Last Thursday I had the pleasure of stepping out for an NFL Thursday night football game. I had my bike with me so rather than jumping off Caltrain at Bayshore and walking to the game, I went to 4th/King, dropped off the bike at Warm Planet and then set about trying to find my way to the game. Via the wonder of having the iPhone along, I found out there was an express MUNI bus from 4th/Folsom, nonstop to Candlestick.
I bought a Sierra Nevada ($2.50, not bad) for the road at the Caltrain station, and headed down the street. I may be Holier than You but not too holy for public drinking. Arriving at 4th/Folsom, I spotted a couple of Niners fans on the SW corner, ran over and asked if this was where the bus picked up. They pointed to the SE corner and said "That's where it picks up, but it's not picking anyone up. The last 5 buses have gone by full, not even stopping." They pointed at a third fan chatting up a cab driver filling up at the gas station there and said "we're trying to get a cab". Their friend waved them over to indicate they had scored a cab.
Now, I am of the Caltrain ilk, where everyone helps each other out, we share a bond formed through numerous Caltrain disasters that have forced us to finish our commutes like the Israelites heading out of Egypt, where we rely on each other. The cyclists form a paceline and head to Millbrae BART. Those without bikes gather 'round the twitter and call cabs to split to various destinations, or offer rides in their own cars when a loved one comes to the rescue. This all seems very natural. And frankly, this would be natural in Chicago. But apparently my bright orange ILLINI ROSE BOWL hoodie branded me not only as a loser but as someone to be avoided at all costs, so when I said "Can I split the cab with you, hell I'll pick up the tab", the woman in the group shuffled and said "You have to ask the boys" and the guys muttered something about "I think we might find a friend". Fine.
I walked back to the bus stop, the MUNI failwhale continued as FIVE MORE buses went by packed to the gills, and I walked, defeated, back to Caltrain. Sad - this has to be a hugely profitable setup for MUNI, $5 per to send full buses to Candlestick, yet they underplan and send people scurrying to cabs. I made it to the train to catch one back to Bayshore and did a little voodoo curse that the cab would get stuck in nightmarish game traffic while I zoomed down the tracks. I got a couple more beers and split them with some Bears fans on the train. The walk from Bayshore isn't short but it's doable. It took forever to scalp a ticket but when I headed in I was sure that thanks to this annoying parochial behavior from the Niners fans that karma would smite them and the Bears would run all over the Niners.
Unfortunately, Jay Cutler has much stronger Karma. 7 beers and 5 INTs later - SF 10, Bears 6.
Public safety and the bike commute
6 hours ago