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  • Leslie Sepuka

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  • Leslie Sepuka

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“As you bike throughout the whole year, the seasons change,” Grantham said about his bike commute on trails. “It’s always interesting.” Photo credit: Jeff Grantham.

Celebrate a Healthy, Environmentally Friendly, Cost-Saving Commute

Jeff Grantham.

Jeff Grantham

Ask Jeff Grantham what his favorite day of the week is and he’ll tell you it’s the day he bikes to his job as senior director of marketing for University Communications. “It gets your heart rate up, gets you going in the morning,” he said. In 2016, Bike to Work day motivated Grantham to start riding to work regularly. “It’s amazing to see how many bikers come out on Bike to Work day. Just knowing that people on campus ride to work inspired me,” he recalled.

Like Grantham, UC San Diego community members will have the opportunity to ride their bikes to work as part of Bike to Work day on Thursday, May 19. It is a chance to join thousands of your fellow Tritons and other San Diegans in this nationally recognized celebration of biking as a healthy, environmentally friendly and cost-saving commute choice.

Grantham noted the benefits of stress relief and outdoor time, but best of all, his bike commute allowed him to get in “a nice amount of exercise” while not missing out on “dad-time.”  “It is always interesting,” he said of his ride to and from the campus. “As you bike throughout the whole year, you see the seasons change.” Grantham stays on trails for most of his commute, but shared, “In winter, when the days are shorter, you have to be mindful of what time you leave at night and make sure you have lights and reflectors.”

Bike path on campus.

Take advantage of the expansion of bike paths on campus and other amenities like bike cages.

Sean Burns, director of development at the Jacobs School of Engineering, has been commuting by bike for years, taking the Coaster to the Sorrento Valley station, then riding on the bike path to campus. He soon discovered an added bonus, “While on campus, I bike to all my meetings. I am never late to a meeting because I can’t find a parking spot.”

Over time, he has learned how to maintain his bike, and takes advantage of campus amenities. For example, our campus features bike stands with tools attached, and some of them include air pumps. Burns also noted that his commute, “Helps slow the chaos of the day. When you drive you don’t notice, but I see hawks, deer—when you are moving slower, you pick up on these things and get to enjoy them.”

Burns found that he missed riding when he was working remote, “I don’t ride my bike on weekends or go out for rides on my own, so during the pandemic I didn’t do it. It made me realize I enjoy that transition period. It helps me think about what I need to achieve on my way to work and decompress on my way home.”

While every day might be Bike to Work Day for Burns, other campus community members can take advantage of the thousands of miles of bikeways in the San Diego region and the expansion of bike paths and amenities on campus. More than 100 pit stops are being planned throughout San Diego County for Bike to Work Day, offering bike riders the opportunity to rest, meet other bikers and enjoy giveaways.

A bike station near Geisel Library.

A bike station near Geisel Library with a bike stand, tools and air pump.

UC San Diego will host a pit stop from 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. in Town Square near the newly painted Rupertus Lane. Participants can pre-register for the event or register on-site. Those who have registered for the pit stop will be able to pick up a T-shirt and enjoy food and giveaways. The pit stop will include a photo booth, and vendors from local bike shops will display bikes and provide demo rides. In addition, Campus Bike and Skate will provide bike tune-ups.

On Monday, May 16, San Diego Bicycle Coalition is hosting an online class at 1:30 p.m. for those interested in commuting to work by bike. Topics covered include bike types and uses, carrying gear, advanced route planning, infrastructure types, defensive bike handling skills and more. To register for the online class visit the UCSD Bike Commuting 202 registration page.

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