Friday, March 15, 2013

Women Riding Self-Contained…A Rare Species?

Have you tried bicycle touring? San Diego is along the most popular Adventure Cycling Association route- the Pacific Coast trail. This post comes from Nicole Blouin who is part of a group called the Two Wheel Travelers, a women's bike touring group who has done this route before. We at SDCBC are excited to hear about more and more women cyclists taking on touring! Read her experience with touring below and let us know if you have a story to share!

Recently a woman from UT emailed me about riding self-contained with our informal group, Two Wheel Travelers, and said she thought that “we were a rare species.” I’m finding that while this might be true, our numbers are on the increase with very little risk of extinction. For an example on how little it takes to revive the species, check out:

All newbies, one weekend and an incredible amount of high points. Claudia, who loves travel, found out how easy it is to go right out the back door. Clare loves to ride-sleep-eat-repeat, so having her days be all about this was amazing. Denise discovered she can do consecutive days, and Monday morning surprised her with bike withdrawal. Murchie expressed how it’s different than a day ride…more relaxing, no rush and nowhere to be.

“It’s hard to find other women who can leave the hair dryer and makeup at home and get dirty” (Patty in NY). So, we just need a way to connect and roll on. “I have all the gear and a finely honed sense of adventure” (Carrie in NM). So, we just need to organize the rides and they’ll come. “Sounds good, but what does self-contained mean?” (Jean in TX). O.k., so some of our species might need a little education before taking flight.

If you are passionate about cycling, there’s nothing better than a new road every day. Many women don’t consider that their bicycle can take them beyond a day, or they think of it as epic, and not simply pedaling off with a rack pack and credit card. It can be done anywhere, on any bike, for any length of time, with any amount of gear or lack thereof.

Find out how:

 -Nicole Blouin 

City of Coronado Public Meeting to Discuss Bayshore Bikeway Improvements

The City of Coronado recently held a public meeting to discuss changes to the intersection of the Bayshore Bikeway with the entrance to the to the Coronado Cays development, and the Coalition was there to make sure cyclists needs were addressed.

The meeting kicked off with a presentation on the intersection. The project consultants gave some background on the large number of bikes and pedestrians crossing the entrances only a daily basis and a few accidents that have occurred. Attendees were then invited to place sticky notes of Ariel shots of the project noting problems or potential solutions.

The meeting was dominated by Cays homeowners, and many had stories of near misses with cyclists. While some homeowners wanted to force cyclists to stop and dismount before crossing the road, most realized that the main problem was visibility. With high walls leading up to the entrance from both sides and a guard booth right in the middle of the car drivers, they have trouble seeing cyclists coming from either direction along the Bayshore Bikeway.  The Coalition supports making improvements to the intersection while maintaining the flow of bicycles and pedestrians in one of the region’s busiest active transportation corridors.
Click here to view the intersection.

Many homeowners ride the Bayshore Bikeway themselves and saw that improvements could make for a safer ride and help beautify the entrance with new landscaping.  At the next meeting, scheduled for April 2nd, the project consultants will present some potential design options based on the feedback received.

If you ride the Bayshore Bikeway and would like to share your experience, you can email project engineer Darlene Danehy at

San Diego City Council Passes Resolution Promising Bicycle Infrastructure Improvements

Last week the San Diego City Council unanimously passed resolution promising bicycle infrastructure improvements to enhance safety.

BikeSD worked with Council Member Zapf on the resolution in response to the deaths of two cyclists in separate incidents in the councilmembers’ district over the past year. The resolution calls for the City to plan and develop infrastructure projects, explore ways to make cycling safer, support grants and other funding to build facilities and maintain staffing to implement projects.  You can read the complete resolution here:

BikeSD and SDCBC came out in support of the resolution while noting that it will take more than resolutions to ensure that all people who ride bikes are safely accommodated on our roads. Momentum has been building improving cycling in San Diego, but this resolution reaffirms the City’s commitment to implement the 2011 Bicycle master plan and other programs. Aggressive action is needed to avoid more needless deaths and injuries to cyclists.

 In their discussion of the resolution, it was clear that the councilmembers shared a desire to make improvements for cyclists, although they noted that actually getting projects on the ground can be difficult.  With Mayor Filner’s recent announcement of the City’s first CicloSDia, bike share coming, and SANDAGs early action bike program, exciting changes should be coming sooner rather than later.
The Coalition will continue to work with the City and other advocates to make sure that much needed improvements for bikes are actually made and not just talked about.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bikes Mean Business - Reflecting on the 2013 National Bike Summit

In my role as your Executive Director, I've had the privilege to attend the annual National Bike Summit held in Washington D.C. for the past two years.

