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Accountant becomes full time cycling advocate in San Diego

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Accountant becomes full time cycling advocate in San Diego

Old 12-04-11, 11:13 AM
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ChasH
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Accountant becomes full time cycling advocate in San Diego

Interesting article about someone who quit her job as an accountant to become an advocate for cycling here in Enron-by-the-S... err sunny San Diego. The article has a link to a piece by the ex-accountaint which is also worth a read.

What a paragon!

https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/peopl...9bb2963f4.html

Cycling is referred to as a "hobby" by some of those posting below the two articles, which I find a rather bizarre mindset and of course is utterly dismissive of the many roles that bicycles have had since their invention. Very silly.

There is no doubt that more and more people are commuting on bicycles in San Deigo. It's still a tiny fraction but these people more than any are doing their part to change public perceptions about the value of cycling to the community and the need to improve infrastructure. It's true, as one of the bloggers points out, that the hilly terrain in north San Diego prevents many people from commuting by bike - myself included perhaps. Maybe I should get an electric bike like my neighbor has, to get me atop the mesa at Torrey Pines from sea level ......

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Old 12-04-11, 11:26 AM
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I not going to quit my day job, cycling advocacy doesn't pay in my city. I'll just do my advocacy by riding regularly, being highly visible to our local motorists/residents, and sending an occasional email to our local D.O.T on a cycling related safety issue.
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Old 12-04-11, 11:40 AM
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Does this make her 'accountable'?
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Old 12-04-11, 12:58 PM
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She is right however that San Diego has the potential to be a great cycling city... IF many many many improvements were made. Like most of southern California, this city prides itself on it's car culture.
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Old 12-04-11, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
I not going to quit my day job, cycling advocacy doesn't pay in my city. I'll just do my advocacy by riding regularly, being highly visible to our local motorists/residents, and sending an occasional email to our local D.O.T on a cycling related safety issue.
Actually DD, if I read the article correctly. She's only taking two years off, and will be living off of her savings. Which considering that she's an accountant and if she's a good one she should have made some wise investments and should be able to do so relatively comfortably for a while.
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Old 12-04-11, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
......She's only taking two years off, and will be living off of her savings.....
I've done that when I was younger, but for a shorter time frame, it was fun but not a good financial move on my part.
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Old 12-04-11, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ChasH View Post
It's true, as one of the bloggers points out, that the hilly terrain in north San Diego prevents many people from commuting by bike - myself included perhaps. Maybe I should get an electric bike like my neighbor has, to get me atop the mesa at Torrey Pines from sea level ......
As I recall, that is only 850 feet elevation change to the highest elevation housing.

Just one of the many excuses people use for why they cannot cycle commute.
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Old 12-04-11, 06:49 PM
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Nice ... I'm not suggesting that I cannot do it, and indeed I might if and when I'm sufficiently fit. There would be other elevation changes involved in my case but this is certainly the greatest. There are a few people who commute up that hill every day and it shows ...

A good thing about that hill is that there are no traffic lights on the grade (only at the bottom, near the beach), ergo no temptation to bust a red on the way down ....

Seriously, a major plus would be I'd often save 5-10 min (sometimes more) on the way home since there's usually a line of cars (2 lanes) extending 1/3 to 1/2 way up the blasted hill. There is a cycle lane of course and riders go past the cagers at an impressive rate of speed - must feel nice. An electric bike would be the ideal way to start - use the power assist as needed, gradually backing off as you get fitter. I'm thinking about it .......
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Old 12-04-11, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ChasH View Post
An electric bike would be the ideal way to start - use the power assist as needed, gradually backing off as you get fitter. I'm thinking about it .......
Or just get a bicycle without electric assist, forgoing the extra weight and cost of electric assist.

If you have to get off and walk, so what?
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Old 12-04-11, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ChasH View Post
An electric bike would be the ideal way to start.......
I'm have no qualms against electric pedal assist bikes either, and I can think of several times when I sure like to have one.... going uphill into a headwind carrying a load of groceries on a stormy winter night is definitely one such time.

