Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The San Diego Omnium - Inaugural Two-Day Race

UCSD, SDSU and SD Bicycle Club Host Inaugural Two-Day Race

Partnership brings racing back to UCSD’s campus

The First Annual San Diego Omnium is a joint event between the cycling teams of UC San Diego (UCSD), San Diego State University (SDSU), and the San Diego Bicycle Club (SDBC) that will take place February 28 and March 1. The Omnium—a multi-race competition where each event counts towards a rider’s overall placing—as well as the individual races of which it is comprised, are open to cyclists of all ages and levels. The race organizers are expecting participants and spectators from across Southern California.

A compelling goal of this event is to provide more racing opportunities for cyclists in San Diego County and to increase the participation of collegiate and women cyclists. Proceeds from the event will benefit each of the three clubs and are used to support initiatives to increase cycling participation and awareness.

More information here- http://www.sandiegoomnium.info/

The San Diego Omnium will begin with the Aztec Classic Criterium hosted by SDSU in Claremont on Saturday, February 28 at 7 a.m., continuing with SDBC’s Fiesta Island Time Trial  (FITT) on Sunday, March 1 at 7 a.m., finishing with the Triton Grand Prix on UCSD’s campus near Moore’s Cancer Center at 7 a.m. Spectators are encouraged to attend any of the race segments.

Noncash prizes are being provided by event sponsors Rudy Project, Skratch Labs, San Diego Herbal Medicine, Cafe Virtuoso, and WD-40 BIKE.

Full details of the races, including registration for riders, can be found on the USA Cycling website at https://www.usacycling.org/register/2015-835.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Carlsbad Village Business Owner Spotlight - Pedego Carlsbad

Pedego Carlsbad is the local bicycle shop in Carlsbad Village and looking forward to celebrating their two-year anniversary serving the community this spring. Located conveniently on Carlsbad Village Drive near the Coastal Highway, 355 Carlsbad Village Drive, they sell and service both traditional bicycles and electric assistance bicycles. Denise Buckingham chose the Village because “it is a quaint place, with a small town vibe. I don’t run into any grumpy people. All the business owners are nice, and of course, we live in Carlsbad.” Denise has seen a large increase to Pedego Carlsbad’s business with the infrastructure improvements in the Village, especially with the increased bike lanes and bike racks.

As a Carlsbad resident, she has seen more and more people choosing to ride bicycles. Three-quarters of her employees ride their bicycles to work, a higher percentage than the year before, as employees see the feasibility and economic benefits to riding in Carlsbad, instead of driving and parking a car.
When asked what could be done to increase walking and biking in the Village, Denise responded, “One of the things we could do to increase it is better maps. People always ask me for maps. It would be great to have a handout with a map and information about biking- where to bike and how to get there. Educate people, to be more aware of biking safely, and biking routes with fewer cars. A lot of residents are unaware of bicycle laws and where is best to ride. With all these bike racks, biking is easy (in the Village).”
They found their customers come from a diverse crowd with an increased demographic coming from a thirties plus crowd, looking for to be active but don’t want to go to the gym. Electric assistance bicycles help riders get over the various hills in Carlsbad. “We promote biking, we do bike tours and I feel we are helping a lot of people.” Recently a couple rented a pair of bicycles and returned engaged!

Pedego Carlsbad has partnered with Linda’s Yogurt, who provides sandwiches for the Couple's Romantic Ride package that Pedego Carlsbad offers. Additionally, they participate with Carlsbad Causes for Community, non-profit of local businesses and Carlsbad residents who collaborate to raise money for various community causes by organizing and implementing events and projects that serve the community. Denise likes that her business is able to serve her community and help promote a healthy lifestyle. She is also looking to increase business partnerships to help grow the connections with other businesses.

Finally, when asked about getting more people riding in the Village, Denise said if she were new to biking she would look for safe places to ride. The San Luis Rey River Trail in Oceanside offers a safe, open space to build biking skills where cars are not a factor. “Some people are nervous about cars, and they are little wobbly, so the trail gives them a place to ride and become comfortable on a bike.” Pedego Carlsbad offers a drop-off service to the trail, so people can rent a bike and build confidence in a less stressful environment. Customers have returned from that experience and later bought bicycles. More people biking in the Village means healthier residents, increased parking for tourists, and a better way to enjoy the Southern California weather.

