Sfgirlbybay Visits Our Neighborhood, Makes It Lovely

San Francisco blogger, photographer, and design maven Victoria Smith — aka sfgirlbybay — visited our neighborhood last weekend, and (as is her wont) she created some beautiful images along the way:

I think it’s rained here something like 19 days out of 24 or something really sad like that. and it always seems to be raining on sunday, which means the flea markets get rain checked, too. boo hiss. but this sunday in the city, the sun popped out for a little bit, so i drove as quickly as is probably deemed safe, and hit the alemany flea market. then, i put the top down and took the scenic route home, through bernal heights, snapping pics of the pretty little houses on those hills.

Photos: SFGirlByBay

Powered by Gasoline and Bacon, Bernal Dads Racing Brings Home Honor and Glory During 24 Hours of LeMons

24 Hours of LeMons

24 Hours of LeMons

24 Hours of LeMons

It drove! It raced! And kind of well, even. Last weekend at Sears Point Raceway, our neighborhood’s own Bernal Dads Racing team tore up the track during the 24 Hours of LeMons in The Molvo (No. 243), a mutant crossbreeding of a Mazda Miata and a Volvo 240 wagon. They also brought their older car, The Whale (No. 245) a Volvo wagon emblazoned with stickers that make it look like a junkyard Who’s Who of Cortland Avenue.

24 Hours of LeMons

24 Hours of LeMonsI wandered up to Sears Point on Saturday with my 3.5 year-old daughter, and together we watched the Bernal Dads on the race course and in the paddock, where the team’s cars returned from time to time for maintenance, driver changes, camaraderie, and… bacon!

24 Hours of LeMons

24 Hours of LeMons

24 Hours of LeMons

BDR team member Ben brings the final race results…

The Whale:
At the end of Day One, the car had to go under the welder to fix a broken exhaust pipe located under the middle of the car.  It was also in 3rd place in Category C so there was a concerted effort to make the pits stop as efficient and speedy as possible.

This worked well and in the mid-afternoon the Whale was first in class.  This was short-lived, however as about two hours from the end of the race, the bottom-end of the engine suffered a catastrophic failure. The car was pulled into the pit and it was quickly determined it was “Game Over” for the Whale.

The Molvo:
Also in Category C, the Molvo was just behind the Whale in the standings.  During the afternoon it made a similar climb through the group as the Whale.  Shortly after the Whale was retired from the race, The Molvo’s exhaust system suffered from a major leak which the race officials wanted rectified before it could return to the track.  The rear section of coffee cans were dismantled and the Molvo returned to the track.  If continued to finish the race but could not make any ground to unseat the winner of Category C (#8, a Yellow Opal Manta)

Going to the awards ceremony at the end of the Race, BDR took home the Judges Choice award for the Movlo.  The innovation and execution of the concept was embraced by the organizer Jay Lamm as well as the other LeMons Judges.

Congrats to BDR for a race well raced, and a prize well earned!

24 Hours of LeMons

I took lots of photos during Saturday’s race; you can view them all here.

Photos: Team with trophy, by Alex Zepeda. All other photos by Telstar Logistics

La Lengua Receives Official Recognition on the Map That Matters Most

I don’t know whether to laugh, sing, or declare martial law, but regardless…

Our uppity neighbors to the west, aka the vassals of La Lengua, have received some noteworthy recognition of their autonomous status — in the form of a unique neighborhood label on Google Maps. Check out the screen capture above, or look for yourself.

The Overlords of Bernalwood send congratulations to the Denizens of La Lengua. Si se pueda, juevos rancheros, and all that…

Bernal’s Own Motorsports Team Prepares to Hit the Speedway in a Frankenstein Race Car

The Molovo and Bernal Dads Racing

The Molvo and Bernal Dads Racing

The Molvo and Bernal Dads Racing

The Molovo and Bernal Dads Racing

Get ready, race fans, because a team of Bernalwood’s finest are headed to the speedway to represent our neighborhood and bring back motorsports glory. Or something kind of like that…

The action will take place this weekend at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma. The race itself is called the 24 Hours of LeMons — that’s pronounced “lemons” for all you wannabe francophiles — and it is basically a cross between Burning Man, Bernal’s own Soapbox Derby, and the real 24 Hours of Le Mans. The basic concept is simple: Purchase and race-prep a car for $500 or less, find a team of drivers, strap on helmets, then keep the car in the competition for as long as you can.

Bernal Dads Racing will be at Sears Point this weekend to represent Bernal Heights, mom, kids, and apple pie. Yet as eco-conscious Bernal residents, Bernal Dads Racing will hit the track in a hybrid. By that I mean the car itself is quite literally a hybrid, combining the drivetrain of a 1995 Mazda Miata with the salvaged bodywork of a Volvo 240DL station wagon. Peek inside, and you can still see the Miata core lurking underneath:

The Molovo and Bernal Dads Racing

This mutant race car has been dubbed “The Molvo,” and if the Molvo sounds like an awkward combination, rest assured that it most certainly is. The Molvo is the Frankenstein of race cars, and how it will fare on the race track is anyone’s guess.

But after spending a “wrenching night” with the team as they prepped the car for this weekend’s race in a garage near Holly Park, I’m happy to report that the Molvo is as ready as it’ll ever be, and the team is in good spirits.

The Molovo and Bernal Dads Racing

The weather forecast for the weekend looks wet, but Bernal Dads Racing will be on the track regardless. Keep your fingers crossed for them, race fans.

UPDATE 28 March, 2011

The Molvo not only completed the LeMons race; it also won a Judge’s Award for innovation. Complete details and photos.

24 Hours of LeMons

Photos: Telstar Logistics

Commuting on the Muni 67 Bus Is Like Waiting for Godot

Reader Teri asks:

Can someone can shed some light on this? How come the 67 never comes?! I waited for it for 40 minutes this morning and it made me entirely late for work. I try to catch it at 24th and Mission to get back up the hill between 5 and 5:30pm, and IT JUST DOESN’T COME.

It’s really kind of hard and inconvenient to get to BART from the top of the hill. Now i have to re-assess my commute because the 67 makes me late every day. I could have walked to BART faster than that! (I’m on the southeast slope so it is not that cool a walk).

Photo: Telstar Logistics

New CSA Farm Box in North Bernal Seeks Subscribers

Reader Caroline has set up a CSA pickup point at her home on the North Slope, and she’s hoping to find more subscribers. She tells Bernalwood:

Terra Firma Farm treks down to the city each week to deliver us urban dwellers delicious fresh veggies from their farm in Winters. There are pickup spots throughout the city — including our brand-new spot in north Bernal, on Winfield between Coso & Esmerelda. We need a few more folks to pick up from the new spot to keep it running!  If you’re an existing subscriber and would like to change your pickup, just go to Terra Firma Farm, sign in, and change your pickup spot to “Bernal – Winfield”. Or, sign up as a new subscriber. For more info, see the website or email Caroline.

Photos: Courtesy of Caroline