Monday, June 30, 2008

A very sad day...

We spent the weekend in Tahoe. I had my Seven with me but didn't get a chance to ride as we were doing a lot of painful errands. It was probably a good thing.

We got back around 1 PM and I got on the 1:07 Caltrain. Gotta love Silicon Valley. 15 minutes later I was getting off the Caltrain at Bayshore, there had been an "incident" at San Bruno. Given I had Cubs tickets for tonight work was a wash. Best to just ride home.

As I headed through Noe Valley I decided it was a good day to snap some shots at Bespoke Cycles, the new bike store in Noe. I could also ask the mechanic about a click I had been hearing in my bottom bracket. We quickly determined the problem :(

A very gnarly crack across the top of my bottom bracket. It actually goes around the back side of the seat tube - the mechanic spotted it from the opposite side of that shown in the photo.

Good thing it was found now and not while descending Kingsbury Grade.

RIP my friend.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Caltrain's Bicycle Master Plan Will Leave You Behind

Caltrain's Bicycle Master Plan Will Leave You Behind
If You Don't Speak Up Now!

Due to the overwhelming success of Caltrain's bikes on board program, an increasing number of bicyclists are bumped every day as bike-cars quickly fill to capacity. Unfortunately Caltrain's Draft Bicycle Master Plan does not address present or future bike-car capacity needs. In fact, the plan does not even acknowledge there is a capacity problem. Instead, the plan focuses exclusively on improving bike parking at the ten most popular Caltrain stations. Dont take our word for it, review the plan yourself at:

Caltrain is Digging in Its Heels
Caltrain held three meetings in June to collect public comment. You can read bicyclists alarming accounts of these meetings at ...

We need more voices to add to theirs!

Submit Your Comments by July 3
Submit your comments to Caltrain at and cc to help the SFBC in its effort to work with Caltrain to draft a real Bicycle Master Plan (not just a Bicycle Parking Plan). Please spread the word among cyclists!

New bike?

I eyed the blue giant commuter style bike as I prepared to detrain at Sunnyvale. Double sided pedals, flat on one side, SPD's on the other, with a WARNING sticker partially worn off inside the cleat position of the SPD. Not only no noticable scratches on the paint but it was pretty shiny. The cogs were all sparkling clean. The waterbottle in the cage had all of it's logo showing fresh, and
no grungy stuff inside. No stickers, etc...

I looked over the rider briefly, new shoes, new helmet. I could not resist and said "New bike?". She turned her head, looked at me, smiled, "Since Thursday".

It was nice to have a conversation on the train about something other than getting bumped... EDIT: I will go home and tell my WIFE about the new bikes I am seeing on the train, and there was a giant commuter bike that I should get HER because it looked pretty cool and would be good for knocking around Healdsburg when we go to OUR house.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I had a bogus morning.

Thursday I have stated that I am going to ride both ways to work - 45ish miles each way just to avoid the zoo that Caltrain is sure to be with free rides, publicized way in advance. Unfortunately that might be on the heels of riding all the way both ways today.

I told my wife last night that if we woke up early - and we've been waking up at like 5 AM every day lately as the sun blasts into our bedroom window, that I would join the Google ride down the Peninsula this morning. She said she was interested in riding after work, and I commented that I would be more than willing to ride in the AM and still ride after work with her, and I received general blessing to get up and ride.

I did inded wake up very early, but rolled around until about 6:10 then jumped up, frazzled. I needed to be out the door at 6:20, I threw on my kit and put whatever I needed into my messenger bag. I got to Ritual Roasters early enough to get some banana bread, but I discovered that I had left my wallet. I said hi to Trinh from Google, and dug an ancient emergency clif bar from my bag to get me started while I pondered a day without my train pass or money. I then also realized I forgot to bring the leftovers from GFC (Good Frickin' Chicken) that I had planned to eat for lunch, which would have been very handy on a day without my wallet.

Nobody showed but Trinh. This was a bad sign. Trinh has been showing storming form lately and I have not rounded into shape at all. This was shown early as we went over Cortland and San Bruno, but with those little rollers out of the way I humbly settled into 2nd wheel and hung on for dear life. He sat up a few times so we could chat about various roads I like to ride when I have some actual fitness - Skaggs Springs, Morgan Territory, etc... and I cursed that I was going to have to ride all the way to Google behind this monster - with no other riders I didn't want to abandon Trinh, and besides - I didn't have my train pass! One thing however - I could probably talk him into letting me load up at the Google Cafeteria, which would be very useful given that I was going to be in huge caloric deficit and had no money!

