Ian Emmons commutes exclusively by bicycle. Rain or shine, he always makes his ten-mile round-trip commute by bike. In addition, he embraces the car-free lifestyle by using pedal power to get around no matter what his errands require. He even makes runs to Costco using a bike trailer! Says Ian: “I'm not too sure I'm unique in this. Last time I was at Costco with my bike, I saw three other bike commuters there shopping as well. The thing I like about shopping at Costco with my bike is that it helps me with impulse control – that lifetime supply of whatever is much easier to avoid when you know you have to haul it home.”
“There’s a ton of great reasons to ride a bike but mine are pretty selfish,” says Ian. “I ride first and foremost for fun, followed by all the money we save by only having one car. After that, the health benefits are pretty awesome. Anything else is just gravy.”
Ian is also active in many bicycling-related causes. He repairs bicycles at the SVBC Bicycle Exchange and is a volunteer with San José Bike Party, where he inspires non-riders to get off the couch and ride and helps educate new riders in navigating the roads safely and legally. He believes “The best way to encourage cycling is to show people how fun and safe it can be.” Ian has also led teams in building bikes at the annual Turning Wheels for Kids event, and he's recruited volunteers for numerous other bicycling-related charity events.
Ian has shared his love of life by bike with his children. “I ride because I love it, and now so do my kids. When I started riding with them I wasn't really planning on teaching them anything; it was just something we could do together that was fun. But as we ride together more I realize that I’ve been teaching them self-reliance and that they can do almost anything. Just last week my daughter was telling me that she doesn’t want a car when she grows up! So I guess the example I am setting is sticking.”
Ian's dedication to commuting and traveling by bicycle and his numerous advocacy efforts make him well deserving of the 2012 Bike Commuter of the Year award for Santa Clara County. He sets a great example for others, noting, “It's amazing what you can do when you try.” Congratulations, Ian!