The 23rd annual Bike to Work Day rolled through the nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area under cool but dry conditions on Thursday, May 11. Whether they stopped at one of over 400 energizer stations to grab treats and pick up this year’s tote bag filled with giveaways or just kept on pedaling by, nearly 100,000 riders were counted for the day. Thousands of volunteers were there to greet riders and help turn a normal Thursday morning commute into a celebration on two wheels.
Presented by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), 511 and Kaiser Permanente, Bike to Work Day encourages local residents to try commuting by pedal power for the first time and celebrates those who bike to work regularly.
“This is the 23rd year of the Bay Area’s Bike to Work Day, and I'm proud to say that MTC has been a sponsor for all of those years,” said MTC Chair Jake Mackenzie, who biked his way to Sonoma Mountain Village to welcome a Zero Waste symposium to Rohnert Park, where he serves as mayor. “We do it because cycling is a key strategy for keeping our cities livable and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We’re really pleased to see cities all around the Bay joining with us in investing in bike infrastructure, and making their streets bike-friendly.” In addition to sponsoring the yearly Bike to Work Day event, MTC provides $20 million a year in discretionary funding for bicycle projects around the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.
Local politicians demonstrated their support of the festivities by joining commuters on their own two wheels and helping at energizer stations. MTC Commissioners who participated in the bike commuting celebration include Rohnert Park Mayor and MTC Chair Jake Mackenzie; Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who is also MTC’s vice chair; Marin County Supervisor Damon Connolly; Union City Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci; BART Board Director Nicholas Josefowitz; San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim; San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo; Napa County Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza; Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf; Solano County Supervisor Jim Spering; and Orinda Councilmember Amy Worth.
Additional elected officials included Belmont City Councilmember Davina Hurt; Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson; Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin; Calistoga Mayor Chris Canning; Dublin City Councilmembers Arun Goel and Melissa Hernandez; Fairfield Mayor Harry Price; Napa County Supervisors Ryan Gregor and Brad Wagenknecht; Oakland Councilmembers Abel Guillen, Dan Kalb, Annie Campbell-Washington, Noel Gallo, Desley Brooks, Larry Reid, Rebecca Kaplan and Lynette Gibson-McElhaney; Redwood City Councilmember Shelly Masur; San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee; San Francisco Supervisors London Breed and Katy Tang; San Leandro Councilmember Ed Hernandez; San Leandro Vice Mayor Lee Thomas; San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine; San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson; Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager; Sebastopol City Councilmember Sarah Glade Gurney; and Vacaville Mayor Len Augustine.
Other notable regional leaders included Menlo Park Complete Streets Committee members Lydia Lee and Betsy Nash; Napa Valley Transportation Authority Executive Director Kate Miller; Redwood City Complete Streets Committee Chair Matthew Self; Redwood City Transportation Coordinator Jessica Manzi; San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Director Ed Reiskin; San Francisco County Transportation Authority Executive Director Tilly Chang; San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru; San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu; San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White; San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority Board Chair Cheryl Brinkman; and VTA General Manager Nuria Fernandez.
“Exercise is very important, we all need more of it but in many cases our busy schedules seem to get in the way,” said Dr. Todd Weitzenberg, Sport Medicine Specialist at Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa. “One way to add exercise into our daily lives is by biking to work, as so many people throughout the Bay Area did today. In addition to the health benefits, cycling is a lot of fun and can be enjoyed with friends and family.”
Photographs from today’s event can be found here.
Bike to Work Day is the largest event in the Bay Area’s celebration of National Bike Month in May, but there are many other events and activities held during the month. Team Bike Challenge is a friendly competition that encourages participants and companies to ride individually and collectively to earn bragging rights as the best in each county and across the region. In 2016, 2,519 cyclists riding on 1,827 teams for 535 companies rode almost 374,100 miles — saving close to 374,100 pounds of CO2 and burning close to 16,085,500 million calories.
Presented by MTC, 511 and Kaiser Permanente, Bay Area 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. 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. The event is made possible through the cooperation of thousands of volunteers, county congestion management agencies, local jurisdictions, local bicycling coalitions and MTC.