The Ocean Avenue bike lanes have created an important link for this father and son who bike commute to school.
Meet the DesRoches.
David, age 43, Senior Product Manager, Digital Cinema at Dolby Laboratories
Dawson, age 4, “Panda Bear, 2nd Year” at Little Bear School
How are the Ocean Avenue bike lanes improving your commute?
I put Dawson in a bike seat on his first birthday, and he and I have biked all over San Francisco since then. His preschool (Little Bear School) is close by and not far off my commute route, so once every couple of weeks for the past 15 months I’ve biked him to school, first in a rear-mounted seat and lately (as he’s gotten bigger) in a borrowed Burley trailer. Ocean Ave is a busy street, but it’s the straightest, flattest route from our house in Ingleside Terraces to the Ingleside Library, Balboa Park and Little Bear School. In the “sharrows” (shared-lane arrows) section of Ocean I find that passing cars give me a wider space when I’m pulling the trailer. It’s like an implicit “Baby on Board” triangle in my rear window.
The transition from sharrows to the bike lane around the Phelan/Geneva intersection is still somewhat treacherous as everyone is getting used to the new street design. On Ocean from San Jose to Alemany, it’s much nicer having the dedicated space of the bike lane which makes bikes safer and more visible. From Little Bear School, I can just hop on the northbound bike lane on Alemany and connect back up with my regular commute route on San Jose Ave near Glen Park.
What’s the best part about the bike commute to school?
Dawson loves the ride, but I also think he loves the “cool” factor of walking into his preschool class with his helmet on. The best part is definitely the downhill run from Geneva to San Jose Ave. (But be careful on the Muni tracks!) We’ve both been known to spontaneously shout, “Whee!”, particularly if we make the light at Howth and don’t have to stop. Sharing the bike experience is very special, and I expect it is helping engender a lifelong love of biking in Dawson.
What’s your favorite destination to bike to in San Francisco?
My wife, Becky, and 10-year-old son, Nicholas, have biked with Dawson and me to Ocean Beach several times as well as to West Portal for Paradise Pizza (excellent!) and Tutti Melon fro yo (yum!). Dawson’s farthest destination by self-powered tricycle is the Ingleside Library. Nicholas also bikes to school at Commodore Sloat from time to time, often on the days I bike with Dawson. Depending on where he goes to middle school (yikes!) he will probably bike to school more often next year.
But my personal favorite destination by bike is to take off Saturday morning, often while everyone else is still sleeping, and bike to and across the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s about 11 miles each way, and there is nothing quite like the feeling of the vista point on the other side, looking back at SF, especially knowing you got there under your own power.
Part of an ongoing series to meet people biking in San Francisco’s new bike lanes.