Our adventures in San Francisco continue. Did you miss Part 1?
I don’t really care for lava lamps, but I do love nerdy stuff – and that’s exactly what’s happening here. This is in the headquarters of Cloudflare, a web infrastructure/security company. Obviously internet security is big business, but how do you ensure that you’re as safe as possible? Well, Cloudflare points a camera at a wall of lava lamps as a backup source of “unpredictable randomness” to generate key values for cryptography.
Here’s a non-technical explanation by Cloudflare if you’re also into this kind of thing. Or you can just enjoy some pretty colors and appreciate how modern tech can still learn a thing or two from old-school funk.
Vy and I took a peek inside and we discovered that it was a cafe called…Cafe Lambretta.
Not-so-coincidentally, our next stop was the Cable Car museum. It’s definitely worth a visit and I was shocked that it was free. You’ll learn all kinds of interesting stuff, but here are two favorite facts:
1.) the brakes that are operated by the hand lever are made of pine and have to be replaced every three days!
2.) The average lifespan of the cable (six steel strands of 19 wires each that are wrapped around a central cable) is 6-8 months, and repairs/replacements are performed via splicing at night.
The museum is actually just the second floor of the powerhouse that pulls the four cables (one for each line) through the city. Each cable is pulled by its own 510 horsepower electric motor. Despite the electric power source, it’s not a quiet place to be.
Before Vy and I went up to SF, I put up a post asking if any Bike-urious readers wanted to have a get together. Clay Baker let me know that he wouldn’t be able to meet up with everyone else on Sunday, but he was free on Saturday morning if I wanted an excuse to go to Alice’s Restaurant…
We caught up on a few things – including the wonderful fact that he had recently bought a BMW R50S sidecar that I had previously featured to use as the rideaway from his upcoming wedding! What a beauty:
He also showed me a new pump that he’s using which I thought was interesting. It’s called the Stompump, and it’s got some clever touches if you’re the kind of person that prefers a manual pump so you never have to worry about batteries or connections to your bike.
This Honda CB500X looks like it has a Rally Raid kit on it. It also looks like its owner has some stories, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to track down him or her.
Vy and I met a couple of friends for dinner at Walzwerk, an East German restaurant that featured this sign on the front door.
Our evening concluded with a visit to Bourbon & Branch, a speakeasy-type establishment that won’t let you in to the main bar without a reservation and forbids cell phone usage. It’s only worth a visit if you appreciate a good cocktail – luckily, I do.
Our last day in San Francisco, I planned on meeting with a few readers. Thanks to each of you who came out, it was great to meet so many of you for the first time! Vy and I pulled up to the restaurant at the exact same time as a father-daughter duo on a rare BMW R100S “Exklusiv Sport” that looked awfully familiar. Turns out that’s because the owner, Eric L, bought it off a Bike-urious listing!
Eric wasn’t the only one with good taste in bikes. I was ecstatic to see a Moto Guzzi V11 Rosso Mandello that was already parked courtesy of Henry V., and we were later joined by James C. and his beautiful first-year Commando.
If you went to the Quail in 2017, you saw this bike up on a rotating platform as it was perfectly suited for the “50 Years of Norton Commando” category. This photo is of James with his Commando at the Quail, and here’s a video if you want to learn more about it!
Nick C. decided to give me horrific flashbacks to my LA-Barstow-Vegas with Spurgeon from RevZilla by showing up on a Ural Gear Up Sahara.
It was just a few minutes before EagleRider closed for the day at 5, and someone was returning a Royal Enfield Himalayan that rents for $49/day. The renter owns a scooter and has his M1 but wanted to practice shifting gears before he bought himself a motorcycle. His day consisted of covering 30 miles of laps in a parking lot, shifting between first, second, and third gear. Good for him!
In his case, a one-off rental makes the most sense. But the Club EagleRider program interests me more as an option so I can have access to bikes in different cities when I’m on the road. Or maybe you’re someone who rides a couple of times a month and doesn’t want to deal with the costs and hassles of maintenance, registration, monthly payments, etc. It all depends on where you live – as you’ve seen here, the SF location has a decent variety of bikes. My local EagleRider (Los Angeles) also has bikes that I’m genuinely interested in like the KTM 790 Adventure, Husqvarna Vitpilen 701, and the Royal Enfield 650 twins. Yours may not.
All in all, I’m just glad that programs like this exist so I can get access to motorcycles while I’m on the road. EagleRider is under threat from ride-sharing programs like Riders Share and Twisted Road, so it’s important that they offer a variety of machines to get interest across the motorcycling spectrum. I very much enjoyed our Super Tenere – what would you want to take out for a weekend?