 With Walk+BikeCarlsbad, the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, in a partnership with the City of Carlsbad and CirculateSD, aim to educate businesses and residents best practices in biking and walking in the Village, and show the economic benefits of bike and walking.
More information about the year long campaign is HERE- on the City of Carlsbad website.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Tour de Fat's Car for Bike 2014 Winner Update

What happens when you give up your car? Well Hutton Marshall decided to take New Belgium’s Tour de Fat Car-for_Bike Trader challenge, where one brave role model trades in his or her car keys and pledges to live car free for one year.  Upon giving his car to New Belgium to have them auction it off, he was given a stipend ($2,200) to buy a bicycle and accessories and asked to report on his life changing experience. (Proceeds of the donated car go to the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and the San Diego Mountain Bike Association) Every city on the Tour de Fat circuit picks one recipient, from a video submission addressing why they want to go car-free and commit to biking full-time. Do you want to apply? Information is on the New Belgium website about this year’s Tour de Fat San Diego, and it's September 26th, 2015.

“The program was a good fit for me. I don’t live far from my work and I spent my time on the weekends within biking distance of my home,” says Hutton, editor of San Diego Uptown News.  “People treat me like I’m making some enormous sacrifice, but really, I still consider myself pretty lucky.” He does realize that he made a choice and “a lot of people in low-income communities would happily trade places with me. They bike to work out of economic necessity, and they certainly didn’t get a high-end touring bike for doing so.” Hutton reflects, “ So really, I did it because I could, and because in the end, I’m lucky to have the freedom and ability to do so.”

As you could imagine, riding a bicycle has some health benefits, “I’m definitely in better shape than I was sixth months ago, that’s for sure. Having Texas Street waiting for me at the end of each workday ensures I never skip a workout,” remarks Hutton. Riding a bicycle through a neighborhood also gives you a different perspective on transportation and city planning. “It’s also been pretty eye-opening too,” notes Hutton. “You see which neighborhoods are designed for residents and pedestrians, and you see which are designed as corridors for people to drive through as quickly as possible.” A cyclist must improvise; sometime the safest path is not a straight line.  “I’ve had to get creative figuring out how I get from A to B throughout the week, but mostly it’s been good.”

Two wheel Connector

“One day as I was just about to get home, I rode past a purse on the ground that other cars had driven past without noticing. Found a wallet in it, did a Google search and found out the owner is another journalist living in San Diego. She might do a story for Uptown News in the future. It’s just funny how getting out of a car makes you more social almost by necessity.”

What advice would you give our next Car-for-Bike Trader?

Hutton advises “Go to a few different bike shops before you choose your ride, but try to find one that’s close to home. Also, I’ve found car2go to be more cost-effective in supplementing my bike than public transportation, at least in the Uptown, Downtown and Mission Valley areas.”

This year’s San Diego New Belgium Tour de Fat is September 26th, 2015, and you can find out more information about the Car-for-Bike Trader program here.

Friday, February 13, 2015

People's Choice Advocacy Award Nomination

This national award is determined by a nationwide vote. CAST YOUR VOTE HERE!
Finalists for the People’s Choice award include state or local bicycle advocacy organizations whose “exemplary work” significantly improved bicycling in their communities though infrastructure or programs that helped make bicycling more “accessible to all”.
Last year, Bike East Bay won the inaugural People’s Choice Award for their 40 year (!) campaign to win bicycle access on the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) System. BART began service in 1972 with no provision for access by bicyclists – Bike East Bay (back then known as the East Bay Bicycle Coalition) was founded that same year with the specific goal of gaining bicycle access on BART. It wasn’t until 2013 that BART permanently removed the long-time rush-hour bike ban – finally providing equal access for bicyclists.
The nine national finalists for the 2015 People’s Choice Award are:

