Thursday, December 20, 2012

Notes from the Board Chair

Thank you to everyone who came to our Holiday Joyride. The weather worked out perfectly for a dry and fun ride through some of San Diego's older neighborhood. Our brightly lit bicycles brought some joy to the streets, but I was especially joyous to report all the great things we have accomplished in 2012 back at Mission Brewery.

In 2012, we adopted a new strategic plan with a mission to advocate for and protect the rights of ALL people who ride bicycles. We helped launch a bike friendly business district campaign and locate three new bike corrals in San Diego.  We attended dozens of committee meetings, city council hearings, and other meetings to advocate for more bike safety measures and a more accessible regional network. We taught hundreds of adults and children safe cycling skills through our education efforts and we parked thousands of bikes through our bicycle valet program. We had the most successful Bike The Bay and Tour De Fat yet - raising funds to support for our work.

Filner and Hanshaw 2013 Joy RideSan Diego Mayor Bob Filner and Council President Todd Gloria both expressed their support for bicycles as a way to enhance the livability of our neighborhoods and the sustainability of the region. The time is right to make sure the bicycles stay at the top of the local agenda. In 2013 we will continue to work with local bicycle advisory committees to push to bicycleTodd Gloria 2013 Joy Ride  improvements and make sure that bicycles are included in planning projects. We will support the implementation of a bike share program and more bicycle friend business. We will continue to provide bike education and offer valet services at large events.

Your membership helps provide a voice for cyclists in the region. As we seek to better advocate for all people who ride bikes, we can use your support as volunteers for programs like bike education and making, as well as members on our education, advocacy and organizational development committees. Watch you email boxes for more opportunities to get involved.

Thank you for your support in 2012, and I look forward to a great year ahead.

- Kevin C. Wood

Friday, November 30, 2012

Come One, Come All, to SDCBC's Annual Holiday Joyride

SDCBC will be hosting our annual Holiday Joyride, on December 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the Mission Brewery in East Village. This year’s event will celebrate 2012 as the year bicycling boosted business in San Diego.

2012 saw bike-friendly business districts, public bikesharing announcements, more cyclists at special events and a record-number of cyclists riding to work. All of these victories contributed to one of most successful years ever for the cycling economy in San Diego.
Mia Kohout

The event starts with a neighborhood Joyride for cyclists of all abilities, pedaling through downtown and returning to Mission Brewery. The celebration continues at Mission Brewery with craft beer, food trucks, a silent auction and prizes. We’ll be presenting the 2012 Golden Gear Advocacy awards and the SDCBC Year-in-Review. Special guest Mia Kohout, a celebrity in the everyday cycling world, will deliver the keynote. Mia’s the co-owner, co-publisher and editor-in-chief of Momentum Mag, an independent media company that celebrates the growing transportation cycling movement in North America with an emphasis on women and families. 

The Holiday Joyride is open to the public. Tickets for SDCBC members are $10, non-members are $15, which includes the Joyride, program and a beer ticket. Guests can also purchase a year membership with event benefits for $25. Guests should register at

Friday, November 16, 2012

San Diego Picks a Partner for the New Citywide Bike-Sharing Program

Today we joined in congratulating outgoing Mayor Jerry Sanders’ announcement of the selection of DECOBIKE, LLC to run San Diego’s new public bike-sharing and rental program.

Sanders with Councilmembers Gloria and Faulconer
SDCBC had a seat on Mayor Sanders' review panel assisting in the selection of DECOBIKE and we appreciate him moving ahead to develop this public-private partnership.  SDCBC looks forward working with DECOBIKE to make this the best bike sharing program in the country.

We also participated in San Diego’s recent steps to build the nation’s largest bike-friendly business improvement district program which is already showing a positive impact on neighborhood commercial districts. The mayor’s announcement of the citywide program further highlights the importance and impact of bicycling on the local economy.

Beyond helping business improvement districts, economic impacts of bike-sharing include additional jobs, and saving on transportation. Public bike-sharing in other U.S. cities have been shown to create 30-50 jobs for each program. For instance, DECOBIKE also runs a successful program in Miami, Florida, which has just under 30 employees. Additionally, members of bike-share programs in other parts of the country are saving hundreds of dollars per year in transportation costs, putting those savings back into the local economy.

SDCBC's Andy Hanshaw speaks with  CW 6
Whether it’s tourists, students, Padres fans or grocery shoppers, we know that bike-sharing works to improve the local economy and expand our transportation system. Bikes are boosting business in San Diego  and bike-sharing is another important piece of the pie.

Although Sanders made the announcement today, it is Mayor-elect Bob Filner, who’s coming into office in just over two-weeks, that will take over the handlebars.

We’re looking forward to seeing him hit the ground pedaling with San Diego’s first public bike-sharing program.  SDCBC will continue working to ensure our transportation infrastructure keeps up with these new transportation options, and we look forward to Filner continuing the bike sharing progress started by the current administration.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Andy Hanshaw Referees Electra's Slowest Bicycle Race

Our Executive Director Andy Hanshaw had the honors of helping local bicycle manufacturer Electra Bicycle Company celebrate the grand opening of its new global headquarters in Vista, Calif. He attended the ribbon cutting ceremony with Electra's CEO Skip Hess, a local council member and representatives for the local chamber of commerce.

In addition to reminding its staff and board members about the role they play in bicycle advocacy and empowering local bicycle trips to boost San Diego's economy, Andy got to referee the Slowest Bicycle Race. Electra made a video recap, and we invite you to watch the insider's take on how our local company approaches bicycling--spoiler alert: they like to have a ton of fun.

