On June 2nd 2018 I was able to ride electric bikes with Adam Vollmer (founder) and Thomas Whitaker (head of marketing) of Faraday Bikes in San Francisco from Civic Center up to Bernal Heights for an excellent view o the city. We met with a member of the bicycle coalition and talked about the painted lanes, protected bicycle lanes, and the green wave (where stop lights are timed to make it easy for bicycles to keep moving).

We each rode a Faraday model including the Porteur, Porteur S, and new Porteur S Civic Edition which I have reviewed separately at this was just something fun we decided to do before I left town and I thought it would be neat to film and share for those who have never visited.

Points of interest: The ride began in SoMa (South of Market) at Faraday HQ. We saw a bunch of Lime electric kickscooters that some computer science kids from UT Austin were riding. We spotted a city building that is LEED certified as sustainable. There was some heavy traffic in sections of the ride, we were out around Noon. I passed several bikeshare racks and saw some of the Ford Go electric bikes. Adam hadn’t slept for like 18 hours but did very well. We passed the UBER headquarters building near Market Street. It was getting close to Pride Week so we saw a bunch of rainbow flags all over the City. In the distance, we saw Twin Peaks and Diamond Heights, the mountain with a big radio antenna on top was Mount Sutro. The first major stop was the SF Bike Coalition where we met with Chris Cassidy (communications director / spokesperson). He was wearing a Lumos helmet. The Coalition has 10,000+ members who are working towards physically protected bike lanes from Embarcadero and Valencia. The goal is to improve safety and enjoyability of cycling in San Francisco. We rode along Folsom Street “the green wave” on the way down and saw all of the trees from the top of Bernal Heights. Apparently there is an event on the first Friday of each month in SF called Bike Party in the evening. Our second stop was the New Wheel. Adam is 6’1″ and weighs about 175 lbs but we all made it 4+ miles to the top of Bernal Heights just using ~15% of the batteries on our Faraday ebikes (two of 14 bars). When heading to the New Wheel, we rode down Cortland Avenue which is a street that the Faraday Cortland step-thru model was named after! Adam explained that the white Faraday is colored after Carl the Fog with International Orange stripes for the Golden Gate Bridge.

44 COMMENTS

  1. San Francisco, the "No People" city. I say this because it has become way too expensive for the average person to live there anymore.

  2. I'm going to make a big assumption here. There's some very good ebike fun inbetween the California left coast and NY City 😉

  3. IF the Ford Go bikes have increased awareness of E-bikes, its ONLY because they suck so badly, that you might wish you had an E-bike. While they have apparently introduced some motorized bikes, the vast majority are non motorized, they take up tons of space in our neighborhoods, and are ugly as sin. Further more they have been the target of malicious attack, such as tire popping, because they are so hated… also to be fair much of SF is also angry with Lime, because the company concept is to allow people to park them wherever, often taking up space in front of shops not visited by those using the scooters, leading to angry business owners. Both of those companies have been slammed by the local news as well.

  4. Great video! SF is such an amazing city! If every city continues to add more buffers to the bike lanes, I'm sure it will feel safer and encourage a lot more people to bike. Also, I am glad that electric bike shares are becoming more popular nowadays. Even in my hometown of Sacramento, the dockless and electric Jump Bike share program seems very popular.

  5. I'm really jealous. I live in West Texas, and very few people ride bikes around here. There are almost no bike lanes and it can be somewhat dangerous because drivers aren't used to bicyclists. I built an e-bike from a kit and I'm the only one I know who has an e-bike. I wish biking and e-bikes were the norm here. Bike commuting is such an awesome choice for where I live.

  6. You are literally riding all over the same bike lanes that I ride everyday. I am glad that you got to experience the ever changing San Francisco city limits. Thanks again Court.

  7. That’s so weird, haha. I was just at New Wheel yesterday to try my first ebike. I actually started watching your channel and looking into ebikes because I also started delivering food by unpowered bike and had trouble with all the hills.

  8. Stop pushing the Gay Pride, you're trying a little too hard, just relax! I don't know maybe the two guys here riding with are gay so you're brown nosing them, but it's rather lame.

  9. Thanks, Court, that was quite a ride and tour through the City, fantastic. And I was glad to see that you and your friends maintained your momentum through pitch-perfect execution of California stops. And who needs legislation when you've got skills? And how times flies, fifty years ago I was an eight-year-old kid who lived in San Francisco and rode my Schwinn Sting-Ray up and down the streets of San Francisco with my friends, back when the only rule was to be home before it got dark.

  10. Very informative video, Court. You should go to the Netherlands to see what we should do in the U.S. to further help and encourage cycling at every level.

  11. What a great video, I'd totally dig seeing more places you visit this way. Lucky buddy had shoulder pads in his blazer,safety first.

  12. Making the classic design mistake putting cyclists in the car door zone. Many cyclists have been injured or even killed by the sudden opening of a car door into their path. Please be careful and ride at least a car door width away from parked vehicles.

  13. Can you do a review on the Vanmoof bike series? I reserved a spot for their new Electrified S2 but I'm not sure if I want to get it. It will be my first bike since being a kid but, I never thought about getting a bike until I came across this one. Do you recommend? Is it worth it? There aren't a lot of great in depth reviews of their bikes on here, especially in english….

  14. Fantastic video Court! Great filming! We cycled SF vicariously with you 🙂 Btw, how are you able to cut out the wind sounds from the microphone?

  15. I would definitely prefer to ride in SF than NYC at the moment. Very cool to see these videos. You should do the same in other big cities to really compare and see who’s doing it best.

    One thing I struggle to understand is this concept of fighting the local authorities for more infrastructure. It’s the same in my town. Surely it’s extremely obvious what the right thing to do is. I don’t get why they can’t understand that without being constantly pushed. It’s a kind of arrogance that these authorities seem to think they know best and refuse to pay attention to what is happening in Copenhagen or anywhere else that have been doing the right thing for decades.

  16. Great ride!
    1) Did u ride the entire trip – with 1 hand holding the camera?!
    2) No real time map data, using your Garmin this time?

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