2012 Bike Commuter of the Year Winners
The Bike Commuter of the Year (BCOY) award recipients are recognized for their dedication to riding their bike for everyday transportation. They are a testament to the many benefits of bicycle commuting: from improving their health to bringing families together. Nominations were accepted, evaluated and awarded by each county’s Bike to Work Day representative. Here are the 2012 winners of the Bike Commuter of the Year Award. Many of the Awards will be presented at an event on Bike to Work Day. Check your local Bicycle Coalition for after work events.
Congratulations to all the Bike Commuter of the Year winners!
Bike Commuters of the Year by County
Obstacles like rain or transporting children might cause others to hang up their helmets and reach for their car keys, but transportation planner Kara Vuicich of Albany keeps on pedaling. When it pours, she dons her raincoat, rain pants, and waterproof boots and bicycles as usual to ride to the BART, says David Radwin, Kara's husband. Her whole family gets into the act. She takes her three children to school and other activities on the back of her extra-long bicycle and bicycles to the grocery store and for other errands. Even being pregnant was no deterrent—a few years ago she bicycled until the very last day before starting her maternity leave. In her work, she promotes bicycling and other alternative transportation modes including walking, transit, and carpooling. She works with public agencies and private organizations to make these alternative modes faster, safer, efficient, and more pleasant. Day in and day out, Kara proves that there is no excuse not to take your bicycle.
12 years ago, after becoming huge, Curtis got back on his road bike to join his wife their respective commutes to work. After 12 years of bike commuting, using a car to get to work is a very rare occasion. Curtis teaches Graphic Design at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, where everyone knows him by his bicycle and ask him for advice on purchasing a commuter bike, bike routes, and bicycle trips. Bike commuting morphed into vacation cycling: he and his wife cycled Oregon, Washington, Canada, Idaho Montana and Wyoming last summer. Curtis's life has changed for the better because he started riding his bike to work.
Terry leaves her home at 4:30AM, layers on, helmet and light, and bikes to work. She is active in getting others to bike to work too. Cycling to work is a daily activity, not just a yearly event. She has a car, but who would know it! Terry departs from West Corte Madera and makes her way on bike paths and well lit roads to Kaiser in Terra Linda where she works. Terry has taken action to keep herself safe by attending MCBC’s Basic Bike Skills class, wearing her helmet at all times, and sports an orange safety vest for visibility by motorists. When she’s not commuting to work, look for Terry bicycling through the towns in Marin with her dog Lucy, who happily rides in the back basket.
Napa County Napa County : Dolores Chrisco
Rain or shine, day shift or evening, Dolores Chrisco rides her bike to work, a 15 mile round trip. Though she faces high winds, torrential rains, heat waves and distracted motorists, Dolores has made a long-term commitment to save energy and to "Go Green." She doesn't have a fancy bike and isn't an overt advocate for cycling. She knows the benefits to her health, the health of our community and acts independently. Dolores is a welcome role model who encourages others when they enquire and has helped to bring on additional commuters simply by her actions.
San Francisco County : Selena Kyle
As a lawyer at a nonprofit environmental firm, Selena often has to carry boxes of paperwork for her job, but that never stops her. Selena commutes every day to work regardless of weather, inspiring others by being a safe, courteous rider. Selena is a true bicycle ambassador!
San Mateo County : Paul Mernyk
For the past three consecutive years, Paul Mernyk has been cycling to work. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, Paul rides to work in rain, wind or shine and he does this every single day of the year. Paul is the everyman bicycle enthusiast. He rides his bike to the Palo Alto Caltrain Station, travels by train to the Hillsdale Station, then cycles the rest of the way to work. On the way home, he cycles the entire 15 miles from Foster City to Palo Alto Paul is helping to lead the first ever Bike to Work Day at Rearden Commerce and will help map routes, conduct a Bike Safety Clinic and get the rest of the company excited about bicycling. Paul may not be the “overachiever” cycling champion; he’s the “everyman” bicycle enthusiast. He’s humbly doing his part to consistently help the planet and inspire his fellow co-workers and community. "
Santa Clara County : Ian Emmons
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. “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.
Solano County : Tom Crowl
Tom works at Genentech in Vacaville and rides his bike just about every day to and from work. The only days he does not ride is when there is torrential rain. He uses his bike on errands and will ride to and from home for lunch. Tom is fortunate that he lives close by Genentech. He has logged over 93,000 miles on his bike since 1987 and logs around 2500 miles every year. Tom says biking has saved him at least one new car and over 3000 gallons of gasoline in the past 25 years. While he does not ride an extreme distance to and from work, his consistency is impressive.
Sonoma County : Pauli Frey
Pauli Frey is committed to biking not only to work, but everywhere he goes – regardless of the weather! He has not owned a car for about 15 years. Pauli commutes from Sebastopol to Petaluma to work with kids with learning disabilities THEN commutes from Petaluma to Northwest Santa Rosa to work in a bike shop before going home to Sebastopol, easily logging 220 commute miles a week. Pauli is that friendly cyclist that you see on the streets and paths that will wave to you every day even if you pretend to ignore him. He will stop to make sure you have everything you need if your bike is broken down even if he's running late. Pauli puts his heart into cycling and encourages everyone he meets to get on a bike and ride. For several years, Pauli has organized and motivated a team for Team Bike Challenge. Commutes every day to work regardless of the weather, logging 220 miles a week on the commute alone! In addition Pauli spends one morning a week running a Bike Club at a small school for at-risk teens with disabilities, teaching basic bicycle care & maintenance along with the environmental and health benefits of riding. He also donated bike so the teens could build them up. Beyond commuting, Pauli is an avid recreational rider, and mentors Isaiah, an 11 year-old member of the Team Swift race development team.
Past BCOY Winners