Recognized as the bicycling industry’s top-selling brand in the lifestyle and leisure category, Electra’s different approach to bicycling powered it into the nation’s 6th-largest bicycle company since it began in San Diego 19 years ago. Electra’s brand captures the joy of everyday riding, bringing style, creativity and detail to its six bicycle collections including Verse®, Ticino®, Townie®, Amsterdam®, Cruiser and Kids’ bicycles as well as its growing line of Life and Accessories products.

The company relocated to a larger office space and enhanced distribution center to accommodate its growing staff, expanding product lines and increased demand for its bicycles. In addition to the global headquarters, Electra services US sales through two other American distribution centers and has a European office, which helps support sales in 25 additional countries.

The company is also making its name as the bicycle of choice for bike-sharing programs including the largest Bicycle Friendly Business District in San Diego, the first bike-sharing program in Las Vegas, and as amenities at high-end hotels.<


Saturday, October 27, 2012

A First Timer's Experience at the San Diego Bike Kitchen-Bikes del Pueblo

By Maria Olivas - SDCBC Volunteer and former Education Coordinator
I've known about the San Diego Bike Kitchen - Bikes de Pueblo for years. I know most of the volunteers and have worked with a few of them regarding developing programs. However, I've never actually been there, any repairs on my bike were usually done by my husband. With the exception of a flat, I've never really bothered to work on my own bike. I figure it's an even exchange; I cook and he is the house mechanic. 

At least once a month, I see Chris from bikes del pueblo. Every time I see him I ask him about maintenance and every time he suggest I stop by the shop. I never did, at least not until this past weekend. A friend of mine suggested we stop by; she's seen my bike tube jewelry and suggested I pick up parts from the Bike Kitchen. She is working on up-cycling bike parts for furniture and thought she may do the same. So here we go, concerned about being intimidated by the excessive bike knowledge of all the volunteers I figured it was a quick in and out situation.
Upon arrival I seen Chris, a kind familiar face welcoming us in, introducing us to everyone in the shop made it comfortable to stay. We wonder around and discover their excess parts from donated bikes. Most have been broken down and categorized into old milk crates. It's an organized system of every part imaginable ready to be placed on a bike. It's a bike builders dream and building bikes they were. Upon our arrival four people where building bikes from nothing but the extra parts lying around the shop. Eric went into the shop on Sunday morning with nothing and said the only way he is getting home is by riding a bike out. Leon worked on four bikes, three were his own projects and one belonged to someone who rolled in needing some help.

With so many extra parts and an upcoming move at the end of the month, Bikes del Pueblo is looking to consolidate to make the move easier. Assembled bikes ready to roll out the door would make the move easier. Since my own bike didn't need any work, Chris suggested we make our own bikes. I though, no way, I have no idea what I am doing. After being reassured by all the volunteer mechanics that they would help (there were four on Sunday), I went for it.  

Chris helped me choose a frame, set it up on the stand and build it. Of course, he was doing most of the work, guiding me and educating me regarding every step and part. There sure are a lot of steps. Since top quality parts are not available, we "made it work." Dustin took over after Chris left and helped me put the brakes together, or at least started to. The brakes were a challenge and the shop was about to close up, so we set it aside for another day.

Cleanup keeps it organized and also made them realize how tough the move would be. Bikes del Pueblo is at the snowdrop location in city heights for the rest of the month. They must be out by November 1, but they are still looking for a new location. If you know of a free location please contact them at Bikes del Pueblo is a free service and volunteer run, your donation of a facility or quality parts are greatly needed.  

Transportation and Grant News From Around San Diego County

This transportation grant and news update is brought to you by Jim Voss.

Transportation grants are one of the main ways to add biking infrastructure. The City of Carlsbad received an $880K grant to install a roundabout at the tricky angled intersection at Coast Highway and State Street. This common bike corridor ends the bike lane just before the intersection, which squeezes cyclists into the traffic lane before merging into another traffic line and then finally a bike lane. Other improvements are planned along the section of Coast Highway that crosses the lagoon. Additional grant money will cover bike corrals and racks and an active transportation program. The San Diego Foundation has granted $650K to a variety of organizations throughout the county to build bike paths and hiking trails. The grants will also be used to improve air quality and get more kids outdoors. The City of Escondido approved a new bike plan that would triple the number of bike lanes to 150 miles. The plan would cost $4.7 million dollars, spread out over several years. The San Diego Police Department received 18 patrol bicycles from ACE Parking.

Some may call this time of political election campaigns the "silly season", but it is great to see all the attention that bicycling is receiving from candidates. In addition to the San Diego mayoral debate hosted at USD and co-sponsored by SDCBC last month, bikes have gotten mention in other forums: a County Supervisor debate where a candidate wants to make San Diego County the bike capital of the world, and another San Diego mayoral debate at UCSD where both candidates agreed on something - bike lanes,  
This Associated Press article, while not mentioning San Diego, reviews how more people are utility cycling in cities throughout California: As gas prices soar, city cycling more attractive

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Featured SDCBC Bicycle Ambassador - Joe Garcia

