My good buddy and longtime San Francisco bike guy, posted a great article about biking in NYC.
He’s the one who initially encouraged me to get a bike here in SF. And damn am I glad he did.
Biking has been one the greatest overall contributors to my positive life condition.
It is daily exercise. It makes you feel great. It saves you time. It saves you money.
That is the quadfecta of benefit.
Seriously, what other activity gives you all those things at once?
I ride my bike to work and I love it. Exercise is now a mandatory part of my day and it’s something I enjoy doing.
Monday through Friday I bike 9 miles per day which is roughly an hour in the saddle. Throw in an occasional weekend ride and that’s a whole lot of cardio all with the fun and excitement of cars and buses zipping by.
After 3 years of riding around the city I’ve felt myself get into amazing shape. I have a 2013 goal to get into the best shape of my life and biking is a big part of that. On the 4.5 miler to work I used to get winded and tired especially when negotiating the steep hill on my ride home. However now I zip up the hill no problem. I love how riding the bike allows you push yourself to the maximum every ride if you’re so inclined.
The public transit system (Muni) in San Francisco is slow. Painfully slow. Stop at every single block slow.
Muni buses and trains average speed is 8 miles an hour. Even slower on downtown streets and during rush hour. Door to door the trip to work on the Muni takes 45 minutes compared to just 25 on the bike. Evening factoring in a cool off period and time to change clothes I’m still saving 10-15 minutes per trip, 20-30 minutes per day, 2-3 hours per week.
For quick trips closer to my apartment I no longer need to take Muni or a cab. I just ride there.
Having a bike makes some parts of the city easily accessible when they otherwise wouldn’t be. On hot SF weekends (which are unfortunately a rarity), the pasty citizens flock to Baker Beach to take full advantage. Arriving by either car or bus is a nightmare full of traffic, honking horns, and hot, stuffy car/bus interiors. However the bike ride out to the beach is rather enjoyable.
Monthly bus passes on the city’s Muni cost $66 per month. Monthly biking costs nothing except the bike itself.
So buy $660 worth of bike and gear and you have made up the difference in 10 months. After that, you’re playing with house money.
That doesn’t even count the $10 here and there saved from biking to your destination instead of taking a cab.
The Positive Feeling
When I first started my new job I took Muni to work for the 1st three weeks. I’d arrive tired and with a sometimes strong to quite strong feeling of motion sickness.
Then I bought a bike and started to show up at work energized and in a great mood. The desire and need to drink to coffee in the morning soon faded as my blood was already pumping from miles of peddling.
So that’s it. To summarize – get a bike. They’re awesome!
Photo is my bike at Chrissy Field