Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dads on Wheels: Douglas Kadlecek, His Daughter, and the Breeze in Their Faces

Image by Meli of Bikes And The City

Photo by Douglas Kadlecek

Photo by Douglas Kadlecek

I first met Douglas when we worked together on the Future of the Plaza Coalition, a North Panhandle group that negotiated for extensive changes in the development of Falletti Plaza at Fulton Street and Masonic Avenue. We crossed paths again during the recent Sunday Streets through Golden Gate Park and on the Great Highway.

When did you start biking with your daughter?
I have two children; one is almost 3 years old, and the other 5 months. I’ve biked with our daughter since she’s been a one-year-old.

Where do you bike when you're out with your daughter?
We bike together once or twice a week, and it will probably increase now that school has started. We also bike for fun as well as to get places, such as to swim lessons. I don’t own a car currently so biking is my primary form of transportation.

What do you like most when you're biking with her?
The best thing about biking with my daughter is getting to spend quality time together with no distractions. We are able to talk about what we see along our ride and enjoy the breeze in our faces.

What do you say to relatives or friends who think San Francisco streets are not safe for kids to bike?
Well, I agree with them. I definitely try to stay off the streets when traveling with my daughter. We focus on rides in Golden Gate Park and either ride on non-busy streets or the sidewalk (on Masonic, for example).

What makes a route or street OK for taking your daughter on it?
If there is a bike lane, minimal traffic, or a dedicated bike route (like in Golden Gate Park).

Is it harder getting kids ready for trips if you’re traveling by bike?
I don’t think it is any harder, and it may even be easier. I just plop her in the bike seat, strap her in and put on her helmet and we’re good to go.

Do you also bike on your own?
I bike every day to work and to get to appointments. I’ll take the ‘long way home’ a few times a week to get in some extra exercise.

What would you tell other dads who are considering biking on their own or with their kids?
Do it! It’s a great way to spend time with your kids and get some exercise to boot.


BIKE NOPA and Bikes And The City: every Tuesday, more Dads on Wheels.

For previous posts in the Dads on Wheels series, check here.

Dads and kids: This Sunday so much to do in NOPA and the Western Addition. Bike in the streets, try out the skating rink on Golden Gate Avenue, decorate your bikes, dance to live music, try to hold on in the quake shack on Grove Street, try the kids bike rodeo on Grove. And even more: read about more Sunday Streets programs here at BIKE NOPA and in Wednesday's special pullout in the San Francisco Examiner. Sunday, September 19, 10 am to 3pm, 11 blocks of NOPA open to walking, biking, visiting, dancing, yoga, games.

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