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Old 12-04-11, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeybikes View Post
If you have to get off and walk, so what?
You have a point. I'm not too proud to get off and walk, that's for sure - I do it on the MTB occasionally, despite the absurdly low gear I have on that sucker. Actually my late-80's street bike doesn't have a very low bottom gear - it's a bit of an issue for my aged legs at the moment. But the idea of walking, or riding at walking speed, up a long hill before a 7 a.m. business meeting doesn't appeal to me much to be candid with you. Back in the day one of my favorite rides was the ascent of Cheddar Gorge (in Somerset) - that was > 40 yrs ago .....

If more people were aware of electric bikes as a commuting option I suspect many would leave the gas-guzzler at home every day, especially here in hilly northern San Diego. And once people saw the transforming effects that cycling has on body and mind (even with the occasional power assist ....), they might end up with a stable of 2-wheelers like many of you guys.

If I sold one of the motorbikes before picking up an electric as a third bicycle domestic tranquility might not be unduly compromised. It might happen.

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Old 12-05-11, 01:40 AM
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Every person that I have seen using an electric bike gave up within a month even though they were riding electric even on the flats. Pretty big expense for a months use.

If you are really serious about cycle commuting, then there cannot be excuses. Those that do cycle commute hear the list of excuses why others cannot do it. Guess what, we have already found solutions to those excuses and have gotten tired of hearing others use them.

I would suggest putting a set of slick tires on the mountain bike and start the commuting on it. When starting, it does not have to be every day. Just one, two or three days a week can work. It does not even have to be a round trip - cycle into work in the morning, drive home, drive into work next day and cycle home.
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Old 12-05-11, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
Every person that I have seen using an electric bike gave up within a month even though they were riding electric even on the flats. Pretty big expense for a months use.
Why did they give it up?
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Old 12-05-11, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
As I recall, that is only 850 feet elevation change to the highest elevation housing.

Just one of the many excuses people use for why they cannot cycle commute.
I just checked it out on Street View. It's something like 400 m in two km, as far as I can judge. That's quite a hill, really.
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Old 12-05-11, 01:58 AM
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Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
Why did they give it up?
I have no idea why, they never bothered to tell me once they stopped.
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Old 12-05-11, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
I just checked it out on Street View. It's something like 400 m in two km, as far as I can judge. That's quite a hill, really.
My Garmin topo shows the highest elevation houses at 850 feet, which agrees with my estimate when I rode there last year. You appear to be looking at the highest elevation which is above the housing development.
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Old 12-05-11, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
My Garmin topo shows the highest elevation houses at 850 feet, which agrees with my estimate when I rode there last year. You appear to be looking at the highest elevation which is above the housing development.
You're right, I think.
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Old 12-05-11, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
As I recall, that is only 850 feet elevation change to the highest elevation housing.

Just one of the many excuses people use for why they cannot cycle commute.
It is not just the elevation, but also the rate of change to get to that elevation... the slope, that tends to discourage new cyclists. Also bear in mind that unless one takes the even steeper route inside Torrey Pines park, a cyclist is making that ascent on a 50MPH arterial road... again rather discouraging to new cyclists.

As a related sidenote, experienced cyclists will just drop it into their lowest gears and spin their way up... newbie cyclists tend to not know how to spin. Many years ago that "lack of ability to spin" was one of the things I noticed first when watching new cyclists taking Road 1 courses... they simply do not spin. New cyclists tend to pedal at about 60 RPM or so (or lower) and often do not choose the right gears... couple that with new cyclists probably not being in good physical shape... just moving their legs like that takes the wind right out of them.

Of course a few weeks working up to speed and getting used to spinning will help quite a bit, but one has have the determination to do this.

With regard to folks stopping on the electric bikes... again, the "oppressive crush" of traffic can be very very discouraging, even if your bike does the work. All of us here tend to dismiss the noise, the rush of wind and the smell of heavy automobile traffic... yet that is probably the second or third largest item that discourages newer cyclists from regular street use. (a few honking horns along with all of that, don't help either)
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Old 12-05-11, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
It is not just the elevation, but also the rate of change to get to that elevation... the slope, that tends to discourage new cyclists. Also bear in mind that unless one takes the even steeper route inside Torrey Pines park, a cyclist is making that ascent on a 50MPH arterial road... again rather discouraging to new cyclists.

