Today BIKE NOPA and Bikes And The City spin out a new collaborative bike series, Women Who Bike. Each Monday and Wednesday we will feature San Francisco women and their bicycles. Check both our blogs for the experiences, stories, and ideas that women who bike the city want to share with you. Let us know your thoughts and leave comments for the featured riders.
First in a series: Kristin Tieche
"Testing the baby blue Mixte from PUBLIC" Photo: Kristin Tieche
At Davies Symphony Hall Photo: Kristin Tieche
How would you describe your bicycling style?
Carefree. You are who you are wherever you are, even when you're on a bike!
How often do you bike and what for?
I bike pretty much every day. I go on bike rides with friends. I bike to work and back. I bike to meet friends at cafes, restaurants and bars. I bike to the ballgame (GO GIANTS!). I bike to run errands. I bike to the symphony, to the Farmers Market, to join Critical Mass. I bike so I can take pictures of other people biking for my own blog!
How can San Francisco encourage more women -- including teens and younger -- to bike?
Many women are afraid to bike the city streets. Designated bike lanes or streets that are totally closed to car traffic would probably be the change that would most influence women and girls to ride bikes. I think teenage girls might want to see biking as really cool, and to see their role models commuting on bikes would make a difference in their lives.
Have you had best dates or best friendships start with biking?
I had a really good date with a guy who knew I was into cycling and was still trying to impress me, so on one of our first dates he suggested we ride bikes through the park to Ocean Beach and get coffee and breakfast out there. I can't even tell you how happy I was because it was all his idea. We dated for four months until I realized he was a closet car addict.
For one New Year's Eve party I went to a Cyclecide party at Ace's Junkyard in the Bayview, but I cabbed it because I didn't feel comfortable riding in high heels and my New Year's outfit there. I met a nice guy, and we had a midnight kiss at the bonfire. He rode me on the back of his bike at 4 a.m. He stopped and kissed me at every stop sign. It was a really memorable night.
Your message to women who want to try biking?
Riding a bike is so simple. Remember how happy we were when the training wheels went off? If you don't ride yet, find a bike that you feel comfortable riding, one that feels like an extension of your own personality (I have a vintage French bike now). Once you find a bike you can fall in love with, you'll wonder how this bike was ever missing in your life before and you will live happily ever after.
Kristin lives in NOPA, rides with NOPA VELO, and writes the smash Velo Vogue blog. "Where the bike lane meets the runway."
Be sure to check Bikes And The City for more Women Who Bike profiles.
Women who bike: Take the Writing Women Back into Bicycling survey online by May 15th. More than 7300 women already have. Survey conducted by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP). See survey here.