Tag Archives: expedition

Expedition: Marin Headlands

This is a guest post from Ettore Crocetti Marzotto, a USF student took “Speaking of Bicycles” last year. He bought a bicycle and has been exploring San Francisco and the surrounding area. Here is a recent report of his explorations:

I went for a ride over Golden Gate Bridge last Sunday. I took my camera and a picnic lunch with me and had a really good time, it was probably the furthest up I went.

Conzelman Road in the Marin Headlands, descending west, with Point Bonita lighthouse in the distance.

This road here was something out of a riding magazine – super fun to go down it! After that I left the main road to head for some trails and eventually ended up high, with a nice view, (the one in the second picture) and had my picnic there. 

View of Rodeo lagoon and beach in the Marin Headlands, site of the former US Army base Fort Cronkhite.

I find it so incredible that you can just go over the bridge and find such open nature, such a contrast to SF.  The only thing that I still have to find, is some good single track downhill though -haha. I thought I share this ride seeing as I had those pictures, really that first shot of the road and the biker, could be in a magazine haha!

Seattle Bike Share

In Seattle for a wedding. Here’s a view of San Francisco this morning, with the Bay Bridge People Path in the foreground (aka “the world’s longest bike pier,” because it only includes the east span of the bridge). BTW we’ll ride it this semester.

aerial view of San Francisco Bay, with Alameda and Oakland in foreground and San Francisco and Marin County in background.

two brightly colored bicycles, one bright green and yellow, the other orange
Bikes from two of the three new stationless bike share companies in Seattle, LimeBike and Spin.


Seattle has 3 different “stationless” bike share companies (2 depicted above). To get to our seedy motel from the airport, I first took a light rail and then a “LimeBike” (that’s the green and yellow one).

A short video of riding a LimeBike on Seattle’s 27-mile multi-use Burke-Gilman Trail.



REPLY REQUESTED – California Bicycle Summit

We have been invited to present at the California Bicycle Summit in Sacramento in the first week in October!

I need volunteers to attend the conference with me! We’ll drive up on Thursday morning (10/5) and spend the day at the conference. In the evening, there is a dance party at — wait for it — the California State Railroad Museum that evening, but we’ll only stay for that if everyone wants to.

SO this means that you might need to miss a Thursday class, but you get an opportunity to share your ideas with bike advocates from around California!

You don’t have to give a speech or TED talk or anything — we’ll make some posters and share them, kind of as described here:

I am not going to post a video of what a dance party for bike advocates at a railroad museum might look like. It’s not gonna be pretty.

Email me with questions (or post a comment below).

BY MONDAY Fourth Task for Class 9/12: Create Two Questions

In class on Tuesday, September 12th, we’ll visit the offices of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition at 1720 Market Street. We’re scheduled to meet with Executive Director Brian Wiedenmeier at 2 p.m.

We’ll learn a bit about the history of the SF Bicycle Coalition, its current projects, and its future plans.

Based on what you know (or would like to know) about bikes and public speaking, create two questions for Brian Wiedenmeier. I’ll share some of these questions with him in advance, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask some of them at the meeting.

A good structure for a question is:

“In class, we read about _______________. What is your opinion/ what is the position of the Bicycle Coalition on this issue?”

You can also ask questions that are specific to Mr. Wiedenmeier’s role. For example, “What are the main duties of an Executive Director in a non-profit?” or “What changes have you seen in San Francisco since you started here?” or …..

Post these questions to your blog. If your blog isn’t up and running, post your questions in the comments (below).

Sample questions:

We watched Dr. Fred Rivara’s TEDx talk, where he argues ______________ about bicycle helmets. What is the position of the Bicycle Coalition about helmets?

We read about establishing credibility with audiences. How do you, as Executive Director, establish credibility?

Giro di San Francisco

Every Labor Day (the first Monday in September), San Francisco hosts a bike race called the “Giro di San Francisco.” Giro is the Italian word for “tour” — in years past, the race went through North Beach, an historically Italian neighborhood.

