How Patrick Baldwin Jr. uses basketball, biking to explore San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — Patrick Baldwin Jr. has always stood out in a crowd. He was the star basketball player in high school. He was the big name on campus and coach’s son in college, and his face was plastered on the screen of millions when the Warriors picked him in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft.

Standing 6-foot-9 (at least) plays a part in that, too.

So does a bright turquoise bike helmet.

It’s hard not to find Baldwin digesting basketball one way or another, whether it’s in the gym or studying the game outside of it. You ask him what his hobby is, he’ll stop for a second, smile and say “basketball.” However, he needs a way to get to and from the Chase Center, and that’s where his favorite thing to do outside of basketball enters the picture.

Baldwin loves to ride his bike. He couldn’t wait to do so in The Bay right after he became a Warrior in late June.

“I think it’s been a great tool just to see the city basically,” Baldwin said of his bike Tuesday to NBC Sports Bay Area. “I think it’s nice not to have a car for the first couple of months and just to be outside and be with the environment.

“Bike riding is awesome.”

Growing up in Chicago and Wisconsin, Baldwin is still getting used to the many differences in San Francisco. He admits the fog throws him off a bit in the morning. Like most who are new to The City, the fog has grown on the 19-year-old and he’s pretty accustomed to it by now.

You’re simply not going to find that where Baldwin spent his life before turning pro. You’re also not going to see the twists and turns one has to deal with in San Francisco. While tourists flock to look straight up and then left and right at Lombard Street, San Francisco’s landscape has brought a lifestyle change for Baldwin.

This is far from Baldwin’s first bike. There is a first with this one, though.

“Yeah, first time doing e-bike just because of the hills,” Baldwin said. “Wisconsin doesn’t really have those hills. They recommended e-bikes here, so I went and got one. It’s been pretty great since.”

The quiet and composed teenager is polished way past your typical 19-year-old. That’s been clear on the court through four preseason games. And it held true after his first home game when he couldn’t help but boast about how efficiently he could get home on his bike.

From sightseeing to a long list of food spots, Baldwin had to of had a plethora of places he was looking forward to seeing upon his move to San Francisco. Of all the spots Baldwin was looking forward to discovering in his new home, he surely didn’t expect Third Rail EBikes to be the most important to his everyday life.

He still has plenty to see and new communities to discover. After a few months, he does have a favorite area to cruise. It’s no surprise the neighborhood is so close to Chase Center.

“I do think the Dog Patch area is pretty cool, just because there’s hills to go up and down,” he said. “There’s good flats, long flats, not too much traffic. That’s a good area to work out and just have a fun ride.”

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If you see a helmet scooting through the morning fog or still shining late after a game, one can make a good bet it’s the Warriors rookie. A lot has changed these last few months for Baldwin, but basketball and biking have remained as his happy places.

Even with a few San Francisco twists and turns, and the help of modern-day advances giving him a boost on his bike with each new hill he finds.

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