Posts Tagged ‘bike there’

Rich Berkeley Woman Can Afford a $5000 Bike, But Not a $5 Bike Map

Friday, March 19th, 2010

I’m thinking that people still expect too much from the new free Google Maps beta called Bike There. Of course, lots of folks asked Google for it, so, as of this month, we have it.

But, Bike There is not enough for at least one Berkeley resident at the tersely-named Berkeley Blog. And believe it or not, Sylvia Paull‘s recent tale of woe got a mention in the New York Timeseses’ The Bay Area. Seems that, after consulting her PC and starting a journey on her $5000* custom-made, carbon/titanium/unobtainium Ben Serrota ride:

‘Ms. Paul found herself pushing her bike up ‘Everest’ hills. ‘If Google bicycle maps had told me the truth,’ she said, ‘I think I would have missed the party or found a ride with friends.’”

She should ask for a full refund from Google or something, huh? Or, alternatively, she could invest $5 or so in a bike map that shows hills.

Over here in the West Si-iiide of the Bay, people use the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition‘s SF Bike Map and Walking Guide to see how hilly the streets are. On the East si-iiide, you all have a wealth of free online sources plus the East Bay Bicycle Coalition‘s East of the Hills Map. It looks a bit like this:

Easy peasy, right?

Of course, some people like Get There more than others, but oh well.

*Mas o menos, those things cost muy dinero, especially the ones that are “much easier” to carry on BART than a laptop PC.

Overrated Wiggle Bike Path Dissed by Google Maps, Pwned by Route 20

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

As seen on SFist and SFWeekly’s The Snitch, Google Map’s new bicycle trip planning service has alternatives to the famous Wiggle bike path.

Peter Jamison checked it out:

“We keyed in a request for directions from the downtown area to Golden Gate Park to the easternmost edge of Golden Gate Park, at Stanyan and Fell. Rather than sending us up Market Street, behind the Castro Safeway, and then north along the flat, zigzag route through the Haight that is known to any serious bicyclist in the city, Google advised us to bike straight up McAllister for a mile to the west — an uphill and decidedly less convenient trek.”

The problem with Google’s route is that it favors Fulton. The correct route from downtown is slightly different – Market, McAllister, Divisidero and then Fulton and Central or however you want to get to Fell Street and or the Panhandle Bike Path. Route 20 (or if you prefer a cute name for it, the Snickerdoodle) is faster and easier overall. You might have to wait for lights at McAlllister  and Van Ness / Franklin / Gough but you completely avoid horrible horrible  Octavia Boulevard.  

This is the pass over Alamo Heights that the Wiggle Route avoids. If you can handle a couple not-all-that-steep blocks then you’ll prefer this route over the vaunted Wiggle.

Not that I care what you do. But this counterintuitive route is superior for anyone going to the Panhandle and points west from Union Square / Mid-Market / The Financh / The Tenderloin and most of the SoMA. Of course, if you’re already behind the Church Street Safeway and you want to get to Ocean Beach, then by all means, take your precious Wiggle route.

More deets here at the StreetsBlog SF.