Once upon a time, the race was known as the San Francisco Gran Prix, and some of the world’s greatest pros came to SF to suffer on the steep hills of Fillmore Street.

The Giro is now a relatively flat “criterium” race (meaning a lot of short, fast laps, which is great for spectators).

The Giro has caught the attention of Funcheap:


The race promoter’s event flyer is here:


Lots of folks take video while in the race:



Expedition: the Legendary Rockville Cyclocross Series

On Sunday, February 12, we’ll head to the nearby Rockville Cyclocross series.

This is a friendly and low-key event, and probably the best possible place to enter your first bike race! (Strictly voluntary, of course.)

We will be accompanied by members of the USF Cycling Club and learn a bit about the club.

Sunday, February 12
Depart Koret parking lot at 7:30 am sharp.
Return to USF at approximately 12:30 or 1 pm.
CONTACT ME TO RSVP — space is limited to 9 people


  • warm clothes & layers –it’s outdoors and the East Bay is generally chillier than SF this time of year
  • water bottle

If you want to race, bring:

  • clothes that you don’t mind getting VERY MUDDY
  • a second set of clothes to change into after the race

More about the series:

California’s Rockville Bike Winter Cyclocross Series: Cyclocross Like It Used to Be

Norcal Cyclocross Season Continues Through February in Rockville, Ends with Relays and BBQ


Class Report for Day 10 (Thursday 9/22/16)



three students standing before a powerpoint slide with information about interview subjects
Interview team presents results

In class, we saw some great presentations. Teams of 3 presented findings from our expedition to the Panhandle last week. The teams looked at:

  • the Panhandle soundscape
  • the Panhandle landscape
  • the shared-use path (north side) and its users
  • the pedestrian path (south side) and its users
  • people in the Panhandle (interviews)
slide showing photos of the path and users, indicating unauthorized use and poor pavement conditions
Slide presenting evidence about the pedestrian path in San Francisco’s Panhandle.


We discussed a couple of key issues in public speaking, mainly focusing on the pros and cons of working in groups.


Following the system of Carl Kwan, we practiced transitions between speakers in a group presentation.

Areas for Improvement

A key area for future attention is the conclusion or ending of presentations. Conclusions are weird: it’s not a move we usually make in our everyday conversations. But to make an impact on an audience, a public speaker really needs to nail the conclusion.

This involves at least two aspects:

  1. bringing the energy back up for the closing moments, rather than tapering steadily toward a low-energy closure
  2. ending with a clear, strong statement of key ideas or “take-aways”

Expedition: Giro di San Francisco

This weekend, San Francisco hosts the Giro di San Francisco criterium (a bicycle race composed of many short laps). The race is held near the Embarcardero and Levi Strauss Plaza.

This historic race has been run in San Francisco since the mid-1970s. It’s fun to watch—the race has many short laps (known as “criterium racing”), so you get the see the riders pass by every minute or so.

The races run all day on Labor Day, Monday, September 5, 2016 (the first race is at 8:00 a.m. and the last race starts at 3:00 p.m.

More info here: http://media.wix.com/ugd/eb74ca_4d6a6ec072864f25b2be030e64b9f947.pdf

Here’s a short promo filmed in 2011:


If you go, be sure to leave time to walk up the astonishing Filbert Steps to Coit Tower — a really unique San Francisco experience.

map showing Battery & Union, San Francisco
Battery St. & Union St.

A Unnatural History of Golden Gate Park (podcast)

USF Professor David Silver teaches a famed first-year seminar on Golden Gate Park. When I mentioned that we will be exploring the park on bicycles, he recommended this podcast on the history of GGP and the role it plays in the social and ecological life of San Francisco.

Here’s the An Unnatural History of Golden Gate Park site. It was produced by the Studio for Urban Projects.

You can also find An Unnatural History of Golden Gate Park on iTunes.