Q & A with Rich Silverstein

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Veteran bicycle commuter Rich Silverstein, partner at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, rides about 161/2 miles from his home in Sausalito, Calif., across the Golden Gate Bridge to his office in San Francisco, with a bit of a competitive edge.

What's going through your head during your ride?

"It's a game," he said, explaining that he doesn't allow any other cyclists to pass him, nor does he acknowledge any other riders along the route. He also dislikes when strange riders decide to follow him to take advantage of his "draft." Once a woman on a bike did just that, and Mr. Silverstein later told her: "If you were a guy, I wouldn't have let you do that."

What are some of the dangers of the trip?

In addition to unsuspecting tourists he must look out for on the Golden Gate Bridge, Mr. Silverstein says wind gusts can be quite dangerous. Around the two primary towers holding up the bridge, winds often gust to levels that can easily toss down an unsuspecting cyclist. On the day of this interview, Mr. Silverstein said he had two close calls: A car door opened on him, and a runner in the Marina Green area ran in front of him.

What's it like riding through Chinatown?

"There are no such things as red lights and green lights in Chinatown," he said. "You have to be totally defensive."

What do you love about your commute?

"You are always moving forward," he said. "Ideas pop in" to his mind and he takes them to work with him. On his way home, even if he's had a challenging day, the "pain flows away. All I want to do is shower and eat."
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