Monday, October 3, 2016

Better Bike Lanes (Protected) Pave the Way to Increasing Bicycle Ridership - My Recent Vancouver, BC Bicycling Experience

By Andy Hanshaw, Executive Director

I’m honored and privileged to have the opportunity in my position here at the Bike Coalition to occasionally attend a local, national and in this case international conference where my colleagues in bicycle advocacy, planning and governance come together to share best practices so we can all learn and be inspired to continue our work to improve bicycling safety and the overall quality of life in our own communities. I recently traveled to Vancouver, BC to attend the Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place Conference.

Indeed I was inspired. Not only by the creative and successful stories from leaders that I heard from but more importantly by the city I visited, Vancouver, British Columbia. A strikingly beautiful city surrounded by water and urban parks and a transportation network that moves some 2 ½ million residents around so efficiently.  Riding my bike to get around was easy, safe and quick and it was clear to me that city leaders and planners there place a high priority on bicycling as a primary mode of transportation. What I experienced is what we are striving for here, a connected and protected system of bike lanes that get you safely to the places you need to go whether that be your office, home, restaurants, shops, museums or parks.  It’s all right there and as I learned, it’s been an incredible success story for the city to achieve and exceed their own bicycle mode share goals. In simple terms, in Vancouver, they aim to get more people biking, walking or taking transit than driving in their city and that’s exactly what’s happening. In fact, Vancouver has already reached the goal of 50% of their citizens commuting by biking, walking or transit years ahead of schedule. Amazing.

In the intermittent sessions where I was not out on a bike seeing things for myself, I also heard over and over again the common theme by which these changes came about: political will. The elected officials we heard from understood there was risk involved in making changes that will encourage less people to drive, and they were willing to take those risks for the betterment of the entire community. We often say when we talk about bicycle advocacy and safe infrastructure, “If we build it, they will come”. Well, that’s more than a cliché, it’s the truthful reality I saw in Vancouver that’s also taking place in major American cities across our own country. Our plans here are in motion, Downtown Mobility, Uptown, North Park-Mid City and more but it’s time to get these projects built and get more people riding now. Not only to achieve our own Climate Action Plan goals of 6% bicycle mode share by 2020 and 18% by 2035 but to make San Diego a truly world class destination for everyone of all ages and abilities to enjoy by bicycling and walking. Until these projects that include their own networks of protected bike lanes are in place, we will be continuing to fall behind cities who are attracting Millennials and a workforce that wants to live in vibrant cities where they can get around without a car.   It’s time to get moving San Diego and take action on implementation of our local and regional bike networks. We CAN get there and we know when it’s built, they will come. 

Please help us bring Better Bike Lanes to our cities in San Diego County, give today at: 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

2nd Annual Kerry's Ride Home: Recap

The second annual Kerry’s Ride Home took place on January 30th. Typically, this event is a two-day event, with overnight camping halfway through the ride. However, El Nino had other plans in mind. With promised rain and heavy winds for Sunday, we decided to change our agenda ahead of time. With a day full of sunshine on Saturday, we were able to have a fit in many awesome miles.

We gathered at 9 a.m. at the San Juan Capistrano train station. Many of us took the early Amtrak with our bicycles on board.

We started off with introductions. We met Kerry’s family and friends, who supported the entire ride with the van full of snacks and supplies. After quickly reviewing the agenda and going over some important safety information, we set off!

Just a couple streets over leaving the train station, we were able to hop on the river trail just for pedestrians and cyclists. It was a leisurely pace, enjoying the early morning. After about 9 miles, we hit our first stop – for coffee of course!

We loaded up on caffeine and pastries and had a makeshift picnic in the parking lot next to our bikes.

We departed our San Clemente pit stop and kept meandering down the 101, usually treated with gorgeous views of the Pacific.

We all checked in together before entering Camp Pendleton to make sure we had everyone accounted for – and everyone had their ID’s on them.

We enjoyed the quieter roads of Camp Pendleton! After exiting on the sound end, we rounded the troops to make our executive decision. Carlsbad Pizza Port to Solana Beach Pizza Port? Very tough decisions to make, I know. We were hungry enough to go for the closer one!

With one leg to go to the finish, we eagerly zoomed down the last Oceanside bit with pizza and beer in our minds.

One by one, the participants rolled up to happily finish the awesome ride. Some first-timers were particulary ecstatic – it was their longest ride to date! We were so proud to be with them for that moment.

We ordered the goods and sat all together and we all made a few remarks. At this point, people were dispering to their individual plans. Some people decided to brave the weather and camp anyway. Some people were biking to the next Pizza Port and then take the train. We all decided Kerry would be proud of our impromptu Tour-de-Pizza Port!

Kerry Kunsman was an amazing man who wanted to explore the world by bike, and we are right there, rolling in his wheel path. Thank you to his wonderful family for van support. Happy riding! Kerry, this one is for you.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Chula Vista Bike Rodeo and Bike Giveaway Brings Holiday Joy

Do you remember your  first bicycle or your first bicycle ride? On Saturday December 12th, the Bike Coalition held a special Bike Rodeo and helped lots of volunteers give away bicycles to third graders in the Chula Vista Elementary School District. For many of these children, it was their first bike and their first time riding a bicycle. For some children, the bicycle may be the only gift they receive, according to Nancy Kerwin, the District’s Executive Director for Student, Family and Community Services, who coordinates the event. 
Employees and volunteers distributed more than 250 bicycles on Saturday. District employees and other volunteers assembled the bicycles prior to the Giveaway.  Many also returned on Saturday to help adjust seats and fit the bikes to the third-grade students who received them.  It was all part of CVESD's partnership with the “Bikes for Kids Foundation,” an annual bike giveaway now in its eighth  year in Chula Vista. 

