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San Francisco has been ranked the second most bike-friendly city in America, falling short only to Chicago. It’s no surprise, given the number of cycle-friendly city ordinances, like Vision Zero SF, and the enthusiastic Bike to Work Day that takes place each spring.
There are 82,000 bike trips each day in San Francisco – many of them to and from work. In other words: If you become a bike commuter in San Francisco, you’ll be in good company. All you need to do is choose one of the best comfort bikes and prepare your calves to tackle the city’s notorious hills. Read on to find out about bike safety in SF and which bikes might be a good fit for your commute.
California only requires bike helmets on riders under the age of 18, but wearing one is still a good idea. Bike accidents in San Francisco are extremely rare, but you’ll thank yourself for wearing a helmet in the off-chance you’re involved in one. In addition to helmets, avoiding Muni buses will keep you safe on your morning commute down Market Street to Howard and beyond. The space between a bus and the sidewalk is very narrow in most parts of the city, making lane splitting in traffic (totally legal as long as you signal) a better way to get around a Muni in many cases.
Unique San Francisco Commuter Considerations
Getting around on your cruiser bicycle in San Fran requires some knowledge you may not need in cities like Los Angeles or New York. For one, given the vast amount of public transit in the city, your commute may require you to cross Muni metro tracks or a cable car track. Cross the tracks with your tires at a 45-degree angle to the tracks to avoid getting stuck or sliding.
San Francisco bike commuters also need to up their tire game to deal with the amount of rainfall. Slippery roads can translate to sliding tires if you’re not careful. On the plus side, San Francisco has 5,200 bike racks in the city and you can request a new rack in front of your office building if one does not yet exist. During the commuter hours on BART (7-9 am and 4:30-6:30 pm) bikes are not allowed in the first three cars. Folding bikes are always allowed on all cars, even during the morning and evening commute hours.
Finding a Route
The city’s interactive bikeway map is the easiest way to create a route for your daily commute. You can also join the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, an organization that connects bicyclists with bike maps, bike workshops, and more.
Finding the best bikes for women to commute in San Francisco just got easier. If you’re biking to work in the City by the Bay, try riding one of these popular beauties:
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