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Steve Bodner
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architectural design professional in san francisco, ca.
architectural design professional in san francisco, ca.

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Friday Night Slalom Series- It's all in the start
Friday night- June 1st.  Wind's up We blaze into the 2nd night of our summer slalom series with 14 boards on the line. I'm well lit on the ml slalom 70cm board, 7.6 avanti machine and 42cm Z fin as the building ebb & sea breeze pump through the golden gate ...
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Friday Night racing- blowing the dogs off their chains
To say it was windy would be an understatement.  It blew the dogs off their chains on Friday evening for the 1st St. Francis Yacht Club Friday Slalom Series Race.  12 sailors braved the conditions rigging up anywhere between a 5.8 and 8.6 for the building e...
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Follow the lines going south
It had been 2 years since I made my last trip south to Baja for a winter get away. I was due. The brownie points were earned and credit was being cashed in. I pushed back my work deadlines, arranged for preschool pick ups and drop offs. Life's responsibilit...
Follow the lines going south
Follow the lines going south
stevebodner.blogspot.com
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I love statistics- keeping track of things and analyzing the data to see what I can learn. In 2017, I started riding an e-bike and tracked all my rides using google timeline & my bike odemeter. I can see how many how many rides I had, where I went and for how long peddled. I did the same for my car use- tracking how much I drove. All this data may seem like mundane information but when properly presented, it gives a better idea of how I get around the city. After all, a self examined life is a life worth living.

The goal was to use my car less and ride my bike more. After a full year in the saddle, I found I was able to reduce by car usage by almost 40% compared to the previous year. The e-bike not only increased by bike usage by 8 fold but I felt healthier, saw more of the city and spent more time with my daughter.

First- some background…

I’ve never considered myself an avid cyclist but rather someone who uses the bike because it’s the most efficient tool for the job. After having lived in the Netherlands, I saw you didn’t need a special bike, clothes or even a helmet to get around the city efficiently. I took what I could when we moved back to San Francisco and began riding on a regular basis. When my daughter was born in 2013, I began riding with her on the front of my bike to neighborhood playgrounds and preschool. By the time she was 3, getting up hills became a challenge. I started to look at e-bikes as the next option.

At a few thousand dollars, e-bikes aren’t cheap but compared to driving in the city, the choice becomes obvious. With a e-bike, you can get most places within a 10 miles radius faster and cheaper, have the ability to stop without worrying or paying for parking & enjoy the ride- something often taken for granted when driving a car. Furthermore- every mile on a bike is a mile not in the car. That’s a lot of CO2 & traffic reduction + less reliance on an out dated fossil fuel car dependent culture.

I chose a long tail cargo bike with mid drive motor as my next means of transportation. I wasn’t about to give up my car but wanted to see how I could fit an e-bike into my life.

The first month of use with the electric assist was pretty amazing. I rode 27 days and 255 miles averaging about 10 miles a typical trip. We became the envy of the preschool drop off. We zipped off to playgrounds on the other side of the city & got in and out of swim lessons without any parking problems. I even managed 9 times across the golden gate bridge with the bike on my commute. At 50 cents a mile (for car use) and $7 bridge tolls, I saved myself almost $200 for the 1st month alone.

Spring came and I continued to use the bike even more, averaging 2 commutes a week, mid week grocery runs and discovering parts of the city I hadn’t even realized existed. In the process, I slowed down and really started to enjoy getting around the city on a bike. An e-bike, even with a kid on the back makes getting up and over hills almost laughable. We conquered San Francisco’s 7 steepest hills and discovered many more along the way. We mapped all of San Francisco’s parks and playgrounds and averaged 1–2 visits each week to a new play area.

Once school was out, we ventured further on our morning activities. The 20Ah battery & 750w motor allowed us trips up to 30 miles when riding with the electric assist at 2–3 out of 5. You can choose how much you peddle with the assist but I wont lie, accelerating out of a dead stop and zooming up hills makes the whole biking experience more enjoyable.

In August and September, I biked almost every day but I still used my car but for out of town trips and to the beach for windsurfing and kite boarding. I added a few accessories that made a big difference to how I used the bike. The first was the XL rear pannier bag. With this, I was now able to make a full weeks’ grocery run hauling 4 bags of food in the rear bags and front basket + a stop at Laurel Hill playground on the way home for good measure. When my daughter turned 4, we ditched the rear Yepp child seat in favor of the monkey bars. It’s basically a railing around the rear of the bike that allows a child to use the entire area of the long tail bike. This is when she really started to have fun as she was able to mount and dismount on her own, ridSeptember was the first month I biked more than I drove with 392 miles on the bike and 308 in the car. I knew I was onto something when my car sat in the garage for 10 days without being moved. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti car, it’s just more often than none, the bike is a better tool for the job. The e-bike makes it even more efficient, fun and convenient.

October and November is when I really stepped up my biking logging 446 and 464 miles each month. I logged 25 trips across the Golden Gate bridge commuting on the bike 3–4 days a week, sometimes even 5. I was now using the e-bike for almost every movement around the city and my commute to Sausalito. We stopped and visited more local businesses because we didn’t have to worry about parking. We discovered parks and playgrounds in our neighborhood and on the other side of the city. Going out for an errand wasn’t a chore anymore but another opportunity to ride the bike.e side saddle and even backwards- waving at other bikes along the route.

At this rate (3200 miles @ 50 cents a mile) & 99 trips across the golden gate bridge (@ $7 each trip) I saved nearly $2000 on what otherwise would have been spent on car related expenses. I got to spend more time outside exercising, more time with my daughter & lowered my carbon footprint- all without having to give up much at all.

I didn’t need to give up my car completely, but in the process of using it less, I’m giving a better opportunity to my daughter and future generations. I’m hoping this chronicle serves as an inspiration to other families who may be considering an e-bike as an alternative to a car as a way of getting around the city more efficiently and having a bit of fun along the way.

My set up:

Yuba Mundo V-5

E-Rad 750w mid drive motor (with 42T Lekki Bling ring)

48v, 20Ah battery

Yuba Bread basket

Yuba Towing tray combo

Yuba monkey bars

Yuba rear wheel lock

Yuba Go Getter rear pannier bag

Forgetaboutit NYC U lock

2m Kryptonite NYC 12mm chain lock

PhotoPhotoPhotoPhotoPhoto
12/28/17
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2017 BY THE NUMBERS
I love statistics- keeping track of things and analyzing the data to see what I can learn. For many years, I've used twitter to keep track of my sessions on the water, then at the end of the year I can look back and graph everything to see the trends for th...
2017 BY THE NUMBERS
2017 BY THE NUMBERS
stevebodner.blogspot.com
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2017 Ronstan Bridge to Bridge Race
Thursday Aug 31 saw the annual Ronstan bridge to bridge race hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club with 39 foiling boards, kites, cats & moths. Its an all out drag race from the mouth of the San Francisco Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge downwind to Yerba Bu...
2017 Ronstan Bridge to Bridge Race
2017 Ronstan Bridge to Bridge Race
stevebodner.blogspot.com
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Day 2-3 hydrofoil pro tour- all good things in all good time
Its hard to imagine having a no wind day on the SF Bay August, but we got skunked. Day 2 of the Hydrofoil pro tour was a wash out of rain showers, a healthy marine layer but no wind and no races on the score sheet.  Racers woke up for day 3 with a bit more ...
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2017 hydrofoil pro tour day 1 report
 It started off with good intentions as all sailing ambitions do but by the end of the 1st day of the 2017 Hydrofoil Pro Tour kite regatta I was already deflated but definitely not defeated. I achieved at least one goal by getting some numbers on the score ...
2017 hydrofoil pro tour day 1 report
2017 hydrofoil pro tour day 1 report
stevebodner.blogspot.com
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San Francisco Slalom Season opener in 2 acts
Act 1 When it rains, it pours and when it blows, it blows the dogs off their chains in San Francisco. Things started off
pretty heady for the first St. Francis Yacht Club Friday night slalom race of
the season on May 12th as the puffs hit 30 knots & 4-6' br...
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San Francisco Slalom Season Opener
When it rains it pours and when it blows, it blows the dogs off their chains in San Francisco.  Things started off pretty heady for the first St. Francis Yacht Club Friday night slalom race of the season on May 12th as the puffs hit 30 knots & 4-6' breaking...
San Francisco Slalom Season Opener
San Francisco Slalom Season Opener
stevebodner.blogspot.com
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