

As seen in Golden Gate Park:

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OTOH, my daily driver cost ten times less and it has big wheels.

But, if it makes you happy…

The Five Rules for Pedestrians and Crosswalks in California – Or, How to Make Sure You Win Your Lawsuit Against That Uber Driver

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

1. YOU NEED TO BE IN THE CROSSWALK WHEN YOU GET HIT. This one’s pretty basic. And actually, it’s pretty flexible IRL. So let’s say you’re over the line a bit, your foot was 18 inches away from the white paint, well that could be OK. This rule becomes important if you’re halfway between blocks and you start jaywalking – a top cause of death of peds in SF. There’ve been many cases of this on the streets of San Francisco lately, like Hayes, Lombard, Masonic, Market, I could go on and on.

2. YOU CAN’T START TOO EARLY. This is called jumping the light. So of course, you’ve got to wait for the green light (or green WALK signal), you already know that. BUT THAT”S NOT ALL. You’ve also got to wait for traffic legally in the intersection to clear the intersection. So, GREEN DOES NOT MEAN “GO.” Green means you need to look for traffic clearing the intersection. And if that traffic isn’t over the speed limit and if that traffic entered the intersection on a yellow (which is totally OK under CA law, generally) and you step off and get hit, then, surprise, you’re the one at fault. So yes, you were in the crosswalk, but the collision is your fault, sorry.

3. YOU CAN’T START TOO LATE. This means that DON’T WALK means don’t walk. Now, in many places about town, you don’t have a ped-only signal telling you what to do. So, you’re allowed to start crossing on a green all the way until a yellow light appears. Effectively, the yellow light is your DON’T WALK signal. Of course this means that you might still be in the crosswalk when the light turns green for cross traffic. But now the law is in your favor, ped. The law says that cross traffic needs to wait for you to clear the intersection.

4. YOU CAN’T GO TOO SLOW. This one’s easy – it means you’re not supposed to stop during your trip across the street as best I can figure. (Leaving aside the law, there are standards for how long peds should have to cross an intersection, but they get thrown out the window when SF deals with 100-foot-plus wide monsters like horrible, horrible Octavia Boulevard, oh well.)

5. YOU CAN’T GO TOO FAST. Ooh, joggers. Your California Vehicle Code was written without concern for joggers, pretty much. So if you’re sprinting into an intersection and get hit by a MUNI, look for the SFPD to put the blame on you, yes, even though you were in the crosswalk.

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So that’s reality.

But if you’d prefer a distorted, rose-colored view of reality, feel free to surf on over StreetsBlog SF (Straight Outta Park Slope!), or the SFBC (declining membership these days, despite being sponsored by SFGov SFMTA MUNI DPT) or Walk SF (sponsored by let’s-build-high-near-the-Waterfront real estate interests).

Your choice.

San Francisco Cyclist Demonstrates the Correct Way to Head Uphill on Fell by Not “Taking the Lane”

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

So lookie here, here’s a cyclist who appears to understand the laws of CA, you know, quite unlike this other fellow.

So yeah, he’s not keeping up with traffic but he’s keeping to the right on this slightly uphill stretch and that’s kosher.

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So what happened a few seconds later was a minivan signalled left and went around him, bingo bango, with room to spare since the rider wasn’t TAKING THE LANE, MAN, and all was well.

Victory Lap: Frisco Chopper, FORTY-NINERS, Red and Gold, Ape Hangars

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Seen just after the recent victory over the Carolina Panthers:

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Of course, if you want to head west on Fell on a bike at leisurely pace like 7 MPH, you’re better off on the sidewalk as opposed to the middle of the slow lane. (And, indeed, you’re probably best off on the multi-use path on the south side of Fell.)

But during the current Santa Clara 49ers winning streak, you have carte blanche to do whatever you want whilst showing your true colors on a victory lap.

Make a stand before you fall
Your country needs you to play football

It’s Buster Bluth’s Bike! – It’s the Faraday Porteur Electronic, Just $3500! – Bamboo Fenders, Two Top Tubes!

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Some people bike as a hobby and others build bikes, sort of as a hobby, it looks like, the way rich Buster Bluth might.

This ride isn’t for everybody, but maybe it’s for you.

(Skirt wearers need not apply. Oh, and the message to the hundreds of semi-professional bike thieves of SF appears to be “Steal Me First!”And be sure to ask yourself, “Is my kickstand sourced from Switzerland and, if so, what does that say about me and my place in the world?)

