Rules of the road



Cycling is the best way to get around San Francisco, right? That’s why you’re here, after all. To keep it

safe for everyone, though, it’s important you learn the rules of the road first. I’ve met a couple of folks

lately who don’t really know what the rules are, so I thought I’d make a quick run-down of them – and

what they mean. It’s worth checking them out if you cycle in San Francisco regularly, just to check you’re

not falling into bad habits, and visitors should definitely make themselves aware of the local rules.

 Only children under the age of 13 can ride on the sidewalk. Sidewalks are for pedestrians –

we’re on wheels!

 You still have to obey all road signs, the same as any other vehicle. That includes riding in the

same direction as the flow of traffic.

 You don’t have right of way. It’d probably be a great way to incentivize more cycling, but for

now, pedestrians have right of way over cyclists. (And all other vehicles.)

 You still have to pass on the left.

 You don’t have to stay in the bike lane. If it’s safer or more convenient to ride in a different

lane, you should. Just make sure you signal first.

 You need reflectors and a white front light. This isn’t just if you’re planning to ride at night.

Make sure you have them anyway. Back lights aren’t necessary but they do help to make you


Hope that helps!



There’s apparently a guy trying to endanger the lives of cyclists by spreading tacks on Kings Mountain

Road. There’s an article about what’s going on here. I don’t think there’s enough awareness that this

sort of thing is going on, especially since I first heard about this kind of thing in 2012. There’s a

crowdfunded initiative to find out who’s doing it and stop them (assuming it’s just one guy with a grudge

and not some kind of planned community thing, I guess), but in the meantime, if you want to ride on

that route, take care – and take a puncture repair kit with you.


I know there’s a bit of rivalry about who has right of way on the roads and whether cyclists are getting in

the way of other motorists, but this is just crazy. It could actually endanger people. You get a sudden flat

in traffic and your bike can go way out of control. I’ve only had it happen once but it’s really scary, and

most people don’t know what to do in that situation when their bike is suddenly out of control.

If you find a spike trap like this, totally document it and exactly where it is, clean it up as best as you can,

and let other people know. I don’t know if the police will do anything about it, but it might be worth

notifying them as well.

City Loop



One of my favorite rides lately is the City Loop, which combines a little bit of everything that’s awesome

about SF. You can stop off at some of the local cafes and bars (not too many, or you’ll never make it to

the end of the ride) and you get some amazing views as well. It’s a cool 40km of riding, with an elevation

of 600m, but it’s all on the road and it really shows you the best of SF. There’s some amazing views on

clear days, and the climbs are well worth it. Part of the loop goes around Lake Merced, and you also get

to take in one of the Twin Peaks.

If you’re looking for something a bit briefer, I recommend the Muir Woods loop. It’s only 22km and it

only takes an hour to complete, but it takes you through some gorgeous scenery and you still get a

pretty good workout, with an elevation of 450m or so. Take a camera – you never know when you might

get a really great shot, and you know you’ll never find that exact spot again in the exact right light.

Locals refer to the Muir Woods loop as a “lunch ride”. I was a bit tired at work afterwards, but I went

pretty hard, so it’s probably okay if you pace yourself.

Favorite event


I always forget it’s going to happen until I see dozens of new cyclists on the roads with me, but my

favorite yearly event has got to be Bike To Work Day. I wish every day was Bike to Work Day, with the

energizer stations (free snacks!) and the sense of camaraderie that we get. If you can volunteer or

convince your work to run a team challenge or do some sponsorship, it feels great to get involved and

you meet some amazing people that way. All the best people cycle, right? And in 2015 there were

record numbers of participants.

I always cycle to work, except when it’s really hot and just unpleasant with the traffic. It just takes a bit

of extra time and some planning ahead, and you get a lot of benefits – it’s free, you can dodge most

traffic, it’s better for the environment, and you can get fit at the same time… especially if you have to

cycle uphill! (Who doesn’t, in SF?) Cycling in SF is improving all the time thanks to the San Francisco Bike

Coalition and their work with building grassroots campaigns to promote SF as a safe place to cycle.

SF is rated one of the best places in the US for people to go cycling, and there are some really amazing

routes, so on second thoughts, don’t wait for Bike to Work Day to join in!

1 More Photos in the SF Chronicle

Help Launch Post-Car Press & Post-Car Adventuring Guidebooks

My friends at Post-Car Press have just launched a campaign to spread the good word.

Post-Car Press is an independent, small press based in San-Francisco, CA.  They create and publish titles that focus on the use of active & socially-engaged modes of transportation (i.e. bikes, trains, ferries, buses) in everyday and extraordinary travels and adventures.

Their ‘Post-Car Adventuring’ guidebook series builds upon the success of ‘Post-Car Adventuring the San Francisco Bay Area’, which is sold out and needs to be printed in a larger, second edition.  To do this, and to expand the number and scope of titles in the guidebook series they are raising funds and giving away creative and quirky rewards.

Visit their campaign page make a small pledge.  Every bit helps.  If they don’t reach their goal, these great books will not be out there.