City of San Diego, CA

08/02/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/01/2020 22:17

Better By Bike - Rider Spotlight - Angelica Rocha

Rider Spotlight

How long have you been bicycling and how did you get started?

I have been bike commuting since 2012. At the time, I was a transit-dependent college student living in San Francisco. A friend lent me her bike one summer and bicycling has been my main form of transportation ever since.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get started going by bike?

BUY A USED BIKE! I think there's a perception that if you want to start riding bikes the first place you go to is a bike shop. Not to discount all the amazing shops in San Diego, (shoutout to Uptown Bikes!), but I rode for months on a bike I bought off Craigslist for less than $100 before I ever even stepped foot in a bike shop. Do some research online to figure out your size and go test ride bikes for sale by people in your community.

Getting comfortable with riding and being on the road is super important. No need to get a shiny, brand new bike to do it. Riding a bike provides you with the power to move freely and if you truly want to be able to ride freely, as in ride anywhere and park anywhere, used bikes are the way to go. I rode around on my 1980's Craigslist find for 8 years! Just this year I bought my first brand new bike and it felt so good, but I get nervous locking it up so I can't ride it everywhere I want to go.

How do protected bike lanes support your commute?

At the moment they don't. When the Downtown Mobility Plan is complete, however, I'll be riding on protected lanes everyday and I can't wait. If we want to get more people riding in our City, we need to show them that active transportation has a place on the street. I think our City needs to apply a variety of infrastructure strategies to make biking more visible and safe. Even as an experienced cyclist, I've become a really cautious rider since moving back to San Diego. We have a long way to go to safely connect communities through our bike network.

Where are your favorite places to bike to in San Diego?

Anywhere Southeast of Mission Valley, Mid-City, Uptown, Downtown, Barrio, and Coronado. The bike for me is a form of transportation, but also an extension of me, and those are places I can get to (relatively) easy and where I spend most of my time. But more specifically, my favorite place to bike is probably anywhere with tacos and beer!

What makes San Diego a great place to bike?

The weather, hands down! It's extremely pleasant to ride throughout the year as compared to pretty much everywhere else in the world.

What's the one thing you think people should know about biking?

Biking is really whatever you want it to be. It's your body and you are in control of so much of it. You want to destress from a hard work day, maybe you're running late, or you want a workout, crush it and ride super fast. You want to relax, unwind, or maybe catch up with a friend while doing something active, cruise slow. You get to decide what you get out of biking and it is truly the best way to connect with a place. You get to experience and be a part of a community's smells, sounds, and faces all at ground level.

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