Posts Tagged ‘marin’

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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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.


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.


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:


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?


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?


  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…


… 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.


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.

Transformers 6 Now Filming in Peacock Gap, San Rafael – We’re Paying $22 Million for “Bumblebee” – Code Name: “Brighton Falls”

Monday, July 24th, 2017

So some people are calling this joint “Transformers 6,” but it’s more of an offshoot, a part of the Transformers Universe, hence the name¬†Transformers Universe: Bumblebee.

Our North Bay MSM is on the case. See?


Who knows where they will film next in the bay area. Could be Frisco, why not? (Well, why not if you don’t factor in our $14 an hour minimum wage, which the Hollywood set still can’t wrap its head around.)

Hey, speaking of money, we’re paying $22 million for this production? Ouch. But here’s the pitch:

“Canada provides large tax credits to production companies for shooting up there, which has resulted in an enormous loss of productions to Canada from California, taking with them all their salaries and taxes. By California providing credits it creates balance and ensure that productions, which inject huge sums of money into the local economy through equipment, hotel and home rentals, wages, sales taxes and more, stay in California. Productions also provide large numbers of jobs for PAs, ADs, DPs etc… Since the average cost of filming often exceeds $1 million a day, you can see how much having these productions shot in Marin, or California, feeds back into our economy. It’s one of the best investments we can make, as Hollywood is an enormous part of our state economy.”

I’m sorry, what a load of horse shit that was. Now here’s the reality, from the House Organ of Hollywood:

Film Tax Incentives Are a Giant Waste of Money, New Study Finds

Yep yep.

Now lately, Transformers movies have mostly been made for China. I’m srsly. (We can talk about this, if you want.)¬†So why not have the People’s Republic of China pay for this movie instead of the tax and fee payers of California, one wonders.

And better yet, why not just film the whole deal over in China as well? Just asking.

However, this film will be Michael Bay-free, so who knows, it might end up being perfectly cromulent. It’s a live-action Iron Giant with a female lead, right?

Filming is supposed to wrap by November 15th, 2017. Hopefully, if you aspire to be an extra, you and your friends can hop on the gravy train and somehow make some cash from this production.

And what of¬†the future? There are currently 13 other Transformers films in development. I’m srsly.

Play us out, Bobby Bolivia. Play us out, Bumblebee:

ONLY IN MARIN: Mailboxes, Etc.

Monday, July 24th, 2017

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Hint: Radar.


Don’t you know the men all pause
Yeah, just look at them
The dog is coming out of them
A natural dog

A Rough Start for Ford Motor Company’s GoBike Bicycle Rental – Let’s See What Users Have to Say

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Oh, here’s one. Actually, ever since these new bikes came out I haven’t been able to cross The Bridge without seeing tourists on branded bikes heading to or coming back from Marin County. I suppose if they cost only $12 per hour to rent, then that price might seem reasonable compared with that charge by the legacy local bike rental businesses already established in tourist areas, so over to Sausalito they go:

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And here’s your vox populi, the three entries into Yelp the past week:

“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 charged me $73 that is super expensive.

Original price was $88, now $149, a increase of $61.

“…irritating pricing structure: you only get 30 minutes at a time even if you buy a day pass. Apparently this structure was a result of pressure from Blazing Saddles on the government to protect their high margin tourist business. These heavy bikes can’t take you far in 30 minutes, so I think that’ll have to change for the system to work for anyone other than the most casual occasional user or dedicated bike share enthusiast. The bike we got on a day pass ended up costing an extra $6 for a grand total of $16 for 48 minutes of bike riding.

That’s how things are going in our Brave New World of Corporate Marketing¬†In The Year Of Our Ford 1.

How Tourists Get Their Rental Bikes Back to Frisco from Sausalito – Some Might Consider This Cheating – Saving $48 in Ferry Fare

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Once you’ve made it to Sausalito, getting back to Fishermans Wharf to return your rental bike can be a chore with all the uphill, right?

And the heavily-subsidized ferry system for some reason would collect a whopping $48¬†to take this foursome to the Ferry Building, and don’t forget about the long wait sometimes (and I suppose some get turned away at the end of a day).

But if a taxi driver could somehow carry four (4) bikes and four people up the hill and over the bridge, well that would be great. Thusly:

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And there was another taxi doing the same thing just ahead, so I guess this is a thing, I just didn’t think this was possible.

As long as the driver got you to the Toll Plaza of the Golden Gate Bridge, well that would work out great.


Porsche Work Truck, Marina District

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Don’t NV the NZ, mate:

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Zealand, bitches. We outtie 5000:

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Surprise! Newly Refurbished Baker-Barry “Five-Minute” Tunnel is 1) Bright; 2) Dry; and 3) Not Smelly, At All

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Here it is:

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Here’s how things used to be¬†–¬†dark, wet and smelly:


Area Yelpers are not yet yelping about the improvements, but they will, someday, I’m sure:

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All the deets, from our feds:

Marin Headlands: Tunnel and Scenic Overlook Parking/Pull-Outs

Tunnel re-opened June 3, 2017

Updated June 6, 2017

The major phases of the Baker-Barry Tunnel preservation project are complete. Crews have addressed fissures and cracks in the tunnel wall, pumped polyurethane into the gaps around the tunnel lining, and installed a new, more energy-efficient lighting system. The historic tunnel is now preserved to bring the next generation of park visitors to the Marin Headlands.

Parking and pull-outs are now open to vehicles on Conzelman Road east of the McCullogh traffic circle.

For a summary of the work to date and photos inside the project, read this recent article in the Marin IJ.


About the Tunnel Preservation Project: Safer Surfaces. Better Lighting.

This project repaired the tunnel’s concrete structure. Repaired cracks and leaks resulted in a slippery film of sediment that created a safety hazard for vehicles and bicyclists.

A new tunnel LED light system will reduce energy use by an estimated 40% from what was the single largest energy user at Golden Gate National Recreation Area! The new lights also better illuminate the tunnel for vehicles and bicyclists.

We also replaced water and sewer lines mounted in the tunnel. The outdated water and sewer lines were subject to frequent breaks which resulted in tunnel closures.