Encinitas is basking in bikes this weekend!

January 8, 2022

This is a weekend I’ve been eagerly anticipating! Encinitas’ love affair with bicycles continues, with both an “open streets” event and the launch of our new bike share program.

On Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., all the cars will be chased away and the people will take over during the triumphant return of Cyclovia Encinitas, after a pandemic-hiatus last year. And the celebration isn’t just for people on bikes – many will just walk down the middle of Coast Hwy. 101 downtown, blending with skateboarders, scooter riders, folks pushing strollers, and other self-propelled contraptions.

And since this open street event from D St. to J St. on Coast Hwy. is car-free, it’s only fitting that Cyclovia itself is free and open to everyone.

Enjoy Cyclovia Encinitas 2022 Sunday, January 9, from 10am to 2pm on Coast Hwy 101 in downtown Encinitas between D and J Streets.
Shown above are scenes from the last Cyclovia in Encinitas in January 2020, a few weeks before the pandemic made such events impossible. (Photos by Jim Wang.)

My family and I will be riding our bikes there, and you’re encouraged to do that as well – bike racks and bike valets will be provided. There’ll be live music and lots to do, such as a bike skills/pump track area, a bicycle safety rodeo course, educational booths, and Cyclovia specials from our downtown restaurants and shops. This is great opportunity to patronize local businesses!

I hope you and your family can make it down to enjoy this unique open-air wingding. It’s so great to experience our familiar city from a refreshingly different, once-a-year perspective! Please say hello if we see each other there. Masks are strongly encouraged to protect public health.

Electric bike sharing has come to town!

It’s been a long time coming and we’re excited that our bike share program is now live! Encinitas is the 36th city in the country to contract with BCycle, owned by Trek Bicycle.

In the past when visiting other cities, you may have shaken your head at the sight of rental bikes and scooters littering city streets where they’ve been abandoned shelter-skelter all over the place. Encinitas wanted to avoid that sidewalk clutter, so we contracted for a system based on docking sites conveniently located around town.

The goal is to provide a one-way or round-trip bike ride, where you don’t have to own the bike and figure out what to do with it when you arrive somewhere. You just park it at a docking station for the next person to use. These three-speed bikes feature an electric pedal-assist system will amplify a rider’s pedal power up to 15 mph.

The initial Encinitas docking stations are shown on this map, with more planned based on usage trends.

A special smartphone app allows for a seamless check-out and check-in process. You can watch this one-minute video of that process here.

Here’s a news story on Cyclovia and BCycle from CBS8, and an intriguing article about how e-bikes are actually creating the chance for bike trips to replace car trips. 

My Councilmember colleagues (from left) Joy Lyndes, Tony Kranz and I were able to personally experience the BCycle e-bikes when we cut the ribbon our new Encinitas amenity last Wednesday at Moonlight Beach.
BCycle’s success in dozens of other cities has given them many opportunities to maximize rider convenience and work out any kinks in the system. I like the sturdiness of the design, and touches like a basket, a bell, and a place on the handlebars to strap your smartphone for easier navigation.
Ten of the 100 modern and convenient docking stations waited in silent anticipation for our new e-bikes at Leucadia Oaks Park at dusk on Tuesday, the evening before they were introduced to Encinitas.

Passes are available for purchase at encinitas.bcycle.com or via the BCycle app for your Android or iPhone. BCycle will be offering free 30-minute rides on their e-bikes at Cyclovia.

You can buy a Single Ride Pass for $7 per 30 minutes. Longer-term options include a Monthly Pass for $30 and an Annual Pass for $150.

I was impressed by the quality and simplicity of these e-bikes, and how easy they are to ride. I’m hoping you’ll enjoy them, too. But there’s only one way to find out – experience one yourself at a location near you.

Join us this weekend as the people of Encinitas celebrate the exhilaration of getting out of our cars and into the open streets!

In service,

P.S. Free ‘City Cycling for e-bikers’ class on February 5!

Many parents are worried about their kids on e-bikes. Here’s good news about helping them ride more safely – the City of Encinitas and the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition are offering a free e-bike class at the Encinitas Community and Senior Center on Saturday, February 5, from 9am to noon.

Register here for the ‘City Cycling for e-bikers’ class. 

It’s open to all ages, and riders can bring their e-bikes and bicycles to learn road rules, where to ride, general bike safety, emergency maneuvers, legal rights and responsibilities. The class will also include a guided road ride.

The Encinitas Community and Senior Center is located at 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive in Encinitas.

Class sizes are limited, so early registration is encouraged. Riders will need a bicycle or e-bike in good working order for this class. Some bicycling experience is required, this isn’t a “learn-to-ride-a-bike” class.