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Hello Bike Commuters! Meet Jacob from San Francisco. He’s a man of many titles including: full time accountant-of-sorts; part time mayor of Bernal Heights and anarchist superstar. He also loves to ride his bicycle. Enjoy reading about his experience as a bike commuter!
Location: Bernal Heights, People’s Republic of San Francisco, California, Earth
Commute Distance: A little over 4 miles each way, but usually take a longer scenic route after work.
What got you started? I got a job in Seattle where riding to work was the most convenient option. My employer at the time provided incentives to ride to work. I tried it out and ended up really liking it! The first verse of This Charming Man also may have had something to do with it…
Any stories from your commute? The past 5 years of riding every day have been surprisingly enjoyable and easy. The most shocking thing was moving to SF a year and a half ago and realizing how many other people I share my commute with! It’s usually 5-20 people I ride up Folsom with on my way to the office.
What is one thing you wish you knew before starting to bike commute? To clean my bike! A good weekly bike cleaning saves a lot of money on parts and makes you go faster.
What Kind of Bike & Where did You Get it: oh god, I have a few now. My main bike is an early 90s Masi I built up for the hills here, but I was rocking an early 90s Medici for a while. I also have an older Masi with friction shifters as a backup. I also have a single speed Masi to take on airplanes for my travels abroad. I also have various unassembled bike components all over my apartment. I buy them on eBay, Craigslist, or by sifting through the bowels of the internet for Campagnolo bike parts.
Anything else you’d like to share about bike commuting? If you bike commute for 6 months it will seem like the easiest thing ever. Attitude is everything. Rain doesn’t suck that bad if you bring a change of clothes. Buy a used bike and learn how to fix stuff on it. Buy a bike that makes you WANT to get up and ride it in the morning. Every commute is different, so consider the terrain you have to cover when building/buying/fixing up yo velo.
ALSO riding is amazingly fun. You can go most places in SF/Portland/Seattle with very little effort. Ive really enjoy doing it and get to see/experience different things than if I was getting around by other means…all without farting car exhaust everywhere. That’s a win in my book!
What gear do you routinely carry for your commute? FRAME PUMP and a spare tube. Tire levers and a multi-tool. In the winter I carry a brooks saddle cover and ass saver rain guard. I also carry a dorky cyclist hat because it DOES help keep rain out of my eyes/contacts/glasses. I also carry my work clothes in my backpack and ride in shorts and a t shirt 95% of the year. Rain coat. Bike lock(s). Lights.