What Neighborhood do You live in? - I just moved to North Park
What is the Make, Model, Color or your Favorite Bike - My favorite bike is a Metallic Green Mercian (1978 frame) that is my touring/commuting bike - I own 5 bikes one is a tandem
Where did you get it from? - I bought the Mercian at Bikecology in Santa Monica back in the day and built it up from existing components then bought new ones along the way and as stuff wore out.
Why do you ride? – I ride for a variety of reasons: for recreation, I have toured and plan to again, I commute and now that I live in the city I run errands.
What is a typical Bike ride for you? - back and forth to work or on the weekends moderate ride.
While riding you......I like to listen to music world, jazz, rock and I do like talk to whoever will ever talk back
How can your city improve bike infrastructure or make your city more bike friendly? – more bike parking, fix the roads, some dedicated roadways and road closures when possible (Cicliovia style events on weekends).
Any tips or comments for other riders? - As Grant Petersen says "Just Ride" and ride all the time, I spent a little time in Portland and was amazed at the cyclists up there, they ride all the time in the worst of weather.
Shameless Plug? I work for the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bike Friendly Business - Blind Lady Ale House in Normal Heights

Address? 3416 Adams Avenue San Diego, CA 92116
Why did you decide to be bike friendly? No brainer! Owners and staff pretty much all ride our bikes, so we're inherently bike friendly.
Is there secure parking nearby for cyclist? We provide bike parking out front for approx 9-15 bikes.
Do you offer any discounts to cyclist?
We always offer 10%.
Any tips or comments to cyclist coming to your establishment? Bring a lock & be safe.

Monday, July 9, 2012

UT San Diego Reports Arrest in Fatal Hit and Run of Bicyclist

A tragic and sad loss. The San Diego County Bicycle Coaltion wishes to express their condolonces to the family of Mr. Bojorquez and commend the neighbor and authorities for taking quick action to detain the suspect.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Latest Developments on Recent Bicycle Fatalities and SDCBC Response

San Diego County Bicycle Coalition Responds to NBC 7 News Report Regarding
Recent Bicycle Fatalities

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition (SDCBC), the regions bicycle advocacy
and education organization has learned of the latest developments in cases
involving bicyclists David Ortiz and Charles Gilbreth, who were tragically
killed while legally riding to work.

According to the story, investigators from the San Diego Police Department
asked prosecutors to file misdemeanor negligence charges against a driver
who struck cyclist Charles Raymond Gilbreth in April on Montezuma Road.

Police said there is conflicting evidence in the March 22 death of another
cyclist, David Ortiz, on Balboa Avenue.

Link to complete story:

Source: Conflicting Evidence in Fatal Bike Crash: Police | NBC San Diego

Statement from the SDCBC

Sadly we are reminded by these tragic deaths that bicycling in San Diego too
often involves dealing with risky situations; situations of illegal and/or
inattentive behaviors, and situations where roadway designs are hostile to
people who choose to or must sometimes walk or use bicycles.

SDCBC provides information and training courses for people who make a
bicycling choice. We help people to ride lawfully, to choose routes and
places to ride that fit their skill level, to learn basic crash avoidance
techniques, and to be vigilant for the mistakes of others!

We strongly urge everyone who drives to pay careful attention - mistakes
with cars kill far too many Americans every day. Roads are for bicycling
too, not only for motor vehicle use!

Supporters of the SDCBC are fighting to improve conditions for bicycling,
but everyone using San Diego roadways benefits from safer conditions. Zero
deaths should be a goal for all of us.

San Diego County Bicycle Coalition

Thursday, June 7, 2012

2012 Bike Month Recap from SD Downtown News

Bike Month activities yield record-breaking results

Posted: June 6th, 2012 | Featured, News | No Comments
Over 8,500 local residents counted county-wide biking on Bike to Work Day
By Ashley Mackin | Downtown News
On May 1, the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition (SDCBC), along with local elected officials and representatives from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), declared May as Bike Month in San Diego.
County Supervisor Greg Cox gave SDCBC a proclamation designating May as Bike To Work Month in San Diego and at the same time, voiced his support of biking to work year-round.
Also encouraging bicyclists to ride on a regular basis, SDCBC Executive Director Andy Hanshaw said, “We are excited to have the opportunity to bring greater awareness to the benefits of bicycling and encourage people of all ages and abilities to join the ride [with Bike to Work Month].”
Hanshaw identified a number of benefits to bicycling, including exercise and having a clean gas-saving mode of transportation, as well as the fact that San Diego weather makes bicycling suitable all year round.
District Three Councilmember Todd Gloria cited a statistic that 40 percent of vehicle trips are two miles or less. “Can you imagine what we could accomplish if we would simply substitute many of those trips for bicycle rides, instead? We could make a significant impact on the quality of life in our neighborhoods. … It would be a tremendous thing,” he said.
(left to right) District Eight Councilmember David Alvarez, San Diego Association of Governments Chair Jerome Stocks, District Three Councilmember Todd Gloria, County Supervisor Greg Cox, and San Diego County Bike Coalition Executive Director Andy Hanshaw, at the Bike Month kickoff. (Photo by Ashley Mackin)
District Eight Councilmember David Alvarez said he rides a bicycle to City Hall because driving to work would put him in that same statistic. “I do live … less than two miles away from where I work,” he said, adding that he rides his bicycle often, including to work. Alvarez also told the crowd that sometimes he leaves for work at the same time as a nearby trolley, and he often gets to City Hall first.
Gloria said as a city councilmember, issues surrounding parking make up the majority of complaints. “If I can just get more folks to ride bikes I could solve the parking problem …” he said. “We don’t need massive parking structures, we just need more bicycles.”
Jaime Ortiz, a SDCBC volunteer, said riding a bike on a daily basis is easy. “I think the important thing to remember when your talking about bicycling as a commuting option is that it’s a part of your life,” she said. “You wear what you wear in your car. … You don’t have to be dressed in any particular fashion or any particular attire to jump on your bike.
“You don’t have to wear spandex … you can be comfortable, you can wear jeans and have beautiful hair and you can wear makeup, you can look good on a bike and also get around,” she said.
On Bike to Work Day, SANDAG-sponsored “pit stops,” where volunteers dispensed shirts and snacks, yielded record-breaking results.
A SANDAG press release stated, “More than 7,000 bicyclists stopped at the 78 pit stops that have reported in so far. Last year saw a record 6,000 cyclists checking in at the stops. In all, there were 85 pit stops around the county on Friday, May 18. … Additionally, pit-stop volunteers counted 2,500 cyclists who pedaled by, opting not to stop.”
Dan Martin, a principal planner for SANDAG was quoted in the release, “It is probably a combination of things, from high gas prices to a healthier outlook on life. Many people look upon bicycling as a way of putting a little money back into their pockets each time they realize they don’t have to fill the car with gas, they don’t have to pay parking fees and tolls, and they don’t have to make car repairs.”
Hanshaw thinks the activities and support found during Bike Month will encourage people to ride bikes all year, which is what organizers intended. “The idea [behind Bike to Work Day] is they develop confidence and the skills to get out there and try it more and we want to see people do it as much as they can to help our traffic, environment and save money,” Hanshaw said.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Bike to the Polls

