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Howard LaGrange, City of Oceanside Bike and Ped Coordinator and Andy Hanshaw with the San Diego Bike Coalition (file photo)

San Diego County Leaders Kick Off Bike Month

San Diego County CA—The official start of National Bike Month kicked off Thursday morning with a fun bike ride and press conference hosted by the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).

Leaders from around the county joined Bike Coalition Executive Director Andy Hanshaw to discuss efforts to make the region more bike friendly in the month of May and beyond. The speakers highlighted an extensive variety of biking, safety, and awareness events taking place during Bike Month – all to encourage biking as a form of transportation and recreation region wide.

“This is a great time to celebrate Bike Month in San Diego as we have so many exciting projects going on, including work on new segments of the Bayshore Bikeway,” said County Supervisor Greg Cox. “I believe the best way to discover a community is to go by bike and I encourage everyone to get out their bikes and discover San Diego County.”

Speakers included County Supervisors Greg Cox and Dave Roberts, San Diego City Councilmembers Todd Gloria and David Alvarez, Encinitas Council-member Lisa Shaffer, Coronado Council-member Michael Woiwode, SANDAG Chair and Santee Council-member Jack Dale and San Diego Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman.

To celebrate the launch of Bike Month in San Diego, the Bike Coalition led a 4.3-mile fun bike ride from University Avenue to downtown San Diego, ending at the San Diego County Waterfront Park on Harbor Drive.

“With more than 1,340 miles of bikeways in San Diego County and some of the best weather in the country, why isn’t every month Bike Month?” Hanshaw asked. “San Diego has every ingredient to become a world-class biking destination if we can get the wheels turning, which is why the Bike Coalition is committed to and enthusiastic about education, advocacy, safe infrastructure and the rights of all people on bikes.”

SANDAG is actively working to improve biking in the San Diego region with its GO by BIKE program, outlined in the San Diego Regional Bike Plan. In support of SANDAG’s Sustainable Communities Strategy, GO by BIKE aims to make biking a more useful form of transportation for everyday travel and promote the benefits to public health by encouraging more people to choose physically active options for their commutes or short trips.

In support of National Bike Month, the SANDAG iCommute program funded mini-grants for San Diego region events that educate, promote, and encourage biking as a viable transportation choice.
Bike Month events include:

  • Bike Fiesta: Saturday, May 2, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    From 10 a.m. – 11 a.m., participants ride with the San Diego County Bike Coalition from the San Diego Downtown Library to Balboa Park and back. From 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., bike enthusiasts enjoy a party for all things bike, including giveaways, presentations, and play areas for kids.
  • Bike to Work Day: Friday, May 15, 6 – 9 a.m.
    With 100 pit stops countywide, more than 8,000 San Diegans are expected to leave their cars at home and GO by BIKE to work as they aim to log 25,000 miles – the equivalent of one trip around the world.
  • Bicycle Traffic Skills Course: Saturday, May 30, 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
    The group class will learn best safety practices for sharing the road with cars, and participate in group ride around Oceanside.

To help new and experienced cyclists improve their bike handling skills and knowledge of the laws, the Bike Coalition hosts training classes, educational events, and entry-level rides every month. Please visit www.sdbikecoalition.org to see a list of all of the events and learn more about the countywide organization.