San Francisco, California

Radical History Bicycle Tour

with Chris C.

Video Verified

2 reviews

Chris C.

Join me for a social, historical and critical tour through the city's contrarian past and present.

Did you know that if you pedal backwards long enough, you can actually go back in time? Okay, not really. But now you can go back in time on a bike tour with local historian and writer Chris Carlsson. He’ll take you on routes never traveled by tourists (and in some cases, even locals!) as you enjoy stories, maps, and photos that bring the history of the city to life. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have working out your glutes and brain at the same time.

You’ll ride your way across the city as Chris covers a variety of topics like ecological history, labor, transit, cemeteries, dissent, and—arguably most importantly—food.

Upcoming tour dates:

Labor History: Sat. July 5, 12 noon-4 pm (part of LaborFest)
Dissent: Sat. August 23, 12 noon-3 pm
Transit: Sun. September 21, 12 noon-3 pm
Food Politics: Saturday, October 4 12 noon-4 pm
Ecological History South: Sat. October 18, 12 noon-4 pm
Halloween Tour of Colma Cemeteries!: Sun. November 2, 2014 12 noon-4 pm (meet at COLMA BART)
Labor History: Sat. November 22, 12 noon-4 p

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per person
for 3 hours

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Chris C.

Chris Carlsson, director of the multimedia history project Shaping San Francisco (now a wiki at, is a writer, publisher, editor, and community organizer. He has written two books (After the Deluge, Nowtopia) edited five books, (Reclaiming San Francisco, The Political Edge, Bad Attitude, Critical Mass: Bicycling’s Defiant Celebration and the forthcoming Ten Years That Shook the City: San Francisco, 1968-78. He redesigned and co-authored an expanded Virtual Waters: A History of San Francisco’s Mission Bay. He is a co-founder of the San Francisco-based CounterPULSE, where he has produced weekly public Talks since January 2006. He also conducts award-winning bicycle history tours. He has given hundreds of public presentations based on Shaping San Francisco, Critical Mass, and Nowtopia since the late 1990s, and has appeared dozens of times in radio, television and on the internet. Full profile

2 Reviews

June L.

Chris took us back to a place where there were bustling harbors full of imported food, horses dragging tons of bananas down streets, mayonnaise factories in place of coffee shops, and large-scale bakeries in place of modern office buildings. It was a smaller world both literally, since much of the current coast was under water, and in spirit. The hustle of the industrial SoMa district has now settled down into quiet re-purposed warehouses and condos, but you can still see traces of the past when you peel back the paint with a local historian.

Vayable T.

This tour is for those interested in learning more about the history of San Francisco, whether it's a city that they know well or a completely new place. The bike ride is for all levels, and Chris is extremely knowledgeable about tales from the past! Ask him about his archiving project.

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