Posts Tagged ‘sausalito’

The Typical Ford GoBike Rental Bike Customer I Encounter

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

FBOW:

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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.

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]

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.

 

It’s Happening Already: NUMEROUS Ford Motor Company GOBIKE Bicycle Rentals Being Ridden to MARIN COUNTY, and Back

Friday, July 7th, 2017

This was the fear of local bike rental companies when they heard that Michigan-based Ford Motor Company and New Yawk-based Motivate International were teaming up with SFGov to spend mid-eight figures(!) to market “FORD” around Frisco.

And then somebody(ies) pulled this switcheroo what would’ve turned the “last mile” 30-minute maximum service of Bay Area Bike Share (BABS) into a three hour tour. A three hour tour, sponsored by FoMoCo.

But then things got reversed and so our tourists still need to fret about checking in within 30 minutes, or they face a financial penalty, a pretty severe one, actually, costing some tourists hundreds of dollars (even after getting the 50% discount what they’ll offer you if you complain enough, from Singapore, Bremen, Timbuktu, after seeing an unexpected charge on their Visa bill.)

No matter – here are some of the brand-new FORD bikes returning from Marin County…

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…heading towards Marin County…

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…and heading towards the Golden Gate Bridge or Fort Point or who knows, but even this dude is straying far away from the intended use zone, non?

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Anyway, I’ve got more shots iffin you want me to dig them up. But I haven’t seen anyone pushing them uphill, which would almost be mandatory for most tourists if they wanted to actually try to make it back to town without relying on a ferry boat.

And of course, this Comes At A Time when our local SFMTA just paid some dude $75 an hour (TCOE) to pen this FU letter to anyone else who would dare compete with our local SFGov-approved Ford Motor Company / Motivate short-term bike rental monopoly.

Do these tourists know how much they’re spending, or are they just confused? IDK.

Three-Hour “GoPass” from Ford Motor Company’s Expensive “GoBike” Bike Rental: Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Hey, remember Sunday? I do. Well this is how FoMoCo’s GoBike bike rental pricing webpage looked just two days ago:

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But this is how it looked a few hours later on Monday:

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See the difference?

Now it’s not my job to worry about how much money local bidness makes, but the existing home-grown bike rental companies of Frisco have a point when they recall how the focus of Bay Area Bike Share was going to be on the “last mile,” so the upshot was a 30-minute limit on each rental period with SEVERE penalties for taking a bike out all day, ’cause otherwise heavily government-subsidized BABS would be in direct competition.

Well, I guess Ford wanted to get something out of its $50 million investment so the three-hour GoPass was born.

But now it’s dead.

As you can see.

Of course GoPass would not have “killed” our local bike rental industry, despite what they might claim.

And I’ll tell you, it’s already hard enough for our tourists to go uphill on lightweight 21-speed rental bikes in Sausalito, thusly…

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…and thusly…

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…so imagine how much harder would it be or them to make the same trip on heavy, clunky, single-speed, bikeshare-style Ford GoBikes?

On It Goes…

Air America, United Air – How This Tourist Plane Over Frisco Used to Work for the CIA as a Spy Plane a Half Century Ago

Friday, June 16th, 2017

As seen over western SF:

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The yellow floatplane, before it became a floatplane, used to operate out of Thailand as a part of the CIA-owned Air America, Inc a half-century ago.

See? It’s one of these:

“Six Beavers lined up at Udorn, probably in 1962 (UTD/Fink/ photo no. 1-JF25-16-PB1)”

Get all the deets right here:

AIR AMERICA: DE HAVILLAND CANADA DHC-2 (L-20) BEAVER by Dr. Joe F. Leeker Last updated on 4 March 2013

To wit:

“DHC-2 (L-20) L-202 833 1 March 62 leased from US Army 54-1693

Service history: arrived at Bangkok in crates on 15 February 62, to be operated under the Madriver Contract AF62(531)-1674, based at Vientiane, but maintained at Udorn (Minutes ExCom-AACL of 23 January 62, in: UTD/CIA/B7F1); assembled by Thai Airways according to contract no. BKK 62-001 (Memorandum dated 9 February 62, in: UTD/Fink/B2F16); officially received at Bangkok on 1 March 62 (Aircraft list of June 62, corrected to Sept.1963, in: UTD/Kirkpatrick/B1F1).

Fate: was to be returned to the US Army in October 62 (Minutes ExCom-AACL of 30 October 62, in: UTD/CIA/B7F1); returned on 21 April 63 (Aircraft list of June 62, corrected to Sept.1963, in: UTD/Kirkpatrick/B1F1); sold to R. N. Nelson Earth Movers as N5220G in March 92; sold to Kenmore Air Harbor Inc, Kenmore, WA, in 92; sold to San Francisco Seaplane Tours, Mill Valley, CA, on 13 July 94; current in March 2004 (request submitted to the FAA on 13 March 2004 at http://162.58.35.241/acdatabase/); current in November 2008 (request submitted to the FAA on 23 Nov. 2008 at http://162.58.35.241/acdatabase/).”

So there you have it. Head on up to the Sausalito / Marin City / Mill Valley area and take a ride on a piece of flying history, if you want.

Bubble Soccer, Crissy Field

Monday, August 29th, 2016

With Cavallo Point – The Lodge at the Golden Gate‎ in the background:

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Team Red one, but they were “cowards,” so if that’s the way you want to win, Man…

Someday, I’ll play bubble soccer.

Someday.

As Seen From Frisco: Black Sands Beach, Conzelman Road, Sausalito, CA 94966 – No Nudes is Good Nudes

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Everybody at Black Sands Beach has made a pretty big effort to get there, what with this part of Conzelman being a one-way road.

Most of the people you can see are never-nudes, not that it’s easy to tell what with the heat haze making photos a bit blurry:

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You should visit some time…