Bike Commuter of the Year
2017 Bike Commuter of the Year!
The Bike Commuter of the Year is someone who is committed to making every day a “Bike to Work Day” and someone who epitomizes and actualizes the health, environmental, social, and economic benefits of bicycling.
Below are the San Mateo and Santa Clara County Bicycle Commuter of the Year winners. Congratulations and thank you for being an inspiration!
2017 Santa Clara County BCOY: Stefan Rosner
Stefan grew up riding as a kid and continued through college – braving the harsh Chicago winters! As an adult, Stefan continues to ride his bike to work, errands, and even concerts. When his children were younger, he would take them to school on his front bike seat. Now that they are older, they commute by bike just like dad.
Getting around by bike means that he is at the right speed to engage more fully with the community. Instead of seeing pedestrians as a blur, like one might in a car, he gets to smile at them as he passes by. He also does some of his best, most creative problem solving on his bike commute.
He is an inspiration to the community by being active with the Safe Routes to School Program and organizing fun “Walk & Roll to School” commute mode shift encouragement events twice a year, in the fall and spring, for the better part of a decade. He encourages others to ride by offering to help tune up their bicycles for free.
How do we encourage more people to ride a bike? Stefan says, “We need to reduce and eliminate the barriers, real and perceived, that keep folks in their cars. We need to stop planning communities with the prime objective of moving automobiles through as quickly as possible, and continue to retrofit such communities with “complete streets” that are designed for all modes of transportation and transit. We need more workplace incentives for employees to leave their cars at home instead of occupying a parking spot all day. But mainly, leading by example is I think the best way to encourage folks to try biking, and discover for themselves how getting their kids to school, and getting themselves to work, can be one of the best and most productive parts of the day!”
2017 San Mateo County BCOY: Kate Gibson
Kate Gibson is a dedicated bike commuter, who rides to the Redwood City Caltrain station, uses the bike car, then rides from the Palo Alto Caltrain station to her office at Stanford University. On days when she wants an extra workout, or when the train is delayed, she skips Caltrain and bike commutes straight home.
Kate is a model for bike safety. She wears a helmet for every ride and uses a front light and rear reflector on her bike. She has put careful thought into making herself more visible on the road, wearing reflective clothing and clip-on lights.
Bike safety is especially important to Kate, because she had a close call, which included a fall from her bike. She had to overcome her hesitation to get back in the saddle–but she has! And she has gained confidence as she bike commutes daily. The experience has encouraged her to take steps to ride even more carefully and defensively and to expect the unexpected.
In her role as a TDM and communications specialist, Kate is able to share her knowledge and experiences to help other commuters consider or improve their bike commute. She even recorded a video to help new commuters see what a bike + Caltrain commute is like and how it works:
To help you get to know Kate as an individual, she is passionate about helping the environment, which is one reason she bikes. The other reason is that it helps her as she trains for 10K and half marathon races. Kate brings a fun and positive enthusiasm to promoting cycling and other sustainable alternatives. Perhaps a good example is her Halloween costume one year, when she dressed up as Rosie the Riveter. It was the perfect match for her, because she consistently conveys the “We can do it!” attitude, which she has proven in her own journey with bike commuting.
There were so many wonderful candidates for this year’s BCOY, we had to share some of their stories. Please join us in congratulating this impressive crowd of inspirational bike riders:
Richard rides his bicycle as part of his regular commute from Scotts Valley to Santa Clara, sometimes in combination with public transit. Weather does not deter him – he chose to commute by bike during the recent Highway 17 mud slides and downpour! Richard was one of the founding members of the San Jose Bike Train, a social no-drop bike ride that is still going strong after four years. He encourages others to ride through his blog Cyclelicous.
Ferdi is committed to making his bicycle his chief form of transportation. His work schedule often has him leaving the office after dark, but he does not let that deter him. Ferdi is so dedicated to riding, he occasionally will ride his bike from Santa Clara to visit his parents in the Modesto area – that is a 100-mile trip! He is also great at encouraging others to bike commute and promoting the cycling culture.
Check out the other Bay Area winners from 2017.