news Mark Hansen Joins MCBC Staff
Mark Hansen has joined the Marin County Bicycle Coalition staff as a Policy and Planning Associate, assisting with ongoing development of the MCBC Road Advocacy Program and related projects. He comes to us via via UC Santa Cruz, and more recently, a position with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and San Francisco Department of the Environment.
We had a chance to ask Mark a few questions about his background and what he enjoys most about cycling.
- Name: Mark Hansen
- Occupation: MCBC Policy & Planning Associate and Bicycle Mechanic
- Years Riding: 20
- Most Frequently found riding: San Rafael to Fairfax commute, Mt. Tam and Watershed recreational rides, through southern Marin to the City
What bicycle do you like the best?
I commute with a steel Soma bike equipped with disc brakes. I’ve tried all manner of bikes over the years, and I’m a firm believer in steel for commuting and disc brakes for stopping. Combining the two I’ve got the perfect ride to carry me all over the Bay Area.
What part of your ride do you like the best?
The section of my commute along Greenfield between United Market and the Java Hub. While not a dedicated bikeway, this section of road parallels a major artery of traffic yet sees little vehicular use beside those visiting the businesses along the strip. I enjoy feeling like a part of the urban flow while not having to worry too much about excessive traffic around my person.
What do you like best about the benefits of riding your bike?
The health benefits of cycling are twofold. Commuting and recreating via bicycle allows me to maintain a healthy body while also promoting a natural good mood! I can’t think of a better way to accomplish both while simultaneously having fun.
What would you have liked someone to tell you when you started?
Don’t be afraid to use your hands! No matter how dorky it feels, simple signals show others what you intend to do and is the single best way to increase your own safety while riding a bike.
Where do you most like to ride your bike?
Every morning I’m able, I ride from Fairfax up to Alpine Dam. Leaving the bustle of town for the early morning stillness of Alpine lake sets a great start to the day, and doubles as a great workout.
Why would others like to ride in Marin?
New riders will find a large, supportive community and great bike routes connecting all of Marin. Veteran cyclists will find world-class climbs in the redwoods, panoramic views, and scenic coastal riding. Marin is one of the few counties in the Bay Area carving out a niche for anyone, whether they be a commuter, family rider, club cyclist, or racer.
What is your favorite ride/route?
When I’m feeling energized, my absolute favorite route starts with a climb all the way up and over Fairfax-Bolinas road down to beautiful Highway 1. Then I head north to tackle the climb up Marshall Wall, and enjoy the relatively flat ride back through West Marin.
What part of riding would you most like to improve?
I’m most enthusiastic about improving the street projects connecting safe and reliable bikeways throughout Marin.
What is your favorite vision of the bicycling in the future?
I look forward to a future where bicycles are a meaningful and critical aspect of transportation in any urban space, from smaller towns to dense cities, with no hurdles for those able and willing to ride. The Bay Area is increasingly prioritizing bikes as a healthy means of transportation, and I’m excited to be a part of it.
Finally, if there’s a further message you would like to share with the people who ride bikes in Marin County – whether simple, encouraging or aspirational – what would that be?
I start every ride with the intention of having as many positive interactions as possible, because progress towards better biking hinges on great communication between people who bike and others sharing the road.