How I See San Francisco: San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Brian Wiedenmeier
Brian Wiedenmeier is Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, one of the nation's largest and most effective bike advocacy organizations. He fights to make safer streets and more livable communities for all San Franciscans. This is how he sees San Francisco.
Describe your perfect day in San Francisco.
My perfect San Francisco day begins with a bike ride to Arizmendi Bakery on Valencia Street in the Mission for a delicious pastry and locally roasted Equator coffee. Then it's a leisurely pedal through the Wiggle (probably San Francisco's most famous bike route) to Golden Gate Park and the SF Botanical Garden for a stroll through the amazing gardens and a picnic on the Great Meadow. Some afternoon R&R is in order, so next, I'm biking to Japantown to take in the Japanese baths and get a massage at Kabuki Springs and Spa. I'd end the day by biking back to my SoMa neighborhood and grabbing a beer at the Lone Star Saloon.
What should every visitor to San Francisco do at least once?
Ride a bike! It really is the easiest, most affordable way to get around, whether you want to bike along the waterfront to the Golden Gate Bridge or through any of the city's amazing neighborhoods. There are plenty of bike rental companies to get you fitted with the right bike, and an expanded bike share system will soon make shorter trips a breeze.
What’s your favorite place to take a photo or read a book?
My favorite place to read a book is the San Francisco Public Library. Each library branch is unique, but the one in Potrero Hill has spectacular views.
Where do you indulge your artistic side in San Francisco?
I'm a dance fan, and San Francisco is blessed with many amazing companies like ODC/Dance, Lines Ballet and the San Francisco Ballet. ODC School in the Mission is a great place to take a dance class. They offer 200 classes a week in dozens of styles for all skill levels.
What’s your favorite event that happens in San Francisco?
I've been taking part in the SF Pride Parade and Celebration since I moved here 11 years ago. The city pulses with amazing energy that weekend, and the weather is usually amazing. My friend Juanita MORE!, a local drag legend, throws the best party of the year on Pride Sunday. Members of the SF Bicycle Coalition help kick off the parade that morning by riding our bikes down Market Street.
Where and what would you choose for your last meal in San Francisco?
A gut-busting sandwich with Romanian pastrami from Deli Board.
Which restaurant is still on your list to dine at in San Francisco?
I have been meaning to try Liholiho Yacht Club since it opened.
Who do you follow to keep up with San Francisco news?
SF Examiner for local politics, Streetsblog for stories that impact transportation, Hoodline for neighborhood news, and SFist for the scoop on stories before they go viral.
Any last final advice for travelers in San Francisco?
From route maps to tips on locking up, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has all the resources you'll need to get rolling by bike when you visit.