This week Bay Area Bike to Work Day organizers named the winners of the 2017 Bike Commuter of the Year awards, given to recognize individuals for inspiring bicycling in their Bay Area communities through their commitment to travel by bicycle as their primary mode of transport. Celebrating its tenth year, the Bike Commuter of the Year awards traditionally recognize one winner from each of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties, but this year a tie in Sonoma County, a couple in Alameda County and a father-son duo in Napa County produced 12 winners.
The 2017 winners include Britt and Bryce Tanner from Alameda County, who could be two of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most dedicated bicycle commuters. Using their orange cargo bike with electric assist, Britt and Bryce take their kids, Kai and Nilsa, to school and then ride to BART to commute to their engineering jobs in San Francisco. The Tanners have bike commuting down to a science. In Sonoma County, Shaun Ralston ditched his car in favor of a healthier two-wheeled option after being diagnosed with diabetes 15 years ago and has been a 100 percent green commuter ever since — logging nearly 3,000 miles per year. The Tanners and Ralston are two of the 12 award recipients announced this week. The complete list of 2017 Bike Commuter of the Year award winners includes:
- Alameda County: Britt and Bryce Tanner, the first- ever couple nominated for this award (see above).
- Contra Costa County: Isabella Zizi commutes to work each day at Gathering Tribes in Albany and is an advocate for other important causes, including acting as an organizing member of Idle No More SF Bay and a founder of the Bay Area chapter of Earth Guardians.
- Marin County: Heidi Rosevear rode away from crawling traffic jams in southern Marin to ride her eight-mile, fairly flat, 40-minute route and, in the process, demonstrates how simple it is to ride to work.
- Napa County: Billy and Elio Eeo are a super bike commuting father-son duo who ride to work and school daily for physical health and to minimize stress.
- San Francisco: Maria Stokes has been bike commuting for 20 years, riding from her Richmond District neighborhood to her job at the SF-Marin Food Bank in Dogpatch every day. She says that biking is the perfect way to start her day and that not even coffee can compare.
- San Mateo County: Kate Gibson is a dedicated “pedaler” who commutes by bike and Caltrain to her office at Stanford University. Kate is an avid advocate for bike safety; she never rides without a helmet, always using a front light and rear reflector on her bike, and wears reflective clothing and clip-on lights.
- Santa Clara County: Stefan Rosner thinks that getting around by bike is just the right speed to engage more fully with the community. Smiling as he passes by, he does some of his best, most creative problem solving on his bike commute.
- Solano County: William Galusha has commuted by bike nearly every workday for 18 years to his job as a production worker at Insulfoam in Dixon.
- Sonoma County: Shaun Ralston (see above) is sharing top honors with Steve Bush, who commutes to job daily — rain or shine — on his trusty Bike Friday folding bike, which he parks outside his classroom and has become an icon in the school’s landscape.
Each winner will receive dinner for four, a water bottle and t-shirt from Chipotle; a bike headlight and mini toolkit from Mike’s Bikes; and a laminated, boxed set of San Francisco Bay Trail map cards and socks from the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). You can read all about the winners at http://youcanbikethere.com/bike-commuter-of-the-year/.
Many of the winners will be honored on Bike to Work Day — the Bay Area’s premier bicycling celebration— on Thursday, May 11. The awards are part of many events scheduled during the San Francisco Bay Area’s National Bike Month celebration this May.
Become a Bike Commute Winner — Take the Team Bike Challenge!
Get on the road to becoming a future Bike Commuter of the Year winner by joining the Team Bike Challenge competition in May. Teams of five — made up of friends, families, coworkers or neighbors — compete for top honors and much-coveted bragging rights by collectively riding hundreds of thousands of miles all month long.
In 2016, almost 2,520 cyclists rode on 1,827 teams for 535 companies and burned almost 16,085,500 million calories collectively while reducing automobile-related CO2 emissions by nearly 374,170 pounds. The competition begins May 1 and runs through May 31. To register, visit teambikechallenge.com.
Not ready for a month-long bike commute commitment? Join hundreds of thousands of new and seasoned bike commuters on Bike to Work Day. Presented by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), 511 and Kaiser Permanente, Bike to Work Day encourages local residents to try commuting on two wheels for the first time and celebrates those who bike to work regularly. Complete event information, including Energizer Station locations, is available at YouCanBikeThere.com.
In addition to MTC (the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area), 511 (the region’s traveler information system) and Kaiser Permanente, Bike to Work Day 2017 receives regional support from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Clear Channel Outdoor, and Clif Bar, as well as from many sponsors at the local level. Bike to Work Day’s media sponsor is NBC Bay Area-KNTV/Telemundo 48. Prizes for the Bike Commuter of the Year winners were donated by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), Chipotle and Mike’s Bikes. Day-of 2-for-1 promotion provided by Chipotle. The event is made possible through the cooperation of thousands of volunteers, county congestion management agencies, local jurisdictions, local bicycling coalitions and MTC.