San Francisco Bicycle Coalition member Amy Clark bikes everywhere with her two sons, Curren and Nathan. They live just one block from Golden Gate Park, so Amy’s really excited about the new parking-protected bikeway that will be built on JFK Drive this month.
How long have you been biking to school?
Almost a year. We started last spring when gas prices were almost $4.00/gallon. Honestly, that was our first incentive. Since then we have become “hooked” on the energy boost we get in the morning riding our boys to school. On the few days this year when it did rain and we drove, we were so dissatisfied with being in the car. Traffic was terrible, it was stressful and we were all half asleep by the time we reached school.
What road improvements would make your commute safer?
A dedicated bike lane in the park. I know one is on the way and we’re super excited! Right now we travel mostly on the bike path which runs along the south side of JFK Drive. It’s also the sidewalk for pedestrians so most people are unaware that it is also meant for bicycles (therefore we get quite a few objections). I also wish people were more understanding of children riding on the sidewalk. It’s way safer than the street on most occasions.
What advice would you give to other parents interested in walking/biking to school?
Try it out first on the weekend (Sundays and holidays in the park, or Sunday Streets.) Know safe rules of biking and teach these rules to your children. An easy one is riding on the right and passing on the left but I see so many kids and adults who do not practice this. Also make sure your child can “Brake [Stop] On Command” and is comfortable riding on hills. Make sure your child knows how to walk and push their own bike safely across the street. Safety, safety, safety. It’s not a race.
Curren and Nathan, What do you like about biking to school?
Curren: I like riding on some of the dirt paths and finding jumps.
Nathan: Doing the jumps!