City of San Diego, CA

08/01/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/01/2020 16:56

Better By Bike - Rider Spotlight - Jacq Le

Rider Spotlight

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

I've been biking my whole life, but my love for biking started in high school when I bought Rosie, my Electra beach cruiser. I remember eyeing it for months before I could save up enough money for it.  I was 15 years old and I remember handing over a wad of cash for my bike. I would ride that cruiser up and down Pacific Coast Highway. My days were full of absolute bliss as I absorbed the sights and sounds of the beach town I grew up in. Over the years, I would recognize the local shop owners and residents - I felt like Mr. Rogers. It was priceless! I didn't realize it at the time, but through biking, I developed core values that I still hold onto to this day.

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

My advice is to feel comfortable on your bike. Get a proper bike for your height with a comfortable saddle. Invest in a helmet, lights and a good U-lock. Think about how you want to use your bike and where you want to go and take the time to map out safe routes. I would also connect with friends that enjoy biking and plan a day trip somewhere that takes you out of your comfort zone. If you're looking to use your bike for long work commutes that involve taking public transportation, try your route on the weekend and time it out. Google Maps is a great tool that can help you estimate your travel time. I'd recommend talking to experienced bikers and joining a casual group ride to meet more bike-minded folks.

How do protected bike lanes support your commute?

Protected bike lanes ease my anxiety when I'm out on the road. When I see the bright green-painted bike lanes, it's like a stamp of approval from city officials that I am allowed to take up this space, and that it's not made just for cars. It gives me more confidence and validates my existence as a biker. I also hope that it signifies to people driving in cars that both bikers and drivers should have equal access to the road.

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

My favorite places to bike in San Diego (in no particular order): the 101 Highway (from UCSD to Oceanside), my routine loop from North Park to South Park to Sherman Heights to the East Village to Barrio Logan, then taking Harbor Boulevard to the Convention Center, along the Marina to Little Italy, to Bankers Hill, cutting through Balboa Park and I love taking Adams Avenue and then looping back to where I started. I am still discovering more places to bike with friends.

What makes San Diego a great place to bike?

San Diego is a great place to bike because there are many organizations and leaders advocating for larger and more connected bikeways. Our weather allows for year-round cycling and we are a city of microclimates and unique neighborhoods. The terrain differs, we can ride through valleys and hills, mountains, deserts, coastal beachfront, and discover many landmarks. Variety is the spice of life!

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

It's an incredible invention! On a bike you enter into a portal of ever-changing ways of feeling, being and seeing. I truly believe it's the fountain of youth. I have utilized a bike in a plethora of ways and it has saved me in many situations. From helping me escape dangerous situations, it's made living without a car possible, it's an environmentally-sound way for me to commute, and it provides a daily sweet release from stress and overthinking. I can't help but smile when I'm on my bike. It's the cheapest form of therapy and the easiest way for me to stay active. Honestly, it's one of the best inventions man has ever made!

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