It’s been a great year for San Francisco biking, and there’s a lot to be thankful for. Today, as you prepare to stuff yourself with turkey or tofurky, raise a glass to some of our biking victories and our city’s exciting pedal-powered movement. And when you’re done gorging on mashed potatoes, you can give thanks that it’s never too cold to go for a bike ride in San Francisco. May I suggest the Butter Lap as a fitting ride for this gluttonous holiday? Without further ado, here are five bike-related things to be thankful for. I’ll make it brief—there’s a cranberry soufflé with my name on it.
- More people are biking in San Francisco. In fact, in the last four years, the number of people biking in San Francisco has increased by 58% (according to SFMTA bike counts). And that’s a good thing for everyone. It means less cars on the road, more seats available on MUNI, cleaner air for everyone, and more visibility for bikers. In short, the streets are safer for all of us. Cheers to that.
- New bike lanes. Have you noticed all the new bike lanes? There have been huge bike infrastructure changes in the last year, thanks to the injunction being lifted and the hard work of bicycle advocates. There are new lanes on Alemany, Townsend, 17th Street, and Potrero, just to name a few, but there are still some dangerous corridors that need to be fixed. On December 3, there’s an Open House where you can add your own ideas into fixing three dangerous blocks of Fell and Oak Streets (by the Arco and DMV), so pop in and give them your biker vote.
- Bike Business is Booming—Just as the bike lanes are popping up, so are the new bike shops. In the last year, at least three new shops have opened. Mash Transit on 14th Street, Huckleberry Bikes in Mid-Market, and just yesterday, Market Street Cycles opened its door on Market and Gough. San Francisco bikers can now find anything they want right here in the city, and maybe in their own neighborhood. Cheers to shopping local!
- Parklets, Corrals, and Bike Racks, oh my! Remember when it used be damn near impossible to find a place to lock your bike? There’s a lot more spots now, like the bike corral in front of Buggaloos, and more are getting added all the time. Plus, the new parklets, like Four Barrel’s are super bike- friendly and make the streets a way nicer place. The City is accepting parklet applications until December 5, so you can get one in your neighborhood. Next year you could be toasting to bike victories from the parklet on your street. Clink clink!
5. Biking Got Really Cool This Year—It wasn’t long ago that I was drilling cleats into old boots so I could ride my road bike and not look like a total road weenie. But now there’s so much sexy urban bike gear out there. And much of it’s local. Mission Workshop is making super sexy bags, Chuey hats is still holding down the bike hat fort, and Chrome launched their line of city sneakers with cleats—no more cleet cowboy boots for me. Now you can wear an entire bike outfit, and look like the coolest kid at Zeitgeist. Super, Bloody Mary Zeitgeist cheers to that.