Shortly after Coyote Point, Trinh muttered something about "Going this way" where there is a fork in the path. I thought he had found some new route, I followed him and said "What's the deal?" He said "I'm peeling off in San Mateo". "New office?" I queried. "New Job". Ah. Great. Now I had no money, no train pass, and nobody to draft. Wonderful. I set off to slog on southward.

Let's see, what else. I got lost in Menlo Park trying to find the bike bridge to Palo Alto. I sat up a bit on Central so that I would meet a Caltrain at Mountain View and hope someone would emerge from the train that I could draft off of, no such luck.

On the bright side, I found 6 quarters in my desk at work so I could get a gatorade. I have no idea how I am going to get home, maybe my wife will meet me in Redwood City or somewhere for a ride and we'll (gulp) get in "her" car.

There - got my whining out of the way. If this is a "bad" day, I have a pretty good life. I did have my Ipod water bottle speaker thing going and was doing some good karaoke down the frontage roads in Menlo Park.

ADDENDUM. Opened my email.
"now I have a call scheduled for 5:00 will be better to just take it than to push it off to tomorrow." So much for a ride home - guess I will just have to ride my bike!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Caltrain Bike Plan meeting.

I am going to the Caltrain bike Plan meeting tonight in Mountain View, 6 PM at 500 Castro St. This is about a 20 minute ride from my office. Caltrain will parade their bike master plan which includes all sorts of wonderful things like bike racks.

Irony - I will be leaving my bike in the office, taking the shuttle to MV Caltrain, walking,
go to the meeting, walk, train, MUNI. There is no way I'm leaving my $$$ Seven
locked up on the street for the duration of the meeting. While this clearly indicates I *can* get to/from work without my bike, it sucks. For the 6 PM meeting, I will get on a shuttle at 5:07 PM. This arrives MTV at 5:27, and I get to sit around. It takes me 15 minutes to ride - less time than the shuttle and no flexibility. Most people would take a little bit longer than 15 minutes, but the flexibility is key to keeping the idle time down.

Had I thought about that this AM I would have checked my bike at Warm Planet. Of course, I would have then skipped SB 220 and 322 and wasted 30 minutes to take the train that meets my company shuttle. These little things are the tipping point between a "reasonable" commute experience and one that completely sucks. My wrist was broken for 3 months in 2005, I was on MUNI and the shuttle for that time - I never got bumped from the train, but it was more miserable than being bumped.

Speaking of bumps - GGT 72X from Santa Rosa to SF bumped 7 passengers - sans velo - at Rohnert Park. There were a few seats open, but not 7. The waitees were gambling that there might be more room on the 72 arriving 5-10 minutes later. Good luck to them. The bus riders in Sonoma County are starting to get as surly as the Caltrain bikers, with no relief in sight.

In Wine Country

My wife and I went to Healdsburg this weekend, as we do most weekends. We recently purchased a house up there that we are trying to rent out as a vacation rental. We really enjoy Healdsburg, it's a gorgeous place with a great mix of good wine, great food, fun events, and most importantly excellent cycling. The cycling drew me to the area, starting with 7 years ago when I did the "Terrible Two" - a very difficult 200 mile event that will be going again this weekend starting from Sebastopol and climbing 18,000 plus very steep feet as it explores Sonoma County. I will be taking a pass on the TT this year, but I'm getting in some good riding up in Sonoma.

This weekend was a lot of work - we have 13 or so fruit trees which are coming into fruit - Nectarines, Pomegranate, Pears, Almonds, and zillions of apples. We even managed to get 10 or so tomatoes to start fruiting in our vegetable garden - I'm trying to learn gardening so that we can have produce coming in most times of the year for our renters to pick. It's hard trying to figure it all out - we have table grapes that are fruiting but not nearly as much as the random grapevines on the fence. The question is - are those any good? To this city boy they might as well be poisonous if I don't know any better. Unlikely - but they might not be a variety that tastes good.

Anyway, after hours in the yard and fixing a broken faucet, we did get out for a ride on Saturday. We did a loop of Eastside and Westside roads (I think this is the east and west sides of the Russian River). Nice roads with low traffic and only a few rolling hills. Jill's a little under the weather so we took it nice and easy. On Sunday I broke free for a loop north of town, through the Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys, and over Chalk Hill Road - the bane of triathletes doing the Vineman Triathlon. This drops me into Windsor where I can return on Los Amigos Road. This picture is of the Dry Creek Valley just off of Lytton Springs Road.