Christina, Me and Patty at the Registrar of Voters.
They were very good sports to put up with me!
So I heard that you can actually vote on the Saturday before election day if you go to the County Registrar of Voters in Kearny Mesa. Since I have crazy work hours on Tuesday, and I needed a bike ride this week I figured I’d give it a try. Turns out you can!

I don’t like to vote by mail. I want to wait till the very end, then actually go to the voting booth and cast my vote and get my cool “I Voted” sticker. I’m probably the only one who misses those machines that made the kachunk” noise when it poked a hole in your ballot to make your selection (thanks, “hanging chads” for ruining that for me…). Usually I ride my bike to my neighborhood polling place in the morning to vote.
For me, riding my bike to the polls is an act of patriotism. What could exemplify the independent spirit of the US more than participating in our most civic act under my own power? No foreign oil, no polluting our spacious skies. This year was more of a chore since it would be about a 40 mile round trip, but it was a gorgeous day for a ride. So how could I resist?
When I got to the registrar, the sheriff deputies were kind enough to watch my bike for me when I went in to vote. The poll workers couldn’t have been nicer, and I got delighted smiles when they realized I rode my bike there. There were quite a few people besides me there to vote, and the folks in the office were pleasant and efficient when they walk us through the process. We should really thank all the hardworking people who will carry out this ritual of democracy – they work long hours and I’ve never seen any of them be anything other than happy to see so many people participating in the election. Big thanks to all of you for helping all of us get to vote!
(Not registered to vote?  Register right now so you don’t miss out on the November election!) 
The ride back home was great, warmed by the knowledge I had done my civic duty. Don’t miss out on that feeling. Ride your bike to the polls on Tuesday. We’d love to hear your story or see your pictures of riding to vote – share with us here or on our Facebook page. Happy Election Day!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Reflections of a (Very) Successful Bike Month

Councilmember Todd Gloria speaks at ribbon cutting for City's first bike coral
during Bike Month 2012

A reporter recently called to follow up on an earlier story on National Bike Month. She asked if I felt that Bike Month had been successful here in San Diego. Without hesitation and with great enthusiasm, I replied, "Incredibly Successful!" A record breaking bike to work day with over 7,000+ (up from the previous year of 6,000), a new bike parking coral (with more to come soon), lots of media coverage and interest in the bicycling "story"and so much more took place during a whirlwind month of May. It's exciting to see growth year over year on Bike to Work Day which should also translate into more people pedaling to work on a daily basis in the future. So lets continue to build on this momentum and get more people riding; for our health, for our environment and for our neighborhoods and business who benefit from all of us riding.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is excited to announce the recent adoption of a 5-year strategic plan with a new mission, vision and goals that will lead to 1) a growing membership that will 2) make our voice stronger and our advocacy more effective and 3) grow our organization to service our members better. Help us fulfill our mission: To advocate for, and protect the rights of, all people who ride bicycles. Learn more about our new strategic plan on our web site

Thanks for a great Bike Month San Diego, lets keep it rolling!

Andy Hanshaw
Executive Director

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Record Breaking Bike to Work Day in San Diego County!

A Record Breaking Bike to Work Day in San Diego County!
Helmets off to all who participated in the biggest Bike to Work Day ever in San Diego County! According to initial estimates, more than 8,000 people participated and stopped at official "Pit Stops" located throughout the County on May 18th. Way to go! I personally visited several Pit Stops and saw happy faces everywhere. Bicycling does that and it's contagious. So keep it rolling folks and stick with it. You'll feel healthier, happier and you're doing you're world good by keeping that car in the garage. And a huge shout out to all of the volunteers who passed out the goodies that morning and kept those riders rolling that rule!

Keep it Rolling San Diego!

