Posts Tagged ‘bicycle’

The SFMTA’s Crazy Traffic Signals at Fell and Shrader in the Western Addition, Just North of the Panhandle

Friday, November 14th, 2014

The SFMTA makes all kinds of mistakes all the time, but it’s afraid to admit that it ever might have made a mistake ever, oh well.

Check out the newish light signals at Fell and Shrader:

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(Filmed in Nike-Vision, except this woman is a real person who lives in the area and just happened to be passing through – quite unacceptable to those who reside in Niketown.)

So I understand the red bike and the upraised hand signal – so far so good.

And I understand the next phase, the I-do-what-I-want phase:

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And then there’s this:

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And this:

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And then this:

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And then back to all-red.

So now I understand what the SFMTA means, but I needed to study the lights.

IMO, the SFMTA should be focused on safety instead of ideology. IMO, the SFMTA should strive to keep things simple. IMO, the SFMTA should factor human nature into into its signal schemes. For example, this woman here entered into the intersection way late and had to rely upon the driver seeing her. Is the SFMTA at all curious as to why people might be confused by this unique-in-the-world intersection with its current signal setup? Not at all.

Oh well.

Bay Area Bike Share: Just Two Stars on Yelp? – How Much Do Tourists Pay for Their Leisurely Trips Out to Ocean Beach?

Friday, October 31st, 2014

The thing about Bay Area Bike Share is that the bikes aren’t good and they cost a lot of money to rent. This is by design. (Part of it has to do with the govmint not wanting to get static from all those companies what rent normal bikes to tourists.)

Now, are there any BABS stations anywhere near the west si-iiiide of town? No, not even close.

So these people, who made it all the way Way Out West, to the farthest reaches of SF County, what are they thinking? Are they thinking, “Hey, we’re paying $28 an hour for our bikes – let’s hang out and have a picnic?” Nope. They’re thinking, “We’re paying $18 to rent these bikes all day long.”

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IDK. I’m sure BABS knows, but they’re not saying. Perhaps they go easy on the tourists and give a partial refund when somebody faces a $100 rental bill.

Or maybe the tourists think, “Oh, I got a bike for the next three days and it will cost just $22 – America, What A Country?”

As seen, later on, on the western reaches of JFK Drive, pushing the old ball and chain back up through the miles it will take to get back to the nearest station:

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Poor tourists!

And the workers get paid close to minimum wage? And some out of state company will end up making millions or tens of millions of dollars off of this program? If you approve of BABS, with all its issues, then you’d approve of any possible bike program that could be dreamed up by anybody. I minimize the cost to myself by never ever using it – that way, these people only get my tax money and not any of my after-tax take-home pay.

Why not instead just buy bikes with the same amount of tax money, you know, bikes that are twice as good and ten times cheaper and then simply give them away? I’m srsly.

Oh, you’re happy because more people are riding bikes? Well, walking’s good too, right?

I can understand how this program might benefit a small number of people* on a daily basis, but I don’t think the cost is justified. At all.

This is what I’m talking about:

“Let me start by saying, I had a blast when riding these bikes. We rented 6 bikes and rode them for hours. We were charged $80 per bike, so $160 per credit card as you can only rent 2 bikes per card. They DO NOT explain very clearly that you pay $9 for the day but you have to have it docked every 30 minutes or they charge you more. We called and emailed and explained everything to them (they are used to people complaining about this) they sent us a very mean email telling us that it’s our fault that we didn’t read their deceptive instructions correctly. Then have us 25% back to shut us up. What a Bay Area bike share scam! I give it 1 star as it was a blast of a day but not worth it overall. Will NEVER use again and tell EVERYONE about this horrible experience.”

“Please do yourself a favor and don’t use Bay Area Bike Share. It’s a total rip off. Husband and I paid $68 to ride these heavy, hard to use bikes for 2.5 hours. Also, customer service is a joke. They don’t care one bit, as they are truly scammers. They make it seem like you’re paying $9 for a 24-hour period. NOT TRUE. Completely misleading.”

And here’s a sample from the Yelp posts what got taken down – see if you can get the gist of Yukiko N’s beef against BABS:

“With the help 24 hours , is a place of $9 , to see the credit card debit of after one month and $ 158 in ! Many times , and also contact us by e-mail address , one week Nashinotsubute . When the phone , $ 9 in membership , ridiculous that the use of more than one hour is considered overtime answer ! Absolutely not recommended.” 

Capturedfsffff

That’s just a taste. Read on and on to see why the Yelp rating is so so low….

Oh well.

*People who should prolly just buy a bike and learn how to take care of it and then ride it around.

The Cougars of NoPA – Here It Is, a Bike Trailer What Costs More Than My First Car – Presenting the Chariot Cougar

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

So of course, with something so valued, you gotta lock that down.

As seen in the Western Addition – this thing runs $1000-something, believe it or not:

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OTOH, my bike trailer costed $100-something, but I don’t think it has bearings or whatnot. (Like Robinson Caruso, it’s as primitive as can be, kind of like a Roman chariot, actually.)

But it gets the job done and it keeps me out of Cougar Country, so fine…

Electric Skateboard Unicycle! – This Tech Bro is a “Onewheel” “Beta Rider” – Bonus: Seussian Facial Hair

Friday, October 24th, 2014

This is a scene from the Golden Gate Park Panhandle, famous for its late-night, bully-boy, strong-arm bicycle robbers, and its “Have-You-Seen-My-Lost-Drone?” posters, and its winding bike path, which has become a test track for novel personal conveyances.

As here, with this Onewheel, a “self-balancing electric skateboard”

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Four white LEDs up front as headlights and four red LEDs in the rear as taillights? Of course.

