Bike-to-Work Day returns to San Diego on Thursday after a two-year hiatus during the pandemic.
People who can possibly ride a bicycle to work are encouraged to pursue that option Thursday, either as an experiment or to repeat something they’ve done before.
Riding a bike to work can also be part of a commute that also includes either a bus, trolley, ferry or walking. Most buses and trolleys allow commuters to bring bikes on board.
Encouraging people to experiment with bicycle commuting has become steadily more important for cities as they strive to lower greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.
San Diego officials say bicycling in San Diego increased 37 percent between 2019 and 2020, but that is partly because of pandemic-prompted lifestyle changes.
Councilmember Raul Campillo said Tuesday that he plans to ride more than three miles Thursday to a meeting of the Mission Trails Regional Task Force.
Council President Sean Elo-Rivera, a frequent bicycle commuter, encouraged San Diego residents to give it a try.
“The idea is to get more people to recognize that it’s not just something that can be fun, but it can be turning our commute into something that can be fun and active,” he said.
“We experience our communities differently when we’re on our bikes,” Elo-Rivera said. “I have a greater appreciation for the condition of our roads. I notice more of the small businesses. It’s just a better way to get to work when it’s feasible.”
He also encouraged all cyclists to wear helmets.
On Thursday, free T-shirts and refreshments will be available at 100 “pit stops” organized by the county’s regional planning agency, the San Diego Association of Governments, which is sponsoring the event. Pit stops will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
In 2019, more than 8,200 people visited pit stops. That was the 29th year in a row that a local bike-to-work day had been held.
SANDAG and the city are building protected bicycle lanes across the region to boost safety and encourage more people to consider bicycle commuting.
To register for the event and find a list of pit stops, go to icommutesd.com/events/bike-month.