Inland bicycle group peddles pedaling as commuting optionLocated adjacent to Los Angeles and Orange County, the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernadino counties) is one of the fastest-growing areas in the U.S., and is rapidly loosing its natural beauty to strip malls, parking lots, and gated communities.
An organization of bicycle commuters spanning San Bernardino and Riverside counties is citing rising gas prices, growing environmental awareness and recent improvements to a regional bike route to promote more people pedaling to and from work.
The Bicycle Commuter Coalition of the Inland Empire has promoted cycling for more than a decade, with achievements such as persuading local public agencies to install bike racks on buses and establishing a free bicycle storage facility for spectators during the annual Redlands Bicycle Classic.
Coalition board member Eleanor Lippman said the local effort is just a start, and agencies need to do more to integrate bicycles into the traffic flow. "For someone who's a bicycle commuter to be treated as alternative, that's diminishing what we're doing," she said. "I couldn't get it through to people that you have to establish credibility and importance for using a bicycle instead of a motor vehicle."
Dan Clark, an associate professor of English at Riverside Community College's Moreno Valley campus...who commutes by bicycle, said people do seem curious about his choice. But so far, none of his acquaintances has followed his example.
"The lifestyle of Southern California, where people live 20, 30, 40 or 50 miles from their jobs, is inimical to bicycle commuting. It's almost like a critical mass. Because nobody does it, there's almost no support system for the people who do." (Read more.)
As the English professor cited in this article suggests, sprawl is not conducive to bicycle commuting. Bicycling advocates need to be at the forefront of efforts to curb sprawl.
Image: Press-Enterprise. San Bernadino bike commuter Steven Christiansen.
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips