Dave and Bill Hikes
San Francisco Hike No. 3

Gay and Jack

For months I had wished I knew the percent-grade of the descent of Duncan Street into the Noe Valley. I thought about trying to navigate the bureaucracy of SF Public Works, but I wasn’t up to it. I have a San Francisco Bike Map, published by Rufus Graphics, that gives some indication of the steepness of it’s streets. It color codes streets into categories of 0-5%, 5-10%, 10-18% and over 18%. From this map I knew the street in question was greater than 18%, but nothing more specific than that. Last January I debated calling either the San Francisco Bike Coalition (from whom I  received the map when I joined that organization) or to try contacting Rufus Graphics, the publisher of the map.


I tried the latter. It turns out this is a small family company, and very helpful. I spoke to Gay Renick on the phone. I subsequently sent them an email with more detail of what I was looking for and why I was inquiring about it. Later that day I received the answer to my question from Jack Renick along with an explanation that he had retrieved the information from a large city book of streets and grades in percentages.


Furthermore Jack offered to fax me a copy of the page. This is what I really wanted in the first place but I felt it might be over reaching since I was asking for help from people that needed to take care of their work and didn’t even know me. So I quickly took Jack up on his offer. I emailed him that I didn’t have a FAX, but I was coming into SF the next day; could I pick up a copy?


While I was there, I asked if I could take a photo of them for our walk website. Then I made the mistake of positioning them staring into the Sun (and in interposing my shadow into the picture).


Anyway in less than 24 hours from the time I first placed the phone call, I had a print copy of what I had been wanting for months. And as a bonus it also had the percent grade of adjacent streets including those on our return route from the Noe Valley. I hadn’t asked for this because, again, I thought that would be a bit to much.

I was then able to state with confidence the percent grades of the streets we needed to traverse and feel justified in urging infrequent hikers to seriously consider taking the bus into and out of the Noe Valley.


Among other things they publish Rufus Guides. I am going to purchase their Berkeley Biking & Walking Guide and also Haight Ashbury Map & Guide.


PC users, hold down the ctrl-key while clicking the link below to ensure the new website opens in a tabbed window of your current browser session.


Click here to get more information about their guides.



Gay & Jack