Sonoma County has it all for cyclists. Beautiful winding roads, low traffic for the most part, awesome scenery, Bear Republic Brewery for post ride libations. I skipped the Racer 5 IPA as I headed home where my wife was being a good sport and had made dinner. We managed to integrate some of our garden - Cilantro from the garden for the Spanish rise, and Fresh Rosemary from our Rosemary Bush for the Chicken. Our Lavender is blooming like crazy and I read about someone making "Lavender Chicken" but my wife was cooking - so she made the rules and the Lavender was vetoed.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Montebello Road

Ah - back to Cycling. Back to climbing.

I joined my friend Geoff and a couple people from for a climb up Montebello Road yesterday. Ivan (also from Alto Velo) and Becky joined us at the last minute.

Montebello is an excellent training hill but I find it works better when you are in better shape (or at least have gearing that matches your shape). When I am not in top form, the 39/27 just isn't quite enough for the couple of steep sections at the bottom. I know I am going well when I can mow through that section seated. Not yesterday - I had to grind grind grind out of the saddle in more than a few spots.

The climb is 3 parts - 2 miles at the bottom which are quite steep and not a lot of recovery. Then there is one blissful flat mile which is also shaded. Then you pull out of the shade and climb at a little less grade for 2 miles - the last chunk has some steeper sections as you go past Ridge winery. There are a couple of stair steppy pitches towards the very end - when you can see the big American flag flying by the house at the top you know you've got it and can attack for the top.

It was super hot yesterday which did add to the misery but the bottom line - I need to get my diet started if I want to get the form turned around....

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A new day...

Yesterday my commute was not fun, as you can clearly tell. This was on the heels of Friday (fatality - this stuff happens) and Tuesday (mechanical). A new day, and I calmed down. I was bumped off the 7:59 from SF this AM, and I took it with my more regular simple resignation. My friend Joe had met me for that train and we decided to take the 8:19. He grabbed his bike back from Warm Planet (he detrains in Redwood City, the 8:19 only stops at San Carlos so he'd need his bike).

The 8:19, of course, had a mechanical. Given that the replacement train was bound to depart late, we tucked it in, re-checked his bike, and got on the 8:44 which would deliver him to Redwood City sans bike and me to Sunnyvale (closer to work).

I got so wrapped up in the bike capacity issue and the poor handling of it, that I got off track of the general concept that Caltrain needs some more funding - now. I definitely want them to get a little smarter - but the system is breaking down. In addition to 14 train cars going out of service, the number of mechanicals seems to have gone up lately (granted this is just anecdotal). They are squeezing everything they can out of their gallery cars in the promise of "electrification" - who knows if that will ever be funded.

Ridership is through the roof. There are stats from (I think) February that support this, but anecdotally I believe that it has gone way up in the last 4-5 months. February is a bad month to measure, the rain chases away not just the cyclists. If you take MUNI or VTA to Caltrain, rain is a good reason to "Just Drive". Capacity for special events (basically Giants games during commute hours) is completely maxed out.

The value to SF and the Peninsula of Caltrain is very high (in my opinion, anyway). It is attracting many new riders right now. The long time riders are putting up with the disruptions because we have already decided that we don't want to drive, for various reasons (can't afford car, hate to drive, environment). And even disrupted service now is substantially better than it was even 6 years ago.

The new riders however, are just being thrown over a tipping point, most likely for gas prices. I can't really vouch for traffic congestion since I haven't driven the 101 during rush hour for but I doubt it is at the level of the dot com days. Regardless, those new riders will react poorly to bad experiences. "We" need to keep those riders on transit. This means keeping the service level up to at least current standards.

Of course even if the trains run on time, there is the issue of how to get the riders on board. That is why bike capacity and handling that capacity cannot be ignored. The diehards will figure it out. Some buy folders. I am probably buying a used bike from Walt's and locking it up at Sunnyvale and praying it doesn't get stolen. I'm going to go to the Caltrain bike master plan comment and make sure Caltrain is acutely aware that bike racks won't cut it for most people because they cannot afford to have their bikes stolen. I saw a longtime cyclist on the train this AM, she had thrown in the towel and was going with a skateboard. That won't work for me - I'm too klutzy, and skateboarding down Central Expressway just doesn't sound too fun, let alone motoring through SF. But new riders are being turned off by being bumped, and if they try to drive, the parking is limited.

