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Biking, walking gain in San Francisco

Posted Dec 02 2008 3:06am

Image of bicyclist Cheryl Brinkman
From the San Francisco Chronicle, 06.29.08:

Commuters ditching cars for bikes, foot power
In this era of increasing prices at the pump, bad air quality and general belt-tightening, more people in the Bay Area are opting to commute to work via heart-healthy biking or walking. But the financial and physical benefits aside, that kind of commuting has the potential to wreak havoc on one's professional image--even considering the casual-attire aesthetic that dominates many offices.

Graduate student Lisa Foster refuses to let the peddling keep her from wearing her pumps, as she wrote in an issue of the San Francisco Bike Coalition's Tube Times. "I really think bikes are made for people who wear heels," she said. "You don't have to walk in them. It's so much better."

New bike riders can benefit from the fashion-forward lessons learned by long-time cyclists, many of whom have perfected the little fashion tricks and tips that can ease the transition from congested city streets to cubicle.

Cheryl Brinkman...lives in the lower Haight and commutes 2 miles to her job as a product manager at McKesson Corp., in the Financial District. About her wardrobe, Brinkman said, "I've altered it for the better and only one thing that I don't wear now that I bike so much is long full skirts."

On the days she rides her bike, Brinkman tucks her skirt into a band of elastic that she wraps around one thigh, a homemade garter belt solution, as it were. And, she said, "I always have a small binder clip in my handbag, as well, to keep wrap skirts or dresses closed while pedaling."

She brings her purse but eschews wearing a helmet - not because she fears having dreaded "helmet hair" upon arriving at her destination, but because she believes it gives her an advantage on the road. "I feel safer in the city riding without," she said. "If I ride in Marin, I absolutely wear the helmet, but in the city, when you look more like an average person, I think drivers treat you that way. They give you a little room, treat you nicer." ( Read more.)
Great article from San Francisco, with helpful advice for those prospective bike commuters who are concerned about the "dressing-for-the-office" challenge. The article features my friend Cheryl Brinkman, part of the creative team at the Less Car, More Life blog.

As indicated before on this blog, I share Brinkman's attitude on helmets. The anxiety over "helmet hair" is way, way overblown. However, if hair insecurity scares people from bike commuting, then I say "fine, don't wear one." (Helmets mitigate the consequences of a crash; helmets don't prevent a crash.)

Image:San Francisco Chronicle. Bike commuter Cheryl Brinkman of San Francisco
Visit:Facing High Gas Prices And Time Crunch, Commuters Start Biking, Wall Street Journal
Visit:Ride the rails to the river, Less Car, More Life
Visit:No belt, no bra, no pants?, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit:Bike Commute Myth Busting, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit:Bike commuters save gas, get exercise, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit:Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site
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