Quick hard hitting commentary. I’m not an expert, but who doesn’t love snap judgements nowadays? They may not be well thought out, insightful or based in reality, but everybody makes them.
For the past couple of days, I’ve been whirling around downtown San Diego, going back and forth between Cal Bike Summit functions and late night emergency dessert cravings.
I’ve visited the area many times before and even ridden around once, but not since I’ve taken the secret oath to serve humanity as Mr. CiclaValley.
My previous trip on two wheels took me south out of downtown over through Chula Vista and since my memory was wiped during superhero conversion, details remain sketchy. I have a feeling that I was buzzed by cars leaving the downtown core while making my way out to Otay Lakes, but they get mixed in like Jason Bourne like.
In my new life as a cyclist, I haven’t strayed more than a couple of miles from the Gas Lamp District, but here’s what I’ve seen so far.
1. Drivers are a lot more patient
I don’t really think there’s a difference in the DNA from my southern Californian counterparts, but more the lay of the land.
Downtown has a lot of lights and many one way streets. I don’t care what form of transportation you’re going on, but you’re going to be stopped at a few lights, so why fight it? The San Diego seem a bit more laid back in this regard.
2. Cycling at night is a pleasure
It’s that depressing time of the year where the sun comes down at an earlier hour. No one likes it, except vampires, who aren’t cool anymore even though we’re on the cusp of Halloween(suck it Robert Pattinson).
I feel comfortable enough to show you Blue Steel at night
The streets are in fairly good condition(next to what I’m used to), are fairly well lit and people who drive tend to give you enough space. At least no one has cursed me so far so San Diego, you’re batting 1.000 for now.
3. San Diego can’t get enough of novelty transport
If you want to hop in a pedicab, God bless you. I can’t speak to the value of taking one of these rides, but maybe yelp can do a better job. You’d get a better deal riding a gondola in Venice. The drivers also look pissed at me not being a potential customer with a bike of my own.
The only positive is that if you believe in market economics, then you’ll champion the fact that these pedicabs are everywhere around the Gas Lamp. Someone must be making money. Ah. Capitalism.
You’ll also see those beer bikes that don’t serve beer. I don’t know what the point is again. How’d the world get upside down?
I can’t believe I got a blurry shot of this slow moving beer bike
4. Bike share may or may not be alive
There are a large number of bike stations out there, but I’ve never saw anyone check a bike out. Maybe it’s a super quick process, but I wouldn’t know. I brought my own.
I have seen a few of the bike share cycles out on the road, but they don’t stick out like the previous subgroup I’ve described, so how do I know they are there?
Just come to a hard, hitting snap judgement and say maybe….
LARGE SNAP JUDGEMENT CONCLUSION:
This article exists in a bubble. From my short time at the summit, I’ve learned about the many other issues in San Diego. From the struggle to add bike lanes in City Heights to completing the Bayshore Bikeway to inequity in places like Logan Barrio, San Diego has a diverse set of infrastructure issues like any other.
Downtown is a compact urban environment that introduces you to a slice of life, but any city can only be judged as it functions as a whole. So, no huge, earth-shattering snap judgements. I’m better than that.
Except that Extraordinary Desserts is more than ordinary.