Tag: San Francisco

A Muni Bus Almost Killed Me!

On my way home from work I almost got killed by Muni bus, who would had thought? For the record if you were wondering, yes, I was speeding. However speeding or not, that Muni driver could had been paying better attention.

Riding in the city, whether it is on a bicycle or motorcycle, is dangerous as one has to look out for all the moving hazards on the road such as: taxi drivers speeding and cutting through traffic, the Uber and Lyft drivers that are paying attention to their app rather than the road, the pedestrians that have ‘the right of way’ and put their life at risk by ignoring the oncoming traffic. Then there is Muni. For the most Muni busses and trains are not an issue. In fact I feel that the tracks for the trains and people running after their bus prove to be more dangerous than the busses themselves.

To my surprised the #18 Muni bus driver did not notice me one bit, even with all honking as I was doing (but honestly a squeak from a mouse is much louder). There I was with no outs as the bus blocked out my chances of going right, and then there was an oncoming jeep that eliminated the left side. In a situation like this with no outs, I had the choice to either slow down or go faster. At first I tried to slow down but I immediately felt that if I squeezed harder on the hand brakes and pushed down some more on the foot brakes that I would lose total control. In fact, you can hear the tires a skid a bit from downshifting. I said fuck it let off the brakes and just cruised. Judging the speed of the bus, my own speed, and the space that I had to squeeze between the jeep and the bus, I knew that the fit was going to be tight! Once I got past the bus, I let the driver know how I felt.

I’m not  going to lie, I was going to pull a Rev Bomb and bust the bus’s sideview mirror! I balled my hand into a fist and cocked my arm back but couldn’t find mirror in such a short period of time, plus I was focusing on the road in front of me. If it were a car that mirror would had been gone but since the vehicle was a bus, that mirror gets to live another day.

The Muni bus driver is not totally at fault and I do hope that who ever they are, that they don’t get fired if SFMTA see’s my video. And I’m not saying that all the blame lies with me for speeding. We were both at fault, it takes two to tango. We just need to learn from this experience and move on.

At the end of the day, I’m just glad I didn’t die, crashed, or totaled my bike from this accident that didn’t happen. And thank you to that jeep for giving me more space to breathe. Anyway, ride safe and ride your ride.

P.S. I’m starting a podcast….

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Living In The Fast Lane | 2015

Now that we are towards the end of January, I can reflect at 2015 as a year of fun on two wheels, hell there were times when I was living in the fast lane. I hit a stupid fast personal best top speed of 168 mph, rode a slew of different kinds of motorcycles; from Harley Davidson’s Sportsters and Dynas to Suzuki’s, Triumphs, and even a Can Am Spyder. Since I live in the wonderful San Francisco Bay Area, I had the opportunity to ride year round from the FREEZING December weather to scorching 100 degree weather. Rode with friends and family throughout the Bay from Stinson Beach to Alison’s and Four Corners to Angel’s Camp. Had one too many close calls while splitting lanes to riding with a friend that low sided. 2015 gave me a solid year of riding under my belt while at the same time gives me excitement as to what 2016 will bring. I leave with you below a video montage of my 2015 year. See you out there on the streets and ride safe.

Installing A USB Charger On A Motorcycle

Spent the day doing a quick upgrade mod to the Lil Green Monster by adding a USB charger to it. The install of the USB charger is a simple plug and play that requires simple tools (screw driver and a set of Allen wrenches) to install.

IMG_0259
USB Charger for a motorcycle

I picked up the USB charger that is specifically designed for motorcycles, from Amazon, for a little over $13. After a simple removal of a few panels and the seat, fishing the electrical wire through the frame, and cinching everything down with zip ties, this project was completed in less than an hour.

Now I’ll be able to charge my iPhone or keep my GoPro powered on long rides thanks to this USB motorcycle charger.

The Unicorn!

Finally got the unicorn!

