David Baker Architects

MARCH 2009

Reinvent Your Wheels PDF IconDbp 2009-sunset-reinvent-wheels


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Sunset Magazine
March 2009

San Francisco Architect of Change
Nationally recognized for his work in urban lofts and innovative affordable housing, architect David Baker is equally known for arriving at client meetings on one of his 12 bicycles, and for leading architectural tours of San Francisco's best buildings by bike (anyone can do this self-guided tour; visit dbarchitect.com/gemsofthecity for details.) A long time board member of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Baker got rid of his car nine years ago; since then, he's been riding his bike 2½ miles to work every day.

Why should we commute by bike?
"Biking slows your life down. I get 40 minutes of nice exercise every day, guaranteed. It increases your socializing. And thinking as an architect, it's the single most cost-effective way to stop global warming. In San Francisco, 50 percent of the greenhouse gases are from vehicles."

Of course, we have to ask: Why 12 bikes?!
"Here's the way a cyclist thinks. A car costs about $800 a month [based on AAA estimates] so every month you can buy a decent bike. I could have 50!"

How do you manage to look so put together when you've commuted to work by bike?
"I have two Dutch bikes—they're what I ride around the city because they're very dignified. The 'Old Dutch' Batavus has a fender, a chain case, and a guard, so you don't get your pants or scarf caught in things. The Dutch want to wear regular clothes when they cycle, and so do I."