It’s not every day that you see a man in an Armani suit walking a bike into One Market Plaza. Literally. This was a one-time deal. “Management set up valet parking for the bicyclists just for today,” said Chris Navarrette, concierge at One Market Plaza.
In other parts of the Financial District, companies were surprisingly skittish about being covered for Bike to Work Day. At 555 California Street, the concierge said there were definitely more people biking today but unfortunately she was not allowed to talk to the press. As a worker at 111 Pine Street wheeled his bike through the front doors, a Bike to Work Day shirt clearly visible under his brown suit, the concierge blocked the door, saying company policy is “Not to let reporters report anything.”
A lot of people brought their bikes to work today, said James Divino, concierge at 345 California Street. Divino’s job was to keep them from bringing their bikes all the way to work. “They have to park their bikes in our garage,” he said. Why can’t they take their bikes into their offices? “It doesn’t look professional.”
Divino himself rode in on BART, though the car was packed with bikes and bicyclists who either weren’t aware of or didn’t care about the rule prohibiting bikes on BART during the morning commute. (Cyclists are asked to take the Bay Bridge shuttle, though not many are aware of this, and quite a few complained about the lack of a bike lane on the Bay Bridge this morning.)
Bike and Roll, a bike rental service on the Embarcadero, said that business was average today. At $32 a day, a bike is still cheaper than downtown parking. (Those who drive to the Financial District spend about $40 a day). Alejandra Venegas, a tourist from Uruguay, said she didn’t even notice it was a holiday. “I see lots of cars today,” she said, in Spanish. “It kinda doesn’t work if everyone doesn’t do it.”
“I don’t bike to work because I don’t want to sweat,” said Melanie Ruiz, who works at 555 California Street, at Bank of America. “We don’t have showers at work,” added her friend Diana.
An employee at Equinox did have a shower at work — he rode his bike all the way from the outer Mission to work for the first time this morning, he said. It was stolen by lunchtime. All that was left was a bike lock and a tire. (Learn how to lock up a bike here.) He was, understandably, bummed. “I’m sure criminals enjoy Bike to Work Day,” he said.