Now as to what a unicorn is varies to each person. Yes, a unicorn is a mythical creature that resembles a horse but with a horn that protrudes from its forehead, however for urban lore a unicorn is something or someone that is unattainable. Unattainable such as your dream car, your crush, a far off destination, super rare limited edition Jordan, and so on. Sometimes one can obtain their unicorn, once one catches a unicorn they can have a new unicorn in place of the former.

As for myself, my unicorn is to take a photograph of Lil Green Monster (my motorcycle) at the Pacific Overlook with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background during sunset. As simple as it sounds, it is not.

Pacific Overlook via Google Map
Pacific Overlook via Google Map

The Pacific Lookout is located on Lincoln Boulevard on the west part of the Presidio in San Francisco. The lookout is only accessible by a dirt trail that has a barricade that separates it from the street to protect pedestrians and cyclist from cars. The closest opening to the street of the barricade is over 150 feet from the lookout. With the Pacific Lookout having westward-facing views of the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge in the periphery makes the lookout point well visited by tourists, runners, and cyclists. To the east of the lookout are trees that blocks views to the east however provide shade from the sun early in the day.

What makes a simple shot so challenging, asides from accessing the site, are three reasons: people, timing, and the fact that vehicles are prohibited on the site. The lookout also is connected to a trail that many runners and bikers use, therefore the lookout provides a great spot for one to take a break and catch their breath. With a great view of the Pacific and GGB, there are people on the lookout at any given time of the day.

With views facing west and trees to the east, taking a photo at sunset during the golden hour is the ideal time to take a photo. However summer in San Francisco, the fog (aka Karl the Fog) rolls in from the coast right before sunset. Having fog block the view of the Pacific and GGB adds to the challenge to taking this simple photo.

Lastly, it only seems obvious that vehicles are prohibited on the lookout. There are no signs nearby that reads vehicles are prohibited but the fact that I had to ride onto a dirt trial that seems to be meant for pedestrians and bikers only for over 150ft to reach the lookout platform is what makes me believe that vehicles are prohibited. Since I do not want to get in trouble or get cited for ‘trespassing’, I’m weary to ride up onto the lookout since Lincoln blvd. is patrolled on a regular basis by the State Park Police.

Well, over the weekend after work and riding through traffic caused by the Doyle Drive closure, I was frustrated and needed to relax. With the sun starting to set, no fog but some clouds in the sky, and no one on the trail it was a perfect time to take the shot that I’ve wanted to take for months, time to get my unicorn! A quick drive by the lookout to make sure that there were no State Park Police nearby then went back around to the closest entrance and rode onto the dirt. Honestly don’t like riding on dirt since my bike was meant for asphalt, I slowly rode on the dirt and carefully maneuvered onto the lookout then positioned my bike to where I thought would capitalize on the view. Once the motor was dead, I quickly hopped off the bike and got to my knees to get a good perspective of the bike with the GGB in the background. Not satisfied with the way the bike was positioned I got up off my knees where I change the angle of the bike. Then back on my knees, takes photos, get up and readjust bike, then repeat two more times.

Taking all the photos took no more than three minutes; I was rushing and not thinking much about the composition, lighting, or other options (cell phone pics, I do need to invest in a DSLR). With my focus really on the trail to make sure that no one would walk up on me and on the road to make sure that there were no police rolling up. Now that I look back, if a police officer were to had rolled up on me, there wouldn’t be anything that I could do, so I should had taken a deep breath and make the most of the opportunity.

Below are a few shots that I was somewhat pleased with.

Pano from Pacific Lookout

Out of all the photos that I took, only two of them turned out decent. Biggest disappointment from many of the photos taken was that the front tire was turned to the left; out of habit that is position of that the handle bar is placed to lock the handle bar. Below is a photo with the tire turned to better understand what I am babbling about.

Angled tire that makes the bike look odd.
Angled front tire that makes the bike look odd.

However after some cropping (a suggestion from a new friend), removing some sky and the ground, the composition looks better. As a photographer that is still mastering the craft, I am always open to feedback. The idea of cropping was brilliant because I had tunnel vision at the time and could not see other solutions to making the photo to work for me.

