Departamento del Medio Ambiente de San Francisco

Ten Tips for Getting Ready for Bike to Work Day

May 9th, 2019— it’s happening y’all.

The Bay Area is going all out for its 25th #BTWD anniversary.

  1. First things first: if you don’t have a bike — you can still participate. With ever-increasing bikeshare options— including one currently offering a free month promotion— that excuse has met its end.
    Ford GoBike is currently offering a free month for first-timers. Enter code “FIRSTMONTH
  2. If you do have a bike… get that thing ready to go well ahead of the Big Day. There’s nothing worse than waking up to a slightly flat tire and a pump nowhere in sight— or discovering your gears don’t work once you’ve reached a hill and have three minutes to meet someone at the top. Do yourself a favor, give it a quick check ahead of time, and take it into a bike shop if needed— whether it’s for-profit or a community shop, you can be sure there’s one not too far away in the Bay.
  3. Find a friend. Here’s what you need to do: start wearing your helmet everywhere you go— sans bike, of course. You’ll become an instant magnet, and soon, you’ll have more friends than gears, or at least, you probably will if you have a single-speed bike. Alternatively, 511 has a cool matching tool that helps you find others to bike with to work. Use it to find your own biking buddy— it’s fun.
  4. Figure out your route. This may or may not be the same as your everyday route. You’re probably going to want to avoid hills and high-traffic streets with frenzied drivers and stinky diesel trucks. Check out Google Maps for some bike-friendly routes— just remember to put it in bicycling mode to see the sea of green lanes.
  5. Brush up on the rules of the road. You don’t have to go back to Driver’s Ed for this.  Check out the the SF Bike Coalition’s short-and-sweet rules of the road, and for more, take a look at Smart Cycling Tips by the League of American Bicyclists.  If anything else, just remember to stay three feet from parked cars— no matter what mean cars behind you may have to say.
  6. Bring a basket or something to carry all the stuff you’re going to be picking up at the energizer stations. This means swag and food. And if you have room left over, your work-related stuff can squeeze in too.
  7. Figure out your outfit. You don’t need spandex or polarized sunglasses. Just wear a helmet. It’s the one accessory you can’t leave the house without— not because it’s the latest spring trend, but because your brain is one-of-a-kind and for keeps.
  8. Get out there, ride, and remember to have fun. Enjoy the experience of exploring your neighborhood in a new way, the feeling of hopping on a bike and feeling like you’re not going to work, but out for a fun adventure, and of course, the feeling of freedom that comes with transporting yourself with only the power of your two legs. This day is going to be jam-packed with endorphins and good feelings.
  9. Take some pics and show off your commitment to a fun commute, healthier lifestyle, cleaner air, and tag them with the hashtag #BTWD. We want to see you in all your glory.
  10. And at the end of all of this, figure out if you enjoyed Bike to Work Day, and if maybe you’d like to try it again. This is the gateway day— and there’s a whole bunch of people waiting to welcome you with more resources, like your local bike organization offering free classes, group rides, and a lot more of that community-building good stuff. There’s never been a better time.

See you in the bike lane on May 9th— and beyond!

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