Andy Hanshaw, San Diego County Bicycle Coaltion

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why I Like Bike To Work Day

This Bike to Work Day I’ve been reminiscing. After a decade or so of participating in the event, I’m sometimes worried I’ve become jaded. Sure, sometimes it seems like a silly exercise for those of us who bike to work fairly regularly (or not so regularly...). One day of the year where the non-bike riders try it out, fill up the buses and bike lanes, and get in the way of  “real” bike commuters
Then I come to my senses. Bike to Work Day is an opportunity to celebrate something so healthy, so good, so FUN, that I can’t resist sharing it! And to share a conversation and maybe a ride with people who don’t ride regularly. And maybe get a t-shirt and some free snacks. I’m failing to see a downside here.
As the years go by, I’ve come to appreciate the opportunity Bike to Work Day gives us to talk to our friends and co-workers about bicycling. Not just about biking to work, but about biking for fun, about bikes, about family, about joy. Already this year the discussions about Bike to Work Day have spurred some of my co-workers to ride. Maybe they aren’t commuting to work, but they’re starting (or restarting) to ride around their neighborhood – to the park, the store, the library. I’m very excited that so many people at work are talking about biking, about getting their bikes tuned up and getting out to ride.
That’s enough of a reason for me to rejoice in Bike to Work Day in all its craziness. So hopefully, this Friday (and many other Fridays to come) I’ll see you on the road!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Get Ready for Bike to Work Day!

Bike Parking and Pancakes!Bike Month Rolls On!

Wow, what a weekend! The SDCBC was very busy supporting the Tune Up Time event at Balboa Park and getting riders ready to roll for Bike to Work Day on May 18th. Lots of activity including free bike maintenance checks provided by Anywhere Bicycle Repair, a kids bike obstacle course and free bike safety seminars provided your San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. At the same time, our bike parking coordinator Corey was very busy helping out at the ITU Triathlon Championships at Mission Bay. Hundreds of bikes were valet parked while spectators watched world class athletes compete for their spot on the US Olympic Team.  

Both of these activities could not have happened without the support of our dedicated volunteers for which we are very grateful. The SDCBC relies on their help at events all throughout the year  and we really appreciate everything they do to support us and local bicycling. THANK YOU!

National Bike to Work Week is officially here and so is the city’s first bike parking coral! San Diego’s first Bike Corral was officially unveiled this morning in Hillcrest at 5th and University with a ribbon cutting by Councilmember Todd Gloria and a pancake fund raiser by nearby restaurant Snooze. What once was a parking space for 1 car is now a permanent place for 12 bikes to park in the business district! This marks the first of dozens of corals that are anticipated to in place throughout the city in the coming months and it’s a great cause for bicyclists to celebrate. The Bike Coral is a strong recognition that bikes can and should be accommodated in our neighborhood business districts. It makes great sense. Less traffic congestion, less pollution and it’s just plain good for business. Small businesses in the area will surely benefit by now having 12 potential customers who arrived by bike rather than one car parked in the same space. The SDCBC has also partnered recently with the San Diego Business Improvement District Council to create several “Bike Friendly Business Districts” that will feature increased bike parking accommodation, special events and more.

 So bike local, shop local, eat pancakes (at Snooze) and keep on riding!

 Andy Hanshaw – Executive Director


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Begin Your Bicycle Story During Bike Month

My favorite bicycling outfit.
Like a six-year-old at Christmas, I can't wait for Bike to Work Month in San Diego. It's my favorite holiday and the one time of year that my non-biking friends will give thought to trying a bicycle commute.

During this month, especially leading up to Bike to Work Day on May 18, my friends ask me questions about bicycle commuting and request tips on how to start doing it. While bicycling to work is a routine that I do regularly now, it took me a few years to figure out. And this month provides plenty of opportunities to reflect on that path. When I started, I could barely ride ten miles and now I have bicycle/camped 1,400 miles down the Pacific Coast and rode 600 miles across Turkey.

For better or worse, here are ten milestones from my bicycle commute:
  1. In 2004, I cried every day after work for a week at my first job in San Diego. I didn't own a car--a new decision at the time--so I arrived every day in spandex, parked my bike in the back office and tried to hide the grease marks on my leg and hands. It sounds silly now, but at the time I shared office space with girls who wore clothes created by people whose names I can't pronounce. They didn't look at bikes, let alone ride them. I felt different. I felt dirty. I felt lame.
  2. One of my first clients was a high-end hotel in downtown San Diego. I would arrive 15 minutes early to each meeting so that I could lock my bike and change into professional attire. I'll never forget the day my client "caught" me in spandex. Our conversations changed from agenda-driven dialogue to conversations about bikes. My commuting was something he wished he could do. And something he admired.
  3. In 2005, one of my coworkers asked me to teach her to ride to work. New to biking, she wanted to bicycle commute, but didn't feel comfortable on the road. She also wanted to tips on how to transport her professional clothes as she'd always been impressed with my ability to pull it off.
  4. 2006--The year I realized that I wore a size 6. I went from a size 12 in Oregon to a size 6 in San Diego because of my 30-minute ride to work and a downhill 30-minute ride home.
  5. In 2007, I got control of my scheduling so that I could incorporate bicycling commuting into my work day, not just my commute to/from work. I felt empowered by my transportation choice and started carrying my helmet like a badge of honor.
  6. One hot summer day, I came to understand that baby wipes are freaking phenomenal. A few smell-good disposable wipes can tackle those "problem areas" and help me be fresh as a daisy (or baby powder, depending on the scent you buy) for important meetings.
  7. In 2009, on my ride down the Pacific Coast with my husband, I met a guy who fashioned a cane holder onto his mountain bike so he could ride from Washington to Arizona. If a dude who can barely walk can ride his bike that far, I think it's OK for able-bodied humans to ride once a week or maybe even a few times a month. Like Nike says--Just Do It.
  8. On that same ride, in Huntington Beach, I saw a family of six riding bikes to the beach with baby trailer in tow, surfboard / boogie board trailer in tow and one child double riding with the other child. I now had evidence that people with kids bicycle commute, too.
  9. In 2011, I bought my first pair of black stretchy climbing pants that double as business pants. I learned to dress in fabrics in which I can ride and conduct business.
  10. In 2012, I rode my bike across Turkey with a girlfriend from Portland. I had hours each day to contemplate the time when I couldn't ride ten miles to work. And to remember the first time I rode 100 miles. And now Turkey. Who woulda thunk?
My journey started in 2004 with a one-year commitment to riding my bike because I sold my car. One year came and went. I'm still riding that same yellow and blue, slightly bent, kinda rusted Specialized bicycle that I bought for $175 from a guy who owned a surf shop in PB.