As a related sidenote, experienced cyclists will just drop it into their lowest gears and spin their way up... newbie cyclists tend to not know how to spin. Many years ago that "lack of ability to spin" was one of the things I noticed first when watching new cyclists taking Road 1 courses... they simply do not spin. New cyclists tend to pedal at about 60 RPM or so (or lower) and often do not choose the right gears... couple that with new cyclists probably not being in good physical shape... just moving their legs like that takes the wind right out of them.

Of course a few weeks working up to speed and getting used to spinning will help quite a bit, but one has have the determination to do this.
Might work for a lot of people, but I don't think spinning is for all. Just look at the radically different ways top pros attack the hills in TdF. Very, VERY different kadences, really.
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Old 12-05-11, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ChasH View Post
You have a point. I'm not too proud to get off and walk, that's for sure - I do it on the MTB occasionally, despite the absurdly low gear I have on that sucker. Actually my late-80's street bike doesn't have a very low bottom gear - it's a bit of an issue for my aged legs at the moment. But the idea of walking, or riding at walking speed, up a long hill before a 7 a.m. business meeting doesn't appeal to me much to be candid with you. Back in the day one of my favorite rides was the ascent of Cheddar Gorge (in Somerset) - that was > 40 yrs ago .....

If more people were aware of electric bikes as a commuting option I suspect many would leave the gas-guzzler at home every day, especially here in hilly northern San Diego. And once people saw the transforming effects that cycling has on body and mind (even with the occasional power assist ....), they might end up with a stable of 2-wheelers like many of you guys.

If I sold one of the motorbikes before picking up an electric as a third bicycle domestic tranquility might not be unduly compromised. It might happen.
I'm not trying to preach to you or anything but for me it came down to this: I had turned in to sort of a fatty from my desk job (5'11, 218 lbs was my max weight... right before I started cycling), I care about the environment, I don't think car culture is sustainable and the more people that bike in your city the safer it becomes for all cyclists in your city. Every day I used to sit in traffic in my car and watch all these skinny cyclists breezing by me and I felt drawn to that. Eventually I made the choice to start biking and since that time I haven't driven my car to work again.

Anyway, what I'm saying is: you need to think things through, determine if biking your commute is in line with your goals in life and if it is, just go for it. There will be some obstacles to overcome but I would just jump right in and overcome them. I commuted my first year through winter with no fenders and pretty much no rain gear (it sucked... I froze my rear end off and had to pack a spare set of clothes / shoes every day and change in the bathroom after thawing my hands out under hot water).

One other option is: take it slow at first and bike to work 1 day a week when you DON'T have an early-morning meeting. I know some people who have done this and are now die-hard bike commuters because they realized how happy they were on that 1 day a week.
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Old 12-05-11, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
Might work for a lot of people, but I don't think spinning is for all. Just look at the radically different ways top pros attack the hills in TdF. Very, VERY different kadences, really.
You are talking pro riders there, with well developed cycling muscles.
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Old 12-05-11, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
You are talking pro riders there, with well developed cycling muscles.
Well, exactly
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Old 12-05-11, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
Well, exactly
Right, which is not the case for folks that might do 2 hours a day commuting...
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Old 12-05-11, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Right, which is not the case for folks that might do 2 hours a day commuting...
Mhm, okay, what I meant to say was that beginners and others who are not being coached but just, you know, cycle, tend to have a quite low cadence. People who start riding "seriously" (light weight, fast, or long, tough commutes etc.), will have to start searching for their ideal cadence for different situations. My point is then, that they will not all benefit from a Lance Armstrong approach. Some people are natural born "mashers".
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Old 12-05-11, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
Mhm, okay, what I meant to say was that beginners and others who are not being coached but just, you know, cycle, tend to have a quite low cadence. People who start riding "seriously" (light weight, fast, or long, tough commutes etc.), will have to start searching for their ideal cadence for different situations. My point is then, that they will not all benefit from a Lance Armstrong approach. Some people are natural born "mashers".
I hear ya, the point is that "mashing" will tend to discourage all but the most robust cyclists from climbing local hills... it is not as if the hills are that high, but the shear number of them and the %of slope can make it discouraging. Mashers will likely injure their knees and give up, spinners with low gears can do it all day long, but learning spinning is something that takes a bit of experience, as does learning how and when to properly shift. This is where the line is drawn between casual commuters and "serious" riders. And this is where our system of not bothering to teach cycling in the US fails and why we have such a poor modal share for cycling for transportation.
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