San Francisco Supermarket Street Sweep and Santa Cruz Cranksgiving

Registration for the Eight Annual Supermarket Street Sweep in San Francisco closes this Friday, so do it right now if you plan to participate, especially if you’d like a free t-shirt (limited quantities!).

Last year, 119 racers participating in the Supermarket Street Sweep collected over three tons of food and $7400 for food banks in San Francisco and Marin County in an alleycat style scavenger hunt. Supermarket Street Sweep 2013 begins at noon on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at Cupid’s Span (the big red bow and arrow statue on the Embarcadero at Folsom Street.

Racers do this for a good cause, but there’s a good pile of schwag for those who collect items the most quickly and those who can haul the most cargo. Visit Supermarket Street Sweep blog for details.


THIS WEEKEND: Santa Cruz Cranksgiving

Clutch Couriers and Santa Cruz Bike Polo bring you a bike race this holiday season to provide food and holiday cheer to those in need and get you some awesome prizes! This is a bike race a la the Cranksgivings in NYC and all over the US. Santa Cruz Cranksgiving benefits the Familia Center.

Racers race around town picking up food items that were requested by the Familia Center as well as purchasing gift certificates for food and clothing at participating grocery and clothing stores. Teams are recommended to cut down on costs, but feel free to race alone if you desire. Bring $5 per racer for registration which will be donated to the Familia Center. Also bring $15 to $30 per team to buy needed items on the list. The race will cover grocery stores from Aptos to the West Side, so be ready to pile on the miles.

Pre-registration not required, but feel free to say you’re going on the event Facebook page. Otherwise, just show up before noon on Saturday, November 23 2013 at the duck pond in San Lorenzo Park. That’s the park hidden on Dakota Street tucked between Soquel and Water Street behind the Paradox Hotel.

Schematic bike maps?

Ever since Harry Beck designed his iconic schematic map of the London Underground in 1933, other transit agencies have followed suit with their own abstract maps. Transit routes are shown as color-coded straight lines with sharp turns. Stops are equidistant, and the physical geography is omitted.

Navigating Tokyo’s rail transit was easy for me as a teen growing up in a western suburb of Tokyo. I just needed to know walking directions from a station near my destination. I could look at the JNR Tokyo map and quickly determine which trains to take and where to transfer.

Transit agencies create abstract maps to highlight the network structure of the system. Who cares if you’re crossing a river if all you need to know is the connecting line between two stations?

Schematic bicycle maps

Twin Cities Minneapolis St Paul schematic bicycle map

Continue reading Schematic bike maps?

More bike thief tools of the trade (and how to protect yourself from jacking attacks)

Our Bay Area bike-fighting superheroine Platty Jo forwarded this photo from Matt Friedman of the San Francisco Police Department’s Anti-Bike Theft Unit of evidence from a recently arrested bike thief.

Bike thief tools - carjack, pry bar, bike tools

Continue reading More bike thief tools of the trade (and how to protect yourself from jacking attacks)