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Trying out new ways to document safety issues on streets

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One recent Saturday I took a casual ride via the Skyline route from SF to San Mateo. This is a route I often take during non-shelter-in-place times to make the "long commute" from Sausalito to Mountain View with SF2G. I used the opportunity to photo document some bicycle safety issues on the route (mostly debris and overgrown vegetation into the shoulder). I used rough guide: cataloging issues where more than 1/2 the shoulder is unavailable for some reason.
Caltrans has jurisdiction for the roads where I was cataloging issues. I know that they have an online submission form, but I have come across a few issues with this approach:You have input a specific geolocation for each issues, and I had over 20 issues to reportThere is no embedded way to add photosI have historically not had much success having issues resolved through this tool. It sometimes feels like a black holeSo this time around I used Google's "custom map" feat…

A life without bike commuting -- the COVID-19 pandemic

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Life off the bike feels weird. Sure, I enjoy sleeping in a bit later (when my kids let me) and spending more time with the family, but giving up bike commuting has been disruptive. I am definitely a bit softer around the middle, less focused, and missing my sunrise and sunset reflection time on the bike. My occasional mid-week mountain bike jaunts are fun, but unfortunately not often or long enough to make up from my usual routine. I've even thought about hopping on the trainer (gasp!). I look forward to seeing my usual peeps out on the route again soon.

Worlds cheapest cycling glasses

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Have you heard about cycling's hottest new apparel brand? No? It's called Dewalt. Ok, maybe not hot or even an apparel brand, but the company that's known for construction tools make some pretty sweet and cheap safety glasses that do a great job for dark and/or rainy rides. They still fog up sometimes when I'm going really slow or stopped, but other than that they are great. Highly recommended. The best part is that at $8 you don't have to lose any sleep when you lose them or scratch them up.


Update: Crissy Field Ave repaving

Many thanks to the Presidio Trust for quickly responding to an inquiry regarding the rough pavement on Crissy Field Ave. They said that the plan is to replace the entire stretch in Spring/Summer 2019, which is good news! They are also going to take a look and see if there's any small fixes they can make now.
The Presidio Trust is eager for input and seems really proactive about making improvements for cyclists. So drop them a line at transportation@presidiotrust.gov if you have ideas, and I'll also share their survey link once it goes live sometime soon.

Crissy Field Ave

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Crissy Field Ave is a crucial bicycle link that connects the Golden Gate Bridge with many parts of San Francisco. It is heavily used especially by Marin commuters heading to downtown SF. Previously. this stretch was uphill only with a lane for cars and a dedicated bike lane. Over the summer of 2018 the road was closed to cars and converted into a two-way bikeway. This was a huge improvement for all cyclists: commuters, road racers, mountain bikers on the way to the headlands, tourists riding bikes for the first time in years, etc. Everyone uses this stretch, hundreds of riders every day of the year.
So it's all good, right? Not quite. The road surface is very rough and uneven, and only minimal effort was put into sealing cracks prior to painting fancy bike lanes. The result: an obstacle course for downhill cyclists that results in broken spokes and dangerous dodging maneuvers to avoid the roughest patches.

If you would like to see this section improved, please drop a note to trans…

New bike lanes on Embarcadero

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After the big smoke out, a bunch of rain, and Thanksgiving, I am finally back to the normal bike commute. I gotta say, it's nice to be back at it. I bet no one has every said that about a car commute!
As I was heading down San Francisco's Embarcadero I was greeted by a lovely, green site: a much improved bike lane. The stretch of road was previously consisted of a rough, small bike lane next to a mix of parked cars and/or speeding commuters depending on the time of day. Now the car traffic is kept to two lanes and there is a much safer berth for bikes. This is great news since 1) this stretch could be sketchy and 2) this is a heavy through are for bikes.

Good job, San Francisco! Keep it up.


Crash on the commute

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This was a couple months back, but sharing so you can learn from my mistakes.

Unless you are racing in precarious conditions, crashing on your road bike should be any extremely rare occasion. And it's a rude awakening when it happens!

I was riding my normal commute route, chatting it up with a friendly guy on a mountain bike. About 2/3 of the way into the ride I approached a sharp intersection turn on a narrow path. It's a relatively famous turn among Marin-to-SF bike commuters -- informally known as happy-old-guy-turn. There's a gentleman out doing his exercises every morning, and he stops to wave and greet each passing cyclist with a melodic "Gooood morning! Have a nice day!" He's the best ... but back to the story. I've ridden through the spot 100+ times before, and I didn't think twice. Within a split second I was down, sliding across the pavement. 


So what happened? I could jump to lots of contributing factors, but the primary one was on me: comp…