Gone in 15 seconds

Watch this bike thief defeat what looks like two separate locks in probably less than 15 seconds:

Contact info is on the YouTube page if you happen to have any helpful info for the victim.

1K Attend Mission Crit

Estimates indicate more than 1,000 lined the half mile race course earlier this evening for what was possibly the first legal bike race to take place in the Mission.

76 racers competed in two races that lasted about 40 minutes each.

“There was one crash but it was minor” said volunteer, Stephen Grady. “It seemed to be very well taken care of. The paramedics were on it but everybody walked away from it.”

Nearing the final lap, Marc Marino about to overtake his friend Chas Christiansen.

$700 in cash prizes were distributed to the podium finishers of both the women’s and men’s races.

Winners – Women’s

  • 1st Veronika Volok
  • 2nd Kora Colasuonno
  • 3rd Christina Peck

Winners – Men’s

  • 1st Manuel Barra
  • 2nd Marc Marino
  • 3rd Chas Christiansen


1st Legal Bike Race in the Mission. Ever?

This Saturday about +70 people will be racing what may be the first fully legal, closed course bike race in the Mission District. Ever.

In NIMBY, USA it’s a miracle out of scripture that Mission Crit organizer, James Grady, was permitted (literally) to carve out a triangular velodrome on a Saturday night.

The total cost to produce the race is nearing $10,000, which is coming from a handful of sponsors and a crowdfunding campaign. In an unconventional move, the SFMTA agreed to waive the $30,000 fee normally charged to reroute buses. Some members of ISCOTT, the committee that regulates street closure permits, “were dumbstruck,” Grady said. Race registration fees go towards cash prizes for the winners.

Mission Crit features two 120 degree turns. Spectating should be good and harrowing.

Spectators can buy tickets to win prizes like Kryptonite locks, Tshirts, and GoPro cameras. Proceeds go to the San Francisco Bicycle Messenger Association’s Broken Bones Fund, which helps messengers in times of need.

Last year’s Mission Crit featured 20 racers in a parking lot. This year the mens race sold out and has a waiting list of 17. Two teams are coming up from Los Angeles.

In organizing the event, what was most remarkable for Grady was, “how supportive the Bay Area bicycle community is. I’m just a guy with an idea. This could not have happened without the overwhelming support of the community.”

Sunday’s 60 Minutes piece on the other coast’s brakeless fixed crit.

Like any track race on a real velodrome, all bikes are fixed (no coasting). And while it may seem counterintuitive, riding brakeless is essential to the participants safety.

“There’s been a dramatic increase in the popularity of cycling but there are very few opportunities to see an actual bicycle race” Grady said, explaining his motive for organizing the race. “The goal of the Mission Crit is to promote cycling and community.”

Wanna race?

The men’s race is at capacity but if you’re a woman (1 in 10 registrants at press time) there is still time. Register here. Winner gets $200 in cash.

Official Rules:

  • Fixed gear only (no freewheels)

  • No brakes. Even if they’re disconnected, take ‘em off.

  • Drop bars

  • Clipless pedals strongly encouraged

  • Lights and GoPros permitted

  • Helmets required

Wanna watch?

Just show up this Saturday, 4/11. The women’s race is at 8PM, the men’s at 9PM.

The best spots for watching should be 18th and Treat, or 17th and Harrison. If you want an inside corner (to get closest to the action), stake out a spot before the race begins. Crossing the course during the race is extremely dangerous for you and the racers.

To make sure the crit is invited back next year, pack out your trash and use the provided Port-a-potties.




Police caught on camera

When a cop does something unexpected or outrageous bystanders are sometimes compelled to capture pictures or video.

What you’re seeing here is a cop issuing a $110 ticket to a driver for double parking in the bike lane. And this isn’t just any cop. This is the Captain of Mission Station.

“I tagged two people today who I’ve warned before,” Captain Perea said.

