Beautiful weather and a ramped-up outreach campaign drove this year’s Bike to Work Day numbers up some 14% on Thursday, May 12, in Santa Clara County. Volunteers at 69 “Energizer Stations” located around the county counted bicyclists that stopped for treats and encouragement as well as those that rode past. Event organizer Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) says the increase is welcome, but they expected nothing less. “Bicycling has been increasing in popularity for years,” said SVBC Executive Director Corinne Winter. “Combined with the rising price of gasoline, and today’s perfect weather, we knew it was going to be our biggest Bike to Work Day yet.”
Excitement at the Energizer Stations was contagious. At San José High School, City Councilmember Sam Liccardo thanked volunteers as well as students who biked to school. “A goal of mine is to make downtown San José more welcoming for bicyclists, so that we see this many people on bikes every morning,” said the councilmember, who also sits on the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which sponsors Bike to Work Day in the Bay Area each year through its web presence, 511.org.
In Palo Alto, SVBC Executive Director Corinne Winter was joined by local Bike to Work Day organizer Kathy Durham, Palo Alto cycling advocate/legend Ellen Fletcher, Mayor Sid Espinosa, and City Manager Jim Keene. Palo Alto had a huge turnout, as always!
Following the morning’s festivities (and a day of work) was a pair of Bike Away From Work Bashes – one in San José and one in Palo Alto.
On the fifth-floor patio at The 88 in San José, Santa Clara County Bicycle Commuter of the Year (BCOY) Nick Laskowsi was presented with his award and a $100 gift certificate provided by Sports Basement (see right). Attendees enjoyed food provided by Hobee’s and beer from Gordon Biersch while they were entertained by the bluegrass tunes of The Slim Pegs. The wind was strong up on the fifth floor, but the view was beautiful and the party-goers weren't about to let a little breeze damper the fun.
L to R: John Brazil of the City of San José Department of Transportation Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, SVBC Executive Director Corinne Winter, SVBC Board Member Greg McPheeters, City of San José Office of Economic Development Director and Chief Strategist Kim Walesh.
At Palo Alto Bicycles, over 50 attendees joined the fun – almost half were brand new members. Welcome to the coalition, everyone! Thanks to Palo Alto Bicycles for hosting and to volunteer Andrew Boone for helping to organize the event.
A big thanks to all the volunteers who helped organize and run the dozens of Energizer Stations around Santa Clara County. Your help made this the biggest Bike to Work Day yet. By showing people that riding a bike to work can be fun and easy, you help us bring them one step closer to thinking of the bicycle as a vehicle for everyday use.
See you next year!