How will your bicycle story begin this Bike Month?

Jamie Ortiz volunteers with the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. You can learn more about her at

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bike Month in High Gear

As me and my Electra Bicycle were pedaling into work today as part of my “Every day in May” personal pledge, I was thinking of how fortunate we are to live where we CAN ride every day.

Our Chamber of Commerce weather is only a part of the story. There’s so much happening to help make our region safer and more accessible for people who ride. And the SDCBC is excited to play a strong role in the development of a growing bikeway network that will serve us all. But we also need more of us riding every day.

As I recently read in “Pedaling Revolution” by Jeff Mapes, cities that have become so well known for their bike friendliness including Amsterdam, Portland, OR and others are encouraging more people to drive less and ride more. They’ve created safer streets in part due to getting more people to ride.

San Diego is the perfect place to ride and while we are working hard to improve our network, we need to do a better job of getting our message out to folks to ride more. No better time than National Bike Month and the flurry of activity leading up to Bike to Work Day on May 18.

So join us! Grab a co-worker and ride in to work with them or host a Bike to Work Pit Stop. Your San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is here to help.

We’ve also got a great Bike Month membership drive taking place with annual memberships for only $20. Your membership helps us in our mission to advocate for and protect the rights of all people who ride bicycles.

Keep on riding!
Andy Hanshaw
Executive Director

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy Bike Month 2012!

Happy Bike Month!

Our friends at Electra Bicycle Company.
It's our favorite time of year at the offices of your bicycle coalition.

Today, together with County Supervisor Greg Cox, San Diego City Councilmembers Todd Gloria and David Alvarez and San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Chair Jerome Stocks, we officially declared May 2012 as “Bike Month” in San Diego.

The event, which was well attended by local bicycle commuters and covered by local media , highlighted the importance and benefits of bicycling as a form of transportation and recreation here in San Diego County. An eclectic display of designer lifestyle bikes and accessories were also on hand from locally based Electra Bicycle Company and all of the distinguished guests tested out the bikes during a ceremonial kickoff ride at the conclusion of the event.

The SDCBC is excited for the month ahead and encourages all to get out and “Join the Ride” all throughout the month of May.  There are dozens of activities and events taking place during Bike Month and information can be found on our calendar.

Happy Bike Month!

Andy Hanshaw, Executive Director
San Diego County Bicycle Coalition

Getting ready for a ride. Safety first.
Talking Bike to Work Month in San Diego.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Our Executive Director Responds to Recent Bicycle Fatality

As Executive Director of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, I am deeply saddened and terribly troubled to learn of  the recent fatality of Mr. Charles Gilbreth, a man who was riding his bike home from work and was struck and killed by an SUV on Wednesday, April 18. This marks the second bike fatality of a legally riding bicyclist in the last three weeks in San Diego.

This is unacceptable.

According to reports, Mr. Gilbreth was riding in the bike lane on Montezuma Road when he was struck. If confirmed, we can not be satisfied until there is full and complete legal action taken in this case and in the case of Mr. David Ortiz.

The San Diego bicycling community needs action now…for safer streets and protection for all who ride legally everyday in San Diego.

We wish to express our sincerest sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. Gilbreth, and we will work on his behalf and all who ride bikes to make San Diego a safer, more complete bicycling community.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How many will it take?

I’m outraged. And I’m getting tired of getting outraged.

Last Wednesday (4/18/2012), Charles Gilbreth was killed riding his bicycle on Montezuma Rd near Collwood. That’s very near where Tom Fudge was hit in 2007, and less than a month since Daniel Ortiz was killed at Balboa and the I-805.

I’m more outraged that in the five years since Tom Fudge was injured, the city has done nothing to improve safety conditions on Montezuma, nor have they made significant progress on building the long-promised I-15 bike path that would provide a decent alternative for Fairmount Ave.

I understand it’s difficult to change infrastructure, but how many deaths does it take before something can be done?

