Last Thursday, May 8, was my sixth Bike to Work Day here in Silicon Valley, and it definitely stood above the rest. It was a big deal – this was the 20th anniversary of the Bay-Area-wide Bike to Work Day! We counted more participants, gave away twice our usual number of bags, had new Energizer Stations, and saw more enthusiastic people organizing rides, volunteering, and spreading the word than ever before. To top it off, we threw a pretty lively party for about 300 of you at the end of the day!
I started my day with a 6:30 am bus ride from my house to the downtown office of Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), to join staff, advisory committee members, and members of the public for a group ride up the Guadalupe River Trail, hosted by General Manager Nuria Fernandez and County Supervisor (and VTA board member) Ken Yeager. Many of you know VTA from our county’s buses and light rail lines, but you may not know that the agency is responsible for congestion mitigation and general transportation planning as well. So, when VTA says that promoting complete streets is a high priority, and two of its leaders initiate what is to become an annual bike tradition, I find it very encouraging.
The ride was a beautiful tour of the Guadalupe River Trail, finishing at VTA’s headquarters on North First Street. I made my way to the SVBC office from there, stopping to thank volunteers at the Philips Lumileds Energizer Station at the Trimble trail crossing. Armed with cowbells, they were one of the most enthusiastic, encouraging group of volunteers I’ve seen in a while.
When I got back to the office, I was thrilled to see just how excited about Bike to Work Day people were on Twitter and Facebook. I’ve never seen so many people talking about their rides, their experiences at Energizer Stations, and even their encouragement of others to sign up for SVBC membership. It was fantastic to see so many people having so much fun because they had simply ridden a bike to work.
— Tom Monk (@tm0nk) May 8, 2014
— say 'Eye Em Gōph' (@IMGoph) May 8, 2014
— SV Leadership Group (@SVLeadershipGrp) May 8, 2014
Not much time passed and it was time to head to San José City Hall to set up our Bike Away From Work Bash (courtesy of our friends at the City’s Department of Transportation, and sponsors Google, KLA-Tencor, and VTA). This year, we invited some of our sponsors, elected officials, agency partners, and other VIPs to join us on a short tour of downtown San José’s impressive bike facilities. When we returned to the City Hall Rotunda, the party was rolling! Good food, great beer from Gordon Biersch, and the perfect soundtrack from the band, plus a HUGE turnout, made for what was indisputably the best Bike Away From Work Bash we’ve ever thrown.
— Steven Brewster (@stevenbrewster) May 9, 2014
Check out the photos below for more highlights from Bike to Work Day. How did you celebrate? What was your ride? How are you going to get your friends, family, and colleagues riding a bike more often? Let us know in the comments below.