Deets below

“Faraday Bicycles Announces Shipment Date For Porteur Electronic Bike - Porteur to be exhibited at E Ink booth at CES 2014

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Faraday Bicycles, a San Francisco-based company, is pleased to debut the highly anticipated production version of the Faraday Porteur at the E Ink booth during the 2014 CES show.  The Porteur was launched on Kickstarter in fall 2012, and after a year in development, Faraday Bicycles will begin shipping its entirely pre-sold first production run in early 2014.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140107/NY41808)

Faraday Bicycles created the Porteur to be the first of a new breed of electric bicycles; a purpose-built design combining the speed and exhilaration of a state-of the-art e-bike with the timeless looks of a classic European city bike.  At less than 40 pounds, the Porteur is one of the lightest electric bikes on the market, while still delivering over 20 miles of range from its custom lithium-ion battery pack.  The Porteur’s intuitive and low-profile handlebar controls are complemented by an E Ink display that provides information on the bike’s battery status.  The high-contrast, low power, conformable display is an excellent match to Faraday’s brand attributes of technical sophistication and minimalist aesthetic design.

“The Faraday Porteur is in every way first and foremost a bicycle, from the way it looks to the experience of riding it,” said Faraday founder and CEO Adam Vollmer.  ”We chose to use an E Ink display because it lets us clearly convey technical information to the rider without sacrificing Faraday’s ‘retro meets modern’ design philosophy.”

“We are extremely pleased to be part of such an innovative product as the Porteur,” said Giovanni Mancini director of product management for E Ink, “This is an excellent showcase of how E Ink displays enable design by giving designers the ability to display information where you would not think possible.”

Faraday’s limited edition, US-made pilot production run will begin shipping in early 2014, and is entirely sold out.  Pre-orders for Faraday’s second production run, with an expected ship date of Q3 2014, can be placed at www.faradaybikes.com.  For dealer and distributor inquiries, or more information, please contact info@faradaybikes.com, or visit www.faradaybikes.com.

The Faraday Porteur will be featured by E Ink in booth 31646 during the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV, from January 7-11, 2014.

About Faraday Bicycles
Faraday Bicycles was founded by designer and engineer Adam Vollmer and spun out of the renowned design and innovation firm, IDEO.  Originally conceived of as a concept, the brand was brought to life by the overwhelming popular response and enthusiasm for Faraday’s vision of the future of bicycling.  Together, the Faraday team brings together decades of experience designing sophisticated consumer electronics along with a shared passion for cleaner, healthier, and more enjoyable transportation alternatives.

How a Typical San Francisco Cyclist Bikes His Way Up Fell Street, at Night, Without Lights, “Taking the Lane”

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

[UPDATE: FTR, this part of Fell has four lanes and is timed for about 25 MPH and posted for 30 MPH, IIRC. And I'll just say I get all this static nowadays due to my (apparently) quite unpopular views on the Chris Bucchere case. (That's an interesting piece by writer David Darlington, BTW.) I can't tell if people are being sarcastic or not, so forgive me if I don't reply anymore.]

[UPDATE II, Electric Boogaloo: So we have this from another out-of-towner: "SF writer objects to bike riders’ right to take the lane." Well, yeah, the right to take the lane ... at a wobbly 10 MPH during the evening rush hour. Dude should pick up the pace, IMO. Dude was riding slowly on purpose, IMO. Now if you want to talk about a "substandard" lane, you want to talk about the brand new, SFMTA-approved southbound stretch of Divisadero betwixt Geary and McAllister. This is quite an uphill stretch, so the universal bromide of "taking the lane" for seven city blocks doesn't really work. What happens is that cyclists keep to the right and cars and buses sneak around. There used to be more room but the sainted SFMTA decided to put in a big old median. Did the SFMTA intend for cyclists to take the lane? If so, nobody ever does so on this uphill stretch.]

Here we go, heading west on Fell at night:

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Now I say “without lights” because dude is indeed without lights, but you can get away with just one light under CA law just saying. Could have said without “a light” instead. Let’s see, what else – oh, jumping the green, thusly:

This is called running a red light:

And this is called “taking the lane.”

Which you shouldn’t do as it’s agin the law when you’re trucking (slightly) uphill on Fell at about 10 MPH.

Oh well.

Keep in mind that you should view the words “reasonably necessary” and “unsafe” OBJECTIVELY and not SUBJECTIVELY. So like, man, I feel safer riding in the middle of the lane at 10 MPH doesn’t cut it. Similarly, it was like necessary man for me to do what I did also doesn’t cut it. I suppose you don’t need a brake on your bike, because, like, “my legs are my brakes, man.” Like, I don’t need to use the safety on my assault rifle because “this [trigger finger] is my safety.” And, legally, man, I’m a citizen of Hawaii and its not “after sunset” in Hawaii right now, man, so you can’t give me a ticket, man. And on and on.

And keep in mind that it’s not the BICYCLISTS ALLOWED USE OF FULL LANE law, it’s the bikes-should-keep-to-the-right-in-at-least-some-situations law.And actually, CVC 21202 takes rights away from cyclists, you dig? That’s why it’s an odd kind of “framing” to celebrate CVC 21202 when it’s CVC 21200 that gives rights to cyclists.

“Operation on Roadway

21202.  (a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:

(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.
Amended Sec. 4, Ch. 674, Stats. 1996. Effective January 1, 1997.”