02 August 2007

Transportation in San Francisco

San Francisco turned out to be a delight for someone as interested in weird little vehicles as I am. First off I noticed there were a lot more Priuses (Prii?) on the road than I have seen anywhere else. I even saw a Prius taxi, called "The Green Cab." Obviously SF is a very green kind of place.

As we were walking along the North Beach area heading towards the Golden Gate Bridge we saw groups of bikers all pedaling exactly the same type of black mountain bike with a carrying case on the handle bars emblazoned with "Blazing Saddles.*" It's a bike rental place that must be earning big bucks because we must have seen nearly a hundred or more of these things.

Even before we started our walk that day we passed the main depot for the weirdest little cars I've ever seen. They were low, bright yellow, and three wheeled. Later we saw about a dozen of these little yellow cars zipping around. They use GPS technology for a computer guided tour of the area. The cars have a 2 HP engine (!) yet can go up to 35 mph which is plenty for the city streets the tour is designed for. They are controlled by a handle bar rather than a steering wheel and looked like they were a lot of fun. They seem to get about 50 mpg, which is fortunate because the tank only holds about 1.5 gals.

Do you remember the Segway Scooter? The one our commander-in-chief fell off of? I thought they had died out because they were so impractical, but they are used for touring groups in SF. We saw several large groups of Segway tourists, all wearing plastic chartreuse colored safety vests. A group of Segways, by the way, are inherently funny, especially when they circle to listen to their leader - not sure why. But in SF even the post office is trying them out.

We saw a few other weird vehicles including a gasoline powered knock-off of the Segway and an electric car used by the city. You can't say the San Franciscans aren't trying to find a way out of the petroleum dependency trap!


At 03 August, 2007 01:47, Blogger Joey said...

Are there any photos of you two on a segway?


At 03 August, 2007 18:40, Blogger Clemens said...

What? You weren't satisfied with the photo of me and Carmen at the 'Blazing Saddles' link? Of course, with all that California sun hitting us it IS a little hard to recognize us.


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