My worry is that throwing money at Caltrain might not do the trick, of course, but if Caltrain does need the money, it will take a while to get, the campaign should start tout de suite.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

That said...

I'm going riding with my wife tonight - RWC Caltrain at 5:25 plus however late that train is :(
Caltrain ranters on the peninsula feel free to join in for a rant fest! I'm rolling the Webcor colors per usual, slow tempo. When all fails - go for a ride!

EDIT: I did go on the ride, but I was late because I was bumped at Mountain View from the 5:03 train. I had to wait for the 5:37, and made it on but 10 others were bumped. That train then bumped 10 at Menlo, and 10 at Redwood City...

Caltrain is falling apart. My view on the 8:44

Let's get right to the meat.

The 7:44 and 8:44 trains are a disaster. They are always late. This delays the 7:59 and 8:59. Why are they late? Dwell time is through the roof. Caltrain is surely blaming the cyclists. The conductors are surly. What is going on?

Gas prices have attracted a lot of new cyclists. The trains are packed. The new cyclists aren't really well vetted in the etiquette, they board and then block the vestibule, don't have tags, run to their bike at the last minute to de-train. These problems didn't exist as badly in the dot com era because with all trains stopping at all stops, the load was more distributed and people offloaded in pieces instead of all at once. And there was more padding in the schedule with all the stops. Caltrain, in my opinion could fix this stuff with some simple modifications.

The problem with the 8:44 is thus. It's loaded with bikes for PA and Cal Ave. And I do mean LOADED. This is the most popular train of all from what I can see. The previous train is a local to PA, and no other train stops at Cal Ave, a very popular spot. The next train stops at Menlo - some cyclists are smart enough to know that it's 5 minutes from Menlo to PA, but surprisingly most don't. I've seen PA cyclists bumped off the 8:44 wait for the 9:07 local! Or they go home and drive - even worse.

When the train gets to PA and Cal Ave, there is no way we can hit the dwell time. So many riders are getting off at PA that it takes too long. Also, riders from the other half of the split local are transferring at PA instead of Redwood City, because trying to board at RWC means you will get bumped. If you wait on the split to PA, and board there, you can get on because so many people are getting off. The train is still half full, mostly with Cal Ave bikes. The people boarding are mostly going to San Antonio and Sunnyvale, split local only stops. They can't rack their bikes because the outside bikes are all Cal Ave. The Cal Ave riders are now scrambling on because they know what a disaster getting off at Cal Ave is. So we get to Cal Ave and miss the dwell time as well. Disaster. This train is always 10 minutes late. I used to be able to set my watch by Caltrain. No more.

How to deal.
1) Do the needful to put 2 bike cars on this train EVERY day. I hear all the stories about rotation of train sets. This is a known problem train. I'm not saying put two bike cars on all trains. Just make sure there are 2 bike cars on the trainset that needs it. That is the 7:44 and 8:44.
2) Add Cal Ave to the 7:19/8:19 train. Cal Ave is a very popular stop that could use more service. I'd personally remove Menlo Park. Menlo has bullets before and after serving that population. Burlingame is another candidate. Even if the overall passenger demand for Menlo is higher than the cyclist demand, spreading the cyclist demand will get Caltrain back on time which is a win for everyone. Those who lost a train will adjust.
3) Either add a 9:14 SB bullet to PA, or switch the pattern of the 8:59 to go to PA instead of Menlo. Caltrain did all this analysis to select the bullet stops for the "A" pattern, yet they run 3 on the "B" pattern and 2 on the "A" pattern. I think the ridership and SB commute patterns would justify a 9:14 bullet and then run the 9:37 as a full local, just running the :07's as skip stop to San Bruno and the :37's full local.
4) Take advantage of the twitter feed that Ravi Pina has setup to alert cyclists to 2 bike car trains 30 minutes before departure. This is enough to sero-sort cyclists to the 2 bike car trains and spread the load.
5) For crying out loud, find the money to improve the electronic signage. The story I am told is that all signs must show the same message - they can't run individual messages. Who in the hell did they hire to do this job? Signboards like that were done as a senior project by 20% of my graduating class at Illinois - in 1986! They should be able to indicate what train is coming and what the bike car setup is. If the cyclists KNOW there are 2 bike cars, they can line up distributed and dwell time will be reduced. As it stands, the engineer holds up 2 fingers as he pulls into Mountain View, but it takes us forever to get to that train car because of the crowds on the platform, saving zero time.
6) BIKES BOARD/DETRAIN FIRST FROM THE BIKE CAR. This will get the non-cyclists to use the other doors. The nature of the bikes is that they back up in the vestibule which delays boarding. If all the cyclists were smart enough to board the rear first, it would not be so bad, but some don't know any better and some don't care (it's really nice to have your bike by the door when we arrive 22nd St at night, detraining there is a nightmare). This is a simple idea that I think would pay huge dividends. But all Caltrain can come up with is "ENTRY/EXIT" signs for the bombadiers that don't make one lick of sense and have been universally ignored.

