It’s time to welcome a new member to the Proxy Project family.
Beginning on June 15, Streets of San Francisco Bike Tours (SoSF) will be open for business in the shipping container located to the left of the Biergarten [Octavia & Linden].
We got a chance to meet Tim McLaughlin, Co-founder of SoSF, and learned more about their award-winning program and what they’ve been trying to do differently when it comes to bike tours in San Francisco.
Tim McLaughlin and Daniel Watson-Weller began SoSF Bike Tours in February 2011. Mostly operating from Alamo Square, they wanted to create a business that provided an alternative to the bike tours you find at Fisherman’s Wharf and other typical tourist spots.
After recently being ranked the #1 Bike Tour in San Francisco (Trip Advisor), their vision seems to be enjoyed by others.
“We wanted to get folks out of the Wharf and into parts of the city where people actually live” said Tim about their impetus for starting SoSF.
Before coming up with this idea, Tim and Daniel worked for Backroads in Berkeley where they led six-day trips. They decided to bring a similar model to San Francisco but on a much smaller scale.
SoSF already does guided bike tours around the city that range from 3-6 hours (you pay online before arriving). You can go to their website and schedule one right now. Having a quasi-permanent spot at the Proxy Project will allow them to additionally rent bikes for the day to anyone who wants to explore the city on their own.
“We’re working on creating a fun map” Tim mentioned. “It’s going to have routes we think would be enjoyable to see with lots of random landmarks like City Hall, the alleyways of the Mission and different spots in Golden Gate Park.”
As for what you’ll be riding, no fanny packs will be part of your biking adventure. Using only street bikes such as Publics, Globes and Linuses, you and your out-of-town friends can head to the Legion of Honor without feeling like you have a tourist target on your backs.
When asked about his favorite part about this new adventure, Tim said “being in a pop-up shipping container all summer and being a part of this kind of development here in Hayes Valley. I like being part of what’s next and this is what’s next.”
Their lease lasts until August and it sounds like an art gallery might be taking over the space after that. They want to stay in the area if possible, but will see what happens at the end of the summer.
If you don’t own a bike, or you have friends visiting who want to explore all our quirky neighborhoods, take advantage of this while it’s in our backyard. Forty-nine square miles will never sound unconquerable again.