So I have been riding my bike to work everyday since I got it (~3 months ago). When I purchased the bike I wasn’t sure that it would really work out but decided to go for it anyway. Now that I have been doing it for a while I can safely say that I do enjoy it alot. It lets you exercise, get to work, save money (that you would otherwise pay to the city of San Francisco), cut carbon emissions and be outside for some portion of the day.
Now one might ask why wouldn’t you want to bike to work (since there are so many advantages). Well as far as I can tell there are two reasons: people on fixed gear bikes and cars. If you don’t live in San Francisco you probably have no idea what fixed gear bikes are (the people who ride them are commonly referred to as fixidies). Basically think of a neanderthals (you know the beings that lost the battle of evolution) and then think of what they would look like if they were bikes. For those who don’t have an active imagination, fixed gear bikes have two wheels, a seat, no breaks, no lights and a single set of gears. So this is pretty much a recipe for disaster in an urban environment.
This means when you come to an intersection you have two options: jump off your bike or race through intersections (guess which action most people take). I would be fine with people being stupid (since they will lose sooner or later and pay for their stupidity) but unfortunately there is an unforeseen side effect of these antics. When motorists see a bicycle careening through an intersection (with cars going through it) they then view all cyclists as idiots who will ride through a red light because they don’t have brakes (making them not very friendly).
To make matters worse, having a single gear is neither ideal for starting from a stop nor is it ideal for going at high speeds on a flat road. This means that people who ride them take forever to start from a stop and then are slow when they reach top speed. This can be highly aggrevating considering that bike lines are only wide enough for a single bike since cars like to ride close (reinforced by the hatred of cyclists by drivers due to antics). Which brings me back to cars.
If you are in a car please don’t edge me off the road. My tiny bicycle will lose in a match of momentum with the steel frame of your car. Slow down and go around, please. I don’t want to be all of the road and you don’t me all over your car.
I just wanted to get that off my chest, despite some days feeling like a war on the streets (bikes pitted against cars pitted against pedestrians), I still love riding anyway.