This costs Caltrain very little money and would have huge impact, IMHO. Certainly with conditions improving, Caltrain would attract more ridership and much like widening the freeway, the problem could reappear. But to do nothing is ridiculous. I defended Caltrain tooth and nail for the last few years because I had seen them make big changes for the positive (24-32 bikes per gallery car, Baby Bullet I, Baby Bullet Reinvention) but they are sitting on their butts right now at a time when service is being demanded.

Some of these examples are specific. Some are not. None have made it into the tiny brains of the Caltrain staff, which I am now convinced is really into big capital projects (Ponderosa, Baby Bullet, Bayshore (waste) Station, new platforms at Burlingame, PA, Cal Ave) all of which have paid big dividends but could care less about simple things that would make service so much better. I almost doubt anyone working for Caltrain other than a conductor would even understand my analysis of the 8:44, let alone come up with it themselves. The conductors? Maybe 50/50. But they don't get to vote.


Caltrain is falling apart - History

My beloved Caltrain has fallen and it cannot seem to get up.

Where to start. I've been a regular Caltrain user since I moved to SF in 1998. Back then, there were 24 spots per train on the bike car. The AM southbound schedule was 7, 7:05, 7:30, 8, 8:05, 8:30, 9, 10. That's right, after 9 AM - wait an hour. Bumpings of cyclists became rampant as the dot com ramped up and traffic on 101 got horrible. Somewhere around 2000 they went to 32 slots and this improved the situation, but the situation with bumpings resolved itself when the dot com went dot bomb.

Caltrain "reinvented itself" in 2004 adding the Baby Bullet service. This was mostly an addon to current service. It was nice when you could get on a bullet, but they made the silly decision for a 6:11 and 7:11 bullet - who works in Silly Valley starting at 7 AM? And these trains had only 16 slots for cyclists - making them not really an "express" in that if you wanted to take the train, you had to show up so early it wasn't any faster.

In 2005, they went to FIVE bullets each way and got rid of the 6:11 and added a second bullet pattern, including an 8:59 bullet. Now that is the Silly Valley Sweet Spot. We could travel in leisure and not worry about too many bumpings, especially for someone like me who uses SF and Mountain View instead of midline stops like Redwood City or Palo Alto. One concession, getting on at 22nd St is a pure gamble, and unlike back in the day when getting bumped just meant riding to 4th to get on the next train, the next train leaves so soon you can't make it in time. So you wait for the next train and get bumped again. Then the NEXT train doesn't even stop at 22nd. Get on at 4th, get off at 22nd on the way home.

In addition to the 5 bullets, there is a limited stop run that gets me from SF to MTV almost as fast as a bullet. The locals are a "split local", bad on one hand in that one doesn't stop at MTV, but the other one gets to MTV in an hour. The downside is that some stations are now infrequently served - down to once per hour for places like SSF and (inexplicably) Cal Ave. And if you are going from Belmont to Sunnyvale, you have to transfer - but while this sounds draconian, the run from Belmont to Sunnyvale is now *faster* than it used to be - because Caltrain removed the (rarely used) Atherton stop. Life was good, ridership was up.

Then gas went to $4 a gallon and it all went to hell.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bike Shops

I love bike shops. I can hang out in a bike shop for hours. And I like discussing the difference between bike shops. Different shapes, sizes, interests, good points, bad points. I won't always like the end result but the process is most of the fun.

There is a new store in Noe Valley, I walked in yesterday and checked it out. Review will be forthcoming. For now, 2 shops I use with some frequency.