Held each March, the Summit brings more than 750 bicycle advocates from across the country together to rally for important federal transportation dollars needed to make bicycling safer and more accessible for us and the people we represent who ride.

SDCBC Representatives at the Summit with Congresswoman Susan Davis
I've just returned, inspired and proud for the work that we do. The response was very positive and we can all take pride in the team that represented San Diego County at this years Summit. Together with our colleagues from all fifty states and beyond, we learned from our hosts and leaders at the League of American Bicyclists (LAB), the priority issues which we all "took to the hill" on a snowy, cold morning last Wednesday.  Our San Diego team met with our Congressional Representatives including Rep. Scott Peters, Rep. Susan Davis and staff from Rep. Duncan Hunter, Rep. Juan Vargas and Rep.
Darrell Issa. Additionally, I had the opportunity to talk proudly of the work we are doing in San Diego to the office of Senator Diane Feinstein, along with my colleagues from across our great state of California.  One of the issues we brought forward in our meetings this year, and this years Summit theme was that Bikes Mean Business. The economic impact of our local bicycling industry continues to grow and in California alone last year, the retail industry generated nearly $1.2 billion in sales and created 9,741 jobs. Our representatives from California and across the nation heard the call last week. Bikes Mean Business!

At the conclusion of the days events, everyone came back together to share their successes and hear from Andy Clarke, President of the LAB and Rep. Earl Blumenhauer, of Oregon, a true champion for our cause on Capitol Hill (see attachment). That experience of talking locally but bonding together nationally for more funding for bicycle infrastructure was very memorable and rewarding. Thank you for the opportunity to represent you.

Andy Hanshaw

Member Spotlight: Jeff and Rhoda Hein

Our names are Jeff and Rhoda Hein. We are lifelong San Diegans and cyclists. We currently live in Tehachapi California were we get as many as four seasons in a single day! Yes, that makes riding a challenge sometimes.  We have long climbs that end with 20% plus grades to head winds up to 60 mph gusts. We are moving back to San Diego this fall and we want to be as active in the biking community as possible. We crew for RAAM (Rhoda will race in the 2014 RAAM) She has also re-found her love for track biking and will compete in the masters state and nationals in the pursuit and time trial. I have been riding for about 30 years. I was hoping to become a master's racer, but I was severely injured overseas breaking my neck. I was told I would never ride again...but I am slowly making my come back and I hope to compete in the pursuit and time trials on the track myself. Rhoda and I have just started a nonprofit organization, "Cycling for Social Justice."   We will be raising money those who have no voice in the world. This ranges from animal rights to our current group: the National Association for the Mentally Ill. Rhoda has a passion for both the mentally ill and the families of the mentally ill as she has had to live and manage my life as upon coming back from the war on terror I was diagnosed with PTSD and bipolar disorder. We believe we can make a difference one pedal stroke at a time and we look forward to being a part of  the San Diego Bike Coalition and making San Diego a bike-friendly city.

Robert's Mini Bike Book Review

Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way)
By Sue Macy

Review by Robert Leone      

March is Women's History Month. Why not read a celebration of distaff cycling! First, though, a warning: Wheels of Change is written for the education market, meant to be read by teens, and published by National Geographic. The resulting product is filled with a dizzying array of sidebars, illustrations, captions, and color. Despite the sometimes overwhelming display of National Geographic graphic design prowess, this is a great read! From a time when the widest distribution of popular culture was sheet music, readers will learn of such songs as "Get Your Lamps Lit" - about night riding safety. We also learn of such athletes as distance riding phenomenon Dora Rinehart, and fierce competitors Jane Yatman and Jane Lindsey. The two Janes traded setting timed riding records along the same 20 mile course, while Rinehart guided her single-speed safety bicycle for hundreds of miles over the roads of Colorado before the turn of the last century. 
It's not just exemplary athletes, either, as any League Cycling Instructor could profit from the story of how Woman's Christian Temperance Union stalwart Frances Willard learned to ride a bike at the age of 53. Don't let the intended youth audience deter your reading this book. Macy's work and research are original, not a simplified version of an "adult" text. The resulting text and its accompanying pictures, the references, the trends and anecdotes, are not available in any other single place to the same extent as they are here. Find and savor it.