Equipped with helmets and water bottles, thousands of bicyclists put pedal to pavement Thursday for the annual Bike to Work Day in San Diego.
From Oceanside in San Diego’s North County to San Ysidro in the south, locals left their cars at home and instead rode their bikes to work. All morning, volunteers manning 100 pit stops throughout the county helped provide water, snacks, free T-shirts, encouragement and a little break for bicyclists.
One popular pit stop was in the Morena area, led by Rob Tavakoli, vice president of SportRX, a business specializing in eyewear for bicyclists and athletes. For Tavakoli’s company, Bike to Work Day is the ultimate celebration.
“It’s our Super Bowl, birthday, Christmas, Hanukah – everything put together,” he told NBC 7.
In that area, cyclists were coming through as early as 5 a.m.
Tavakoli said there are many reasons to ride to work not just on Bike to Work Day, but every day.
“It feels good, being one less car out there contributing less carbon emissions, a little bit less dependent on gas – just makes the world a lot better of a place,” he said.
Plus, San Diego’s great weather makes it a prime place to pedal.
“If there was ever a town meant for biking to work, it’s San Diego,” said Tavakoli.
Tavakoli said bicyclists can drop into SportRX’s little pit stop area not just on Bike to Work Day, but seven days a week. The stop is always stocked with water and granola bars.
“We really believe that if you get somewhere on two wheels, it’s better for the world, it’s better for our city,” added Tavakoli. “We want to support it as much as possible. We don’t just talk the talk, we pedal the pedal.”
Other pit stops for riders Thursday offered free bike repairs and tune-ups, as well as live music, photo booths and even complimentary massages.
One of the biggest stops was hosted by the University of California San Diego at Town Square near Gilman Drive and the university’s Price Center. The San Diego Zoo and the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation also hosted their annual pit stop near the carousel at Balboa Park of Park Boulevard.
Bike to Work Day is organized by the San Diego Association of Goverments’ (SANDAG) iCommute program.