Archive for April, 2012

Giant Bicycle Chain Link Appears In The Streets Of Lower Haight

Do you see what I see?

After riding by these sewer caps a couple times this weekend, saying to myself “that looks like a bike chain link,” I decided to throw a pic of them up on the Internet.

The Wiggle, she’ll move you to ride bicycles in mysterious ways.

Hermann St (between Fillmore and Steiner)

A Wall Of Water

 [photo: Silas Hansen]

I’ve been mesmerized by this photo from the June issue of SURFER magazine. This is the heaviest, thickest, scariest, sandiest shore break I’ve ever seen. I can’t stop looking at it. For all the variables that comprise the Ocean Beach surfing experience, shore break is rarely a consideration. Maybe that’s why I’m so stuck on this photo.

What’s the next move for this guy?

PVC Surfboard Rack For A Bicycle

Surfing in San Francisco is tough. The water is cold, the currents are strong, and I’ve been told there are sharks. If you don’t own a car, or have a buddy who owns one, the actual act of surfing in San Francisco is tough. It’s more than three miles from my apartment to Ocean Beach. I don’t own a car. I own a bike.

Since I moved to San Francisco I’ve had a love hate relationship with surfboard racks for bicycles. On the one hand they got me to the beach for a surf, but on the other hand they all had design flaws. If one rack didn’t require you to bolt it on your bicycle forever, the other would force you to turn you bicycle into a horse trailer. My favorite of them all is the rack that turns your bicycle into an SUV!

If your only mode of transportation is a bicycle, and you want to surf, it turns out your best option is to build a rack out of PVC pipe, glue, hose clamps, and pipe insulation. This entire surfboard rack can be built for under $20 (considering you already own a hacksaw and screwdriver) and with a slight design change you won’t have to permanently fix the rack to your bicycle. Here’s how I did it:

Slice up some 1″ tee sections of PVC (larger if your frame size calls for it) with a hacksaw and affix them to your bicycle frame with hose clamps. For extra grip between the tee sections and my bicycle frame I lined the inside of the tee sections with strips of old tire tubes.

Here’s what your bicycle is going to look like on a daily basis with this type of surfboard rack. The PVC tee sections are the only visible part on the bicycle at all times, and they’re super lightweight so you’ll barely notice they’re attached.

With about nine feet of PVC pipe, six elbow sections, and some PVC cement, you’ll be able to construct the arms of the rack that actually hold the surfboard.

Each bicycle frame and rider is different, so the sizes for these sections of the rack will vary. For instance, the rear arm of my rack is longer due to the back tee section being slightly higher on the frame than the front tee section. It’s not an exact science, but you’ll want the bottoms of each arm to be fairly even.

To prevent the arms from disconnecting with the tee sections, holes were drilled through the top part of each arm and threaded with rope so they could be tied to the frame. Tying the arms to the tee section – opposed to cementing them together – allows me the option to easily remove and fasten the rack onto my frame without having to permanently attach it to my bicycle. As you can see, I’ve also added pipe insulation around the arm sections to protect my surfboard.

Due to the 45 degree angle of the front tee section attached to my bicycle frame, I drilled a hole towards the top of the front arm of the rack, which allows me to hook a bungie cord.

The bungie cord counter balances the weight of the surfboard pulling down on the arm, preventing the front tee section from rotating. With the bungie cord secured around my top tube the front arm of the rack remains level and the tee section doesn’t move.

That’s it! Now you just throw your wetsuit in a bag and pedal to some waves.

Can’t Get Run Over Again

I saw this street interview on the news last night, during a sad segment about a bicyclist who was just recently struck and killed by a car in Richmond, CA.

This dude seems a little off, but when you think about it, his concern is pretty much universal. He made me chuckle, despite the serious and unfortunately nature of the story.

“I can’t get run over again.”

If It Snowed, Oakland Would Have An Awesome Sledding Hill

From atop the Oakland Coliseum BART Station, you’re invited to gaze upon what would arguably be the best sledding hill in the Bay Area. Too bad it never snows here.

The University of San Francisco (USF) Has A New Ad Campaign


OOOHHH SNAP! Wait, is this where my student loan payment is going?

More quotes and words on the ad campaign here.

DSPNPB Is A Pretty Darn Good Acronym

I think you’re gonna see it used a LOT more around San Francisco. What a great acronym!

Former Right Hand Man

I watched a documentary the other night about the guy who created Jelly Belly. It’s actually a pretty sad story and despite how engaging the movie is, this screen shot is the only thing I took away from it. This dude was a pretty poor excuse for a “right hand man.” He’d tell you to go when the wave is clearly too big.

Should A Parking Permit Determine Where You Surf?

Where do you surf these days? Most of the time I choose the beach closest to my home. It’s a good wave and I have the spot really dialed in. I know where and when you can park. I know if it’s cold I’m not too far from my car. I know when it’s going to hold a swell right.

All these comforts considered, shouldn’t you switch up your surf spots? I tried today.

I thought about Democrat Point, but had no luck as the road is closed for the winter. My friend told me Robert Moses field 3 has been breaking, but I couldn’t tell you if that was true because the parking lot is closed. So, I headed east. I checked Smith Point, a spot where I could finally park, but of course there wasn’t a wave. I drove further east and found myself in Westhampton. The parking lot was open, but there was a sign noting the requirement of a parking permit. Well, the waves were just too inviting to leave, so I ignored the sign and parked without a permit.

I understand that not all beaches can be free, but should they be closed? Should you have to live in the town to use there parking lots? I didn’t get a ticket in Westhampton, but I did pass more then one cop car, which put the thought into my head that I would.

So were do you go? I’m just trying to surf. I’m not worried about lifeguards on duty. I’m not there to litter or walk on the dunes. I really just want to be able to park my car safely without getting a ticket.

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