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Bike Lane Closed on Golden Gate Bridge

Any local cyclist knows that biking across the Golden Gate Bridge is the toughest part of a glorious Marin-bound ride. The headwinds around the pillars, skinny two-directional bike lane and tourists on tandems make for some seriously treacherous riding. And get ready bikers—it’s now even tougher.

The entire west bike lane of the Golden Gate Bridge will be closed through September, as the bridge undergoes a third round of seismic retrofits. During the construction, cyclists will be forced to share the eastbound sidewalk with pedestrians. On a busy summer weekend, that can mean as many as 10,000 pedestrians and 6,000 bikers squeezing onto the same skinny sidewalk.

A Peek Under the Hood at Uber

Once upon a New Year's Eve, after StumbleUpon founder and CEO Garrett Camp dropped $800 on three cab rides, he decided there had to be a better way to get a ride when you really needed one.

He started Uber, a marketplace that connects you via an iPhone or android app with your own private driver. That may sound simple enough but take a peek under the hood, and it turns out be one gigantic math problem, says Ryan Graves, Uber's VP of Operations.

"A lot goes into matching drivers with riders," he told me, "and we measure everything. After someone opens the app, how often do they refresh the screen? How fast does the driver respond? How accurate is his ETA?"

Using GPS, Uber's system identifies the closest on-duty driver to where the rider's location. The driver has 15 seconds to respond. "Drivers love it," says Graves, "because it means less time with an empty backseat. When they're empty they are treating the Uber app like it's hot."

Seasonality Disorder? Try Some Duck Soup for the Soul

When it's July and the city's not even breaking 60, the wind is blowing and the sky is seamless and white, there's only one thing to do: Seek comfort.

I'm not the only patriotic soul who finds this in a classic Chinese-American restaurant. Which is why when I'm glum I always end up at Jade Cafe on Geary Street, only a block from work—me, and it seems half of the people who work in Union Square. Some are Neiman Marcus employees in suits, some are in construction. One regular definitely lives on the streets. Jade is made up of people of all persuasions and colors digging into their comfort with a side of rice, whether it's sweet and sour pork, broccoli beef or General Tsao chicken.

Unplug and Zen Out at Tassajara

I’ll admit it up front: I’m no stranger to the kind of “spiritual spa” experience that most people outside of the Bay Area—let alone most serious spiritual practitioners—roll their eyes at. I’ve been to Esalen Institute more than a dozen times, attended a couple of adventure yoga retreats, and paid my Sensitive New Age Guy dues to more massage therapists than could ever be justified. With my level of familiarity verging on jadedness, it takes a lot to make me feel like I’ve actually experienced something special, let alone sacred, but a recent weekend at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center did just that.

Bag Giveaway: Hlaska's Artifact Wristlet in Charcoal

Hlaska, and 7x7 are giving away a Hlaska Artifact Wristlet ($195) to one very lucky reader. This locally-designed clutch packs some major style points with a bright, ikat-printed silk lining, two outer pockets, and classic charcoal leather.

Post:Ballet’s Seconds

Ballet has dropped the pristine white tutus and melodramatic story lines of yesteryear like a bad blind date. (Good call, ballet.) Fusing classical dance with experimental movement, contemporary companies like Post:Ballet create fresh work while adhering to the beauty of the form. 

It's Kitten Season!

Cats in the Bay Area are in full reproductive swing right now thanks to slightly warmer weather, which means kittens are flooding places like the SFSPCA, just waiting to be adopted into loving new homes. Look at these little guys and girls! Talk about eye candy. In honor of this special time of the year, they're offering adoption deals like two-for-one kittens. Call them for details.

But don't forget about the older kitties in shelters too. They need your love as well, and there are a million reasons to love "senior kittizens" just as much as their tiny, furball counterparts. The kittens below are just a slice of what the SFSPCA has to offer. Click on their names to learn how you can adopt them!

Colin

Fluffins Colin Fluffins Gunma Lizzy Gunma Lizzy Augie Nine Augie Nine

Pop Quiz! An SF Pop Culture Pop Quiz from popchips

Every Tuesday this summer (in July, August and September), in partnership with our friends over at popchips (which is headquartered over on Montgomery and Clay), we'll be testing your local knowledge with SF Pop Culture Pop Quizzes from popchips. Follow and tweet to @popchipsSF for your chance to win a...wait for it...month's supply of popchips. Your party-snack shopping for the rest of the summer? Done.

Here's this week's question:

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