On behalf of our staff and more than 10,000 members, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition thanks Canyon Market for over 10 years of member discounts. Starting in 2018, Canyon Market will no longer offer a special member discount in order to accommodate their budget demands for other charitable giving. Their support as a Discount Partner has been a tremendous benefit for people biking in San Francisco, and we truly appreciate bike-friendly businesses like theirs who have made it easier for more people to bike more often. We invite our members to join us in thanking them for over a decade of support!
We caught up recently with Janet Tarlov, who owns Canyon Market with her husband Richard, about raising a family in the city.
SF Bicycle Coalition: How long have you lived in SF?
Janet: Richard and I both moved to San Francisco in May of 1992 totally by coincidence — Richard from NYC and me Ann Arbor, Michigan.
What are some of your favorite parts about raising a family in San Francisco?
Of course, it’s obvious we love the biking culture. We also love being able to drop into SF MoMA or the California Academy of Sciences. There’s an outlet for any passion here, and our kids have had the chance to fully participate in so many activities; from musical theater and fencing to choral jazz and Quaker meeting. The community of different kinds of families is awesome. We’ve made lifelong friends, and we’re there for each other through the ups and downs of raising children. To us, SF feels a lot like a small town.
Tell us about your family photo?
This was just a typical day for us when the kids were in elementary school. We’d suit up and ride out pretty much every morning from our home on the Noe/Castro border and ride down to school in the Mission. Owning and running Canyon Market means that we keep a really different schedule from a lot of other families and during the evenings and on weekends usually one parent is at the store. The time riding to school together every day was our family time and we cherished and protected it. It was a great getting out together in the city every day. We got to see what the weather was like and feel the pulse of the city. It was really interesting to see how the “vibe” changed from day to day.
How did you learn about the SF Bicycle Coalition?
With our ride going straight down Valencia Street for over 8 years, it was hard to miss Bike to Work Day. That was super fun. We got to see the movement toward commuting by bicycle really grow as each year went by, and that was so obviously the result of the advocacy work the SF Bicycle Coalition was doing at that time. Also, before we opened Canyon Market, we were shoppers at Rainbow Grocery, and they really supported the organization. We wanted to follow in their footsteps when we launched our store.
Do you remember where your kids learned to ride?
It was in the parking lot/playground at James Lick Middle School in Noe Valley, like every other kid in the area. Both boys were early riders, with the younger boy learning so young it hardly seemed possible. He must’ve wanted to keep up with his older brother.
What about SF’s hills?
Our older son loves to take an exercise ride up to the top of Twin Peaks. We’re not all quite so gung-ho about the hills, but I don’t think any of us gives them much thought anymore. It’s amazing really, how we’ve all just adapted. Once you understand how the city is laid out vis a vis the hills and you’ve got those biking muscles in shape, it’s not really a big deal. The worst case scenario is to put your bike on a bus bike rack, which is totally doable.
Any advice you want to share with other San Francisco families who bike or want to?
Getting prepped and talking a lot about how to be safe was super important, since the kids were so young. We drove and walked the route together the summer before we started commuting regularly, and we did several practice rides that summer as well. Having a route home that included a stop at Bi-Rite Creamery for an ice cream cone at least once a week was also extremely important.
Canyon Market and many other bike-friendly businesses have shown their support with great donations for our Winterfest silent auction taking place Dec. 3 from 4:00 – 9:00pm at the Village (969 Market St.) If you haven’t secured your tickets yet, get yours before it’s too late.