Posts Tagged ‘marin’

The Typical Ford GoBike Rental Bike Customer I Encounter

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

FBOW:

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Don’t Try Flying Under Our Golden Gate Bridge with an Airplane, But with a Chopper, Well BE MY GUEST

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Because, apparently, all the reasons why airplanes aren’t allowed to horse around with the GGB have ZERO APPLICATION to helicopters. See?

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Apparently…

“Frequent Break-Ins” – Yes, Even In Marin – So Much Broken Glass in the Headlands That It’s Worth Signage

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

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MANSPLAINER: How Tourists Should Get Their Rental Bikes Over The Bridge to Sausalito on Saturday, August 26th, 2017

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

[Mansplaining means giving advice without being asked, is one definition. Apologies.]

Attention Frisco Tourists / Visitors, I’m talking at hundreds and hundreds of you:

You are about to have a big headache, as a great bulk of our Presidio will be closed on Saturday, August 26th. Both of these zones will be bike-free areas.

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So here’s what you do. Instead of renting up at Fisherman’s Wharf, rent your ride near the Ferry Building and go down Market, take the Wiggle route to the Panhandle to JFK Drive. Then hang a right at the Rose Garden (feel free to walk your bike north to Fulton or take the unpaved bike route to the right (east) of the garden, then take 14th Ave or whateever, then take a long uphill through that damn golf course, then take Washington to Lincoln Boulevard (not that other Lincoln) and then a left on Merchant and then you are all set up for crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.

Or, go your own way. Ferry Building to Rose Garden to Sausalito. (Oddly enough, Google Maps now recommends the superior McAllister Street route over the vaunted Wiggle, but since the Wiggle is mostly for amateurs anyway, feel free.)

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Or you can take the Geary #38 bus with your bikes placed on the rack on the front of the bus all the way out to 25th Avenue and then bike the rest of the way.

Or you can rely on real-time Google Maps, which very possibly might be live-updated with the no-go zones.

Or you can go to the Ferry Building to take the ferry TO Sausalito. (This could very well be the better option on any day, as there are a lot of tourists who get back to SF this way.) Then you’ll have a laborious ride to climb out of Sausalito on your way back, but once you hit Frisco, it’ll be mostly downhill. I mean, really, you are starting and ending up at sea level, so the amount of effort is about the same.

Or you rent your ride at the Fish Wharf, follow the route to the Marina Green, discover that you are screwed and then maybe look left up that massive hill and start pushing. Divisidero is one option. Then get into the non-closed part of the Presidio to get to the Golden Gate Bridge.

It’ll look like this:

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Baby, that’s steep, even for Frisco. Some blocks on other streets on this hill have stair steps cut into the sidewalk. And of course, you and your bike should stay off of the Lyon Street Steps, the direct route around the Presidio from the (Old) Mason Street Entrance to the Presidio at Lyon.

Once again, apologies, Gentle Tourists.

The Drone Bros of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA)

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Agin the rules this is:

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Sorry, Bros.

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Still, mad props for the state of drones these days, able to hover in like 30 MPH gusts – I thought it could have been a hawk at first.

Choose wisely, else you might get cited

Ford Motor Company GoBike Regrets Promoting Rental Bike Racing in Marin, Going Over Bridges, Competing with Locals

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Let’s see if I can pay off on that headline.

Here’s the recent GoBike race on Conzelman in the GGNRA:

Now, who thought this was great, but the corporate employees/contractors @FordGoBike in, who knows, North Carolina, Michigan, New Yawk? Someplace like that. (Someplace where Ford can rightfully call $16.13 per hour “living wages” the way they call that very same hourly rate a living wage in Frisco. But anyway.)

Proof of this is in the ghost of the deleted Tweet, what the Ford People took down. See?

Speaking of which, you can’t race Ford Motor Company rental bikes. It’s against your agreement. (Say hey, did these roadie racers even sign an agreement and pay their money and their overtime fees? Who paid for the expense of this hours-long Ford Motor Company bikeshare promotion on the Golden Gate Bridge? IDK, but it appears to have been organized through FaceBook.)

