Sunday, September 8, 2013

San Francisco bike sharing for tourists

Bike sharing is now in San Francisco. Those familiar with bike sharing programs in Europe and New York may be interested in the SF program. For a daily fee ($9), you get unlimited 30 minute rides on a bike. You can pick up a bike from Union Square and return it in Fisherman's Wharf, downtown SF or by AT&T park. No helmets are provided and there is a surcharge if you don't return the bike within 30 minutes.

Because of the 30 minute limit, it won't replace the bike rental shops where you can rent a bike for 3-4 hours to bike the Golden Gate Bridge. And MUNI is a much cheaper ride. But if you just want to ride along the Embarcadero -- it might be worth it.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New Bay Bridge span is open

Bay bridge is now open and the new span offers great views of the SF skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge (if not covered by fog). Here's a great time laps video of the bridge being constructed.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ahwahnee Hotel discount code for winter 2013-2014 visit to Yosemite

Just received discount codes for the Ahwahnee Hotel. The details of the offer is available through the official yosemitepark Ahwahnee website: $279/night on select winter dates which is a large discount from the normal $450+ rate.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Construction in front of Embarcadero Hyatt

Drumm Street in front of the Hyatt Embarcadero is under construction and it looks very messy

The hotel is still open but expect minor traffic delays if driving in and out of the hotel. Although the BART/MUNI entrance right in front of the hotel is closed, visitors can use the other entrance (A2) a block away. Those waiting for the cable car at the turnaround will have to wait next to construction equipment or walk a short block down California to the next cable car stop. The taxi stand has moved to the corner of Drumm and California.

The construction is expected to last until Spring 2014. But all in all, this looks like it should only be a minor inconvenience as the hotel and all transit stations are open and not under construction.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Next "IT" bag from San Francisco

Looking at trends, I'm predicting that the Chrome bag will be the next fad that will spread from the west. Timbuk2 used to be THE bag for SF bike messengers before it became an office worker accessory.  Now SF bikers sport the messenger bags from Chrome Industries with the distinctive seat belt buckle for easy on/off and truck tarpaulin for weatherproofing.

It started in the Rockies and moved to its current home in SF (with factory in Chico). The SF store is out of the way but is a good source for customized Chrome Bags and has a large selection of their regular bars.

It won't be long till the bag catches on with the office crowd.

Why am I writing this now? Chrome Industries just turned 18 and the SF hub now has an anniversary sale August 17/18 with 20% all items and food/drinks. May be worth dropping if in the area.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Is the Hyatt Embarcadero taxi stand still open during road construction?

Many people take BART from SFO airport to the Embarcadero BART station and then catch a cab from the taxi stand at the Hyatt outside the station to their final destination. This is often a cheaper alternative than taking a taxi directly from SFO.

With the construction going on right in front of the hotel (the hotel is still open!), finding the cab stand a midst the massive equipment and street closures can be hard. The trick is taking exit A2.

Here's my step-by-step direction with photographs:

Exit BART turnstiles then look for Exit A2
In the BART/MUNI station, look for Exit A2 (Market & Davis St)
When you exit onto the Market Street, Go straight past the Wells Fargo Bank

Before you hit Drumm St, turn left round the corner to the taxi stand
Stand is at corner of California & Drumm St

If there are no taxis when you reach California Street (highly unlikely), turn left and walk down California St to Davis. There's another taxi stand one block away between 9am and 3pm.

Here's the map showing the location of both taxi standards relative to the BART station: