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Friday, May 2, 2014

Here's Your Guide to All the Free Food on Bike to Work Day

Posted By on Fri, May 2, 2014 at 7:15 AM


About a year ago, I started writing this column with a disparaging piece about Bike to Work Day. But this year, I've had an attitude change.

Next week (May 8) is the annual Bike to Work Day, and it's not just about getting non cyclists on their bikes for the day -- by all means, even the most experienced cyclist should take advantage of the free snacks.

We decided to give you a short guide of all the snack stops along the way, so you can maximize your calorie intake on Bike to Work Day:

Basically no matter where you start, Bike to Work Day has an Energizer Station and a Complimentary Bike Doctor for you. Just check out the map here.


For the sake of this guide, let's start at Embarcadero, where there will be food and services during the morning and the evening commutes. The Embarcadero stop is on the south side of the Ferry Building between Embarcadero and Lagoon. Get your bike checked over by the kind Bike Doctors from Citizen Chain to make sure everything is working while you chow down on snacks and coffee.

From there, let's take a trip down the San Francisco Bay Trail. The Bay Trail will some day wrap around the bay like a big bikeable boa constrictor, but right now it's pretty spotty. You can take the Bay Trail south to the Bay View energizer station, at the corner of Cesar Chavez and Illinois, where you can grab a second breakfast.

From there take a right onto Cesar Chavez to head west. It will only take you a couple minutes to find the next energizer station at Harrison. Grab an orange and a tote bag to squirrel away all your winnings.

If you continue up Caesar Chavez to Valencia and take a right, there's more free food to be had. You'll have to go all the way up to 17th Street to find the "Energizer Station." This one also has a Complimentary Bike Doctor from Sports Basement, so if your bike has developed any ominous creeks in the last hour, this would be as good a time as any to get it checked out for the second time this morning. You might want to hide your tote bag behind your back if you want to score more swag and food.

If you're still peckish, or you're looking to stock up on energy for later, you can take the Wiggle over to the Panhandle, where there's another large snack stop. Fill up your tote bag and pedal on through Golden Gate Park to the station at Irving Street and Sixth Avenue in the Inner Sunset (or turn north to go to the station at Cabrillo and Arguello Boulevard in the Richmond).

From there, you can take Turk Street back east to Broderick, take a left on Broderick, and another left on St. Joseph, to find more energy bars, oranges, and coconut water at Kaiser Hospital at Geary and St. Joseph.

So, now you've taken complete advantage of Bike to Work Day -- now you have to actually get to work. Best you get going.

Other ways to get free food/drink:

Take advantage of a Bike to Work Day after party. Oddly, there is no SFBC after party - but there is one in downtown Oakland organized by Bike East Bay née East Bay Bike Coalition. The Bike to Work Day Happy Hour / After Party takes over two blocks at 9th and Washington in Old Town Oakland, where bike-oriented brands like Bicycle Banh Mi, El TacoBIke, and New Belgium Brewery will be selling their goods for the benefit of Bike East Bay.

You could always volunteer with Bike East Bay. They promise pizza if you agree to be subjected to some basic training.

So there you have it: a chance to satiate your stomach at no cost.

Leif Haven is a writer and cyclist living in the Bay Area. He can be spotted dragging himself up a hill -- literally and metaphorically.

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About The Author

Leif Haven

Leif Haven

Leif Haven is a writer and cyclist living in the Bay Area. He can be spotted dragging himself up a hill — literally and metaphorically.


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