Warm Planet Bikes - 4th/Townsend, SF. Operated by "Kash", someone whose writings I've been able to review on the sfbike mailing list (open with care, it's frequently off topic and there is plenty of ranting). The major plusses - opens at 7 AM, closes at 8 PM, and will VALET CHECK your bike for free! As a Caltrain commuter this place is a huge plus. Check your bike and take the train. Check your bike and have them work on it while you are at work. Flat on the way to the train? Having what you need at the train station is a big bonus. Kash's operation definitely is focused on the commuter. All the bikes in the shop are folders and there's no racks of spandex jerseys or Sidi Shoes. Look instead of fenders, locks, lights, racks. This shop is about using your bike to get the job done. The first time I went there I asked for a 700x23 tube, Kash replied "Presta?" I laughed - "Is there any other kind?" Of course there is but I definitely live in a Presta world. But Kash didn't have a 48mm stemmed tube! That has been corrected, but he doesn't have my favorite T9 lube (I just don't like Tri-Flow). This store is indispensible and I'll give them whatever business I can.

In Sunnyvale is Walt's. I used to *hate* this store. It was by the Caltrain, which was great to get a tube in a pinch but all the bikes were junk, the store didn't carry much useful stuff. I sort of thought they basically catered to 12 year olds and people who could not afford cars. A group that needs to be served, but I had not much use personally. Certainly I would not leave my bike to be serviced there.

What a change a few years can make. The shop has been remodeled, the bike range has been expanded, from low end utility bikes to high end road bikes. A much better selection of clothing, tires, helmets, tools, etc... I got my T9 lube there today. The best part? They have an *incredible* selection of used bikes.

There was a very cool old school Puegeot with downtube shifters, 7 speed for under $200. Raoul from the Caltrain tells me they have a "loft" with all sorts of treasures. All the bikes look to be in very good shape, if a bit vintage. Nice. Their service has upgraded very well, I highly recommend this store.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Multi-Modal Commute Madness

My wife and I spend most weekends in Healdsburg, at a place we rent out to vacationers. We're just ramping up so vacancies mean nice weekends for ourselves. Usually we just stay up Sunday night, and in order to let my wife sleep to a decent hour, I ride out the door at 5 AM to start a commute to Mountain View.

Sonoma County bys #60 picks me up at the end of Limerick Lane at 5:10 AM, headed for downtown Santa Rosa. It has 3 bike racks. The 5 AM bus is definitely a thing populated by regulars. 2 guys from Healdsburg who have their bikes and must work construction somewhere off Shiloh Rd in Windsor. They look the type to be driving a pickup, not a hardtail MTB with panniers, but there they are, toolbelts and all. More likely a couple of DUI's than a couple of tree-huggers, but I won't look askance at anyone in the army. An older Asian woman who rides from Windsor to Santa Rosa, and transfers to Sonoma to volunteer at the hospital. My next door neighbor who I pass as she walks to the bus stop, flashlight on, on her 2 bus route to work in Sebastopol. Last week, a wrinkle - another cyclist! Third rack filled, I had to strap my bike in the wheelchair slot - at least SC transit allows this. This morning I chose to ride 25 minutes to Shiloh Road and board where the construction guys get off - of course one of them wasn't working today.

In Santa Rosa, it's GG Transit #72, a plush bus with room for 2 bikes in a sliding bike rack in the luggage bay. Luckily I've never been bumped - yet. This bus winds through SR, Rohnert Park, and Cotati, then expresses to the GG Bridge. I usually get off at Embarcadero and Bay, avoiding downtown SF's slowdown on the bus. Today, the locking luggage bay refused to *unlock*. I reboarded and said "I'll ride with you to the yard and we'll figure it out". After the last passenger got off at 2nd and Mission he said "let's try it here". We banged on it and finally dislodged my bike.

A sketchy ride down 4th St to Caltrain, where I waited in a huge line to buy my June Pass. The full up 8:44 bus to Sunnyvale. A 3 mile cruise to AMD. 5 hours! Ugh.

Normally this commute is 4 hours - traffic was awful in Sonoma and Marin today, and the luggage bay fiasco cost me 30 minutes in the end. We really need the SMART rail to pass, a bus isn't driving, but it still gets stuck in traffic. Not a big deal either way, I get a good nap on the way to SF, and breakfast and a paper await me for the Caltrain. And I was on my bike for 45 minutes. Beats the hell out of being in the cage.