San Carlos resident Andrew Hsu has been riding a bicycle ever since he was a young kid, when his dad needed a companion to go on a bike trip to Washington DC from their suburban Virginia home. Since then, Andrew’s passion for cycling has developed, much to the dismay of his family, into a life-long obsession.
These days, Andrew spends most of his bicycle riding time on his daily 30 mile commute to Synaptics in San Jose, where he is Director of Concept Prototyping. While this started as a way to avoid the monstrous morning traffic on the 101 Southbound, it also helps maintain enough fitness so his teammates do not laugh too hard when he races in the competitive world of masters Cat 4 road racing. He has been the president of Peninsula Velo, a 280+ member performance bicycling club, since 2013.
We are happy to spotlight Andrew, a lifetime member of SVBC, and share his thoughts on how to increase bicycling in the region.
Will you join Andrew and the other 2,200 members of SVBC? Now is the best time to do so. Join or renew your membership during our current membership drive, and be entered into a drawing for a Pure Fix Cycles Fixed Gear Bike, a one month couples membership at CrossFit San Jose, or two Belay Lessons from Planet Granite.
How did you get introduced to Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition?
While I’ve always been a big proponent of using my bike for transportation (especially commuting to work), I think my first introduction to SVBC did not happen until I started getting involved in organizing Bike to Work Day for my company, Synaptics.
What kind of activities and trips do you use your bicycle for?
I am a competitive road cyclist, so I really enjoy the feeling of riding fast with a group of fellow cyclists. Because of this, I really enjoy spending lots of time riding my bike out on the road, especially in the hills. However, I am a huge fan of riding my bicycle for transportation. Accordingly, I get the best of both worlds when I commute by bicycle to my work, about 30 miles from the mid-Peninsula to San Jose.
How does Synaptics promote bicycling to its employees and make it a positive, enjoyable commute option?
Synaptics has been very generous to those of us that are making an effort to introduce our co-workers at Synaptics to the joys and benefits of bicycling to work. First, we are given a very generous budget to provide cycling-related incentives to ride their bikes, especially during bike-to-work month in May. This includes fabulous raffle prizes, the chance to earn a free company bike jersey and free lunches at our cafe. But year-round, the company continues to support cyclists with company-wide shower facilities, bike lockers, and emergency transportation support. Additionally, Synaptics is a corporate supporter of Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and its advocacy efforts to promote cycling in the South Bay. The best part of all, bicycling, since it helps make the world a better place, is part of Synaptics’s corporate core values of trying to make the world a better place.
If you had a magic wand, what do you think needs to be done to achieve 10% of trips by bike by 2025 in Silicon Valley?
Real simple — more protected bike lanes. While buffered bike lanes like those found on 10th and 11th Street [in San Jose] are certainly a huge improvement over the usual bike lanes, I think that some sort of visual barrier on the road, even those plastic poles often set up in road construction area, will have an even greater impact on making casual cyclists more comfortable with riding on roads.
Share with us what a dream day on your bike looks like.
Cruising along near the front of big peloton with my teammates at 25+ mph and barely having to exert more than 150 watts.
What would you say to someone considering becoming a member of SVBC?
Please join. SVBC works tirelessly to represent all cyclists in the Silicon Valley to make conditions safer for all cyclists. Individually, none of us stand a chance physically or legally against motorized vehicles and their powerful lobbies that continue to marginalize all other forms of transportation. Together, as part of the SVBC, we can work together to make the roads a much safer place for everyone to share.