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Cycle-Happy San Diegans

Two San Diegans demystify the commute

National Bike to Work Day is May 18. Two San Diegans demystify the commute.

Name: Jamie Ortiz, 32

Home base: Ocean Beach

Where you work: Jamie Ortiz Communications. I have clients in Carlsbad, Point Loma, and South Bay. And yes, I bicycle commute to all of them—anywhere from two to 40 miles, one-way.

Why bike? I get to take in fresh air, skip the gym, save money, let go of business stress, avoid traffic jams, see nature, be green, get healthy, build muscles, explore, be a kid... what’s not to love? I’ve been bike commuting for eight years.

Advice? Always plan to arrive 15 minutes early. That gives you a moment to cool down, and it allows time to fix a flat (just in case). Always bring a spare pair of shoes. When I commute to business meetings, I dress in an outfit that I can ride in and wear straight into my meeting—I just throw on a pair of high heels and a business jacket.

Uphill battle: A few years ago during a rainstorm, I biked up Texas Street with so much water coming down, it covered my pedal and foot on the downstroke. People in their cars stared at me like I was crazy. But my inner child was happy and alive. Oh, and I wasn’t stuck in traffic.

Name: Michelle Go, 27

Home base: North Park

Where you work: Parsons Brinckerhoff, downtown—about five miles each way.

Tip: Use Google Street View to check out different routes before hitting the road. Some roads are smoother than others.

Cautionary tale: Once I was riding on a sidewalk and a driver pulled out of a parking garage quickly without looking and struck me. Fortunately, I was not hurt and the driver paid for the repairs to my bike. It taught me that riding on the sidewalk can be more dangerous than riding on the street!

Did you know? According to the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, riding your bike three hours per week can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by 50%

FIND OUT MORE: 511sd.com/icommute

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