Archive for the ‘Bicycling’ Category

Rally to Save the Market & Octavia Bike Lane

It seems that instead of adding bike lanes after a 2 year hiatus, the city wants to take one away. On January 22, the city plans to ask Judge Peter J. Busch permission to remove the Market & Octavia Bike Lane as an emergency safety improvement proposed by MTA traffic engineer Jack Fleck.

Market and Octavia is a dangerous intersection for bicyclists and it’s confusing as to why they would remove it when the Upper Market Community Plan proposal from 2008 recommends safety improvements like raised bike lanes, colored pavement, and an extension of the concrete safety barrier.

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and its supporters are holding a rally to save the bike lane on Friday, January 16th at 9am at Octavia and Market.

Breaking: BART to San Jose may pass after all

Update to the story below as of 1720h PST: The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that with 9800 ballots remaining, Measure B has passed the 66.67 percent mark.

The ballot initiative to fund a BART extension to San Jose may have squeaked by, KNTV was reporting this afternoon. Though initial balloting showed the measure falling short of the required two-thirds majority, mail-in ballots are turning the tide.

With 17,000 of 42,000 mail-in ballots still to be counted, the vote to fund the 22-mile BART extension with a 1/8-cent Santa Clara County sales tax was 66.61 percent yes; the measure, like any tax increase in California since the 1978 passage of Proposition 13, requires at least a 66.67 percent yes vote.

If the Bart-to-San Jose tax passes, it would complete a surprising trifecta of voter support for mass transit projects at a time when local and state budgets are tight. Earlier this month, voters in Marin and Sonoma Counties passed a rail initiative, and statewide Proposition 1A also passed, kicking off the state’s bullet train project.

Macaframa was hecka packed

Last week I wrote about the upcoming premier of Macaframa and it sounds like it was a massive success. Of course I don’t know this first hand as I was out of town, and in fact I don’t even know it second hand because all the people I talked to who went ended up standing in line for a bit and then not being able to get in because the place was so damn packed. Which is a good thing if you are the guys who made the movie, but not so hot if you wanted to go and see it. But, sounds like it was a giant success.

Fixpert went and also couldn’t get in but posted a much more lengthy article about the scene at the theater with some talk about fixed gear bikes in general. Apparently they are all the rage these days.

Macaframa premiers this week

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0AFpq6jFok[/youtube]

If watching that clip makes you feel both like jumping on your bike and hitting the streets immediately and at the same time not want to move because everything is so perfect and calm then you should be aware that is just a promo for the full length Macaframa film that premiers this week. Wednesday night (October 8th) at the Victory Theater on 16th in the Mission you can catch a screening at 8 or 10 PM. The showing is free and if that’s not enough bike action for you there’s a race before hand from the clock tower at Embarcadero to the theater, race starts at 6. If the web clips are any judge, Colby Elrick & Colin Arlen have done an amazing job collecting footage and putting it together for this production. If you like bikes and this city, it’s pretty much the only place you should be Wednesday night.

More bicycle racing this weekend: SF Twilight Criterium

If you thought last week’s Giro di San Francisco was it for bicycle racing in the city for the summer, make way for the San Francisco Twilight Criterium, an event taking place early Saturday in the Cow Hollow neighborhood.

A cycling “criterium” event is defined by USA Cycling as a multi-lap race on a closed course lasting one to two hours. In San Francisco, they’ll be making a 1 km loop around Union, Fillmore, Greenwich and Buchanan Streets. That includes the fancy part of Union St.

Streets in the area will be closed from 2:00 pm that day. Parking will be available at Marina Middle School, with the $10 parking fee benefiting school programs.

Photo copyright Lily Trevisanut, used by permission.

Local man’s screed given credence by MSM in slow news week

It’s dead August. Congress is not in session, schools are empty, and your shrink is still on vacation. Without the Olympics, the newspaper would be six pages long, and four of those pages would be filled with wire stories about dead gorilla babies.

Scraping the bottom of the barrel, the Wall Street Journal fills its Page One easy-reading column — a slot where whimsical news offers the ruling class a daily relief from the seemingly endless financial doom-and-gloom — today with a typically silly idea from San Francisco nutball Rob Anderson: Encouraging bicycle commuting leads to more pollution because “Cars always will vastly outnumber bikes, he reasons, so allotting more street space to cyclists could cause more traffic jams, more idling and more pollution.”

