Mike Guingona is on a quest. The City Council member and former mayor is bicycling across all 117 miles of Daly City's public roads, and he wants you to come along for the ride.
He launched his Bike With Mike campaign to promote bicycling, raise awareness about health issues and inspire people to be more active. However, as he methodically pursues his goal in small, daily increments, Guingona is also making firsthand observations about the state of bicycle infrastructure in his community.
"I'm looking at what we have," Guingona said. "I have a map of existing and proposed bike routes, and I'm doing my own assessment."
Guingona said the firsthand knowledge includes such things as the designated bike path on John Daly Boulevard, which takes riders off the public road. He says this is fine for pleasure riders, but not so useful if you're biking to and from work, because the bike path eliminates many opportunities to turn off onto cross streets.
"All commuters want is, 'How can I get from Point A to Point B safely?'" Guingona said.
One such commuter is Paul Valentine, who bikes from Daly City's Crocker neighborhood, just south of the San Francisco border near Interstate 280, to his job in San Francisco's Marina district. He said he welcomes the attention Bike With Mike brings to Daly City danger zones, such as where San Jose Avenue and Mission Street converge. Valentine says the confusing intersection could use bike signals to let drivers know when cyclists have the right of way.
Guingona's trek is also being publicized with the help of the nonprofit Breathe California and Designed By Youth, a nonprofit organization that teaches tech skills to students at Thomas R. Pollicita Middle School. The students designed a logo and social-media campaign for Bike With Mike.
"One problem we saw was that it was going to be a lonely road for him," said Designed By Youth founder Jason Dare. "So the students said, 'Let's make Mike a website, postcards, stickers and other media.'"
The students asked Guingona to carry a GPS device so his progress could be tracked on Facebook and Twitter. They also recently hosted an event at Serramonte Shopping Center where they gave away Bike With Mike-themed reflective safety stickers and coloring books.
Guingona's progress and upcoming events can be found on the website at http://bikewithmike.org.