Finding the Joys of Riding a Bike at Age 54

Jasmine Greene image
Jasmine Greene is a kindergarten teacher in Ocean Beach who is learning to love riding as a new bike commuter.

Jasmine Greene is an amazing kindergarten teacher at Ocean Beach Elementary that all my kids were lucky enough to have as their teacher 15 years ago.  After years of not seeing her as much, our lives have come back together as she has found the joys of riding a bike in San Diego.  Here is her story of why she started riding and how she has become a new fan of the bike and all the benefits it offers.

When and why did you start biking in 2020?

For the past year on most weekends two of my good friends, Anna and Leanne, and I had taken on the 52 Hike Challenge. When the trails closed due to COVID, Anna suggested biking instead. I didn’t own a bike and had not been on one for 30 years, so I was a bit nervous about it. We met in University Heights and took our first ride to Seaport Village in April 2020. From that day on I was hooked. I discovered the joy of bike riding at age 54!

Where do you currently ride and where is your favorite place to ride in San Diego?

I ride from Kensington to Ocean Beach to get to work, twice a week. I sometimes do this with Leanne, but am also comfortable riding on my own now. The one hour ride to and from work is the perfect way to begin and end each day. It clears my head and exercises my body. After riding I feel like I’ve had some time for myself, and am more focused and relaxed. It is something I want to do more often.

My favorite rides are along the coast with friends. Any destination ride is fun to me. I am now ready to tackle any hill! Slow and steady wins the race.

Did you think it was possible to commute by bike from your house to your work?

Never in a million years would I have thought it was possible for me to ride a bike from Kensington to Ocean Beach. First of all, it just seemed too far and complicated with all the neighborhoods to go through. I had no knowledge of any of the biking routes and the hills seemed ominous.

What are some of your favorite things about riding a bike?

Taking off on the bike feels so freeing. I love the idea of using my own body to move through time and space. I’m out there alone in the world and yet right smack in the middle of it all. I see so much more than I do driving my car. I have run into many friends along the way. While on my bike I get the enjoyment of seeing lots of dogs, ducks, birds, and even flying fish! I notice what is happening in  neighborhoods more intimately; I see store fronts, people exercising and life happening all around me. There is a great feeling of simply being alive and in the midst of it all.  Biking has become a type of mediation for me.

What have you learned about your neighborhood, and our city, while riding a bike?

I had no idea there were so many bike routes. I still feel like a novice in this area. I am unsure of how to get from one place to another by bike in San Diego. This is an area I still struggle with.

Biking has made me very aware of the gravity of San Diego’s homeless population and how far-reaching the issue is. Cyclists are much more confronted with this up close than motorists.

What are some of your challenges of riding a bike in San Diego?

I have had one minor accident and it woke me up a lot. I’m much more cautious now. One of the biggest challenges are the potholes and road conditions. I ride up Presidio Park to get home from work and the side of the road is full of potholes. The road itself is very narrow, without a dedicated bike lane, so that is always a challenge.

Cars are another major concern. I am fully aware of the fact that in a crash they will win. I am very cognizant of cars while riding, but I can’t always be sure that drivers notice me.

Riding on Adams Avenue and University Avenue regularly, the hazards include people in parked cars opening their doors, cars pulling out abruptly or making illegal u-turns. The buses are sometimes unsettling too.

As your experiences evolve you as a new rider, how do you envision your riding to be different in 2021?

While I love my hand-me-down bike, I have decided to upgrade and am having a custom bike built with Velofix. This is a local company and one I know I can trust. Having a bike that fits me well is something I am looking forward to. I now consider bike riding a part of my weekly routine. Interestingly, I find myself craving it. I will look for more opportunities to ride socially in 2021.

Do you have any big requests for our new Mayor to make your riding more comfortable and to encourage others to give it a try?

Help drivers become more aware of bicyclists’ rights. Improve biking infrastructure by creating more designated bike paths so that commuting is safer and viable. Please fix the potholes and other road hazards such as open grates, especially in bike lanes. Increase police presence on more isolated bike paths, such as the Flood Control Channel and the San Diego River Trail.

What would you say to someone that is interested but concerned to ride a bike?

The most important thing is to be aware of your surroundings. Start by riding with a friend or a group. Learn how to use your gears! Join BIKE SD to track your miles and hear from other cyclists. Give biking a try. I have always been a very active person: running, swimming, hiking, and practicing yoga. Biking was never part of my activity list. It didn’t speak to me until I gave it a try. Then it shouted out loud and clear!

Anna, Jasmine and Leanne
Riding partners Anna, Jasmine and Leanne in the warm sun, enjoying the San Diego coastline by bike.

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.
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.