  • The Bicycle Coalition of Maine grew its statewide advocacy program, Community Spokes, a network of over 75 passionate local bicycle and pedestrian advocates working to make their communities and the state a better place to ride or walk. The Bicycle Coalition also hosted its second annual Bike Maine ride, a week-long tour of the state which contributed an estimated $395,000 in direct economic benefits to the communities along the 350-mile route.
  • Bike Delaware strategic funding campaign – Walkable Bikeable Delaware – helped win $30 million in new and discretionary state and federal funding for cycling and walking over four state budget cycles. Also thanks to the help of Bike Delaware and its partners, Delaware has leapt up in the Bicycle Friendly State rankings and is now ranked 4th in the country.
  • Bike Pittsburgh started 2014 off with a bang with the city being named as a Green Lane 2.0 city in March and installed their first three protected bike lane projects in September. In addition through the organization’s advocacy, seven new miles of traditional painted bike lanes and sharrows were added, bringing the citywide grand total to 65 miles. Bike Pittsburgh also hosted its first Open Streets event and its 10th annual BikeFest.
  • Bike Walk RVA, a program of the Sports Backers in Richmond, VA, launched its Connect RVA campaign. Bike Walk RVA worked closely with City Council and the community to build support for increased funding, and in June secured a combined $4.5 million in the city budget for new bikeway and trails projects (up from $50,000 in the Mayor’s proposed budget). The City has started installing buffered bike lanes and moving towards implementing a bike share system.
  • Cascade Bicycle Club saw Seattle’s City Council unanimously pass the updated Bicycle Master Plan, setting the stage for almost 475 miles of all ages and abilities infrastructure across the city. The Second Avenue Protected Bike Lane also opened, and within after the installation of the new protected bike lane, ridership increased to an average of 1,099 bicyclists a day–three times the daily number of bicyclists that had previously used the former one-way bike lane!
  • Georgia Bikes, a statewide advocacy organization, saw the growth of more Bicycle Friendly Communities, Universities, and Businesses in the Peach State in 2014. Georgia Bikes also coordinated a hugely successful, 9th annual Ride to the Capitol, drawing hundreds of bicyclists to the state capitol in Atlanta to rally for better bicycling.
  • GObike Buffalo hosted its first ever SkyRide, a ride that highlighted bicycle infrastructure throughout the city and included a ride over the Skyway, a 1.4 mile long, 110 ft high freeway bridge, that was closed for the first time ever to cars and opened to more than 900 bicyclists. GObike also secured funding matched by the City to update Buffalo’s Bicycle Master Plan.
  • Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition celebrated its 5 year anniversary in 2014 and secured $750,000 in the city’s budget for protected bikeways; delivered over 3,400 postcards in support of protected bikeways to City Hall; and hosted six Open Streets events with 40,000 participants and 500 volunteers.
  • San Diego County Bicycle Coalition hosted CicloSDias – San Diego’s only open streets event – and opened the streets to more than 25,000 people to safely bike, walk, and explore local businesses. The Bicycle Coalition’s Executive Director also became the Committee Chair of the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and will guide the strategic vision for the Bicycle Master Plan by working directly with elected officials and decision makers.

Monday, February 9, 2015

San Ysidro Bike Rodeo and Community Ride

San Ysidro Bicycle Rodeo and Community Bike Ride on February 7th, 2015. It was a spectacular turnout and special thanks to Girl Scout Troop 5912 and their amazing leader Irene Barajas! Also thanks to the San Ysdiro Police Department! We cannot say enough great things about Irene and her troop- check out some of their accomplishments through a google search. We loved partnering with them!
A Bicycle Rodeo is a bicycle skills event, taught on a school playground or parking lot, which provides an opportunity for kids and teens to practice and develop skills that will help them become better bicyclist and avoid typical crashes. Its objective is to teach children and teens the importance of seeing, being seen and remain under control at all times when riding a bicycle. This is achieved through a series of bicycle handling drills and simulation of traffic situations. Bicycle skills stations give students the opportunity to practice a variety of specific bike handling skills and procedures for operating a bike legally and more safely on the street.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

1st Walk+Bike About Carlsbad Photos

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. Join us and bring your friends and families along for the fun. 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. Check back regularly for updates and information about how you can get involved. Walk + Bike Carlsbad is intended to be a model for the region, so let's show them how it's done! 

The First Walk + Bike About was held at at the Carlsbad Senior Center, 799 Pine Ave. The event will offer tips for walking and biking in Carlsbad and provide information to help walkers and bicyclists feel comfortable making short trips around town by foot or bike. Breakfast provided.
This event is for bicycle riders of all ages and abilities.
The event was free, open to the public and included a presentation at 10 a.m. and a bicycle and walking tour of the Village and Barrio at 11 a.m. Participants may choose to either walk or bike. 

SD Bike Coalition's Hannah Williams assisting in ABC Quick Check demonstration.

San Diego County Bicycle Coalition's Hannah Williams and Britany Statt.

LCI Dave Voss teaching ABC Quick Check.

CirculateSD's Brian Gaze measuring the width of Coastal Rail Trail.
LCI Joel Flood discussing Rails to Trails, and Carlsbad's Coastal Rail Trail.

Monday, February 2, 2015

5th Annual Lakeview Elementary Bike Rodeo

Last week we helped instruct the 5th Annual Lakeview Elementary Bike Rodeo -- San Diego County's largest rodeo. Congrats to community leader and parent Kelly Bailey for another successful year and for another phase of Safe Routes To School infrastructure improvements.