Eco Trekker Scouting Bike Commuting

Recently, we received an email from a mother/daughter team looking for help in providing information on using bicycles and electric bikes for commuting. Young Hannah is in Girl Scouting and working toward an Eco Trekker Badge. I’ll let you read her goals and request (through her mother) for help in promoting very useful information on e-bikes.

On June 11, 2020, at 5:47 AM, Michelle wrote:

Good morning Nicole,

I hope you don’t mind me reaching out in these scary times, but I figured everyone could use a nice message these day! 🙂

As a Mom, I wanted to thank everyone at the BikeWalk San Diego District 2 for putting together your links page! My daughter Hannah is a Girl Scout and she’s currently working on her Eco Treker Badge as part of the Environmental Stewardship series for her troop.

With all the uncertainty happening with the coronavirus, her troop has decided to postpone all meetings for the next month. (Just to be safe!) That being said, they still encouraged the parents to work with our girls at home to ensure we don’t fall too far behind!

The Eco Trekker Badge requires the girls to learn the skills for minimizing their impact on the environment while planning and taking an outdoor trek. Hannah’s troop leader had asked the girls to come up with ways they could reduce their carbon footprint – Hannah decided she wanted to focus on using bicycles and electric bikes for commuting! Your page led us to some great websites to check out – thank you for putting it all together!
I was also wondering if you could do me a favor and add another link to your page?

Hannah found this electric bike guide last night which I was very impressed with! This is it…

(I especially loved the ‘Environmental Impact of Electric Bicycles’ section!)
Can you add a link to it on your page?:

I’d love to show Hannah and her troop leader if you include it! I think encouragement does wonders in kids and I know she’d get a kick out of it 🙂

Let me know if you get a chance to update – I’m sure Hannah would be delighted to see she’s helped others. It’s nice to feel “connected” to people, even if we’re practicing social distancing right now.
Our Troop actually has a Zoom call tomorrow evening if you get a free moment to include it at some point by then! …but if not, whenever you get a chance to add it is great!

Looking forward to hearing from you!
Michelle and Hannah

We’ll gladly write up a News story for this inspiring request. Hannah’s outreach demonstrates leadership and initiative. This e-bike information is useful to the community and any socially distanced friends from the world wide web. Her research on environmentally conscious commuting has provided a good link that helps to enunciate the positive, utilitarian and environmental benefits of using bicycles and electric bikes for commuting.

We hope this quest to fulfill her Eco Trekker Badge is just the beginning of a lifelong journey of environmental stewardship, continuous learning, and adoption of new and best practices.

Autumn migratory birds in the San Diego River; seeking refuge from a passing squall.

Locally we have two large ocean bays with bike trails around them. A favorite past-time is a Bicycle Eco Trek to check out the birds, tidelands, rivers and streams. There is abundant wildlife and opportunities to see the critters in every season. Bicycles cover a lot of ground efficiently and quietly. They’re not only great for commuting, but also for recreation, health and enjoyment. Binoculars and cameras are easily carried and so the interaction with the wild-lands can be more fully experienced. We also have canyons, valleys, foothills and mountains accessible by bicycle that also provide differing environments to explore.

The San Diego Bayshore Bikeway

A Guided Tour of the Bayshore Bikeway


June 11, 2020 ~ San Diego Bayshore Bikeway trek with friends to the Tijuana River Valley and International border.

Embarcadero Marina Park South, Cesar Chavez Park, Pepper Park, Chula Vista Bayside Park, Chula Vista Marina View Park, Chula Vista Bayfront Park, are all located along the east side of San Diego Bay. – MAP

Border Field State Park, Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, International Friendship Park, Tijuana River County Open Space Preserve,  are all located at the U.S. southern border with Mexico, just below San Diego Bay. – MAP

San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge, Otay Valley Regional Park, Silver Strand State Beach, Glorietta Bay Park, are just some of the public facilities located along the west side of San Diego Bay. – MAP

The beauty of the parks and refuges are especially pronounced in late spring after a wet winter. Abundant wild flowers in full bloom, verdant flora, active birds and wildlife and well maintained parks are enjoyed by all who seek out this natural gift. Get out and indulge your senses!

Fabulous 68 mile round trip ride to Tijuana Estuary. A beautiful day to be on a bike. Thank you Leah (with e-bike), Ted and Anna for the memorable adventure. Border State Park was closed so we will try again another time. @BikeSD
Scouting the paths of the Tijuana River County Open Space Preserve via low impact bike trekking. Thais is a great way to cover a lot of ground and see much more of these large parks.
Always sad to see, but worse to smell the repulsive aroma of the Tijuana River along our International border. Thank you @Serge4IBMayor for your leadership and advocacy to clean up this shared river as a national priority.

