Andrew is a bicycle enthusiast. Over the course of his life, he has used bikes as a way of connecting with people and meeting the world. As a courier, he wove himself into the fabric of New York City, wheeling in and out of traffic and office buildings, muggy East Coast afternoons, and crisp Autumn mornings. As a YMCA counselor, Andrew spearheaded a program that fostered youth bicycle literacy. Now, as a police officer in San Francisco, Andrew spends his days helping to manage people’s most difficult moments. To punctuate this demanding job, Andrew and his partner Blossom explore San Francisco on their ebikes.
After moving to San Francisco from Berkeley, Andrew realized that, despite all of its charms, San Francisco is a difficult city to contend with on a bicycle. Previously, he had commuted to the police station by bike and Bart. It was a relatively easy commute because he was able to stick to the lowlands. With a new home came new hills: “I was only 3 miles away from the police station, but I’d often opt to drive in because the hill was just too much to handle. If you had a late night shift, or a long day on your feet, the last thing you wanted was to pedal up the top of this impossibly steep hill …[Riding your bike,] you become very familiar with the roads you want to take, and the roads you don’t.”
Like many contemporary bike lovers, Andrew was generally attracted to paired down bikes. “I was all about lightweight, streamlined [bikes]. If anything, I was hedging towards a fixed gear or single speed.” His affinity for a simple machine did not couple well with his new life. This conundrum is what brought him to The New Wheel.
Over the course of a few days, Andrew became more and more interested in the Ebike system: “I test rode everything The New Wheel had to offer. I was obsessed, but I wanted to make sure that if I was going to put down $4,000 on a bicycle, it [would] do what I [wanted] it to do.” Andrew’s final decision came after riding up Twin Peaks. “ I’ve been riding a bike in San Francisco for 15 years, and only once had I even tried to get up that hill; but there I was cruising up it on a test ride. It was magical.”
Now, Andrew’s conception of a bicycle has grown into something that is even more integrated into his life. “My commute is now one of my favorite parts of the day. How many people can honestly say that? I cruise through neighborhoods, I look at the houses along the way, and enjoy the view at the top of the hill. It’s opened up so much more of the city, I go anywhere I choose. [Blossom and I have] started going on ‘bike dates’ where [we] ride around together, see what looks good, and have dinner.” Whether it’s enjoying his ride to work, running errands, beating traffic, or shopping for Thanksgiving dinner, Andrew uses his ebike engage more with the world.