Commute to class with pedal power

Students enjoy safely biking to class as an alternative to driving

By Tobi Nickel

With year-round mild weather, San Diego is one the best cities in the entire nation for people to commute by bike. The San Diego region has more than 1,340 miles of bikeways and USA Today ranked San Diego as one of the top 10 most bicycle-friendly cities.

Given these favorable circumstances, commuting to class by bike is something that USD students may want to consider.

I live in Mission Beach and I greatly enjoy riding my bike to and from class on a regular basis. It is a very fulfilling experience that enriches my daily life.

While I was riding my bike home along the San Diego River in the glistening evening sun last week, I thought that more students should know about and take advantage of the unique opportunity of going to college in such a beautiful and bike-friendly city.

Biking to class is not as crazy as it sounds. It is a great way to start your day, stay fit and help the environment. It reduces traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.

It also saves you money on gas, not to mention the expensive USD commuter parking permit. Lastly, you don’t get stuck in traffic or have to worry about finding a parking spot, which can be notoriously difficult and time-consuming at USD.

Especially if you live at the beach, biking to class is a great alternative to driving your car. It also is a viable option for those who would like to move off-campus, but don’t own a car and are concerned about transportation to and from USD.

According to Google Maps, it is only a 4.5 mile commute from Mission Beach to USD estimated to take 26 minutes – though you can do it in 20 minutes or less if you have a decent hybrid bike. From Pacific Beach it takes 33 minutes on average and from Ocean Beach only 23 minutes!

The best part is that the route form the beach to USD is very scenic, offering spectacular views of Mission Bay and of the San Diego River Wildlife Preserve.

Bike paths that have been designated for the exclusive use of bicycles and pedestrians exist along almost the entire stretch between USD and Mission Beach.

As a result, the commute is very safe and you will rarely find yourself sharing the roadway with motor vehicles.

Biking to school is a unique way to explore and appreciate the beautiful climate and landscapes that San Diego has to offer.

It allows you to be more in tune with your environment, noticing things that would not get your attention if you were sitting in your car.

While driving, people are primarily focused on traffic lights, stop signs and other cars, trying to get to their destination as fast as possible.

However, biking to school is a completely different experience that gives students the opportunity to slow down their hectic lives, gather their thoughts and spend more time in the outdoors.

So, if you haven’t tried it yet, consider gathering a group of friends and riding your bike to class together.