Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Top Safety Tips For Rural Bike Riding In San Diego County

by Derek Roach, guest blogger

San Diego’s diverse terrain and favored climate makes it an ideal place for bicyclists to ride.  A majority of San Diego’s cyclists take advantage of the designated lanes within the inner city. However, not too far from the urban setting – East County to be specific - riders can cruise the dirt trails and paths for a ride in the great, yet unpredictable outdoors.  As beautiful and serene as this environment can be, you can be introduced to potentially harmful obstacles or events that may not be found within the city.
To prepare for these unforeseen elements when out riding in the countryside , its best to apply the following procedures to avoid injury or discomfort while enjoying the wind on your face, the hum of your tire, and the splendor of East County San Diego.

Bike Safety Tips To Implement When In Rural Areas

This is not a reminder to wear your helmet or keep your bicycle mechanics in top condition (you should already be doing this). These precautions are more specific to riding on San Diego roads and trails out east. Also, I am involved in removing bees so there is some emphasis on protection from bees and other insects – honeybees can create quite the ruckus.

Have A Bike Buddy
Venturing out to the adventurous trails in East County is nice change in scenery from the usual concrete jungle, but travelling too far from civilization introduces lots of the unknown. Riding with a partner will offer quick assistance if injured and keep you company while cruising – besides, being in the middle of nowhere can get lonely. But if you do decide to be a lone rider, at the very least tell a friend or family member of your route.

Carry An Epinephrine Injector
This is especially applicable when riding in nature, although you can encounter stinging insects and develop an allergic reaction in urban environments as well. If you are allergic or not sure it’s best to keep this handy medication dispenser on-hand to prevent severe allergic reactions such as anaphylactic shock. The chemical inside an epinephrine injection helps narrow blood vessels and keep air passage ways open during an allergic reaction.

Plan Your Route
It’s easy to lose track of the distance travelled while touring America’s Finest City and its surrounding areas. The sights and sounds of the city or the serenity found towards inland territories may have you out riding longer than expected. Unless you’re headed in a circular route, remember the miles you trek out, are the same miles you have to trek in. So before heading out, set a designated route and stick closely to that path. Not only will it keep you from getting turned around, but help you with finding news areas to explore.  

Wear Your White Or Light Threads
Save the tye-dye or neon-colored shirts for the next racing event. Wearing light-colored clothes will not only help you stay cool in the few months of the year that it’s actually hot in San Diego, it will keep you from attracting bugs that have you confused for something else. Plus, no one wants a bug trapped between their skin and garments.

Use Caution Going Downhill
San Diego is far from flat, coastal and inland terrain alike will have some elevated spots. So when descending steep trenches, follow this procedure to avoid skidding: stand on pedals, stay low, lean back to transfer weight to the rear of the bicycle, and apply brakes with more pressure on the back brake.  Try not to use your breaks in gravel or loose dirt. Putting the center of gravity towards the rear of the bike will allow you to get down hills safely.

Correctly Removing & Treating Stings
In the unlikely case – if you followed the above tips – you are stung by a bee, there is a four-step process to get you back on your bike quickly. Here is a visual guide to demonstrate how to properly treat a bee sting. It’s understandable that you have limited supplies while out riding, so you can use substitutes in place of the items mentioned in the guide.

For example, you can clean the affected area with some water from your water bottle. After cleaning, apply the side of the water bottle to the sting to reduce any swelling. Most importantly, remember to scrape the stinger off immediately with a flat edge – fingernails work fine.

No matter where you’re riding or for what purpose, have these tips in mind to create a safe and memorable biking experience with all San Diego County has to offer. Just remember, always be attentive, prepared, and ride with a partner – then you should be just fine.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Thanks for your support!

By Nicole Burgess, SDCBC Member and Bicycle Advocate

I want to take a moment to send a big thanks to SDCBC for acknowledging and supporting my advocacy.
It was a nice honor to be recognized for my efforts and to be financially supported to attend the Washington DC National Bike Summit.  It was an inspiring week.

As momentum stirs around the nation for better bike infrastructure and more livable streets, I hope the City of San Diego is able to find and hire a knowledgeable and innovative traffic engineer that can truly create the facilities needed to create a safe and enjoyable riding environment for everyone here in San Diego.  That is one of the challenges.

To unite as cyclists and be able to provide great facilities across San Diego County all the way up the coast to San Francisco and beyond is another obtainable challenge.

As spring has come and we welcome the sunshine and many hours to ride, I hope more San Diegans will give it a try.

A quote best sums it "Some people will never understand how great biking really is." (First by Bob Gross and then again by Stephan Vance)

We all need to take action and protect our environments.   Biking is an answer for so many local and national issues. For most readers, you already are doing this.  Being on your bike is our best advocacy.  Keep Riding!

For those of you who are new to riding - I hope you will give it a try!   Enjoy your commute as part of a healthy living choice - Challenge yourself to bike as many miles as you drive in a month by commuting locally on a bike.  If you work far away, maybe it's time to move or change jobs.   Or possibly, learn to use transit and become multimodal.  Finally, enjoy the fact that you are making a difference for the health of yourself and your world. Thank you again to all of you that ride rather than drive.   I'm sure you would agree that it's often the best part of the day!

South Park Businesses Next on Bike Local Sunday Tour

Ride South Park, head to CicloSDias Mini in Balboa Park on May 19th

SDCBC just announced South Park as the next Bike Local Sunday event, in conjunction with the City’s first CicloSDias Mini in Balboa Park. The Bicycle Coalition encourages folks to ride bikes to local businesses and support neighborhood economies.

Bike Local Sundays rolls into South Park on May 19, with free bike valet parking and 15 percent discounts at Alchemy restaurant and Progress boutique for those who ride bikes.

“Our next stop on the Bike Local Sundays tour is special because it coincides with the City’s first CicloSDias Mini in Balboa Park,” said Andy Hanshaw, executive director of the County Bicycle Coalition. “South Park’s bike friendly businesses welcome everyday cyclists and their families to ride into the neighborhood then head over to Marston Point in Balboa Park for CicloSDias Mini.”

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.
“South Park’s Alchemy restaurant and Progress boutique are kind enough to offer 15% off purchases to community members participating in Bike Local Sunday on May 19,” said Tiffany Bromfield, CEO of the Business Improvement District Council. “We’re excited these bike friendly businesses are showing their support for everyday cycling in San Diego.”

Marsha Smelkinson of the South Park Business Group added that the participating businesses are pleased that bicyclists are actively supporting their local neighborhood economies.

"The businesses of South Park are happy to host Bike Local Sunday on May 19,” said Smelkinson. “In addition to the Alchemy and Progress discounts, cyclists can expect a warm welcome along with specials and discounts at many other shops and eateries in our neighborhood."

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.

CicloSDias Mini in Balboa Park will open the streets near Marston Point for pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy a walk or ride car-free. CicloSDias Minis are scheduled with Bike Local Sundays in May, June and July, ahead of CicloSDias on August 11. 

Visit the Bike Local Sunday South Park map for information on a route from South Park to CicloSDia Mini.               

The Bike Local Sundays schedule is:
·    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 11, 2013 – San Diego CicloSDias
·    August 25, 2013 - Bike the Bay
·    Sept 22 – Pacific Beach
·    October 20 – Ocean Beach