Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Be a VIP at the Amgen Tour of California

The Amgen Tour of California has two very special VIP experiences related to the race, for which a limited number of tickets are now available:
* "Escondido Out Front" Team Presentation Gala - California Center for the Arts, Friday, May 10
Enjoy a three course gourmet dinner with wine pairing in the Concert Hall - the stage will actually be built out over the seats for a unique perspective in this beautiful venue. The pro teams competing in Sunday's race will be there for photo opps, and silent auction items include a ride-along in a VIP car with the peloton. I had the opportunity to sample the menu and I can assure you, you won't be disappointed!
* Escondido VIP Hospitality Tent - At the race start/finish line on Grand Ave in Downtown Escondido, Sunday, May 12
Only 75 tickets are available for this exclusive front row seat to the race. Mingle in style and enjoy all-inclusive food and beverages (including beer and wine) from 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Flat screen TVs inside the tent will broadcast the race live, plus you'll be able to see the start/finish and announcers' stage right from the tent's patio.
These are one-of-a-kind opportunities, especially for cycling fans. Or why not treat your mom to a unique Mother's Day gift? Tickets and more information are online at www.Amgen2013Escondido.com.

Freedom at 14!

By Nicole Burgess, SDCBC Member and Bicycling Advocate

For most 14 year olds, having fun with friends is a priority. This April Fools girl spent her birthday this year traveling the streets with friends, enjoying smiles and laughs, and having fun. 

She really wanted a sleepover, but to receive the okay, the girls attending would have to be willing to escort several of the girls to their gymnastics class in Liberty Station - by bike, at night.
Equipping 10 kids with bikes, lights, and helmets - we were off.  What is not shown in this picture are her brother and friend on a tricycle.  Comical describes it best.

We were a parade down Voltaire, through Loma Portal for a roller coaster of a ride, and then crossing one of the busy intersections on Rosecrans.  It is only a few miles, but is one of the more difficult short commutes to do by bike.  If it was easier, possibly many of the High Tech High students would ride as well as the thousands of students that have after school activities in the area.  

We are hopeful that improvements to Nimitz will provide a safe facility for all these riders wanting to travel the short distance by bike.

As you will see in the second picture, the girls were ready to hit the beach the next day.  Being 14 is great!  Learning to enjoy freedom on a bike is amazing!!

I hope drivers will keep an eye out for all the new young riders in Ocean Beach and Point Loma.  Soon, two years from now, these young riders could find themselves behind the wheel so it is important for them to start learning the rules of the road.  Studies have shown that experienced bike riders will become better car drivers.

Thank you to all the girls and boys that enjoy the daily commutes by bike in the Peninsula area.  I hope many of you will experience the great feelings from riding a bike and take pride in being an active commuter - it really does matter.

Best quote of the night by one of the girls:  "Wow, I never thought biking could be so much fun!"  

Monday, April 8, 2013

Ride Your Bike to Opening Day!

The East Village is once again hosting the Padres Opening Day Block Party on Tuesday April 9th.

Your San Diego County Bicycle Coalition will be there providing free bike valet service, so ride your bike and avoid the traffic and hassle of parking a car. We will keep your bike safe and secure during the block party and game!

J Street will be closed off from 6th to 10th Avenue for the Block Party where there will be live music, great food from local artisans and a Stone Brewing Beer Garden. Click here for more info about the block party. 

We will be set up from 11 AM to 6 PM (the game starts at 3:30). Just look for the SDCBC tent and racks! 

Monday, April 1, 2013

More Bikes, Less Cars – Coming to San Diego Businesses

SDCBC is launching Bike Local Sundays, a monthly line-up of events encouraging folks to ride bikes to local businesses and support neighborhood economies. 

Bike Local Sundays kicks off in fabulous Hillcrest on April 21 with free bike valet parking at the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market and Earth Fair in Balboa Park.