Cyclists and pedestrians alike seemed confused by the rare sighting. But none more than this Uber driver (pictured above and below) who seemed to be just hanging out between fares. Note the big empty spot he could have pulled into to allow rush hour cyclists access to the bike lane.

“What we’re doing in this district is what all stations are doing across the city. We call it Focus on the Five. Every district will identify the causes of the most collisions.”

Focus on the Five is one of the tools the SFPD is using to support Vision Zero – the city’s goal to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2024. It includes both enforcement and education.

“[Focus on the Five] Is not about tickets, but enforcement is one way we can track data to see how we’re doing.“ Captain Perea continued, “We’re just trying to keep people safe. And this is what we got. So we work with what we’ve got.”


TryCaviar.com driver finds an awesome place to park and wait for his order earlier this month.

Before Capt. Perea headed out to write one more ticket, he said, “We have to make sure that the streets are safe for public travel. It’s public safety at its most basic.”


Illuminating: Bike Polo Court

The cement is curing on the first court in the US built from scratch specifically for bike polo.

After years of being run out of nearly every court with lights, the San Francisco Bike Polo (SFBP) club will finally have a place to play without the threat of being ticketed. SFBP met with both the mayors office and the Park Director after being kicked out of Dolores Park in 2011. “This allowed for some frank discussions about the need and what to do with us” explained Bikeman Ben, one the SFBP organizers.

“Once we heard about the park renovation, we as a group, attended all of the planning meetings and made sure that the parks department knew that there was a demand” Ben continued. “SFBP is the reason the court is being built.”

When asked why a vacant basketball court wasn’t sufficient, Ben detailed three main factors:

  1. Safety – Posts and poles are a danger to the riders.
  2. Flow – Keeping the ball in play – Walls (at least 2’ high) surrounding the court.
  3. Size – Bigger than tennis or basketball. Smaller than hockey.

“We are happy to be able to play anywhere, but being able to design the court to our specifications has made San Francisco the envy of the international polo community” Ben added.

SFBP members include national and world champions, among others considered top players in the sport. Ben continues “more players are moving to San Francisco just because of the talent and the new court. It is a quality fraternal sport that is welcoming to all who love the sport.”

Until the new court opens, you’ll find bike polo being played nearly every night of the week at the Corondo Playground on 21st. Wednesday evenings at 7:00 PM is newcomer night.


Bike Justice in the Mission

At 10:30 AM this morning the Bike Index sent an alert that a stolen Mission Bicycle appeared on Craigslist last night.

Less than 2 hours later, thanks to a total stranger and the SFPD, justice was served.

We posed as a potential buyer and asked the seller to meet us in a public spot. Thanks to the SFPD Twitter account @SFPDBikeTheft the police were just around the corner, texting “we see you” (usually creepy, this time helpful). As soon as the seller arrived the police stepped in and took over, confiscating the stolen bike.

This is how it’s supposed to work: citizens using social media for good, technology working for us, the SFPD helping reunite people with their bikes.

Here’s the blow by blow of how it went down.

To register your bike on Bike Index, click here. It’s takes about 5 minutes, it’s free, and it’s worth it.


Are strobing bike lights problematic?

This post by my esteemed colleague Andrew Sarkarati was the first I’ve heard of it:

I’m not really buying it. (Sick comeback though, Sark!)

Now let’s boogie:

How transport Dungeness crab by bicycle

That’s right: IT’S CRAB SEASON, KID!

[via Emily]

These gals will maintenance up your bike free of charge this weekend, because community

Here’s a little more info:

Give your bikes a little love by visiting PRIMA Bike Maintenance this Saturday! We’ll be at the Flea Market at Cesar Chavez Elementary School, where other vendors will be selling food and goods. Kick it with the community this weekend and show your bici some love. Kids welcome ♥

RSVP and invite your friends!

Whoa, check out this 10-second video of a guy biking in traffic on the Bay Bridge

[via SFist]