I’m tired. I’m tired of waiting for agencies to provide condolences and little else. I’m tired of these “tragic accidents." I’m ready to make some noise. I hope you are, too. There’s a memorial ride tomorrow (Wednesday 4/25/12) starting at Balboa Park at 4:00 p.m. Come participate if you can. If you can’t make the ride, or if you can and want to do something more, call or email the Mayor’s office (619-236-6330 and Councilmember Marti Emerald (619-236-6677 and Councilmember Todd Gloria (619-236-6633 Tell them you want them to:
  1. Make a stronger commitment to safer infrastructure and roadway design. They can start with providing traffic calming on Montezuma Rd, fixing the Kearny Villa Rd and I-163 interchange, and breaking ground on the I-15 bikeway in the next three years.
  2. Make a stronger commitment from police department to enforce traffic laws that have an adverse impact on cyclists/pedestrians (failure to stop/yield, distracted driving, etc.)
  3. Make sure the City immediately become a NACTO affiliate.
  4. Make sure that the drivers in the Daniel Ortiz and Charles Gilbreth cases will be investigated fully and that appropriate charges will be filed in both cases. The bicycling community will not be satisfied with a slap on the wrist.
I’m going to make a commitment, and I hope you will too, to not let Charles’ death go by like so many others. That we will band together and use our collective voices to make REAL change and not let apathy and anger stop us. And I’m going to stay outraged until we do.

SDCBC Bike Month Events

We have many events for you to attend during May Bike Month. Email for more information.
  • Wednesday, May 2
    • 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.  Bicycle Commuter Preparation Class
      Where: San Diego County Water Authority Rod Greek at 4677 Overland Ave, San Diego, CA 92123
      Description: For the staff of San Diego County Water Authority Rod Greek
  • Thursday, May 3
    • 12:15 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. Where to Ride Your Bike
      Where: San Diego County Water Authority - Controller at 4677 Overland Ave, San Diego, CA 92123
      Description: San Diego County Water Authority Rod Greek
  • Friday, May 4
    • 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Bike to School Friday - Rosebank Elementary 
      Where: Rosebank Elementary, Chula Vista
      Description: For the student and parent of those attending Rosebank Elementary
  • Friday, May 4
    • 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Beginning Cycling Commuter 
      Where: Life Technologies at 5823 Newton Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008
      Description: For Life Technologies staff
  • Sunday, May 6
    • 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Kidical Mass
      Where: Moment Cycle Sport
      Description: Join us for an afternoon of bicycles
  • Monday, May 7
    • 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Where to Ride Class at Caltrans
      Where: Caltransat 4050 Taylor Street, Old Town - Caltrans Gallegos Conference Room
      Description: For Caltrans Employees
  • Tuesday, May 8
    • 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. San Diego District 2 - Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Committee
      Where: Wine Pub at 2907 Shelter Island Dr, Suite 108, San Diego, CA 92106
      Description: San Diego District 2 Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting is 7:00 p.m.  at the Wine Pub in Point Loma
  • Wednesday, May 9
    • All day Bike to School Day on Wednesday May 9 until Thursday, May 10
  • Wednesday, May 9
    • 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.  Make Bike Lights with SDCBC
      Where: SDCBC Offices 740 13th Street Suite 502
      Description: Learn how to make your bike GLOW! Join us for a tutorial on how to light your bike with lights! Don't miss this chance to brainstorm, gain some inspiration, meet new people and learn to make bike lights.
  • Wednesday, May 9
    • 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. SDCBC Volunteer Night
      Where: SDCBC Offices at 740 13th Street, Suite 502, San Diego, CA 92101
      Description: SDCBC Volunteer night is a time to catch up on things and meet new people. So stop by, snack on tasty treats, chat with fellow members and help us keep our organization rolling. Bring a friend-the more the merrier! Don't forget to bring up your bike to the office! Questions? Email or just show up.
  • Friday, May 11
    • 12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m. Dana Middle School Bicycle Assembly
      Where: Dana Middle School
      Description: Road Rules Assembly 
  • Saturday, May 12
    • 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. San Diego River Days
      Where: OB Bike Path at Dog Beach
      Description: Ride through the San Diego River Bike Path
    • 8:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Tune Up Time
      Where: Balboa Park at 6th Ave and Laurel
      Description: SDCBC will have bike parking, a youth skills course and mini bike maintenacne classes.
    • 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Exploration Ride at San Diego River
      Where: San Diego River Bike Path and Ocean Beach
      Description: Exploration rides are fun rides in a scenic part of San Diego County. Part learning experience, part coffee jaunt, these rides welcome all riders, but are geared for beginners. An introduction to road riding, riding in a group, and a nice morning out with some fun bicyclists. The rides are typically 8-10 miles, flat, and we do it at a pace that encourages talking and interaction. We talk a lot, stop a lot and usually eat or at least bring doughnuts, while getting information about riding in various situations. Questions or concerns contact
  • Tuesday, May 15
    • 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Ladies Night at Pearl Izumi
      Where: Pearl Izumi - 12845 El Camino Real, San Diego, CA
      Description: Grab a Friend and join us at Pearl Izumi for a night of fun. We will eat, drink and learn about bikes. The night is devoted to ladies and taught by ladies. Learn about bike fits, fixing a flat and the right equipment to carry with you. We hope you can join us.
  • Wednesday, May 16
    • 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Oceanside Bicycle Assembly
  • Friday, May 18
    • All day Bike to Work Day
      Where: Throughout San Diego County
      Description: Bicycle Ambassadors will be needed through out the county to represent the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition at various "Pit Stops" and gatherings. 
    • 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Urban Bicycling: Part 1-In Class: Intro to Safe Cycling - Oceanside
      Where: Oceanside Library at 330 North Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054
      Description: You will learn the basics of bicycling including, but not limited to: the law, what to carry with you, where you should be in traffic and tips on how to commute more effectively. Recommended for adults and children above age 16, this fast-paced, 2 part course prepares cyclists for a full understanding of vehicular cycling. Part 1 can also be taken at Please register. 
  • Sunday, May 20
    • 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Urban Bicycling: Part 2 - On Road: Street Skills - San Diego
      Where: Kensington Cafe at 4141 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116
      Description: Urban Bicycling gives cyclists the confidence they need to ride safely and legally in traffic. The course covers bicycle safety checks, fixing a flat, on-bike skills and crash avoidance techniques and includes a student manual. Recommended for adults and children above age sixteen, this fast-paced, 2 part course prepares cyclists fora full understanding of vehicular cycling. Part 1 – In Class: Intro to Safe Cycling must be completed prior to taking Part 2. Complete Part 1 at
    • 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Valet Bike Parking - North Park Festival of the Arts
      Where: North Park
      Description: Volunteers needed for Valet Bike Parking
  • Monday, May 21
    • 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Oceanside Bicycle Committee Meeting
      Where: 330 North Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054
      Description: Monthly Oceans Bicycle Advisory Committee Meeting
  • Wednesday, May 23
    • 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Oceanside Bicycle Rodeo
    • 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. SDCBC Board Meeting
      Where: San Diego County Bicycle Coalition Offices at 740 13th Street, Suite 502, San Diego, CA 92101
      Description: Join us at this board of directors meeting where directors, advisors, members and members of the public can meet to review issues before the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. 
  • Friday, May 25
    • All day Bike/Walk to School Sivergate
      Where: Silvergate Elementary
      Description: For the students and parents of those attending Silvergate Elementary
  • Tuesday, May 29
    • All day Dana Middle School Bicycle Rodeo
      Where: Dana Middle School
  • Wednesday, May 30
    • 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Ocean Beach Elementary School Bicycle Assembly
      Where: Ocean Beach Elementary School
      Description: For the students and parents of those attending Ocean Beach Elementary
  • Thursday, May 31
    • 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Dana Middle School Practice Route for Bicycle Train
      Where: Dana Middle School

