By Whitney Wisnom
San Francisco has the highest bicycling transportation rate in the United States, and students at d.tech have also been swept up by the fun, healthy phenomenon. Chemistry teacher, Greg Fenner, lives all the way in the Presidio, at the northern tip of San Francisco. Every morning, he rides his bike across the city to the Caltrain station. For those that don’t know, that’s about seven miles. From there, he takes the train to Millbrae and has a pretty easy ride to d.tech. On a normal day, it takes him about 35-45 minutes to get to school, and about 40-50 minutes on the way back due to traffic. He has even made the whole two hour bike ride home to the Presidio. It is quite the trek.
However, Fenner only rides to school two days a week, because he shares a car with his wife (he gets the car for three days). Wondering why he rides so far? Well, it’s a simple answer: he enjoys it!
Fenner started riding to work when he lived in Colorado, and his boss was a huge supporter of healthy lifestyles. When he started working as a tech consultant, his boss told him, “I will either buy you a gym pass or or buy you a bike,” and he decided to go for the bike! After getting the bike, he biked to work everyday for a year, no matter the weather, and he even wore goggles and gloves so he could ride to work in the winter. Bike riding opened up an incredible opportunity for him to be outside, which he loves. He gets to see different things every morning, and when asked what his favorite part of riding was, he said, “seeing the sky.” When biking through the Presidio in the morning, there is a turn that he takes, and he can look out over downtown San Francisco and it looks like “the sky is on fire.” With the exception of the occasional zoning out to music or podcasts, Fenner prefers to watch and recognize things that are going on around him, when riding through the city. “There are extremes that you see everyday, and it exposes me to different things. It keeps me real,” he says.
Fenner is a free soul and says that he doesn’t favor specific weather to ride in, because he is able to experience different physical sensations. For example, he is totally fine with it being hot outside, and becoming overheated and sweaty. It creates a unique narrative for himself everyday, with every ride.
For those of you who are now feeling inspired and thinking this sounds like a fun idea, he has some wise words for you. One of the first tips he gave, was about approaching each bike ride with a new intention and purpose, every day. He also suggests that you make sure you like your bike, so you don’t have to change things to make you like it, because you will physically be attached to it for a while. He emphasizes the idea of personalizing your bike with things like stickers, colors, reflective tape, parts, bags, and accessories. Lastly, he says to remember to notice the things around you, even if your goal is only to get from point A to point B. You might find something new!
Featured Image By Greg Fenner