The Wheel Deal

By Tony Lovitt

Nearly 10,000 San Diegans are projected to ride to work on two wheels on May 29, Bike to Work Day, demonstrating a healthier (for body and planet) alternative to commuting by car.

"I think 1995 or 1996 was the first year that we actually started sponsoring Bike to Work, and it's grown each year," says Ray Traynor, director of operations for the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), whose transportation program, iCommute, is one of three mobility-management programs within Traynor's purview.

In addition to exceeding last year's number of participants (8,700-plus), this year's Bike to Work event has a special goal.

"We're putting a challenge out there to see if the region's participants can [cumulatively] log 25,000 miles on Bike to Work Day, which would result in burning a million calories and is the equivalent of riding your bike around the Earth one time," Traynor says.

iCommute offers online support, encouraging riders to use a trip tracker and other tools available at gobybikesd. com, SANDAG's one-stop portal for anything relating to bicycling, including the registration site (click on "Participate") for Bike to Work Day 2015.

Traynor says participants can enjoy free refreshments, pick up a complimentary T-shirt and get enthusiastic encouragement at any of the event's 100-or-so strategically located pit stops.

"This event really serves as a catalyst for [participants] to get out and to give bicycling [as transportation] a try," Traynor says.

Given SANDAG's commitment to investing $200 million to expand regional bike facilities and add 77 new miles of bikeways over the next 10 years, plus the City of San Diego's partnership with DecoBike - a solar-powered bike rental and sharing station, of which there are 80 around town and 100 more to come - America's Finest citizens may soon opt for two-wheeled transportation more than just one day per year.

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