Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Anyone know of a good bike shop in the South of Market area? I'm in SF a few times a month these days and I think it would make sense for me to bike around instead of cab for those out-of-walking-distance locations.

Also, I just called the W Hotel and they said I couldn't store my bike there even though I practically live there. Stupid hotel. Anyone know of a hotel that's around the scale of the W Hotel that might be more friendly?

While I'm at it, I'd also like to mention that there are many things about the W Hotel that I like, but it is probably the only hotel that I've ever stayed at so much that doesn't really "get to know me". Just about every other hotel that I regularly use in any particular city gets to know me after a few stays. I've probably stayed at the W several dozen times recently and I still don't know anyone and no one knows me. I wonder if there is a high turnover of employees or whether they just don't care.

I'm also getting a bit tired of stepping over all of the lanyarded drunks in the lobby on my way to my room...

I've been staying at the W mostly because of the Starwoods points and Platinum status that I have, but if I'm going to be staying at any hotel so much, I can probably get whatever status in whatever system they have.

The new St. Regis is also a Starwoods hotel, but it's rather pricey and unless someone with deep pockets is paying for it, I'd rather not stay there all the time. I guess I'll use my 300,000 Starwoods points to stay at the St. Regis when I'm on a low-budget trip. 300K points should get me 15 nights at the St. Regis.

So... any recommendations on a Bike shop or a good hotel would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.


Pacific Bicycle on 4th street is pretty good. Personally, I buy my bikes from Target as they are very cheap there, and when one gets stolen (like it did last night from outside Thirsty Bear), I'm only out $200 or so. I tend to wear them out in 9 months or so, as I cycle 100 mins a day.
When cycling to conference hotels, I usually park the bike in the car park, or give it to the desk staff to store like luggage - I haven't had a problem with this at any SF hotel

Just get a small crash pad apartment in the city. You're here enough that it would probably be cheaper than a hotel and you can store whatever you like there and only deal with the normal street drunks instead of conference drunks :-)

You can try the Le Meridien SF. It too is a Starwood hotel. A spot check on rates show that it is in the range of the W. No guarantees on storing your bike there, but maybe worth a shot.

Closest bicycle shop to Moscone Center is
Pacific Bicycles
345 4th St, San Francisco, CA

about half a block south of Moscone Center.

There is also REI and Performance Bicycles nearby.

By far my favorite SF hotel is the Huntington on Nob Hill. It's an SLH boutique hotel; no points, but truly the most outstanding service I've ever received in an SF hotel (I've stayed at the W and Le Meridien in SF before myself). The doormen Al and Glenn know me by name and Al brought me a present last time I stayed there. One time I rented a tandem bike, and not only did they store it at the hotel, they *returned it to the rental place* for me the morning they knew I was leaving without my having to ask them to do it. Truly outstanding.

Miyako isn't too bad. Easy parking for visitors (at Japan Center) and small but deep tub is good for soaking away tiredness. Soba and sushi with-in a block is nice too.

It's a bit high in terms of elevation, but the Fairmont would be happy to help you out. Easy going down, and you can always put the bike on the rack on a Muni bus to get back up. Contact me if you're interested and I can put you in touch with hotel management.

Not too much in the SOMA neighborhood in terms of shops - Pacific (recommended previously) is probably your best bet.

Missing Link over in Berkeley is a great co-op owned shop.

While I'm pimping Berkeley, let me mention Cha-ya: it's vegan Japanese food. Very tasty, and if for some reason you feel like having Japanese food outside of Japan, it's worth a try. The original is in Berkeley, one just opened up in the Mission on Valencia.

If for some reason you decided to go to Missing Link in Berkeley, Cha-ya is down the block. Both in walking distance of the Downtown Berkeley Bart (which is bike friendly).

Try the Joie de Vivre Hospitality hotels. They are all small hotels, interesting, and range in price from about a hundred bucks to $300+. There are several in SF, plus Marin, the Peninsula and LA.


The last time I stayed at the Orchard Hotel,, the staff was very friendly.

Thanks for all of the tips!

As Starwood has so many hotels around that space, maybe you give the new westin a try? With SPG Plat other chains might be in for a status match, like hyatt or hilton and they may be more caring of you.

I recommend Mike's Bikes on Howard and 8th .

I have much the same problem. After GDC this year I've resigned to pick something other than the W.

The W doesn't do it for me, the new Westin was a bit of a disappointment, and the St. Regis is wonderful, but the price... ugh.

I've stayed at a lot of the Joie de Vivre hotels and they can be interesting stylistically but.. well.. the service is passable at best.

I enjoyed the Cliff, but no idea about bikes. Hope you find something great and blog about it.

I second the crash pad ("pied à terre" as we say in french)! ;)
I might be in SF more often myself soon...

I've left my bike with the bellman at Argent Hotel plenty of times in San Francisco. Even when I wasn't even staying there. They didn't seem to care. It's just around the corner or so from the W. I'd recommend you don't park the bike in public as SF is notorious for bike robbery.

Argent is in transition to become a Westin.. the upper floors are quite nice, with great bedding and sheets. and nice view.,-122.401149&sspn=0.007852,0.008025&ie=UTF8&z=16&om=1

A bit late, but I've had two negative experiences with the people at Pacific Bicycles, so I don't think I'd be going back. The people at Mikes Bikes are much friendlier.