I guess by that logic, by driving less I’m actually encouraging drilling in ANWAR because my saving gas is hurting oil comapnies financially, thus making them more desperate for oil profits. Or how about this one: By giving the Olympics to China, the rest of the world is actually encouraging progress in human rights there, because the media attention will make them less likely to oppress people openly. D’oh!

Anderson mentioned previously on sf.metblogs here, here, here, usw.

Summer Bike Swap Comes to Panhandle

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High up on the list of things I can’t enough of locally are the Panhandle, bikes, and bartering. Enter the Panhandle Bike Swap and Summer Party on the afternoon of August 17, a date at which it may just be starting to feel like summer in other parts of the state.

According to a local fixed gear aficionado/friend, “There’s talk of a ‘bike Olympics’ competition that would potentially include bike polo, Goldsprints (racing on rollers) and a bike toss (as in, how far you can throw an already wrecked frame). No confirmation on this yet.”

Participants are encouraged to bring bike parts for Cycles of Change, an East Bay program that provides cycling and nutrition education to urban youth. The organization offers a summer touring program that takes young students on bike trips around California after teaching them about safe urban riding. Sounds like something we could all use.

New Chrome Store! Let’s Party!

ChromeBeing one of those crazy bike riders (of the fixed gear variety) I was pretty damn psyched to hear about the new Chrome store in SoMa. (yes I know you If you used to be able to swing by their warehouse and buy stuff before but this is like a store store for real and shit) If haven’t heard about it yet that’s because when I say new, I mean BRAND NEW – as in the grand opening is next week! We stopped by yesterday but unfortunately too late and they were already closed, hopefully today we’ll be more lucky. I’m only in town for a few days so I’m going to miss it, but for people who live here and ride bikes, or who live here and enjoy awesomely designed bags I highly recommend blocking off some time next Thursday (July 31) and swinging by the new store at 4th and Brannan and partaking in the festivities.

Preview Presidio Renovations

100px-presidio_trust.jpgIn 1994, the Army turned the Presidio over to the national park system. And in doing so created one of the finest public spaces in SF and California. Originally founded approximately 1776, there are now plans to renovate some key sections of the Presidio, including the greening of what is now a parking lot, but what used to be called the Parade Ground. Along with building a tunnel for the Doyle drive approach to the Golden Gate bridge. The Parade grounds are lined by Barracks, which are mostly offices and at the southern edge where Donald Fisher wants to build a museum.

The tunnel plan is really interesting as it will connect the western edge of the Parade Grounds with the beachfront at the west end of Chrissy Field, whereas today if you were to walk from the parade grounds to the beach you would walk under the Doyle drive approach (it’s elevated freeway). This would also create some nice beach views from the newly recreated Parade grounds.

lawnview.jpg

Funding? From what I’ve read it’s not fully evident where the money comes from. The current docs state:

To achieve its mission, the Trust generates revenues by leasing the park’s buildings. Federal appropriations diminish each year and will cease at the end of fiscal year 2012. The Trust uses these sources of funding to operate the park and undertake necessary capital improvements.

Overview of new area, parking and poll

Local ping-pong for coffee farmers

Two of my favorite things are set to convene this Wednesday: Ritual Roasters and Bikes to Rwanda, a non-profit that unites American roasters to improve the quality of life for Rwandan coffee farmers. A ping-pong tournament is set for July 9th at 5 PM at 1026 Valencia to help build five bike shops. Read: the $25 you could spend this week on big brand coffee could provide a co-op farmer with a bike toolset, including tire lever, frame pump, and wrench.

I’m a big fan of Clara Seasholtz, the founder of the organization that raises money for a low-cost bicycles that farmers use to transport supplies and 130-pound bags of beans. Seasholtz helped the group provide more than 250 bikes to farmers last year and is currently focusing on opening bike shops in Rwanda to teach communities how to care for and build bikes. She’s on a Northern California trip this week, and I admire her unique approach to using what she knows (the American coffee industry) to impact what she saw as problematic (Rwandan farmers lacking transportation to increase their marketability). Now that deserves some table tennis.

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