Posts Tagged ‘cyclists’

Why You SHOULDN’T Read Your JUMP! Bike Rental Agreement – Hey, Can you Ride in the Fog? NO! – What If You Weigh Over 210 Pounds? NO!

Friday, March 9th, 2018

Well, here it is, just a part, one screens-worth, of your JUMP! bikeshare rental agreement, as approved by our SFMTA:


Noting just three items here – these are things that popped out at me when I looked up the insane MEDIA RELEASE clause – this is what I saw on my screen, and I didn’t go poking around the rest of this document as I had had my fill:

  1. A 210 pound weight limit. This seems low to me, as someone who’s six foot one/ and tons of fun.
  2. You can’t ride these bikes in the fucking fog? Srsly, in Frisco?
  3. And who the Hell negotiated the MEDIA RELEASE on your behalf, Gentle Rider?

So that’s why I say to not read the agreement – ’cause you prolly won’t like what’s in there and, you know, these issues most likely won’t come up unless you’re in a big accident or something.

Anyway, read and weep:

“(h) Restricted Uses. You shall not do any of the following acts (“Restricted Uses”):

  • Use any Bicycle if You are younger than 18 years of age.
  • Use any Bicycle if You exceed the maximum weight limit (210 pounds) of the Bicycle.
  • Use any Bicycle if You have any existing physical or mental condition that would prohibit You from safely operating the Bicycle.
  • Operate a Bicycle while carrying any item that impedes Your ability to safely operate the Bicycle.
  • Operate a Bicycle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other substance that impairs Your ability to safely operate the Bicycle.
  • Use any cell phone or mobile electronic device for any use that distracts You from the safe operation of the Bicycle, including but not limited to phone calls, text messages, or music.
  • Allow any other person to use the Bicycle or allow more than one person to be carried on the Bicycle.
  • Overfill the Bicycle basket or place objects weighing in total more 20 pounds in the Bicycle basket.
  • Violate any applicable federal, state, or local law or regulation.
  • Operate or use a Bicycle in any manner during adverse weather conditions, including but not limited to hail, dust storms, fog, heavy rains, or lightning storms.
  • Ride or operate a Bicycle that has any defect, fails to operate as a properly functioning Bicycle, or that is in need of repair.
  • Use the Bicycle if it, or any component of it, appears to be or becomes defective or malfunctions.
  • Use the Bicycle for racing, tricks, jumping, stunt riding, off-road riding, or in any other hazardous manner.
  • Use the Bicycle for any commercial purposes.
  • Tow, pull, carry, or push any person or object with a Bicycle.
  • Remove, dismantle, write on, deface, misuse, or modify any accessories, parts, or components of any Bicycle.


We reserve the right to photograph and record You using the Bicycle(s). You hereby give Us the right to use Your image and likeness (including caricature), and any reproduction or simulation thereof, in any media now known or hereafter developed, both during and after the term of this Agreement, for whatever the purposes We deem necessary or desirable. You hereby waive any right to royalties or other compensation arising from or related to any such use by Us or related entities.”

FordGoBike in the Presidio vs. an Electric JUMP! Bike in the Presidio: One Makes Sense, But the Other is a Mystery – Is GoBike Failing?

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

Have you seen all the bright neon (orange? red?) JUMP! bikes all over Frisco these days? That’s not surprising since they’re getting used, a lot. A lot more than the clunky, heavy, legacy GoBike “bikeshare” bikes from Ford Motor Company in what’s basically a continuation of Bay Area Bike Share what got started like a half-decade ago and what’s cost us eight figures already.

I’ll tell you, my guess is that most of the FordGoBikes I’ve seen in the Presidio and points north, sometimes way north, like out of the county north, and we’re talking about a lot, like hundreds I myself have seen these past nine months, are being pushed / pedaled by PEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW THAT THEIR $10 “DAY PASS” isn’t actually a day-pass and that they’ll soon be met with an unexpected high two-figure or low three-figure bill from the Ford ppl.

How do I know this? Well, I go up and ask them about it.

Of course, some know that they’ll get hit with hours and hours of penalty fees – and they just don’t care. The deal’s worth it for them. Well, that’s fine with me, be my guest.

But this?

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These ppl near the Great San Francisco Bight, let’s call it the Baker Beach area, have a loooooong way to go to get their heavy rides back into even the nearest GoBike rental station.

But look at this, unexpected JUMP bikes up at the Sports Basement. So this makes sense – two ppl pay two dollars to trek from where, SoMA, the Financh, the Twitterloin? All of those places are within range I figure, what with pedal assist and all. Then they’ll pay another two bucks to get home? If so, that makes sense to me as well:

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Now, do I approve of JUMP’s video/photo policy what allows Social Bicycles Inc or whomever to use images of you* and your face, (your pretty face!) however the Hell they feel, with no payment to you? Well Hell no. But that’s the deal our local alphabet soup (SFMTA SFCTA MTC BAAQMD it doesn’t matter) struck. Sorry.

