A 41-year resident of San Francisco and long-time member of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Bruce Osterweil has dedicated hundreds of volunteer hours as a Bicycle Ambassador at Sunday Streets, Tour de Fat (fast approaching on Sept. 17!) and other events around the city. Bruce exemplifies the passion and dedication of our organization’s members, and constantly inspires our staff with his hands-on commitment to the hard work of making our streets safe and more welcoming for everyone.
Born and raised in New York, Bruce quickly learned to navigate his quiet neighborhood by bicycle, riding “in the streets, to school, to the ball-fields, everywhere.”
He moved to San Francisco in 1975, and quickly fell in love with the city.
“I was thinking I would be here for six months or a year,” Bruce said, “and I never left.”
A few years later, Bruce married his wife, Pat Furlong. “We gave each other bikes as our wedding presents,” he said.
Why bike? “I’m quite utilitarian about it,” said Bruce. “I get where I need to go faster and more easily than any other mode of transportation. And to be able to do it cheaply, and while getting exercise, and not destroying the environment, is just magnificent.”
Bruce first got involved with the SF Bicycle Coalition after seeing our Bike Valet Parking at San Francisco Giants baseball games. He attended Bicycle Ambassador training and quickly started volunteering at Sunday Streets and Tour de Fat.
He soon realized, “There is no other organization doing more to make my life better,” he said.
Bruce remains a loyal Giants fan, and is now a devoted member of the SF Bicycle Coalition. He’s had a chance to see the big-picture effect of our work over the past several years and is optimistic about the future.
“Biking in the city has gotten so much better over the last five, 10, 20 years that I think if we continue to make the incremental changes we strive for at the same pace, it will continue to get even better,” Bruce said.
“Many people in my generation are reluctant to give up their automobiles; but we’re slowly being replaced by others who recognize how easy it is to exist in the city without a car in this day and age. And as we’ve seen, the more that people bike, the safer biking is.”
Bruce’s confidence in the future is made only more encouraging by his commitment to realizing a safe, more enjoyable city to bike. We share his vision for an even better city for people on bikes — do you? Become a member today and join us in shaping our city’s streets into their safest, most inclusive form. Already a member? Sign up to volunteer at Tour de Fat alongside Bruce on Saturday, Sept. 17.