“Our kick off will be the ultimate Earth Day experience. Bike local to pick up local produce at the Farmer’s Market, then ride over to Earth Fair for a celebration of everything green,” said Andy Hanshaw, executive director of the County Bicycle Coalition. “Forget the gasoline, we’re fueling on fresh veggies and empanadas.”

In partnership with the San Diego Business Improvement District Council, Bike Local Sundays are for everyone to enjoy, whether their style is spandex and clip-in shoes, board shorts and flip flops or skinny jeans and heels, the events are for all to participate in everyday cycling in San Diego.

Participating in Bike Local Sundays could even translate into discounts with local businesses and vendors.
“We’re working with businesses to offer deals for those who skip the drive and ride instead,” said Tiffany Bromfield, CEO of the Business Improvement District Council. “For April, the Hillcrest Farmers Market will give a Market Buck to Bike Local Sundays participants. Who wouldn’t ride their bike to the market to save a buck at their favorite booth?”

Additionally, the Hillcrest Farmers Market, managed by the Hillcrest Business Association, is working with local organizations to offer other services for April’s Bike Local Sundays.
"The Hillcrest Farmers Market is excited to partner with Bike Local Sundays on April 21,” said Lisa Wier from the Hillcrest Business Association. “In addition the Market Buck, we're providing a mega-deluxe bike valet with Messy Jessie’s bike shop, and a huge interactive bike safety experience with Save Moves San Diego all day long. Head to the north side of the DMV with your bike for all our biking activities."

Bike Local Sundays started with a goal to get more people riding bikes to support business in San Diego. Trends show that more people riding bikes versus driving improves community health, air quality and traffic congestion, as well as boosts business by relieving residents of the costs of owning and operating a vehicle, transferring those savings to the local economy.

Beyond Hillcrest in April, six other districts throughout the City of San Diego will host Bike Local Sundays on the third Sunday of each month, some in conjunction with the City’s Mini-CicloSDias events and with a break in August for CicloSDias and Bike the Bay.

The Bike Local Sundays schedule is:
·   April 21, 2013 – Hillcrest
·   May 19, 2013 - South Park in conjunction with the Balboa Park Mini-CicloSDias
·   June 16, 2013 - Mission Hills in conjunction with Presidio Park Mini-CicloSDias
·   July 21 –Golden Hill in conjunction with Golden Hill Mini-CicloSDias
·   August 18, 2013 – San Diego CicloSDia
·   August 25, 2013 - Bike the Bay
·   Sept 22 – Pacific Beach 
     October 20 – Ocean Beach

For more information on Bike Local Sundays, visit www.bikelocal.org.

Bicycle Detection at Traffic Signals

Sometimes an on-demand/traffic-actuated traffic signal does not change to green for people on bikes. This is more than annoying. It can be dangerous to proceed through a red traffic light, right? To increase your chances for triggering the light to change it is important to be correctly positioned at the intersection so that the traffic signal senor system can "see"/detect you. This is important both for the camera and for the in-pavement sensor systems; placement matters. 

Many traffic signal lights only operate on-demand, either by pushing a pedestrian crossing button or by the presence of a vehicle or bicycle at a very specific location at the intersection. For the systems that use devices in the pavement, it can sometimes be difficult on a bicycle to find the "sweet spot" that will trigger detection. Some cities place a "bicycle sweet spot" pavement marking to help with this. Without a sweet spot marker to help with detection we can look for the pavement cut marks to help find the best spots to stop over.

Below is a graphic depiction of how a person can best position themselves on their bicycle to cause various types of in-pavement on-demand traffic signal detectors to actuate/change a traffic signal; proper positioning matters. Proper placement for an in-pavement sensor will also work for camera detection systems. 

The illustration creator, Dan Gutierrez, provides this through the California Association of Bicycling Organizations (CABO).

There's lots more that could be said about this subject; one being that when you find a location where an on-demand traffic signal will not trigger for you, report it to the responsible city, county, or State agency. "Squeaky wheels get the grease."

Click here for more information about vehicle detectors. 

- Jim Baross, SDCBC Spokesperson and Advocacy Committee Chair