DOING MORE WITH LESS, AND LIVING BETTER FOR IT
The idea of “enjoying” the morning commute to drop off the kids in SoMa and head to work in North Beach used to be pure fantasy for Ivan. “The commute by bus from our apartment to the kids school would take 30 minutes on a good day. Sometimes it [came] late, or [it was] really crowded.” But the bus was a necessary evil: a car was simply too expensive and impractical in San Francisco.
Everything changed in 2014 when Ivan purchased an electric family bike from The New Wheel. This longtail cargo bike was designed with Ivan’s sort of kid-transit in mind. A slick alongated bicycle, a little pedal assistance, and a rear bench with a protective hoop to keep the kids safe and contained turned the Nungaray family morning slog into a magic carpet ride through the city. “I ride the bike instead and we are at the kids school in less than 10 minutes. It means that we leave when we’re ready, and we have more time to relax together.” Ivan’s family’s entire morning routine was transformed as a result; it even saves enough time that Ivan can head back home before leaving for work.
Since Ivan’s work hours are long into the night, his time with his children in the mornings riding to school and on weekends in San Francisco and Marin are especially important. “With this bike, I can take my kids to the top of the hill with no problem. The ride becomes something special, you appreciate the fresh air. It makes going distances possible. We enjoy seeing things together, we go places you wouldn’t go by car.”
The first ride they took together was a trip from the city to Muir Woods - an impressive 18 mile jaunt. “It’s a long ride, but we had fun along the way. We had Ice Cream on the water. A week or so later, I suggested we get ice cream somewhere in SF, and they wanted the ride up to Sausalito!”
The Edgerunner is by far the most expensive bike Ivan has ever bought himself, but it is not like any other bike he’d had before: it is a true car replacement. “You know how much money you save not having a car? Gas, Parking, Tickets, Insurance, maintenance, it’s all money you have to spend. On a bike, you still have maintenance, but the cost is nowhere near. If you get a flat, it’s less than $20 to fix.”
Ivan’s family is a wonderful example of doing more with less, and living better for it.