Bicycle trekking has the advantages of a more intimate and detailed experience of our natural world. The slower pace of riding allows you to see details often missed by drivers in their vehicles. The beauty of our natural world is best experienced by direct exposure. This also includes the more distressing views of natural degradation. If however, we didn’t have the intimate knowledge of problems, we couldn’t know to fix them.

A good scout not only explores for the beauty of our natural environment but also the flaws of our human impacts. By identifying and bringing attention to difficult situations, scouts can influence political leaders to mitigate and correct environmental problems. This is where the leadership skills and stewardship skills that scouts learn everyday become impactful in a meaningful and pragmatic way.

Enjoying the cool, breezy, Coronado Ferry ride back across San Diego Bay after many miles in the saddle. We still have some miles to go, but this charming break to kick back and reflect on our ride so far, is a welcomed respite.

A good scout can enthusiastically embrace the advantages bicycling provides to them in service to the community, environment, and their ongoing quest to engage the world responsibly with care and compassion. Best wishes for success to Hannah in attaining not only her Eco Trekker Badge but also a lifetime of fun and enjoyment as she leads the way on her bicycle,  Eco-Trekking into a bright future!



Cadette Eco Trekker Badge


All About Electric Bikes

This is, in fact, a very informative web page. There are many hidden links, so be sure to note when the cursor changes from a pointer to a finger, indicating you are rolling over a link.


Slow Streets: Worldwide Adoption

The stay-at-home lock-downs around the world, implemented to stem the contagion of COVID-19, has serendipitously demonstrated the utility of reduced vehicle traffic in cleansing the urban environment. Much cleaner and healthier air, reduced noise, reduced gridlock and traffic, reduced parking hassles, and especially safer, open streets for pedestrians, bicyclist, and other alternative transport users.

San Diego has moved quickly to adapt Safe Streets throughout the county. SANDAG, city governments, and local neighborhoods have all begun to phase in steps to open streets to the walkers, bicyclist, skaters, scooters and others, allowing for safe social distancing. Reducing vehicle traffic to only those necessary to access residents’ homes, provides for more healthy space to exercise, and to move safely around neighborhoods for shopping, dog walking, and children playing.


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Some ‘Slow Streets‘ programs from around the world.

Boris on bike
As Mayor, Boris Johnson led the charge for safer cycling in London.

Post-Pandemic Future Will Be ‘Golden Age’ For Cycling, Boris Johnson Tells Parliament
Carlton Reid May 6, 2020

U.K. Government Boosts Bicycling And Walking
With Ambitious £2 Billion Post-Pandemic Plan

Carlton Reid May 9, 2020

PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson told parliament on May 6 that the near future “should be a new golden age for cycling.”

An updated Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy will be launched by Johnson in the summer, revealed Shapps today, including:

  • Creation of a national cycling and walking commissioner, and inspectorate. (The cycling champion role was announced some years ago, but no “cycling Czar” was ever appointed—the inspectorate is new, and if it was given “teeth” it could prove useful.)
  • Higher standards for permanent infrastructure across England. (This is the long-awaited and much-trailed cycle infrastructure design guidance.)
  • Creation of a long-term budget for cycling and walking similar to road funding.
  • Appointment of a zero-emission city with only electric motor vehicles and other forms of non-polluting transport allowed in the center.

As part of an emergency response to urban travel during the pandemic, the Department for Transport (DfT) has been inspired by “tactical urbanism” measures in cities such as Berlin, Paris, and Milan. Some U.K. cities have already introduced measures of their own: Leicester unveiled a “keyworker corridor” cycleway last week.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson Pledges £5 Billion
In New Cash For Buses And Bicycle Infrastructure

Carlton Reid Feb 10, 2020

Bicycling Westminster Bridge on safe, spacious streets by British Parliament. Hale Bikes; Rule Britannia!

