Moving to and living in San Francisco has definitely been a huge lifestyle change. Our desire to make that change was a driving force to move and we are in love with everything it has brought. How we live, eat, sleep, organize, work, play and get around has slowly changed. Take yesterday for instance. KC had her first T-Ball game in Golden Gate Park. The “burbs” in Us would be to load in the car, drive the 15 minutes and 3.6 miles, and then take another 15-20 minutes to find parking. However, we opted to hop on our bikes, navigate the 4.3 miles of dedicated SF bike lanes, and arrive 25 minutes later without the headache of parking. Since it was a beautiful Saturday in the City, after the game we decided to continue on the bikes another 3.8 miles to Chrissy Field via the Presidio and then take the long way home another 6.7 miles enjoying the Marina, Embarcadero, and downtown. Honestly, if we had driven to the game we would have gone straight home after as the time and money spent on parking alone would have been too much of a pain. Instead, we spent the afternoon outside together exploring our beautiful city and exercising as we rode close to 15 miles!
Bikes are pretty much everywhere in the city. It’s obvious some ride bikes instead of owning cars and even more minimize the amount they use their car by biking to any place they need to go to within SF. Even in the time we’ve lived here we have evolved from having two cars at home to now, primarily, having one car and using public transit or simply walking to where we need to go. We have talked about using bikes for recreation and exercise, but with two small children at home and all the gear that goes with them the idea kept being set aside. And then there’s the HILLS! They make San Francisco one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, but they can be a bit intimidating to drive up and down and challenging to walk. So, needless to say, we couldn’t consider biking and NOT consider the hills!
We are NOT bikers in the fancy and orthodox sense. We know how to ride bikes, enjoy riding bikes, and up to recently have had a couple older mountain/hybrid bikes with…no air in the tires. We own no bike related spandex or sponsored bike attire. But we’ve had a strong desire to get more active and find something we could do with the kids rather than drop them off at daycare while we go work out at a gym.
Not long after we moved to San Francisco we began noticing these BIG bikes. Most of them longer with enough room to carry one to three kids and bags full of groceries, boxes, equipment and more. They were head turning as we were intrigued by the size and the fact that they appeared to be navigated by “regular” people in everyday clothes primarily transporting family members and supplies. We would see them early in the morning on the way to schools and commuting to work, in the evening stacked with shopping finds, and on the weekends with kids and equipment off to parks and games.
A simple search led to cargo bikes and a newfound fascination. It also led us to the fact that many cargo bikes are sold as or converted to electric bikes. Basically, this means they have a motor that provides pedal assist at different levels or, in some cases, full throttle control. Not all cargo bikes are electric and we are always impressed with the riders that pedal those! But it provided a great option for us for a number of reasons.
Why Electric Cargo Bikes!
- With two littles at home and older kids in and out we often have to transport multiples.
- When you transport kids you transport stuff. Tons of stuff.
- When you transport kids and stuff the ride can get heavy. Electric assist is a HUGE help!
- Because you have extra room you bike to places you would have opted out without a regular bike.
- San Francisco HILLS! Electric assist doesn’t do the work for you, but helps you pedal stronger.
- It removes all hesitation to riding the bike.
- Even if your not feeling well or have chronic challenges you have extra help to motivate and keep you safe.
- Experience your neighborhood, city, and world differently. Amplifies what you see, feel, and smell. In the car you just smell the air freshener or the baby’s diaper.
- Demonstrates to the kids a lifestyle of active moving without polluting.
- It is SO much fun. Seriously…life changing fun.
We will go into these reasons and the research, test rides and journey that let us to Rad Power Bikes as we begin our new Bike with Us series. We are crazy excited about our plans with these incredible bikes, the benefits they are already bringing to our family and the innovative, fun and inclusive company that makes them! But briefly, we looked at many cargo bikes and the Rad Wagon by Rad Power Bikes is just as good as ones that are two to three times the cost. Both their price and quality is driven by being consumer direct so they maintain all control of their product design and quality, technical and customer support, and even shipping directly to your front door. So, rather than throwing it all up at once (that’s a life as eric phrase) we’ll give you small burps of valuable information (no doubt, now, who is writing this post) about cargo and electric bikes and how we are using them and where they are taking us. Our hope is that it will also connect us with others that we can learn from as well as we’ve experienced already in other aspects of our life shared on this site.
The amazing people at Rad Power Bikes are offering Life As Us followers even a better deal when you’re ready to power up and ride! At check out use promo code RADLIFEASUS16 and get $100.00 off a Rad Wagon or Rad Rover. Feel free to comment, message, or email us for details or with questions. Let us know if you’re in the San Francisco area and we’ll arrange for a test ride!
(Below photo credit to Enrico Vedeluce Photography)
Do the kids love the bikes? Umm…yeah! Even little RD is either screaming with delight as we go down the hills or…he just falls asleep!
We want to hear from other people and families about if and how bikes are a part of your lives. We always feel like we learn more than we give with this thing called Life As Us!