I have commuted by bike for three years now. I love it! It is by far the quickest mode of transportation in the city, I am enjoying the outdoors, burning energy, creating energy and saving the environment. I have come to realize that there are three distinct categories of cyclists in San Francisco.
- “Fitness” – those that wear bike leggings and triathlon jerseys, have the lightest and most efficient/expensive multi-speed bikes. These cyclists count every calorie they burn and will spend a lot of money to improve their cycling efficiency as they are training for the AIDS ride.
- “Function” – those that typically have a rack of some sort on the back of their bike to carry workout gear or food from Rainbow Grocery. These cyclists always wear reflective gear and have lights on the front/back of their bike. Many of them do not own a car and will promote this on their bike with stickers. They usually ride a variety of “hybrids“: less expensive, more comfortable (flat handlebars), more durable, and less likely to get stolen off the bike rack while at work.
- “Lifestyle” – those that basically look cool. They are hipsters; they wear fashionable clothing while maintaining less than 2% body fat. Many of them are messengers on bike. They ride fixies (one speed bikes), wear their U locks in their belt loops and skull crusher caps without a helmet. These cyclists are less likely to follow the law of the road and like to hang out at common bars in the Mission District.
I am a “Lifestyle” cyclist “wannabe” but truly am a “Functional” cyclist. I ride by bike to work for convenience in my PT attire, clogs, and sometimes scrubs. I also count my calories, but I wear a cool Timbuk2 bag. I am a hybrid (fitness, function and lifestyle) cyclist. Here is a great link to a video of a hybrid city cyclist. The most important thing to me and most San Franciscans is that I am helping the environment, reducing car congestion, leading a healthy lifestyle, and contributing to the cycling way of life in San Francisco. With the recent trial of closing Market Street for cyclists and public transportation in San Francisco, I hope the cycling community in this city explodes. Enjoy the ride and share the road!
Links to learn more about cycling in the city:
San Francisco Bike Coalition - advocacy, education to create safe biking environment in the city
Map My Ride - post your rides to track mileage, pace, calories; interactive cycling community
Lifestyle Blog – courtesy of Box Dog Bikes!
Market Street Closure – article highlighting the benefits of the closure
BikeRadar.com – latest cycling news on equipment, blogs, fitness for all styles of cycling
Bike Commuting Tips – Blog by Paul Dorn with many more links