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Light your Bike and Make a Light postponed until July

May Class is Postponed

Ladies Bike Night - Tuesday May 15

David Ortiz Fatality

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition wishes to express their

sincerest condolences to the family and friends of David Ortiz. This

was a tragic loss for them and for the local bicycling community. We

are very concerned for a proper investigation into the factors that

caused this unnecessary death and wish to express our demand for

improvements at the location of the accident in order to avoid any

future injuries or fatalities to people who ride bikes at this

location. Our cities and leaders need to take more action to help

improve the safety of our roadways which are used by all types of

commuters including pedestrians and bicyclists. Let's work together to

make changes now so we do not have to see any more tragedies like this take place in our community.

Andy Hanshaw, Executive Director

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition wishes to express their

sincerest condolences to the family and friends of David Ortiz. This

was a tragic loss for them and for the local bicycling community. We

are very concerned for a proper investigation into the factors that

caused this unnecessary death and wish to express our demand for

improvements at the location of the accident in order to avoid any

future injuries or fatalities to people who ride bikes at this

location. Our cities and leaders need to take more action to help

improve the safety of our roadways which are used by all types of

commuters including pedestrians and bicyclists. Let's work together to

make changes now so we do not have to see any more tragedies like this take place in our community.

Andy Hanshaw, Executive Director

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Meet Bevin Keen - Singles Ride Organizer

Bevin Keen is a great cyclist. She rides for Team Luna Chic as well as contributes her time to organizing rides for SDCBC. Bevin put togther this years Valentines Day Singles Ride in collaboration to Moment Cycle Sport. Some images are below. More images can be seen on our flicker site.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Help preserve Safe Routes to School funding

A Message from the Safe Rotes to School National Partnership

Contact your California State Assembly and Senate Members this Week

Ask Them to Sign-On to a California Letter to Senator Boxer Urging Her to Protect SRTS and Bike/Ped Funding in the Federal Transportation Bill

California Friends of Safe Routes to School,

As you’ve probably heard, the federal draft of the Senate Transportation Bill which passed out of Senator Boxer’s committee last November
is not good for Safe Routes to School, bicycling or walking. It reduces funding for the programs and combines them all into an “additional activities” program that includes many new eligible uses including big ticket items such as wetland mitigation, NEPA mitigation and roadway uses. This could destroy California funding streams for bicycling and walking.

State Senator Mark Leno has agreed to circulate a sign-on letter from California State Legislators to Senator Boxer (see copy below), asking for her leadership to protect bicycle and pedestrian funding.

We need you to contact your California Senate and Assembly members ASAP to ask them to sign-on. It’s easy following these three steps:
1) Find the contact information for your members here by entering your zip code:

2) Call the Sacramento (916) numbers for both your Senate and Assembly members. If you know someone on staff, ask to speak to that person, if you don’t know someone on staff ask to be connected to the transportation staffer and say, “My name is XXX and I’m from NAME OF CITY. I’m calling to ask NAME OF LEGISLATOR to sign-on to a letter to Senator Boxer which is being circulated by Senate Leno. The letter urges Senator Boxer to protect bicycle and pedestrian funding in the federal transportation bill. Will NAME OF LEGISLATOR sign-on?”

3) Ask the staffer who you speak with if they could please get back to you to tell you if the member signs-on.
If they ask for a copy of the letter, you can provide the copy by clicking here. If they ask for the staff lead for Senator Leno’s office, you can let them know that it’s Barry Steinhart.

The deadline for sign-ons is Tuesday, January 17, so please make the calls today. A strong message from the state of California will help Senator Boxer to stay strong when the Senate transportation bill reaches the floor soon.

Thank you in advance.


Deb Hubsmith, Director
Safe Routes to School National Partnership