Ciaee Ching is a 27-year-old children’s book illustrator who is always looking to stretch and learn new skills — and biking has been her most recent endeavor. In March, Ciaee joined one of our Adult Learn to Ride classes. She then joined the SF Bicycle Coalition and pedaled with us on Bike to Work Day! We caught up with her to hear about her new biking adventure is going.
When and why did you decide to start biking?
I got really tired of waiting for the bus and have always thought biking looked like so much fun, so I decided to learn to ride in March this year.
Can you describe what it’s been like for you learn to ride a bike?
It’s funny that I used to look at bicyclists and think to myself, “Wow, to balance themselves on two wheels like that must take some crazy talent!” Now I’m able to do the same! It still feels a little bit magical to me. The Adult Learn to Ride class was definitely a great way to start off. They got me pedaling in less than an hour, although I didn’t always succeed at making turns. Nevertheless, I was very excited and ordered a bicycle the minute I got home.
What’s your favorite part about riding a bicycle in San Francisco?
There’s always so much to see. I’m noticing things in my city that I haven’t before. I had never fully appreciated how wonderful and different the neighborhoods are in character, colors, smells and people.
Why are you excited about the SF Bicycle Coalition?
All the resources! All the excited and awesome people! All these plans and visions towards safer biking! What’s there not to be excited about?
How has biking changed the way you interact with the city?
It definitely feels like I’m interacting with people more. A kind stranger helped me out the first time I tried to put my bike on the bus. Another random stranger helped me when I tried to lift my (heavy) bike up onto a rather tall bike rack. Another told me that they liked how I decorated my bike. It’s a warm and wonderful city we live in.
You learned to ride in March with the intention of rolling with the crowds on Bike to Work Day in May. Did you ride on the big day?
I did! I was a little nervous, so I got my partner to ride with me on that day. We stopped by the Energizer Station at the Ferry Building and got the awesome Bike Doctor (Pete) to look at my bike. It was great fun!