Some of my friends discouraged me from taking the bike. They thought the density of pedestrians would make it problematic. There was probably no way for any vehicle to negotiate that scene the first night. However, I thought the bike might negotiate the traffic snarls that would inevitably surround the parade area 2 days later. This event should be a bit more organized and so have a bit more space to get places. I decided to find out.
From the SF Ferry Building, it was a breeze pedaling along the embarcadero a few blocks, then in a few blocks to the base of the Transamerica Building where the parade was starting. I literally pedaled right up to the blockade, and parked my bike. Sweet! And totally impossible with any other vehicle. I was off to a great start.
I was a bit worried about locking my bike. I doubted anybody was gonna show up to the parade with bolt cutters but I did worry about crowds kicking or crushing my bike if things got super wild. Still dreaming of a day when there's ubiquitous bike parking, I bit the bullet and locked it to a parking meter without incident.
|Sergio Romo (as the Beard)|
Finally, the real stars showed up. Sergio Romo, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgardner, Buster Posey, and Aubrey Huff, were all on display. They each got their own end of a trolley-style bus in which to bask in the glow of being the first Giants to win the World Series in 56 years. Unfortunately, for baseball ignoramouses like myself, a lot of them were on each other's trolley. I didn't know who I was looking at. The worst was "Sergio Romo" who sported "the beard" and park himself inside Brian Wilson's bus. Fun stuff.
|Buster Posey||Matt Cain|
After the parade, I took a ride down the peninsula on CalTrain to see what that was like. Thanks to some considerable lobbying by cyclists, CalTrain has had dedicated bike cars for years. Nevertheless, try telling that to thousands of weary and/or inebriated Giants fans when they want to go home. The bike car was difficult to get a bike into, to say the least. That said, I have to hand it to the conductors that fearlessly guarded the space for cyclists. Thanks, guys!
He says he doesn't always bike to work but does so when it is a good fit for his itinerary on a given day. He's also done this in other cities he's lived and worked in as a reporter. Meeting Tim and hearing how cycling helps him do his very dynamic, time-sensitive, job embellished my positive bike commute experience to celebrate this historic event.
Given how well it worked for me and how well it seems to work for demanding bike commutes like Tim's, I wouldn't hesitate to ride my bike into such crowds again.