OTOH, people are loving the JUMPs.

And hey, speaking about the alphabet soup, are all those govt ppl pleased with how FordGoBike is doing these days? Oh, Hell no.

And how many stations should have the FoMoCo ppl have had west of Masonic by now? Lots and lots. But how many to they have IRL? Zero. (And the prospects for anything soon look bleak – the more the Ford ppl push on installing rental stations, the more pushback they’ll get from residents. I’ll tell you, I can’t believe how many tens of millions of dollars Ford is going to spend over the next six years compared with what they’ve gotten so far. JMO.)

In conclusion, JUMP good, FORD bad.

We’ll have to wait and see how things shake out when GoBike Goes Electric, you know, a little bit, in April…



Does This Existing Bike Rental Business on City Land Compete with This Other Bike Rental Business Also on City Land?

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

I think the Ford people (with the new blue FordGoBike rentals in the background) would say no and the legacy mom & pops (with regular blue rental bikes in the foreground) would say yes yes yes:

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Now, you’d think that if legacy bike rental outfits had cared about this, they would have gotten noncompete agreements in their contracts – you know within a certain number of feet, SFGov wouldn’t rent out to competing bike rental businesses. Oh that’s right, they did get noncompete agreements.

And yet, look at the photo above. So all this kind of stuff plus the recent rise of new-school dockless “bikeshare” has led to legal conflicts, burbling ‘neath the surface even right now.

And this comes after local authoritahs have spent EIGHT FIGURES on establishing (now) old-school docked “bikeshare.”

Oh well.

So look forward to reports of at least a partial resolution of these disputes in 2018. (Of course, everybody would admit that there’s at least some overlap in these business models, the question is how much.)

And in the meantime, the Ford people push onward, trying to go nearer to the Fish Wharf (which is a totally obvious place for a bike rental biz to be) and inside the Heart of the Mission (betwixt Hipster Mission and SFGH) and westward, ever westward, maybe even past Masonic – of course doing all these things by now was already baked into the cake. but you know, for the Ford people, mo $ = mo problems, in 2017 anyway.

And speaking of whom, maybe some of them, those making just $16.13 an hour, barely above minimum, will get a raise in 2018. (This is considered “living wages” by some (some people living outside of Frisco,  of course) so that’s what the Ford PR ppl crow about, but actually, $16.13 aint a living wage in SF, and also actually, this would be considered a living wage by those out-of-state pencil pushers only for certain people, those without dependents, for example.)

Anyway, that’s the update. I’ll tell you, this Gen X’er was surprised to see these govt-sanctioned bike rental outfits cattywampus across the street from each other the other day, hence this post.


Test Riding the New and “Improved” Masonic Boulevard – It’s Not Going to be a Night-and-Day Difference, Safetywise

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Here you go, heading south, in the downhill direction – you’ve got your new median on the left, your downsized two lanes of traffic, your removed bus stops (so MUNI will just stop in traffic in future), your (slightly) raised cycle track and then your preexisting houses and driveways on the right:

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And here’s your reverse angle:

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So this isn’t much of a difference, safetywise, right?

What else, oh, for the next year or two of construction, we’ll continue to see this kind of half-assed engineering – this is a wheelchair ramp, of sorts:

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Hey, why would bike riders even want to get onto the sidewalks of Masonic? Well, you should try it sometime, as this person ahead of me wisely was doing. (And boy, if you threw in heavy rain and a few epically drunk drivers, the likes of which killed a pedestrian and a bike rider on this stretch of Masonic the past decade or so, well that’d make the sidewalk even more appealing.)

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Those are USF trees you can see on the right in the above photo. This used to be the narrowest sidewalk of Masonic north of Fell, but as you can see it’s quite wide now.

But look, turnabout is fair play, as peds seems to enjoy walking in the new bike path. That’s a bus stop there on the left, complete with a cut out to please Area Residents:

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There are costs and benefits to these changes, of course. It’s too bad that our SFMTA didn’t even try to document them…

FordGoBike Lament: “Ford makes these crappy Go bikes that are worth nothing but they are going to charge me $1200 if I cannot return it.”

Monday, November 20th, 2017

One of our Ford Go Bikes/
Is missing/

All the deets:


This person might be new in America, but nevertheless sees this sitch with clarity:

“Stolen Ford Go-BIKE #12282 – $100 (alamo square / nopa)
Ford makes these crappy Go bikes that are worth nothing but they are going to charge me 1200$ if I cannot return it. Someone stole it from the station I was at at the bottom of McAllister @ Laguna intersection.
I am offering a 100$ reward if found this week! Thanks!
The bike code on the side is #12282″

I wonder what it costs to make a GoBike. It’s certainly not worth $1200, that’s for sure. In fact, a sub-$100 ride from WalMart, a so-called Bike Shaped Object, is a better bike, IMO. Like, it would have actual tried and true gears, like 21 or more for ease of going uphill. And it would therefore have superior gearing range. And it would be lighter. And you wouldn’t have to pay to use it. And you wouldn’t have to worry having to return it someplace, gee the clock is ticking.*

And you wouldn’t have to worry about getting it stolen and being on the hook for $1200.

