Tag Archives: omnitrans bikes

No Hill For a Climber

Sand Canyon Road, the steep, winding road that connects Yucaipa with Mentone and Redlands, is a favorite ride for local cyclists.  For Omnitrans rider and multi-modal commuter John Sciniasil of Yucaipa, it’s just the second stop in his daily commute.

Each morning just as the sun rises, John begins his commute on  his foldable bike which is small enough to fit under a train or bus seat!  And even though he combines different modes of ridesharing, like carpooling or catching the bus, he always has a bicycle with him.  “Some days I catch a ride with a friend to work,” said John, “But on the way home I ride my bike.”

John Sciniasil of Yucaipa, combines his love of bicycle riding with other modes of transportation, such as Omnitrans, as he commutes to work.

On the day we talked, John was riding Omnitrans and using a Dahon bike, one of five foldable bikes he owns.  Although it folds down, John takes advantage of the 3-bike capacity rack at the front of the bus.

“In New York City, you see a lot of these kinds of bikes,” said John.  “Here, it’s more rare.”

His favorite Omnitrans route is typically Route 19, where he disembarks at Wabash and Sand Canyon, and sails on into east Redlands to begin his day with the Water Department.

“It’s smooth sailing going in,“ said John.  “But I really like the challenge of going up the hill to go home, believe it or not.”

Freeway Express Route 208 was launched in May 2017, and connects Yucaipa, Redlands, and Downtown San Bernardino with limited stops via I-10.

But last week, John decided to give the new Freeway Express Route 208 a try.  The fact that the express route reduces travel time overall compared to a car is appealing to him, and allows him even more commute options in the future.  Route 208’s stop at the Redlands Mall is only 1.7 miles from the building he works in, which he says will be great.

John’s romance with bicycle commuting began two years ago during California Rideshare Week.  He decided to try carpooling, as well as the bus.  Incorporating his love of bicycles seemed to be a natural fit.

 “It’s a bit of a climb depending upon which road I take, but I enjoy that kind of workout,” said John.

Well, you know what they say, ‘No Hill for a Climber!’  Happy travels to you, John.

Bike to the Ballgame event May 17th

Cycling Club Meeting On Suburban Street

Celebrate Bike Month with Omnitrans, the Inland Empire 66ers, and the Inland Empire Biking Alliance at our Bike to the Ballgame Event!

Bring your bike to San Manuel Stadium (280 South E St., San Bernardino) on Sunday, May 17 between 12:30 – 2 p.m., and enjoy a free bike tune-up, cold drinks and a FREE ticket to see the 66ers take on the Lancaster JetHawks at 2:05 p.m.! Combining your bike ride with Omnitrans Bus Route 2 makes the trip to the stadium easy and hassle free.

Omnitrans is bike friendly!
Bike racks are on all Omnitrans fixed-route buses, no extra charge. Our local, freeway express, and OmniGo service have front racks for up to three bikes, and sbX offers interior racks for four. Whether you’re commuting to work or school, heading just across town or out for adventure, you can bike and bus on us. For more on riding Omnitrans with your bike click here.

bike event

SB native intern moves ahead

Thirteen months ago intern Alvaro Gomez came to Omnitrans to intern in the planning department. This month he leaves us to attend graduate school at the University of Southern California where he will continue his planning studies. He believes Omnitrans has given him a greater understanding and insight into the policies, development and economy at work in this area.

“The scope of the projects and organizations Omnitrans is involved with beyond just the cities would surprise most people.  I was very fortunate to have our planning director Rohan Kuruppu and planning project manager Anna Rahtz mentor me and give me the opportunity to attend so many different meetings and workshops. It’s given me some fantastic opportunities, and I’ve been able to meet a lot of people who have a real passion for public transit, economic development and livable spaces.”

The experience, he says, further impressed upon him the pivotal role the agency plays in the local community. “I was fortunate to be here at a time when so many new projects are on the horizon,” said Alvaro. “I grew up here in San Bernardino and it’s encouraging to see the growing movement to revitalize the area. Working with Anna and Rohan, I was able to assist with the research and grant writing for major projects like sbX and the San Bernardino transit center. It’s exciting to have the chance to be a small part of something that will have such a positive, long-term impact on people’s lives.”

