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City of San Diego, CA

08/02/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/01/2020 21:14

Better By Bike - Rider Spotlight - Vianney Ruvalcaba

Rider Spotlight

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

I have been riding since I was 7. As soon as my dad taught me how (and I crashed into a few trees), I would ride every afternoon around my neighborhood in Tijuana with my neighbors. I started riding for travel in college to get around UCSD faster when I was 19.

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

My advice would be don't be afraid to ask for help from friends (ask how to change a flat, how to use a bus bike rack, how to use trigger shifters, etc.) and to attend educational sessions by the Bike Coalition and/or Bikes Del Pueblo. Folks are so nice and helpful. I was able to change a flat and feel confident enough to ride on busy streets in no time. Get good bike lights ASAP. Look for a cute helmet and wear it always!! 

How do protected bike lanes support your commute?

Protected lanes really give me peace of mind on busier and wider streets. It's scary to take the lane or even use sharrows sometimes, so having a protected lane really minimizes fear and conflict related to motorists.

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

I love the San Diego River Trail starting near the Old Town Transit Center. The views are unbelievable. I also love riding around Barrio Logan and Logan Heights, feeling the fresh breeze, looking at all the cool houses and taking in the view of the bay at Cesar Chavez Park.

What makes San Diego a great place to bike?

San Diego really has a place for everyone when it comes to biking. One day I can have a nice coastal cruise in Mission Beach, another day I can check out mountain trails, and any day I can ride around my neighborhood, City Heights, Logan Heights, Southeast and explore all those little hidden spots that make San Diego so interesting.

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

Biking can really bring anyone joy. It's so simple but it gives you such a great feeling. It could be because of the exercise, being disconnected from so much media and negativity, being closer to nature, getting to know your surroundings up close, feeling the breeze on your face and the sun shining. I love how a simple act can bring someone so much joy. 

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