The sun is back, people.
A herd/troupe/gaggle – whatever you call a big mass of bikers on a mission – made it over the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco last night, to give a talk at the Mission District Sports Basement about what they’re out to do. It’s a good thing: on bicycle, traveling from Vancouver to Tijuana down the entire Pacific Coast of the United States to raise money for microfinancing through Kiva. The basement of Sports Basement was speckled with stars of the microfinancing movement, including the folks who created Kiva, one of the founders of Global Agents for Change, and the Mission District’s own Jess Arnett! The bikers are staying in the Mission for a few days – keep an eye out for people with unreasonably huge thigh muscles – and will be participating in Critical Mass this Friday. They head south on Saturday (San Francisco bikers are welcome to join them for a day or two, if you feel like a challenge).
Since you’re on the internet already, take a look at what GAFC and Kiva are doing. The concepts behind these groups are pretty fabulous, and the microfinancing movement is becoming big news. This is the sort of trend that makes the internet a source of democratic power, and is a potential venue for action that can have help equalize the messed-up global distribution of wealth. Don’t mind the global distribution of wealth? Feel free to point someone towards kiva.org next time they start complaining about it. We live in San Francisco. It’ll happen.
Today at jwz, a long list of advice for folks new to bicycling in San Francisco. A sampling:
10. Bike maintenance: don’t do it, ever. It’s not worth your time. Just take it to the shop. Getting them to replace a flat for you costs $20 and takes 10 minutes, including the tube, and you don’t get dirty.
11. Safety: I follow the Zodiac approach: always assume the cars can see you perfectly, and are trying to kill you. If an intersection seems iffy, use the sidewalk and crosswalks. If big streets like Market and Van Ness freak you out, there are always less traficky ways to go, or just stay on the sidewalks.
12. Grocery shopping: yes, you really can do it with a single backpack. The trick is, shop small once a week instead of big once a month.
Great stuff in the comments too. Link.
Link to more cycling-related posts on Mission Mission.
Bay Area streets are dangerous for cyclists. According to findings in this morning’s San Francisco Chronicle, Market Street is the deadliest, particularly at its intersection with Octavia. A lot of major arterials out in the burbs fill in a lot of the rest of the list, but Valencia Street made it too, just barely: #25. Be careful out there.