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Bike near, bike far, wherever you are

August 31, 2017

tl;dr Bikeshare stations are great, and they can bring people to eat, drink and be merry in La Lengua, but we need to let them know that biking here is not that hard, especially when you know you have a place to park your bike. Maps and GIFs to follow.

Also, email and to express your support for the bikeshare station on 29th & Tiffany, and tell business owners too, especially if you rode there.

Before I rode my bike to work, I used to think people who biked, even from La Lengua to Civic Center, were CRAZYTOWN. Now, well, I think they are less crazy. I can bike downtown faster than via transit, and often driving.

It’s pretty hard to get sense of how long it takes to ride places. How long does it take to bike a mile? Two miles? A half mile? I ride every day, and I still don’t have a great feel for distance. Anyway, there is one way to solve this. MAPS. (Shocking I know).

There are these cool things called isochrones, which show travel distances of equal time as lines (thank the ancient Greeks, iso = equal, chronos = time).  I happen to work for a mapping company that has an isochrone service, and now I know how to make these things.

Here’s a map showing 5, 10, 15 and 20 minute bike isochrones from La Lengua.


These isochrones take into account hills, prefers bike lanes, and use a relatively moderate biking speed. Might be a little slower or faster for some folks, but this gives a pretty reasonable indication of how far you can get on a bike across town. You can get surprisingly far in just 5 or 10 minutes (the two darkest blue rings).

Here it is with more labels:


Speaking of bike lanes, it’s always nice to see where it’s safe/less dangerous to bike. It just so happens I have the technology to put bike lanes into this map.


Green indicates protected bike lanes, while orange are OK bike lanes based on a bunch of different parameters (bike infrastructure, road type, etc). Here’s the key:


While I love to walk, it can be a haul. Here are 5/10/15/20 minute walking isochrones for La Lengua. (No wonder I never go to Noe Valley OMG 20 MINUTES SO FAR. This is probably why you rarely see the Valley People in La Lengua, you might as well need a visa.)


OK this may shock you, but I made a GIF of walking vs biking isochrones (the same shades of blue indicate the 5, 10, 15, 20 min travel time on either map):


Click to zoom!

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that they’re expanding bike share stations throughout the Mission and La Lengua (sorry Bernal). While you think that this would be celebrated, there are… opinions. These involve parking spots (shocking) and gentrification (shocking). But just look at how many bikeshare stations (pink circles) you can get to in five or ten or 15 minutes!


And guess what — are you ready for this — did you know you can bike TO La Lengua! (Oh man, biking from 24th St. BART to the 29th St bikeshare station, that will be sweet.)

While it may take some effort to realize that biking is a possibility, don’t stress about the bikeshare stations! They let you get places fast, and they let people get HERE easily. Here’s a quick map of just some of the restaurants, bars and businesses that are within 200 yards from the bikeshare station on 29th and Tiffany:


We have a pretty sweet little commercial corridor along 29th and on Mission in La Lengua, and you can look at these isochrones the other way around — folks who might never walk over can bike here in 5 or 10 minutes and enjoy our superior food and drinking and shopping establishments such as Rock Bar, The Front Porch, Good Frickin Chicken, PizzaHacker, Fumi Curry, Ichi Sushi, Coco Ramen, Old Bus Tavern, Mitchell’s, Iron & Gold, Los Panchos, Royal Cuckoo, Secession, and many, many more. And won’t have to worry about parking.

You can drill into a dynamic slippy map here (work in progress!) Drop me a line if you want me to show you how to make isochrones from your neighborhood or business district.

The aqua-colored circles are business that are closed or gone — Cole, 3300, El Gran Taco Loco… :( This is from an open data gazetteer called Who’s On First, and can be used by anyone — if you’re interested in helping us update it, ping me on the Twitter.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. August 31, 2017 12:09 pm

    This is wonderful.

  2. Matt Hill permalink
    August 31, 2017 1:28 pm

    Hear, hear!

    Now if we can get some stations around 24th Street, folks can come visit the Latino Cultural District by bikeshare, as well.

  3. Gillian permalink
    August 31, 2017 9:57 pm

    This is a love song for our neighborhood. Thank you.

  4. Chauncey Graves permalink
    September 1, 2017 12:30 am

    don’t forget local business: just in case you upgrade to Owning Your Own Bike!?!

    • September 1, 2017 10:00 am

      I love them!

      Also, owning a bike and doing bikeshare are not mutually exclusive! I really don’t like leaving my bike locked up on the street when I go out, so I’m totally bikesharing then.

  5. Brandon permalink
    September 1, 2017 9:55 am


  6. Jeff permalink
    September 1, 2017 11:37 pm

    Great work!

  7. Amy permalink
    September 6, 2017 4:21 pm

    Love this article. I had same Crazytown attitude towards avid bike commuters (and my partner is one of them), but am now using these bikes to get back and forth to BART daily. I even went ALL THE WAY to 24th st in Noe Valley the other day! I hope all these bike stations are here to stay.


  1. Rebel Cartographer Burrito Justice Analyzes New 29th Street Bike Share Station | Bernalwood

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