Organization offers free safety, educational opportunities to help San Diegans bicycle commute.
In the midst of rising gas prices and moderate temperatures, San Diegans have an opportunity that most of the country doesn’t – bicycling to work. The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition (SDCBC) invites residents to learn about the convenience and money-saving perks of the alternative transportation and to use its free resources to learn bicycle safety and rules of the road.
“On an average round-trip commute of 10 miles, bicyclists save around $10 daily,” says Andy Hanshaw, SDCBC’s executive director. “The recession, high gas prices and morning traffic alone are enough reasons to start bicycling to work. Plus, it’s so accessible in San Diego.”
In addition to financial savings, bicycling also provides health benefits. Just three hours of bicycling per week reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by 50 percent. And adolescents who bicycle are 40 percent less likely to be overweight as adults.
The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition wants the residents to take in all the benefits of bicycling and learn how to bike safely while adhering to the rules of the road. To find easy and safe routes, the organization suggests using the San Diego Association of Government Regional bicycle map for San Diego County available on the SDCBC web site at www.sdcbc.org . Hanshaw also suggests fusing public transportation with bicycling as the MTS trolley and bus systems together with the Coaster allow bringing bicycles on board.
For those just beginning to bike, The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition provides several resources to start. To learn skills, understand the law and practice handling skills, starters should attend Urban Cycling classes and Exploration Ride events.
- March 24: Exploration Ride, 9 – 10:30 a.m.
- April 10: Urban Cycling – Part 1 – In Class: Intro to Safe Cycling – San Diego, 6 – 9 p.m.
- April 15: Urban Cycling – Part 2 – On Road: Street Skills San Diego, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- April 22: Exploration Ride, 9 – 10:30 a.m.
To ease into bicycle commuting, The SDCBC encourages new commuters to follow these tips:
- Integrate with public transit,
- Start biking one day a week at first,
- Find a friend or two to commute with you to work,
- Break up long routes by driving part way and riding from there,
- Think ahead and bring lunch and work attire to the office the day before you bike,
- Do the “ABC Quick Safety Check” – Video
The SDCBC also encourages cyclists to attend its other meetings to learn about educational opportunities, provide feedback and get the latest updates from the bicycle world. Volunteer Nights provide the opportunity to help the coalition with organizational projects.
March and April 2012 events include:
- March 14: SDCBC Volunteer Night, 6 – 8 p.m.
- March 28: SDCBC Board Meeting, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
- April 11: SDCBC Volunteer Night, 6 – 8 p.m.
- April 25: SDCBC Board Meeting, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
All events are open to the public. Please visit sdcbc.org for other events, online resources and programs to get started on your bicycling journey.