CycleSF event canceled, but RecPark gets paid anyway

Maybe people didn't understand why they needed to pay for the "simple pleasure of a bike ride."
Nich Baressi

Bicycling around San Francisco has become increasingly popular with both residents and tourists, but apparently that doesn't mean people want to pay $40-75 for an organized ride around the city's perimeter, even when the money goes to the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and the cause of putting more bike racks into the parks.

Despite a citywide ad campaign (for which I was one of several cyclists voluntarily photographed with our bikes) and aggressive social media effort, Jumping Fences – the company that also produces the San Francisco Marathon, which is set for June 16 – has canceled the CycleSF event it had planned for April 28, citing lower than anticipated demand.

The company had pledged $100,000 to RPD in connection with the event, which was to involve 13- and 26-mile rides through the city ending with a big party in the park, and the company announced that it would still be giving the department $25,000 despite “postponing” the event.

“We are disappointed Cycle SF has chosen to postpone their event. We are looking forward to working with them in the future on a family-friendly bicycle event,” said Connie Chan, spokesperson for the Recreation and Parks Department.

Jumping Fencing Marketing Director Joanna Reuland contended that “awareness was strong” surrounding the event and she wasn't sure why it didn't take off. “It had become clear that we weren't going to make our promise so we thought it was probably best to just postpone the event,” Reuland told us.

Part of the problem might have been how cheap and easy it is to cycle around the city and the availability of free monthly group rides like Critical Mass and SF Bike Party. Apparently paying to bike around the city just doesn't have the same demand as the San Francisco Marathon, which costs $35 for the 5K or $145 for the full marathon.

Some in the bike community also grumbled that the event was benefiting a city department about which many have decidedly mixed opinions, particularly given its closeness with corporate donors, rather than a bike advocacy organization such as the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, whose 12,000-plus members organizers did little to directly target. What whatever it was, it is no more.


Same goes for skate-boarding.

The "nuance" which seems to elude some people is that when doing so, you are an interloper on space reserved for others. You do not belong: sidewalks are for pedestrian use.

Riding a bicycle on the sidewalk should be done with the same level of concern -- if not trepidation -- that a decent auto driver will keep at heart when encroaching on a bike lane or passing through a crosswalk.

Children may be present. Adults with disabilities may be present -- just to mention two examples. Situations may be fraught without it being immediately obvious to someone breezing along at two meters per second or so.

Remember when riding on the sidewalk that you have *no* right to be there.

When you encounter pedestrians on the sidewalk -- *their* sidewalk -- you should err on the side of slowing down and perhaps dismounting.

Even when pedestrians cannot be seen there is the need for caution. Bicycling or skating past doorways can present a similar and *completely* *unjustifiable* hazard to oneself and others.

Posted by lillipublicans on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 2:16 pm

I dismount and walk my bike on sidewalks. Has a lot to with several near-accidents with reckless bikers speeding along on a sidewalk. The Bike Coalition has never, as far I know, come out and said in plain talk to bikers - "stay off the sidewalks". Us bikers have plenty of (ever-expanding) lanes and space on the street pavement that we don't need to be on the sideWALK.

Posted by MPetrelis on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

Obviously cyclists are the lowest priority guests on the sidewalk and so long as they act that way, peds have nothing to worry about. Given how much cycling goes on on the sidewalk and how nonexistent the record is of injury or death to peds, you all really need to seek professional help for your obsession on irrelevant minutae.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 9:29 pm

stop being inconsiderate and lazy.

It's a few bad apples like you that gvies decent cyclists a bad rap.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2013 @ 5:59 am

It is never lazy to be safe. Riding on the sidewalk at times can be safer for everyone than riding on the dangerous streets. The risk of cyclists riding legally being hit by cars on the streets is orders of magnitude greater than the risks of cyclists hitting peds on the sidewalk.

The last thing we need is more puritan nanny state coddling where social conformity is measured by how deep one bows to authority.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 08, 2013 @ 8:44 am

Says the guy who supports rent control, stricter immigration controls, and strict land use planning!

As a pedestrian, I don't care how safe you do not feel on the road. I don't want you on my sidewalk and the law supports that.

If you don't feel safe, then dismount and walk your bike on the sidewalk.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2013 @ 9:55 am

But I do note how often he breaks out tired Ayn Randian memes.

marcos, "everybody" isn't safer with bicyclists on the sidewalk.

Pedestrians are endangered.

This would be infinitely more true if more than a small percentage of bicyclists were high-speed sidewalk riding louts, but in any case YOU HAVE NO LEGAL OR MORAL RIGHT TO ENDANGER THEM!

When conditions on the road are particularly dangerous and pedestrians are not present there, I ride on the sidewalk.

If I encounter pedestrians I generally either dismount until they have passed or I move onto the street.

Riding on the sidewalk is for those 13 years of age and younger in San Francisco, your libertarian/freeper impulses notwithstanding.

Posted by lillipublicans on Apr. 08, 2013 @ 10:44 am

Pedestrians are endangered when pedestrians are endangered. Pedestrians are not endangered when pedestrians are not endangered.

Bikes don't hit and kill pedestrians on the sidewalks, the data bear this out irrespective of the irrational fear campaign that you promote.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 08, 2013 @ 10:59 am

Nobody was claiming that pedestrians had been killed by bicyclists on sidewalks. Pure trollery and straw mannism for you to try that. The point is that riding on sidewalks is illegal and presents a danger to pedestrians and riders alike.

(I have, though, told the story before of a crazed bikey bastard zipping past me and a friend walking down a foot path in Golden Gate Park, picking up speed, jumping a "mogul," and litterally *flying* right past a woman ahead of us. The fucker was six inches away from her and six inches off the ground doing about 30. If I'd had a long gun with me I might have given the lady further reason to be concerned for her safety.)

This is not some "fear campaign that I'm promoting," but rather is the law of the land and official policy.

Posted by lillipublicans on Apr. 08, 2013 @ 11:12 am

Thousands of cyclists ride on San Francisco's sidewalks every day without incident, posing no danger whatsoever to pedestrians.

One could just as soon dismiss everything you say secretly supporting everything from the gulags to the conservative capitalists because your leftism coincides both with the brutality of Stalinism and the crass sell outs of labor and the nonprofits.

Given how much the nonexistent threat scares you, I redouble my commitment to ride on the sidewalks in the hopes that I'll give zip past you, giving you a coronary and putting you out of our misery.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 08, 2013 @ 11:30 am

by your standard, bankers should not have to obey the law any more than cyclists.

You sound very sad, angry and bitter.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2013 @ 11:52 am

Banksters ruin tens of millions of families' lives. Cyclists don't ruin any measurable number of pedestrians' lives.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 08, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

Even on a site like this which hardly anyone reads, there have been a few people who say it's inconsiderate and dangerous.

Thing is, you don't care what anyone else thinks, because you're a self-absorbed egomaniac.

And you don't even have anything to be egomaniacal about. In fact, it is your sense of inadequacy that drives you to troll in that way.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2013 @ 12:40 pm
Posted by lillipublicans on Apr. 08, 2013 @ 11:57 am

I love bikes!

Posted by DB on Apr. 08, 2013 @ 11:58 am

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