Member Profile: Gary Havas

How long have you been a Coalition member? I have been a member for one year now.  I joined well after I became involved with the Bike Valet and Bike Month and other cycling activities.  Sorta embarrassing that I took so long to become a paid-up member.

When did you start bicycling? I have cycled off and on for a number of years.  I really began some casual, regular cycling back in Connecticut when I works quality control on an Indian Casino Resort call the Mohegan Sun.  I began my biking-for-biscuits routine on a hybrid bike, pedaling up the coast from Mystic to Stonington to the Yellow Cup Café.

Why do you bike? Cycling gives me a real sense of freedom.  I get where I am going under my own steam. I control the vertical and horizontal, as you might recall from “Outer Limits” of old.  We think we control a lot in our lives and I know in mine, it has turned out to me largely a myth.  With cycling, however, I do make it go.  No fossil fuels, no wind, no solar, nothing buy my legs and my body’s energy.

How many bikes do you own? I have four at this point.  The long-wheelbase Rans recumbent, the Catrike Expedition, an older Bianchi road bike and a kludged together mountain bike.  I am looking now for a modern road bike and a classic.  The classic I seek will be elegant and have me feeling that way also.

How often do you ride? Typically I ride three days a week with a spin-off group of the San Luis Bicycle Club.  I try to make all of my light errands happen on the bike also. I have even picked up lumber and Costco shopping at the same time with my Rans and its trailer.

What kind of riding do you do? My first leg is usually a push as I am solo at that point.  Then I stop for coffee and await the start of the ride.  Then I cycle with group to the next coffee spot.  Coming home can be a push also, depending on the weather and appointments.

What do you think the most important thing the Coalition has done in our area? Other than being there, the Coalition works with our community to provide an excellent riding climate.  Specifically I enjoy the Morro St Bicycle Boulevard and Bike Valet in its many iterations.

What changes/improvements have you seen since you lived here? The completion of the Morro St Bicycle Boulevard is prominent in my mind.  The expansion of Bike Valet coverage also.  Bike racks throughout town.  The road conditions reporting function on the Coalition’s website.  Sharrows on Monterey Street.  The involvement on such a broad demographic in hosting the Bike Valet.

What additional changes would you like to see? I’d really like to see more folks riding and making cycling an integral part of living in San Luis Obispo City and County.  I’d like to see also more younger folk involved with the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club, the Club may have an issue with aging membership and perhaps Coalition inspired involvement will spill over.  Here I’m thinking that inspired volunteers will come to the club as well.

What’s your favorite ride? I like a good century.  The Lighthouse (up the coast) and the Wildflower (Shandon and Creston). Shorter fun rides are over Prefumo Canyon to Avila and back (yes, on the recumbents) and up the Grade to the Porch Café in Santa Margarita.

What’s your advice to encourage others to get on their bikes? Ride where you like to ride.  For me, I found riding to a coffee stop and relaxing was and remains a fine motivator.  Once local shops are explored, others can be found also by extending one’s trip.  I think what Dan Rivoire said about helmets and kids works well with this modification.  He said something to parents at the Bike Rodeo about getting kids to wear their helmets. “Get them a helmet they like and think is cool and they’ll be apt to wear it with pride and interest.”  Or something similar.

How did you get involved with Coalition? Kept my ears open for a fun volunteer opportunity (see the line above about motivating interest and keeping it.)  How does one?  Have a look at the Coalition website and let the oracle of all knowledge and wisdom help you out.

What’s your favorite Coalition program? Based on familiarity and fun, Bike Valet, of course.  I get to share this experience with a grand cross section of folks of all ages and interests.  Nice get-in-touch with the community.

Anything else you want to add? If you, dear reader, like to see cycling in your community as a motorist or cyclist or pedestrian, please support this good operation.


Are you interested in being one of our next Member Profiles?

Join the Coalition to be eligible, or send us an email to nominate someone you think is a great ambassador for bicycles in SLO County!

Or conduct your own interview with a Coalition member, attach a photo, and send them our way to highlight their love for bicycles and the Coalition!