I have been on a brief Euro-hiatus, spending some time throughout the United States and a bit of time in San Francisco. It has been great to be back and I truly miss this city. Leaving, spending time away, and then coming back has totally changed my perspective and experience in this town, and the few days I have been here over the last few months have been some of my favorite times here in the Bay. I have had a chance to see how great life can be in San Francisco and have met some amazing new people in the bicycle community.
Today is Bike 2 Work Day here, and while this is the normal method of transportation every day, it is always great to have people come out and try riding to work on their own; overcoming fears of traffic or losing time or showing up all sweaty. I attended the press conference held for their first bilingual Spanish/English station yesterday and had a chance to talk directly with the Andy Thornley, the Program Director at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. It is an amazing event made possible through volunteer efforts and the hope that the community will rally behind bicycles as an alternate means of transportation. The sad reality is that there is still a struggle within the San Francisco administration to provide safe roadways and conditions for those who ride daily.
As I rode to the bilingual station this morning on Harrison and Cesar Chavez the riders were out in mass and were all having a great time. It is really nice to see groups of people out riding and enjoying it. A number of people swung by the station as I was there, and it is great to see the enthusiasm and positivity from the riders and volunteers. Getting a glimpse of the SF ‘bike-core’ (my label, not official) has been really great to see people who simply love to ride bikes. It is a healthy alternative with no judgments or attitude. I am super happy to have met and talked with everyone I have over the past weeks, and I hope to keep see you all out riding.
Oh, and if you aren’t already, become a member of the SFBC. They are fighting to help your roads and the discount offered at shops throughout the city is worth it alone.