Member Profile: The Davis Family--Biking for Health, Family & Neighborhood By Anna Sojourner

Names: Rufus Davis, Jr., Terri Hunter-Davis, and Noelle
Ages: 43, 40, and 3
Occupations: Management Analyst, Graphic Designer, and Professional Daughter
Neighborhood: Bayview
Members Since: 2000

You commute by bike? Rufus: Since Bike to Work Day, I've been riding about 75% of the time. I'm glad Bike to Work Day came along, because I had the opportunity to ride with our district Supervisor, Sophie Maxwell. I got motivated to ride to work more. My responsibility is to pick our daughter up from daycare at 6pm and I was worried about making it right on time - but I've always managed to be on time. I've become better at time management, both at home and at work. I ride 25 minutes each way. It's enough cardiovascular exercise to allow me to spend more time with my daughter. I can come home from work and just spend time with her, as opposed to evening workouts, coming home and leaving again on a bike ride around the neighborhood.

Terri: I have to echo that. That's how I stayed in shape for years. It was the single best thing I could do to stay in shape and get exercise.

What sort of bike improvements would you like to see in Bayview? Terri: The single biggest change I'd like to see is in the attitude and awareness of motorists. It's just plain dangerous here sometimes.

Rufus: The idea of bicycling being a mode of transportation is new out here. Heretofore, people only saw children on bikes in this area. Raising awareness that adults ride for recreation and transportation is essential to improve the quality of the experience. [I'd also like to see] more dedicated bike lanes, and get people to look at biking as a form of exercise and an environmentally friendly form of transportation.

Out here in Bayview/Hunter's Point, there's a deep concern for environmental issues. More bike lanes would calm traffic. There are quite possibly more youths riding bikes in this neighborhood than anywhere else in San Francisco. There could be good recreational opportunities and job training opportunities in biking. There is no bike shop in Visitation Valley, Potrero Hill, Bayview, or Hunter's Point. Perhaps bike repair could be offered as a youth training program, and to provide bike repair service to the neighborhood with a Pedal Revolution-like model.

What would get more adults on bikes in this neighborhood? Terri: It'd be nice if there were things to bike to. There aren't a lot of destinations here.

Rufus: If the SFBC wants to set up a serious campaign in Bayview/Hunter's Point, we should look at community issues such as the revitalization of Third Street. (See article) Also, Muni should have bike racks on their buses, like on the Third Street light rail. We have a lot of hills in this area, so bike racks on buses are essential. For kids, more dedicated bike lanes, because the kids are riding bikes, but they're riding on the sidewalks. Partly that's because their parents are afraid to let them out in the streets. If the kids went out in the streets, it could set the stage for their parents and guardians to ride with them.

Anything else? Rufus: We became SFBC members at the Stop for Kids' Safety Walk/Run/Bike. There was a representative from the SFBC who signed us up there, and my daughter got her first helmet for free then, too. We're very appreciative of the efforts of the SFBC and how inclusive you have been in appealing to families.