Judah Schiller decided he couldn’t wait for the Bay Bridge bike path to be completed, he was going to ride between Oakland and San Francisco—bike path be damned. On Friday, Schiller became the first “water biker” to pedal across the San Francisco Bay.
Schiller got ready for his cross-bay commute like many local cyclists: put on some comfortable riding clothes, packed a light bag, checked his tires. But the similarities ended there. Schiller then inflated his pontoon boat, strapped a small floatation device to his waist and took to the water.
Schiller, founder of the Bay Cycle Project, hopes “water biking” will take off and offer cross-bay commuters another viable (and free) way to commute. His total time between ports—just a little over an hour, which is actually less than many cross-bay commutes.
Schiller’s timing is pretty great. With the impending BART strike, he may find himself with more eager water bikers come October 11. If you’re more of a traditionalist and like keeping your wheels on solid ground, you’ll have a bike path to Yerba Buena in 2015 and a feasibility report on a West Span bike path will be issued later this month. Fingers crossed for a Bay Bridge Bike Path before you retire.
For now, you can join Schiller on the water. Later this year, he’s leading a group ride across the Bay.