It was a warm, sunny and beautiful day on Thursday. While great weather in San Diego is often the norm, what it also brought forth were several University of San Diego students together to raise awareness of a great activity to do on days like Thursday and to also be the norm — Bicycling to, from and around the USD campus.
“There’s a number of people on campus who commute on their bike every day. They might do it because they like to be outdoors, it saves them money or they do it for sustainability,” said senior USD student Beau Seguin, who rides his bike to and from his off-campus apartment in Mission Beach. “When I moved off campus my sophomore year to Mission Beach, there’s a great trail I found that takes 20 minutes or so to get to campus. You hit the river from Quivira Way and take the bike path to Friars Road. It’s mostly flat, except for the last little hill. It’s a great way to get the endorphins moving before I get to class.”
On Thursday, through a word-of-mouth social media message to fellow classmates, he organized what he called “USD Critical Mass.” It consisted of a group of students taking a short 20-30 minute bike ride around the main arteries of the USD campus to bring attention to the need for more people to ditch their car and to consider riding a bike to school. Professor Esteban Del Rio, who is also USD’s associate provost for inclusion and diversity and director of the Center for Inclusion and Diversity, routinely commutes to campus on his bike. He joined the students for the ride and was impressed with their message.
“Over the past four years I’ve been here, I’ve noticed a growing number of riders,” Seguin said. “The university has put more bike racks on campus and students are looking for a more friendly riding system on campus. We had 20-plus riders today and that’s up from eight last week. Hopefully seeing us do it will raise more awareness and bring a larger community of bike riders together. It creates another reason to socialize, to get a great workout and to keep people fit and happy.”
Thursday’s ride attracted USD students from all grade levels and majors such as environmental studies and engineering. Seguin invited anyone on campus to join he and others for future rides. Seguin suggested students interested to ride but don’t have a bike check out USD’s Outdoor Adventures about renting one. He added that he and his group might consider hosting a bike ride before final exams week begins at USD, terming it as an effective de-stress activity.
He’ll surely utilize his daily ride to and from campus as a wellness helper.
“The experience of enjoying your transportation makes the whole experience that much better,” Seguin said. “It’s great to enjoy the view at the beach, to see beautiful birds flocking around, riding on a beautiful bike path where it’s quiet and peaceful. It’s a wonderful experience all around.”
— Ryan T. Blystone