Cropped version of the angled tire.
Cropped version of the angled front tire.

Here is another photo of the bike with the front tire less angled and straighter, and the photo already cropped.

Less angled tire, better?
Less Angle for the front tire.

With the front tire straighter the bike appears more familiar and what people imagine when they think of a sport bike.

Which photos do you like best?

Below is a video of me rambling after capturing my unicorn. From capturing my unicorn I am going through a roller coaster of emotions from glad that I took the opportunity to take the shot when it presented it self to a bit deflated when seeing that the photos taken were not that great; but no worries as I am planning on redoing this shot when the opportunity is right.

As for what is the next unicorn for me to capture? Well… let’s just say that I will be placing myself in danger to take the photo. Is risking my life worth taking a picture?

Yes. Why go through life when one is not willing to take the risks.

Cheers!

Update: New Motovlog & Reckless Riding

Hey all. It’s been a minute since I had posted up a motovlog but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been recording any content. I’m still staying busy and grinding. Below is my latest motovlog as well as other knucklehead things that I’ve been up to.

Weather in San Francisco is normally mild sitting in the mid 60’s. When the day is hot, 70 is hot for San Franciscans, I take full advantage of the day by hitting the beach.

Karl (the fog) likes to come out and play when the weather is warm. When warm and hot air mixes with the cold Pacific Ocean, the fog comes out in force and blankets the Golden Gate Bridge. I was lucky on this day as I captured a selfie of myself on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Honestly, taking a selfie while riding a motorcycle isn’t the safest or smartest thing to do. But the same can be said about riding motorcycles in general. Just use your best judgment. Ride safe folks!

Haight Ashbury Street Fair

Haight and Ashbury is one of many iconic neighborhoods in San Francisco, widely known as the birthplace of the hippie movement. This past weekend San Francisco held the Haight Ashbury Street Fair, one of many street fairs and festivals that happens in the City (Fillmore Jazz FestivalHow Weird Street Fair, Cherry Blossom Festival, and Folsom Street Fair to name a few), a street fair that has been happening for over 30 years.

Surprisingly this was my first time going the street fair after living in the City for several years, not because I feared being surrounded by hippies but rather cause of laziness and the ‘living in the area and can go when ever I want’ mentality. For the record I don’t have a fear of hippies or have a disdain of hippies, I’ve been to Haight Street many times for food, shopping, and people watching. The neighborhood itself reminds me of Berkeley and consists more of yuccies, transients, and tourists rather than hippies.

From the few street fairs and festivals that I have attended in the City, it felt that the Haight Ashbury Street Fair seemed small. I haven’t been to all the street fairs and festivals in the City (click here for a list to all the street fairs and festivals in SF) but a few things great about this fair were that it was well organized, clean, and family friendly. Many businesses stayed open during the event, which is a great way for tourist to experience both the street fair and the unique stores that reside in the neighborhood. There were a couple stages that featured bands that I was unfamiliar with, but even away from the stages there were artists playing music at different corners of the streets with people dancing to their beat. As for food, one can smell all sorts of delicious flavors floating in the air since the fair was filled with a plethora of food vendors; food vendors that offered a range of food from shawarmas to turkey legs and deserts such as funnel cakes and ice cream. 

Overall I thought that the Haight Ashbury Street Fair was a great event to experience. Even though I felt that the event seemed more of a novelty, honestly not my scene, the fair was a good representation of the neighborhood and good for the City. I would go back again if a friend asked me to go with them or if I had a friend/family that was visiting the same time the event was happening. If I wanted to go to Haight, I’d go when the street fair wasn’t happening just to have less of a crowd to fight.  

Haight Street Festival

Haight Street Festival

Haight Street Festival

Haight Street Festival

Haight Street Festival

Haight Street Festival

Haight Street Festival

Haight Street Festival

Haight Street Festival

Commute Home From Work

Messing around and editing a video that I took while on my ride home from work and seeing what turns up. Practice makes perfect..

Music by MC Jin – Carry On (feat. Stacie Bollman).