Meet Family Biking Champion Jakob Dohrmann

We’re getting excited for Bike & Roll to School Week the week of April 17-21, as are family biking champion Jakob Dohrmann and his daughter Zoe. Read his tips on how riding with your kids can be an exciting journey and sign up your school before April 1.

SF Bicycle Coalition: What motivated you to start biking your kids to school?

Jakob: Zoe learned biking before kindergarten, and we always enjoyed riding together. And since I am commuting on my bike to work anyway, it was the obvious choice. Also, these few minutes each morning are a great time to connect and have fun together. It’s a perfect start to the school day.

As a parent who bikes, what would make riding with your family on the streets of SF more inviting?

San Francisco has already become a great place to bike, thanks in large parts to the work of the SF Bicycle Coalition, but more dedicated bike lanes would make riding with kids much more relaxing. Also, we love the Sunday Streets events in Golden Gate Park and other locations. I would enjoy events for kids with bike-skill-based games such as slaloms or “crawling-races” (the last to arrive at a goal wins!)

Can you tell us a little bit about your experience with our Youth and Family Biking program?

It was nice to see a Safe Routes to School stand at Grattan Elementary School for the Kindergarten Welcome Day and to get to know the bike-train program. That made me feel at home right away!

Any tips for parents who want to start riding their kids to school?

Ride to school on a weekend first. See what route works best and how long it takes to ride with your kids. Make it exciting for your kids! Tell them the night before that you are going to take the bike the next morning, and it might even help getting them out of bed and ready a couple minutes earlier. Plan to do it a couple of times in a row to get beyond the excitement and see how it feels as the new norm. Enjoy!

Want to give your kids and their classmates the gift of being celebrated for biking to school? Register your child’s school to participate in San Francisco’s Bike & Roll to School Week before the deadline on April 1.

Become a member and you'll improve your commute and get discounts at shops across the city.