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Anne Hidalgo
Mayor Anne Hidalgo riding very open, safe and beautiful streets in Paris

Paris to roll out 50km of cycle lanes to stop spread of Covid-19 on public transport
12 May 2020

Au Revoir Les Automobiles: Paris Closes Rue De Rivoli To Cars
Carlton Reid April 30, 2020

Paris To Create 650 Kilometers Of Post-Lockdown Cycleways
Carlton Reid Apr 22, 2020

Paris Has a Plan to Keep Cars Out After Lockdown
Feargus O’Sullivan April 29, 2020

In a Global Health Emergency, the Bicycle Shines
Laura Laker March 25, 2020

Paris Mayor: It’s Time for a ’15-Minute City’
Feargus O’Sullivan February 18, 2020

Traffic Is Unbearable on Paris’s Beltway. The Fix? Remove Lanes
Feargus O’Sullivan May 28, 2019

Christophe Najdovski (L), in charge of Paris transportation at the Paris city hall, Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo (C) and Mayor and President of Le Mans Metropolis Stephane Le Foll (R) ride new electric cycles “Velib Metropole” by Smovengo on September 19, 2018 in Paris, France. (Before COVID-19) (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images) Getty Images


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A lone cyclist passes along the banks of the Navigli canal system in Milan. The city is now cautiously exploring how to safely reopen. Francesca Volpi/Bloomberg

Europe’s Cities Are Making Less Room for Cars After Coronavirus
Feargus O’Sullivan April 22, 2020

Milan may be ahead of the curve, but it is far from the only European city considering similar car-mitigation measures. Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi also wants to encourage more active travel and open summer schools, while boroughs in Berlin are also reclaiming road space to make into wider bike lanes. Brussels has gone yet further. From May 4, the Belgian capital’s entire city core will be a priority zone for cyclists and pedestrians, one in which cars cannot exceed a speed of 20 kph and must give way in the roads to people on foot or on bikes. This comes on top of an ongoing pedestrianization plan designed to make Brussels’ core a more attractive place for people on foot.

In Paris, meanwhile, that city’s campaign against private cars will get a fresh boost: As well as expanding the width of existing cycle lanes, Paris and the Île-de-France region are fast-tracking a temporary version of its planned new network of nine long-distance cycleways in response to the pandemic. Linking the inner city with the suburbs, the first stretches of this new network will open in May.

Vienna’s Cultural Approach to Going Car-Free
Feargus O’Sullivan January 29, 2020

In Paris, a Very Progressive Agenda Is Going Mainstream
Feargus O’Sullivan January 21, 2020

How Paris Hopes to Build an E-Bike Boom
Feargus O’Sullivan September 24, 2019

Why Berlin’s Approach to Car Bans Is a Little Different
Feargus O’Sullivan August 8, 2019

In Madrid, a Car Ban Proves Stronger Than Partisan Politics
Feargus O’Sullivan July 24, 2019

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Cities actions are key to cycle through and beyond the crisis
Agathe Marie 07 Apr, 2020

Cities are making place for bicycles  

Many cities are adding temporary bicycle lanes to face the surge and allow safe cycling. In New York, Polly Trottenberg, city transportation commissioner, said her agency was even reviewing additional measures to accommodate the increased number of cyclists. For example, replacing some car traffic lanes with temporary bicycle lanes; or adapting some plazas and pedestrian areas in bicycle parking. Berlin did it on key commuters’ roads, and a pilot project launched on March 30 works on implementing new bicycle traffic facilities in other areas. In Bogota, it’s hundreds of car lanes that have been temporary replaced by cycle lanes, expanding the 550km of existing bicycle infrastructure by 76km in a first stage, increased to 117km as of 17 March. Mexico City may follow the same initiative, multiplying by four its bicycle paths.

Will cities keep better and more infrastructures for cyclists afterwards? Safe cycling provides equitable access to more places for more people. This pandemic is creating a momentum to acknowledge the major role that cycling can play to enable us to safely and resiliently navigate our cities. As former Olympian cyclist and current walking and cycling commissioner of Manchester, Chris Boardman said: “Pick a crisis, and you’ll probably find cycling is a solution”.

The European Cyclists’ Federation’s Recommendations for the COVID Recovery
Niccolò Panozzo 12 May, 2020

Move Aside Cars! New Car-Free Zones
Maya Watson 11 May, 2020

Move Aside Cars! New Speed Limits For Covid-19 Crisis
Maya Watson 22 Apr, 2020

Ambitious Transport Decarbonisation Plans Released: Will The UK Deliver?
Maya Watson 07 Apr, 2020

Ddecarbonising Transport: Setting the Challenge

Cities actions are key to cycle through and beyond the crisis
Agathe Marie 07 Apr, 2020

Air pollution falls to minimums due to reduced traffic during quarantine:
what can Europe learn?

Alberto Vela 27 Mar, 2020

Cycling against the COVID-19
Agathe Marie 25 Mar, 2020