Friday, May 1, 2015

May is National Bike Month

Did you know that May is National Bike Month? If you ever wondered what it would be like to try to bike around town running errands or sight-seeing or commuting to work, there isn't a friendlier time of year to give it a go!
Look how many bikes you can fit into a single car parking spot!
I know, riding the bike on the roads within the San Diego city limit can be an intimidating experience. Even with all the new bike infrastructures (sharrows, new bike lanes, 'Bike May Use Full Lane' signs, etc), there is still much work to do for our town to become truly friendly to non-car mode of transportation. One important factor in making that happen that you can contribute to, though, is to increase the number of bikes on the roads.

Have you ridden on the new buffered bike lanes on 4th & 5th Ave in Uptown, yet?
The more drivers see bicycles, the more aware they are of bicycles... Sounds like a no-brainer? It is! Often time, no matter how narrow or curvy a road is, the biggest determinant of how safe that road is for everyone (driving, cycling, walking, or just standing there chatting with the neighbors rather than all cooped up in a room fighting with strangers on facebook or other social media page) is the mindset of the drivers on that road. The more you are reminded of slower road users on the same streets, the more habitually you look out for them... and that benefits everyone! (Because... unlike in the movies, real life accidents have real consequences for everyone involved).
I've had my years of 30000 miles/year behind the wheel of a car, but I think I've seen a lot more of the neighborhoods and countrysides here since I switched to almost exclusively traveling by bike. You see cool and curious things in your own neck of the woods that you wouldn't notice speeding by in a car (or even when you aren't speeding, but just sitting there stuck in traffic... but not looking out the window. Cars do that to you, cutting you off from your surroundings and often making other people outside of your little steel-encaged environment seem a lot less people/real).

All taxpayers pay for the non-freeway roads regardless of their mode of transportation. We ALL own the roads and have the right to them whether we are driving a car or not.
You can stop and hop off the road just about anywhere to check out that cool looking bookshop or cafe that you have been meaning to stop by forever... but never did, or to walk the bike through a local farmers market, or even to just lean against a rock to enjoy a fleeting spectacular view. Getting a parking spot at Torrey Pines State Beach so you can watch the sunset into the ocean is a lot easier on bike than in a car, for instance.
Did you know that you can get free refreshments and other swags at pit stops around town during Bike To Work Day? Click here for San Diego region Bike To Work Day 2015 pit stop map.
Think your commute route is too hilly? This guy has to climb Honey Springs Rd on his bike commute between Jamul and Chula Vista!
Think cycling is too physically taxing for you? This young dude here is paralyzed on his right side...
Biking to work and to run errands or even for exercise isn't as hard as you think! Try it for a day (Friday May 15th 29th (original date postponed due to rain) is Bike to Work Day) or even for a week (May 11-15 is Bike to Work Week)... or maybe even for a month! You'll save a load of $$$ (gasoline isn't exactly cheap these days, and so are car maintenance fees), get a bit less chubby while getting to eat more goodies than you used to, pollute the air we all breathe in a lot less, and get to know your own neighborhood and neighbors a lot better!

If you have never cycled much in traffic before, there are a few cycling safety videos you might like to watch before heading out.

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Thanks for stopping by. Be safe on the roads!