Speaking of which, Ford Motor Company made a commitment to not compete with legacy Frisco-to-Sausalito bike rental outfits. And yet, compete they do, over and over, every day, over the bridge and back. If you don’t believe me, have your editor assign you to the GoBike beat and ask for the GPS record for these bikes, why not? Oh, what’s that, there’s no GPS on Ford Motor Company rental bikes? Mmmm, so how is Ford tracking all these people? Perhaps through their smartphones? Perhaps 24-7, like how fast you drive your car, how hard you press your brakes, gee, do people realize that they’re signing up for all this? NB: Search for “DO NOT TRACK” to see how the GOBIKE people react to such a command? (Spoiler: Ford has zero respect for any such Do Not Track anything, sry.))

Speaking of which, didn’t Ford agree to get rid of its Gobike On The Bridge marketing, due to its competition with local rental mom and pops? Well, Tweeting about this race kind of goes against that, non?

So for all these reasons, RACING, BRIDGING, COMPETING, Ford Motor Company rethought the matter and then deleted its Tweet(s).

FIN.

If You’re Going to be a Bicycle Bandit in Marin County, This is How You Should Do It – Speeding Down Hill 88

Friday, July 28th, 2017

I don’t know what you’d call this area – Hill 88 is to the right, so I guess you could say Wolf Ridge or Tennessee Valley, and Bro ended up at the saddle with Gerbode Valley. Speaking of which, Where’s Waldo?

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Oh there he is, way down there, speeding along the Miwok Trail, the part what’s not allowed for bike riders.

But he could see that nobody had just started down and that nobody had started coming up, because he waited for a while.

Why are bikes banned on this one section? IDK. Prolly because it’s Steeper Than Average. And it’s narrow in parts, let’s call it singletrack.

But it’s in good shape, as a trail. So I guess all that makes it A Challenge…

A Simple Quiz, One You Will Fail: Which is Higher on Mt Tam – West or East Peak? – And Which Used to be Higher?

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

So there are four possible answer sets to these two questions, so you’ve got a 25% chance of success by simple guessing. Now if you know then answers, then you know the answers and you won’t be tricked and you’ll win. OTOH, if you use INTUITION (the Heart) or REASONING (the Mind), I don’t think you’re going to get both answers correct, and actually I think you’d be better off just flipping a coin to help with answering.

And when I say used to be higher, think 100 years ago or so. Or 200, it doesn’t matter.

Tamalpais – West Peak on the left, East Peak on the right:

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SPOILER

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All right, well 100 years ago was afore the time our U.S. Army plumb blew up / excavated the West Peak, as you can see by the unnatural flatness and the big radar dome golf ball up there.

But check it, the West Peak is still higher, even now, by the smallest of amounts, even though the East Peak totally looks higher from the south, which is how most people look at it.

So, I’ll agree that West Peak looks shorter and I knew the story about how it used to be higher than East Peak, but I am surprised to learn, after living here since the 1980’s, more or less, that West Peak is higher.

If you want to debate this, then be my guest. We’re only talking about a couple feet difference no matter what.

ūüĆą¬†TMYK…

These Poor Women Have NO IDEA Their FORD GOBIKE Joyride to Sausalito Will Cost Them MORE THAN $100

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Ford GoBike: The Bay Area’s bike share program, named for Henry Ford.

Motivate International, formerly Alta Bicycle Share, famous for labor issues.

Anti-competitive agreement with SFGov.

Burdensome SFMTA STATIONLESS BIKESHARE PROGRAM PERMIT APPLICATION.

Clumsy efforts in the Mission District, suspicion over Ford Motor Company’s FordPass

This is so sad. Here’s what tourists see when they’re thinking about renting a FORD-branded rental bike in Frisco:

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So, one trip is $3 and you can rent a bike for all day for just $10. Of course there’s more in there, stuff about how you have to check your bike back in within 30 minutes or you get hit with late fees, but the tourists don’t see that part.

How do I know this?

  1. Well, check Yelp. That litany is for the service what ended last month, the not-much-used and taxpayer-funded Bay Area Bike Share, but the successor service, the taxpayer and Ford Marketing-funded Ford GoBike joint, gets the same complaints. See below.
  2. Also I’ve asked people when I’ve seen them in / going to Sausalito. A man in one group said that they were paying $10 per 24 hours and a woman in this pair, as seen on the Golden Gate Bridge, said they were getting their rentals for “$9 for the whole day.”

