San Francisco cyclists participate
in 'Bike to Work Day'
Bay City News Service
May 18, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
made this years' Bike to Work Day a special one by giving away
breakfast and tote bags to riders including Mayor Gavin Newsom
and a few city supervisors who stopped by a City Hall "energizer
station" on their way to work this morning.
The Bay Area Bicycle Coalition estimated that thousands in the
region would participate in today's alternative ride, designed
to encourage a permanent switch to a commute on two wheels.
"Bikes have a place in my daily life and I prefer riding
my bike because it is cheaper, healthier, and I don't have to
deal with parking,"
Peter Bejger, a San Francisco bicyclist and a freelance writer,
said this morning. "I feel like I am contributing to the
betterment of the planet."
Newsom, who wore a workout suit and San Francisco Giants baseball
cap on his ride to City Hall, spoke to the cyclists fueling up
on bagels and coffee when he arrived. Leah Shahum, the executive
director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, then presented
a report card on bicycling conditions in the city.
The city earned a "B-" overall. The coalition surveyed
1,151 cyclists on such issues as safety, pavement quality, motorist
respect, and bike routes in San Francisco. The pavement received
a "D+," the lowest score in the report card.
"We can do a lot better," Shahum said. "Our goal
is to make San Francisco an 'A+' city. Bicyclists belong on the
Supervisor Jake McGoldrick rode his bike to work for the first
time today. Supervisors Gerardo Sandoval and Aaron Peskin also
"Cars have fundamentally poisoned our society, and we have
forgotten what they have done to us as a culture," Miles
Epstein, a furniture maker, said at the event. "They isolate
us, they stink, they endanger us, and the automobile is unsustainable."
Epstein said he has ridden his bike to work for his entire adult
life. He encourages people who are apprehensive about riding to
work to practice and to ride with a buddy.
"I would tell people to practice riding their bike to their
office on a Saturday when they don't have to work," said
Epstein. "You can figure out how long it will take and what
the route feels like on your bike."
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition will also host evening "energizer
stations" for bikers' rides home from work.
Copyright © 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication,
Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent
of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.