826 Valencia's Student-Journalist Tips on Biking in San Francisco

The Valencia Bay-farer is 826 Valencia's only in-house newspaper written for students by students (ages 8 to 14). Our intrepid reporters learn lessons about the various aspects of journalism, from crafting ledes to interviewing to citing sources and at the end of each five-week workshop, we release a new issue full of articles about the kinds of things you'd love to read if you were a kid. We hope you enjoy these articles. To learn more about 826 Valencia, visit our website.

Stay Fit, Stay Happy, Stay Safe: Biking in the City
By Kaya Brown, Age 11

It's a bright sunny morning. The crisp, cool summer air smells of sunflower seeds and tastes of pumpkin pie. On a day like this, what's a more common question than, "Want to go for a bike ride?" But why is this a common question, especially for San Franciscans?

The answers lie all over the place. Some people do it for exercise, some just for transportation, and some just like to feel the breeze in their hair, rushing past trees until they're a blur, eyes watering from the wind, ahh! I see the longing look in your eyes, itching to get away on your bike. As for SF, the hills are a challenge, and there's a beautiful view of the trees, and the bay, and the... well, I won't tempt you.

But there are some drawbacks to this wonderful thing. For one, did I say, "wind in your hair?" Well, that's a hard thing to have because most of us are wearing helmets. My point is, most of us wear a helmet to prevent injuries. Austin, an 826 tutor, has had many bike-induced injuries, including breaking his collarbone, skinning his hand, and subdural hematoma.

However, people are trying to improve bike safety by emphasizing helmets, which are uncomfortable, and bike lanes that are three feet wide. On the other hand, bikers would rather have separated bike lanes.

Sorry, I might have scared you, but don't let the injuries get you down. Biking keeps you fit and happy. Now go, be free to bike.