Customer Spotlight: Joey and his Cortland
Joey, pictured above, can often be seen cutting through traffic in the SOMA neighborhood around our office. With a shaved head, healthy beard, and riding a Stingray Blue Cortland, he’s easy to spot. We chased him down recently to ask him a few questions.
Nice bike. Where are you headed?
To work. I work as an engineering manager at Clover Health. We’re a tech/data/operations startup Medicare Advantage company.
How’s the Cortland treating you on the commute?
My commute is entirely through SOMA/Market street so it’s very flat but it can be a hairy 1.5 miles. Sometimes you win the Market street traffic lottery, and sometimes you do not. Being able to quickly get out of trouble is very handy. I use the front rack if I need to get groceries otherwise I usually leave it off. I also have a bell and a phone holder.
How often are you riding? Are you doing other rides besides the commute?
I ride my Faraday almost every day. So 5 days commuting, and I try to get out on the weekends with my girlfriend. I’ve explored much, much more of San Francisco from my bike in the past 5 months than I had in the previous four years of living here! Not only are weekend rides to the park, or the Presidio fun and easy to do, I can much more easily agree to meeting people for things; and it really doesn’t matter where in the city it is. Hills are a breeze, obviously, but much more than that a bike is so much quicker to get around on.
That’s great to hear. Is this your first electric bike?
It is. And my first bike in San Francisco. I used to ride a mountain bike in southern Arizona regularly, but I didn’t bring it when I moved out here. I had been thinking about getting a bike since the day I moved, and electric bikes intrigued me, but I was hesitant because of the traffic in SF. Two things changed: first, I met a girl who loved riding a bike, and second a whole bunch of green bike lanes got installed in SOMA.
More bike lanes! Did anything surprise you once you started riding more?
Probably the biggest thing was how much I missed riding. It’s liberating to move so freely and quickly through the city, with the cool ocean breeze at your back. I now go to neighborhoods that had always been transit-inaccessible; we really love going to bakeries in the Outer Richmond and Outer Sunset. I used to get out to Golden Gate Park rarely, but now it’s a regular thing. Heck I’ve even spent some more time at Fisherman’s Warf because it’s so pleasant riding there, and there’s no worry about parking.
What’s that experience been like – riding in a busy city? How do we get more people to do it?
I was very nervous at first. Thankfully it’s pretty easy to navigate SOMA on more protected lanes. Take 7th St. for example – it has a nice clearly marked bike lane and it gets used! The city seems to care enough to be putting these things in place, slowly making everything just a lit bit more accessible and safe, which is great. An electric bike like the Faraday with a modest and enjoyable assist plus a rack/basket is perfect for groceries and errands, especially as more of the city becomes safely accessible.
Any final thoughts?
I love riding my bike. It provides a meditative respite from a mundane commute, and expands my options for connecting with friends. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
Well said. Thanks Joey! We’ll see you around the neighborhood.