Hundreds of North County cyclists bike to work

Hundreds of North County cyclists bike to work
Two bikers stop for a selfie break at the pit stop on Pine Avenue during Bike to Work Day May 29. Photo by Ellen Wright

REGION— It’s going to take more than rain or fire to stop North County cyclists.

Bike to Work Day was postponed for the second year in a row, yet the amount of people participating increased from past years, said Carlsbad Special Events Coordinator Nick Sitar.

Last year, it was postponed due to the fires and this year because of rain on May 15.

More than 200 riders went by the pit stop at Pine Avenue and Carlsbad Boulevard May 29, with about half stopping for free tee-shirts, pastries and bike accessories.

Sitar said a few people were coming all the way from Orange County.

The San Diego Association of Governments, or SANDAG sponsors the event, in an effort to get more people out of their cars and onto bikes.

“It’s really amazing, the relationship between people that bike, people that drive and use transit,” said Hannah Williams with the San Diego Bike Coalition. “ (If) more folks ride their bikes, it eases up congestion.”

She said one of the big draws of Bike to Work Day is that people feel safe riding their bikes when there are more riders on the road.

“It comes back to safety in numbers,” Williams said.

City and San Diego Bike Coalition staff were giving out donated items, like reflectors and bike lights to encourage riders to get out more often.

“Our challenge is to make every month Bike Month to get more people out there,” said Williams.

SANDAG officials hoped San Diegans would ride a combined distance of 25,000 miles, or the equivalent of a trip around the globe.

The data wasn’t ready by press time.

Local leaders view cycling as a means to help ease traffic congestion, reduce the carbon footprint and better the health of the community.

The San Diego Regional Bike Plan outlines bike projects in the region over the next 35 years.

In North County, SANDAG officials have planned to create an interconnected 27-mile trail linking Oceanside to Del Mar.

Williams believes it will make it much easier for people to bike.

“That’s the big thing to actually get people riding, not just for recreation but for transportation,” said Williams.

San Diego Bike Coalition also hosts free workshops for people looking to begin riding in an urban environment.

The workshop has both a classroom element, where basic traffic rules are introduced, and a ride along, where instructors take the students out on the road to practice what they learn.

The next classroom workshop is at the Oceanside Community Room June 19 from 6 to 9 p.m.

More information on the workshop can be found at bikewalkoceanside.org.

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