MCBC Community Member Spotlight: Shelagh Fritz

Each month, we’ll feature an MCBC member who showcases Marin’s celebrated bicycling culture and inspires us to get out and ride. Do you know someone we should highlight? Email to suggest a member spotlight!

Hometown: Novato

Occupation: Alcatraz Gardens Program Manager, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

Years Riding: 9

General location in Marin where you tend to ride most frequently:

Commuting from Larkspur to and from San Francisco during the week. On weekends, I like riding in West Marin or on Mt. Tam.

What kind of bicycle(s) do you ride?

For my commute I have a gravel bike, though for rainy commutes I ride a bike with a rubber belt and internal hub that weighs a ton. I also have a road bike and just started mountain biking on a hardtail 29″.

What part of your ride do you like the best?

The best part of my commute ride is seeing the sunrise. If I can time it right, I’ll be riding on the Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise, or even better, doing an early morning loop in the Marin Headlands. I also like biking home along the Mill Valley-Sausalito Pathway and being able to pedal past all the cars. I hope they notice the cyclists cruising by.

I’m also a ride leader for the Novato-San Marin High School mountain bike teams and I’m really enjoying riding with the students. It’s rewarding to ride with and encourage the new riders–especially the girls–and see them ride with more confidence and having fun on their bikes. Being fairly new to mountain biking myself, I can relate to the challenges and frustrations they encounter on technical sections!

What do you like best about the benefits of riding your bike?

I met my husband while on a bike ride! Purely by chance we crossed paths and started chatting. We’ve been married five years now. Aside from meeting him, I’ve met some of my closest friends through road racing. These are people who motivate me and challenge me–and I share plenty of laughs with them.

Where do you most like to ride your bike?

I most like the road ride from Fairfax to Alpine Dam and the Seven Sisters back to Mill Valley. Traffic is pretty good and the views are incredible. On dirt, riding through the redwoods on the Bolinas Ridge is just spectacular! We are so lucky to live in this area and have these routes on our routine weekend rides.

Why would others like to ride in Marin?

I think others would like to ride in Marin for the variety that we have: bike paths through the towns, miles of road with ocean or bay views, and fire roads for mountain biking. I think there is something for everyone and every skill, not to mention great coffee stops.

What part of riding would you most like to improve?

I would like to see improved is having motorists respect the three-foot law when passing cyclists. Now that I’m riding more on dirt, when I get back on the roads, I am very aware of cars.

What is your vision of the bicycling in the future?

I am seeing a lot more e-bikes while commuting. I think these are great for reducing traffic, getting people exercising, and being outdoors. I think e-bikes will enable lots of people to continue to ride as they get older.

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’d like to encourage people to try commuting to work on a bike. Once you figure out a couple details–the route, your bike, a change of clothes, a shower if needed–you are set. It’s not as hard as you think, and when you tell people that you ride your bike, everyone thinks you are pretty hardcore!

Thanks, Shelagh!

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