For the last five years, the students who received the bikes participated in a “Bike Rodeo” by the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. This year over one hundred students learned proper riding techniques and safety tips. More than twenty students learned to ride at the Bike Rodeo even though it was their first time to actually ride a bicycle!  There were no training wheels and some kids were wobbly but excited. Coalition board member Randy Van Vleck offered praise and encouragement along with a helping hand to teach balance and riding skills. Joy spread across the faces of parents and children after gaining an ability to balance on a two-wheeled bike!  Some kids already knew how to ride so they maneuvered through an obstacle course set up in the parking lot of the ESSC. Michelle Luellen of the Bike Coalition coordinated the Rodeo.  Juan Antonio Ramirez provided instruction to many children.

After receiving a bicycle, helmet, and instruction, the children proceeded to a "Thank You" station where they wrote thank you cards to the “Bikes for Kids Foundation,” a San Diego non-profit, CVESD, and all the volunteers that help put smiles on two wheels.
Are you or someone you know teaching a child to ride a bicycle? Here is link to an REI article filled with expert advice:

It's fun to talk to about bike memories. What is your first bike memory? Your first bike ride memory? Tell us on social media by using the hashtag #FirstBikeMemory and tagging @sdbikecoalition or email your memories to and we will put together a compilation of first bike memories.

Friday, December 18, 2015

2015 Joyride

We had a wonderful evening at our 5th Annual Joyride, held last Thursday on December 10th. Approximately 70 joined us for our lighted bike ride, starting and ending at Panama 66 in Balboa Park. 

We were quite a sight to see, as we casually rode up 6th avenue, through Hillcrest via University, and back down on Park Blvd.

We spent the rest of the evening treated to music and food as we listened to a great presentation by Andy. He reviewed the highlights and milestones from 2015, and handed out the 2015 Golden Gear Awards - those who have gone above and beyond in the name of bicycling.

Thank you so much for everyone who was able to attend and ride with us! We appreciate your support! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Meet FloraVelo!

We’re FloraVelo, a growing family business in San Diego designing great new cyclewear for women.  

Trish and Pam of FloraVelo at a triathlon expo
in Palm Springs
We started our company a few years ago after taking up cycling and being totally frustrated by the lack of cute, comfortable cycle clothing options in the market.  It seemed like most women’s jerseys fit like poorly re-sized men’s jerseys; uncomfortable and unflattering.  We thought it was time for a change; time to make room for a new type of cyclewear - designed by women, for women.  We wanted to create fun, comfortable, functional cyclewear for everyone – from cycling beginners to casual riders to advanced, seasoned veterans.

Once we got started, we spent almost a year creating our jersey design.  

"We spent time finding just the right performance fabrics, working with graphic artists to develop the fun, unique prints, and designing the pattern to achieve a great fit for almost any figure."  

Finally we road tested, made some adjustments, and began production – all here in the US.  We’ve been selling our jerseys online ( and at cycling events for about 2 years now, and we’ve been amazed at the wonderful response we’ve received.  Our jerseys are also available in a few retail locations, including CycleQuest here in San Diego.  In addition, we recently began offering custom jerseys for cycling tours and riding groups.

        FloraVelo jerseys have several unique features, but the most popular is our combination cell phone pocket and  “hidden” key/ID pocket.  Those two pockets, along with our two large back pockets, allow you to take just about everything with you when you ride.  And our jerseys are not just for riding…  you’ll also see them out running, hiking, kayaking, playing tennis, traveling – this is not your typical cycling jersey!

We got involved with the Bicycle Coalition in our first year in business – and we love working with them.  We’re so proud to help sponsor such a great group of committed cyclists working for such important changes! 

Head over to FloraVelo's website to see the latest and greatest from this awesome, local company! 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Carlsbad Taco Tuesday Social Ride October

Taco Tuesday Social Ride in Carlsbad! We hope to see more at our next one, November 24th.
We meet at Frazee Beach at 6PM to do a 3-4 mile social ride then get tacos! The monthly taco Tuesday ride will repeat every last Tuesday of the month and visit different Mexican restaurants in the Village.

This month was the Halloween edition, with costumes! The Nite Rider lights provided ample visiblity for the person riding the bike and people driving cars.  Thanks to North County Family Bicycles for the continuing support.

Walk + Bike is a partnership led by the City of Carlsbad, Circulate San Diego and the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition to promote walking and biking around Carlsbad, with a special focus on the downtown Village and surrounding areas. The 12-month campaign is funded by a grant from the San Diego Association of Governments and includes events, outreach to schools, business promotions and other activities to get more people walking and biking instead of driving on short trips around town. For more information, visit

Friday, October 23, 2015

Carlsbad WalkBike Adventure Run

Walk + Bike is a partnership led by the City of Carlsbad, Circulate San Diego and the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition to promote walking and biking around Carlsbad, with a special focus on the downtown Village and surrounding areas. The 12-month campaign is funded by a grant from the San Diego Association of Governments and includes events, outreach to schools, business promotions and other activities to get more people walking and biking instead of driving on short trips around town. For more information, visit