Quick tips for commuting to work. 1.) Choose a route that has less traffic. There are designated bike routes in San Francisco that are marked with signs and paint markings on the ground that specify more bike-friendly routes. These routes are usually scenic routes with less traffic and hills to climb. Remember that your usual car routes that you use to get around town are not always very safe for bicycles. In other words… your usual car routes may lack bike lanes with inadequate space in the shoulder for bicycles to fit in with rush hour traffic. If you are not a very skilled rider..you must plan a safe route that is more residential and flat for you to get to work on time. Some hills in San Francisco can be so steep that you may have to walk your bike up the hill even if your bike is equipped with very low gears.
2.) Make sure you lock your bike properly to a pole that is tall enough so people can’t lift your bike up and walk away with it. For an example…locking your bike to a meter pole with a cable lock is not safe. Somebody can lift your bike over the parking meter pole and easily throw it into their van for a quick sale in exchange for crack. Some desperate thieves even go as far as taking your wheels and seat if they have quick release levers. Always lock the frame, rear wheel, and front wheel to a fixed pole or bike rack. This may require both a U-lock and a long cable lock that reaches both front and rear wheels. You can also release your seat tube and bring it with you to your office. When I worked at Valencia Cyclery we sold so many seats and seat posts as a result of seat thieves. It costs about $50 bucks to replace a seat and seat post. Bringing your bike into the office is your best bet (if possible.)
3.) Leave early so you can have time to get coffee and enjoy the bike ride. Check the weather before you leave because high winds and rain suck when you have to ride a bike. Cheers!