Kickstarter funded? Of course.

On Instagram? Of course.

Engineering degree from Stanfoo? Of course.

Mountain View-based? Of course.

Read all about it:

“You can also follow us on twitter at @RideOnewheel
 

Kyle Doerksen

Future Motion Inc founder and Onewheel Inventor

Onewheel was imagined and developed by Kyle Doerksen, an inventor and design engineer who’s been dreaming about one wheeled vehicles for years. He has built hardware products from kids toys to consumer electronics to medical devices and works to create magical new experiences through technology. Electric vehicles are his passion and Onewheel is an expression of the true freedom and excitement that electric vehicles can achieve.

Onewheel launched successfully on Kickstarter in January 2014 and thanks to the support of our amazing backers the Onewheel dream is becoming a reality!

Onewheel is based in Mountain View, California and is a privately held company focused on the development of advanced personal vehicles.”

A Good Cyclist and a Bad Cyclist on Fell Street at the Crazy, SFMTA-Designed Intersection with Shrader

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

The light for this car was green green green, perhaps for two seconds as the cyclist that you can see on the right came down from the Panhandle bike path, camera left.

OTOH, the cyclist on the left saw the lights and managed to not  run the red light – you can see her sort of chuckling at her friend there.

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IMO, this would have been a 100% cyclist-at-fault accident, but I’m not 100% sure it would have gotten written up as such, oh well.

I’m also not sure why the SFGov/SFMTA/SFBC Establishment established this set-up to route traffic from the bike path into Golden Gate Park/JFK Drive – I suppose it’s a bit faster for cyclists, compared with the obvious alternatives.

But the whole system breaks down if the nut behind the steering wheel, or in this case, the handle bars, doesn’t know when she has lost the right of way…

“Wi-Ki-Bi-Thi!” – Militant Cyclists Lounge About the Panhandle to Intimidate Clavicle-Breaking Robbers – “WE KILL BIKE THIEVES”

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Perhaps I’m jumping to contusions, but this large crew of aggressively-lounging bike riders certainly appeared to be trying to send a message to a pair of area bike robbers making the news lately.

Strike a pose:

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And what does that T-shirt say? It’s all, “WE KILL BIKE THIEVES.”* How charming!

(I’ve seen lots of bike meetups in the Panhandle, but usually people ride off or start picnicking. Instead, this crew just sat around and glared, for hours, kind of like the guy on my JetBlue flight to DC a couple weeks after 9/11, arms crossed, standing near the cockpit and just staring at everybody just waiting for somebody to try something.)

I’l tell you, I’ve ridden the Panhandle bike path thousands of times in the early morning hours, after zero-dark-thirty, and I’ve never seen or heard of anything like this. Similar attacks occurred on the McAllister bike route in the projects / projecty Friendship Village Apartments near Webster, about ten years back, purportedly with a “lead pipe” (that probably wasn’t made of lead, but anyway).

Who knows, perhaps news of this kind of meet-up will spread, through word-on-the-street, until it reaches ears of these strong-arm robbers.

In any event, this small series of crimes certainly now has the attention of the SFPD – we’ll see how it goes. I’ll tell you, it’d be nice to have a retired/out-on-disability cop monitoring a network of London-style, high-def** crime cameras for the night shift of Park Station, but I don’t see anything like that happening soon. Oh well…

*$35! Take an aggressive stance against rampant bike theft with this bold, reflective graphic statement”

**I suppose we already have a kind of video network, what with local business cameras on 24-7 plus the low-def SFPD cams, but this is nothing like the high-def cams what a town like Stockton***, CA has…

***The cops over in Stockton laugh, just laugh at the SFPD’s low-def crime cam setup. 

A Motorized Fixie “Bicycle,” Western Addition

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

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Postcard from Oakland: An Incomprehensible Bicycle Sign – “SLIPPERY WHEN WET?”

Monday, September 8th, 2014

That’s my guess:

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Is it like this one?

Tracking That Stolen Bike Owned by The Today Show: From The Mission to the Mid-Market to 1729 McKinnon Ave in The Bayview

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

I’ll tell you, I actually got around to watching that five-minute clip from the Today Show about bike thieves in the West Coast Capital of Bike Thievery, San Francisco.

And I says, “1729, huh?” You see, that was the street address on the front door that that Today Show guy knocked on. And they showed the street itself, so I guessed a 94124 zip code and then excluded the first two hits (1729 Geneva and 1729 Sunnydale because they both didn’t make sense) by making this Google search: “-Geneva -Sunnydale 94124 1729 .”

And, lo, up pops 1729 McKinnon in the Lower Third:

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It’s sort of funny how the bike thief made a bee-line to the Thieves Market at Civic Center – that’s what you could see when they showed the GPS track. Anyway, the next stop was a shed in the Bayview.

SF, you have a problem with bike theft – deal with it. Like, it’s national news, literally.

NBC’s Today Show Dedicates Five Minutes to Bike Theft – Ed Lee’s San Francisco a National Laughingstock – Video

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Our little town, second-largest in the Bay Area, got some national attention yesterday. See the video below.

Do you think appointed Interim Mayor Ed Lee knows about it? IDK. Prolly not, as he’s being pressured to raise more money to run for reelection and his people probably don’t have reason to tell him.

Anyway, enjoy:

“TODAY   |  September 02, 2014

Rossen Reports: Bike bandits caught on camera
According to the FBI, nearly 200,000 bikes are stolen every year. To show how quickly it can happen, NBC national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen and his team locked a bike to a tree in San Francisco and not only captured its theft on camera, but followed it on its journey after being stolen.”

Poor Ed Lee.

Poor San Francisco.