Oh well.

*Your WalMart tires will wear out quicker – the puncture-resistant Schwalbes on Ford’s GoBikes are superior to anything you’d get from Wally. (And they could be the #1 reason why ppl steal FordGoBikes.)


Either Ford Rejected Palo Alto or Vice Versa – GoBike Rental Service Cancelled in PA – City is on “a New and Better Path”

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Ouch. This is how it was supposed to be, down StanFORD way:

Palo Alto expands bike share system with Ford’s help

But TWTATIN, see? Here’s the reason why Ford Motor Company ads won’t be rolling all over PA:

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So, not only will Palo Alto’s “bikeshare” rentals not have giant FORD logos on them, Palo Altons will have a newer and better program. Sounds like a win-win, considering all the baggage that comes with making a deal with FoMoCo.

Wonder if Ford Motor’s vaunted GoBike rental program will end up as three islands – SF, SJ and East Bay? (Of course, these blue bikes will continue to travel across bridges and tunnels from county to county, but that’s not allowed, you know, per se.)

(And as far as Frisco is concerned, it seems Ford is having trouble installing stations west of Masonic. Some neighbors are up in arms, mostly over the loss of parking spaces, and they hold a lot of sway in this town. Anyway, planned stations that were already supposed to be a done deal in the Upper Haight and on Hayes have stalled, and some Ford’s already given up on.)

Anyway, Ford and Palo Alto will always have the Ford Research and Innovation Center on Hillview.

Or not, either way.

I’m not sure how much the bay area needs Ford anyway…


Rec and Park Posts Signage for a Very Short Mountain Bike Singletrack Trail Atop Twin Peaks

Friday, October 6th, 2017

Now what _I’d_ call this trail is a dirt sidewalk on the north side of Twin Peaks Boulevard what takes you from Twin Peaks Reservoir to Christmas Tree Point Road.

Anyway, here’s what RPD is doing these days. This is relatively new, these Jersey barriers connecting the trail to Eureka Peak. Note the post on the right:

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This is new, right?

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Note that it allows bike riding.

Now we’re looking east. The trail is on the other side of the guardrail:

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This trail will take you to the reservoir and/or Mount Sutro / Midtown Terrace. I’m calling it singletrack ’cause it’s kind of narrow. And of course it’s shared with hikers.

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This is noteworthy since singletrack is rare in SF / the bay area.

It’s not much of a trail for bikes, but it’s a trail anyway…

Random Right-Turn-Only Requirement for Drivers and Bike Riders at 9th and California?

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

On 9th Ave looking north:

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I don’t see any other markings or signs, except for some official-looking painted-on arrow and a similar sign / street arrow  for southbound traffic.

One wonders, is this real life? You can’t simply drive north on 9th, or even turn left?

One wonders if these are real SFMTA signs…

Rec & Park Lays Down the Law in the Panhandle: New GGB-Style Stencils Tell Cyclists to SLOW at Crosswalks

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Here you go – the paint’s still wet:

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When I say GGB-style, I mean the way they do things on the narrow sidewalk of the east side of the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s kind of the same thing up there.

Anyway, here you have it – our brand-new painted pedestrian crosswalks on the Golden Gate Park Panhandle’s multi-use path now have instructions, telling bike riders “XING SLOW,” see?

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So this should end any (endless) discussion about who has right of way, and it should get a certain percentage of (usually male, road-bike owning, I-had-a-dream-last-night-that-I-won-the-Tour-de France) bike riders to be more cautious.

In closing, here’s a big-ass RPD stencil:

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Know Better Your Richmond District Bike Thieves – Caught in the Act, Left Tools Behind – A Car Jack Hack

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

I’ll tell you back in the day, bicycle thieves aspired to take your whole bike, so they’d carry around Volvo car jacks the better to pry open your old-school Kyptonite U-locks. Then U-locks got better and the parts market became bigger, so now we’re in the Era of Frankenbikes with people stealing, tearing down, and reassembling bike parts to make untraceable, “new” bikes for sale on the craigslist and at fucking Laney College.

So this recent theft attempt in our Richmond District is old school. Note how the thief has modified the jack for easier concealment:

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One supposes this crime was interrupted.

So now it’s time to break into another car to get another car jack to steal more bikes to sell for $60 each to buy more drugs, one assumes.

Consult this handy chart when considering alternative careers…

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