In addition to his interest in planning, Alvaro is also an avid cyclist and biking advocate. He was recently featured in an Omnitrans instructional video on how to load your bike on a bus rack (see below). “I like the flexibility of being able to combine bus and bike–especially for longer commutes–and I think we’ll see more people taking advantage of that in the future. One of the things I would really like to explore is connecting and expanding our current bike infrastructure in southern California. We have a lot of bike paths in this area, but many of them are not connected and maintenance isn’t what it should be. I’d love to see more people ride.”

For now, he’s leading by example. “It’s been interesting watching people in my own neighborhood react when they see me on my bike. It’s infectious. There have been a bunch of kids who have decided to pull out their old bikes and go for a ride. It reminds them of how much fun it can be.”

-Juno Kughler Carlson
junocarlson@omnitrans.org

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Biking and Omnitrans help this doula keep life simple

Claremont resident Christine Gatson-Michalak is living the life she loves. Relying on her bike and public transportation allows her the flexibility and freedom she wants and eliminates the expense of maintaining a car.

“My husband and I have been married for 10 years and we like living simply,” said 32-year-old Christine. “We don’t have a car, cable or a DVR. We rent an apartment and have no intention of ever buying property. There are no repairs or upkeep we have to deal with, and it keeps us open to new opportunities. We can move anywhere at any given moment if we choose. And because we don’t have huge expenses, we can work jobs that make us happy rather than having careers that support a lifestyle.”

For the past year and a half, Christine has worked as a doula, a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to mothers before, during and just after they give birth. She describes it as the best job she’s ever had. Her husband works as a musician. Surprisingly, the lack of personal transportation is no obstacle for either of them.

“My husband carpools with a neighbor who plays in the same band,” said Christine. “And I always take clients who live close enough that I can get to them easily. At first clients don’t have any idea that I bike and ride the bus wherever I need to go, but they figure it out pretty quickly. But no one really cares because I am always on time. I once biked 8 miles to get to a birth. If there is an emergency, I can always take a taxi or catch a ride with a neighbor. Having a car is unnecessary.”

Christine also works part-time, handling shipping and customer service for a former doula client and owner of Mountain Mama. The company specializes in outdoor apparel for women designed to adjust to their bodies before, during and after pregnancy. Christina is a huge fan of the clothing line and wears their designs herself. Traveling to the job is no problem. “One of the nice things about public transit is that you can be flexible in the way you travel. I like riding my bike to the Ontario warehouse but it’s a much more difficult ride on the way back to Claremont. I prefer Omnitrans for that.”

Both Christine and her husband love being outdoors as much as possible and enjoy going on adventures. Whether going to a park to play Frisbee or traveling to LA to explore a museum or theater, they are frequent users of both Omnitrans and the Metrolink.

“It was a little difficult convincing him to ride the bus at first,” laughed Christine. “He had the attitude of ‘I’m a grown man! I’m not going to ride the bus!’ Owning a car is such a status symbol in this culture. There’s this strange social misconception that only kids or poor people ride the bus, and that’s just not true. Now he’s perfectly comfortable with it and enjoys the perks. We rode out to the observatory recently and watched as other people had to walk up from a parking lot a mile away while we were dropped off right at the front door!”

Christine offers these tips to other Omnitrans cyclists: “Plan ahead and try to get to your stop an hour early. Since there are just two bike racks on each bus, it leaves you time to bike over to another stop if the racks are full. I always have my bus book or smart phone on me so I can check for alternative routes. If your bike has thin tires, bring a bungee to help secure it. The racks are designed to accommodate thicker tires, so bikes with thinner tires tend to wobble–especially if driver has to break suddenly. The Omnitrans drivers are  pretty friendly and can also answer questions if you need help. ”

To learn more about Christine and her doula services visit her website at The Village Doula.

– Juno Kughler Carlson

Do you like this story and want to use it for your blog or newsletter? All our stories may be freely re-posted and shared with others!

Do you have a great Omnitrans story to share? Let us know!
Email juno.carlson@omnitrans.org