You are Traveling, Not Being Traveled

by Laura Zimmerman

To an outsider, San Francisco probably doesn’t seem like the most bike-friendly city, with its legendary hills, misty weather and train track–littered streets. However, it seems as though the majority of the hindrances aren’t really deterrents. You can wiggle your way around any hill, the foggy weather actually is a cool cloud of relief in a sweaty biker’s face, and the streets—despite the very real treachery of Muni tracks—are very cyclist-friendly, with multiple bike lanes and conscious drivers. Market Street at rush hour is proof positive that many a San Franciscan recognizes the benefits of biking over the moving armpit of a 5 p.m. N train.

Biking in SF is not a new trend by a long shot. The late 19th century saw a boom of these human-powered vehicles in the U.S., and San Francisco was no exception. Gentlemen across the city were more than willing to trade their needy steeds for the convenience of a bicycle. A San Francisco Chronicle column from Jan. 25, 1879, quipped, “The exhilaration of bicycling must be felt to be appreciated. With the wind singing in your ears,

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This article was published:
Throwback Issue - Released May 2012
Issue 4 / Version 2 | Buy print copy here
Issue 11
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