Name: Dylan MacDonald
Location: San Francisco, CA USA
Started bike commuting: At least 30 years. Growing up in Manhattan, I used to ride my bike to middle school.
Commute distance (one way): 6 miles
Describe your commute: I have the most beautiful urban commute imaginable. I enter the Presidio and ride up, past the Presidio golf course to the very top of the ridge. From there it’s a fast quarter mile downhill to Crissy Field, right next to the bay. The Golden Gate Bridge is to my left and the renovated buildings of this former army base are to my right.
I ride out of the Presidio, along the Marina Green and then into Fort Mason, another former military outpost, that is also next to the Bay. From there I am back on city streets, riding through the Fisherman’s Wharf area all the way down to the Embarcadero, the boulevard that runs along San Francisco’s eastern edge.
After about a half a mile I pass the beautifully renovated Ferry Building and, if it’s Tuesday, stop at the farmer’s market to get my daughter some grapes. From there it’s another 1/3 mile or so to her daycare, in an office building in downtown San Francisco. I reverse the route for the ride home.
Describe your bike and accessories: Six months ago I invested in a Bullitt cargo bike, made by Larry vs. Harry of Denmark. I knew I wanted to ride around with my daughter and I was really uncomfortable with idea of using a trailer in the city. It was the best $3000 I ever spent.
For her seat I cannibalized a bike trailer I had for its sling seat with a five point harness. I then worked with a local metal worker to fashion some struts that would attach the seat to the attachment points on the Bullitt. Final touch was a large plastic storage bin that happened to fit perfectly in the cargo area of the Bullitt.
My daughter wears a helmet, sunglasses (a cop who stopped me recommended I have some for her) and a windproof blanket for those foggy mornings. I always keep a grocery bag folded up in the Bullitt in case I need to pick up anything at Trader Joe’s on the way home.
I have a Planet Bike Blinky Super Flash for the rear and Planet Bike Blaze for the front. I just bought an additional 1 watt Super Flash to clip onto my backpack for even more visibility in the winter darkness.
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Ride hard (but safe). Riding hard means you get there quicker and you’ll get a workout at the same time.