OAKLAND, CA — The 22nd annual Bike to Work Day rolled through the nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday, May 12. Morning counts tallied across the region showed an increase of over nine percent compared to 2015. Adding together those who stopped at Energizer stations with those who just pedaled past, rider counts were well over 100,000 participants for the day. Refreshed and cheered on by thousands of volunteers at over 400 Energizer Stations throughout the region, participants turned a normal Thursday morning commute into a celebration.
Presented by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), 511 and Kaiser Permanente, Bike to Work Day encourages local residents to try commuting by bicycle for the first time and celebrates those who bike to work regularly.
“Every day can be Bike to Work Day,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor and MTC Chair Dave Cortese. “For this reason, MTC is committed to identifying reliable sources of funding to improve pavement conditions on our local streets and roads — making them safer for bike commuters to travel on.”
Energizer stations located near bike lanes, trails, transit stations and employment centers were crowded with bike commuters sipping coffee, fueling up on Clif Bars and other goodies, and collecting their reusable, commemorative 2016 Bike to Work Day bags.
Local politicians — including many MTC Commissioners — demonstrated their support of the festivities by joining commuters on their own two wheels and helping at Energizer stations. Elected officials included Alameda Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer; Albany Councilmember Nick Pilch; Davina Hurt, Belmont Councilmember and Commute.org Board of Directors; Burlingame Councilmember Emily Beach; Cloverdale Councilmember Carroll Russell; Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia; Foster City Councilmember Sam Hindi; Millbrae Vice Mayor Reuben Holober; Oakland Mayor and MTC Commissioner Libby Schaaf; Oakland Councilmembers Annie Campbell Washington, Noel Gallo, Abel Guillén and Dan Kalb; Piedmont Councilmember Tim Rood; San Francisco Supervisors London Breed, Malia Cohen, Mark Farrell, Jane Kim, Eric Mar, Aaron Peskin, Katy Tang, Scott Wiener (also an MTC Commissioner) and Norman Yee; San José Mayor and MTC Commissioner Sam Liccardo; San José Councilmember Raul Peralez; San Leandro Mayor Pauline Cutter; Santa Rosa Councilmembers Chris Coursey and Gary Wysocky; Sebastopol Mayor Sarah Glade Gurney; Sebastopol Councilmember Patrick Slayter; Solano County Supervisor and MTC Commissioner Jim Spering; and Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane.
Other notable regional leaders included MTC Executive Director Steve Heminger; Jessica Manzi, Redwood City Community Development; Matthew Self, Chair, Redwood City Complete Streets Committee; Ed Reiskin, Director of San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency; Mohammed Nuru, Director of San Francisco Public Works; Debbie Raphael, Director of San Francisco Department of the Environment; Sonoma County Transportation Authority Executive Director Suzanne Smith; Mark Simon, Senior Advisor, Strategic Initiatives, Caltrain; Jeremy Lipps, Social Media Manager, Caltrain/Samtrans; and VTA Executive Director Nuria Fernandez.
“Exercise is one of the key ingredients to living a healthy lifestyle,” said Dr. Eshwar Kapur, Sports Medicine Specialist at Kaiser Permanente, South San Francisco. “It promotes better sleep, helps to reduce stress, helps control weight and creates a general sense of well-being. As thousands of people across the Bay Area discovered today on Bike to Work Day, cycling is a fun and enjoyable way to make sure we build exercise into our busy schedules.”
While the Bay Area’s celebration of Bike to Work Day is over, Bike Month events continue through May 31, including Team Bike Challenge — a friendly competition that encourages participants to increase their personal bicycling mileage. The possibility of earning much-coveted bragging rights keeps participants pedaling. Joining the ranks of more than 13,000 previously registered riders, this year's riders include 2,106 individuals riding on 1,819 teams from 581 companies.
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 2016 receives regional support from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Clear Channel Outdoor, Canary Foundation Challenge and Clif Bar, as well as from many sponsors at the local level. Bike to Work Day’s media sponsor is KPIX. The event is made possible through the cooperation of thousands of volunteers, MTC, county congestion management agencies, local jurisdictions and local bicycling coalitions.