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But the real price for pedaling through Frisco,* over the bridge to Sausalito in Marin County and back again is $16 for the first hour and then $12 an hour after that. So if your trip takes five hours, which is totally possible, then you’re paying $64 per bike. Times two is $128. Minus the $20 they already knew about leaves us with $108 MORE THAN EXPECTED.

Of course less time = less money and more time, as you can read about on Yelp = more money.

Hey, are the people at Ford Motor Company, Motivate International, and/or SFMTA/SFGov aware of this issue?

YEP.

Now, do they give a care?

NOPE, apparently not.

Oh well.¬†So if your goal is to market Ford Motor Company to youth and to get “more butts in bikes,” then having newcomers pedal two-wheeled advertising vehicles where other ads aren’t allowed (like on the GGB) is great. You’d want ALL of Frisco’s tourists to make the same mistake.

Now, isn’t it ironic, don’tcha think, that our SFMTA insists (in one line item on a grocery list longer than your arm) that any competitors to FORD MOTOR COMPANY GOBIKE properly make clear to users how much they have to pay, but the existing government-approved, government-funded (IDK, monopoly? or) entity isn’t doing that at all currently, and hasn’t done for the past few years as well?

PROPOSALS:

  1. Hey, why not change GoBike’s misleading language to something that tourists, you know, some of whom don’t have the best handle on English, can understand, like NON-misleading language?
  2. Hey, why not have a text message sent to users telling them that their time is up when their time is up and then say, OK, it’s $12 per hour starting now?

And I’ll tell you, I don’t like the phrase THREE DAY PASS that FoMoCo uses for its $20 option either, and here’s why. If Sarge gave Gomer Pyle…

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… a three-day pass to go off-base, would he have to come back to base every half-hour? I think not, Gentle Reader. I think not.

Anyway, that’s what I ponder when I see all those GB’s on the GGB.

Ah, the Yelp:

“I like the Bikes but the renting cost of the Bikes are very ¬†expensive. There are 3 options to rent the bikes: Short-term pass 3 dollars for 30 minutes, the day pass $9.95, and 3 day pass $19.95. I picked 2 Bikes for the day pass for $9.95 each. I thought that was good price for a day and only rode 2 hours and 15 minutes and returned the Bikes. However, they charge me $73 that is super expensive. The tricky part is the Bikes only allowed for 30 minutes if u want to bike more than 30 minutes, you will pay $3 for extra 15 minutes. That is why I end up paying more than $70 2 Bikes for two hours.”

“FRAUD ALERT!¬†I was so excited when I heard about this service that I went right to their website to sign up. However, what they state in bold print about costs and ride time on their website is not what you agree to in the fine print of your membership agreement. Coupled with the fact that a company that is engaging in shady (i.e. illegal) activities from the gate, now has your credit card number, a link to your specific clipper card, and an app on your phone all before you ever even get on a bike is, in my opinion–A BIG RED FLAG. READ THOSE ENDLESS PAGES SCROLLING DOWN YOUR SCREEN BEFORE YOU CHECK THE “AGREE” ¬†BOX.”

“I’m never using this service again. The digital display on the payment machine said the one day pass was $9, but I paid $49 for a bike for three and a half hours. I could buy a bike with $49. It’s ridiculously expensive. Charging the extra fee over $9 seems to be a scam.They should change the marketing¬†from one day pass to 30 MINUTES PASS!! $9 for the pass is right up to 30 minutes, but from the moment over 30 minutes, you have to pay the extra fee $7 per 30 minutes. Keep in mind. I wish other people would never go through the same situation as me. This service is the worst one I’ve ever gotten in SF.”

Yours, in struggle.

*That’s a long way already on these hefty bikes as the stations closest to the Golden Gate Bridge are FAR AWAY, currently.

[UPDATE: Oh, it used to be that Motivate International would offer people who misunderstood the pricing structure a 50% refund, but now I see that 100% seems to be the new standard.

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This is sort of funny since this has been a Known Issue for years (plural). END UPDATE]

El Diablo y El √Āngel: Mount Diablo and Angel Island Kind of Look the Same

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Let’s see, that’s Marin County in the foreground, then there’s fog-shrouded Angel Island (part of Marin and San Francisco County), and then the rest is all Contra Costa, including Mt. Diablo¬†up there.

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Anyway, the devil and the angel kind of look the same, that’s my point.